Events | 04. Mar. 2021

Online-Presentation: Ottokar Menzel (1912-1945) and Hildegund Menzel-Rogner (1910-1945). Married life and scholarly work in Hitler’s Germany.

Ottokar Menzel held a scholarship 1937-1938 at the „Reichsinstitut für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde“, as the MGH was renamed in the years 1935 to 1945. He edited the Vita of Saint Liutbirg and took on the task of editing the political writings (Staatsschriften) of Engelbert of Admont. Thanks to his post in the department for military history under the high command of the armed forces, where he worked as military administration officer, he avoided being sent to the front. His wife, Hildegund Menzel-Rogner, held a PhD in philosophy and mathematics. She translated works of Nicolaus of Cues and worked at the Preußische Akademie on editing the mathematical writings of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz. She was also a member of the literary circle of Stefan George and had the honour of reading the poet his own poems.

In her presentation, Martina Hartmann draws on letters, diaries and accounts by contemporaries, such as Felix Hartlaub, to reconstruct the life circumstances of this highly gifted married couple during the years of Nazi dictatorship. Her study reveals a tragic story which was left unmentioned in Karl Jordan’s obituary for Ottokar Menzel, printed in Deutsches Archiv 1951.

The lecture will be held as a virtual presentation on the online platform ZOOM on March 18, 2021 at 6 pm. To attend, please enrol via e-mail to After registration, we will provide you with more information and the access codes three days prior to going online.
This presentation is the first in the new MGH series entitled “Vorträge zur Geschichte der Mittelalterforschung" (Lectures on the History of Mediaeval Studies).