Home » Pioneer of reconciliation – German-French historian Alfred Grosser is dead

Pioneer of reconciliation – German-French historian Alfred Grosser is dead

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Pioneer of reconciliation – German-French historian Alfred Grosser is dead

Political scientist Alfred Grosser has died. (picture alliance/dpa/Sabine Glaubitz)

In his texts and speeches after the Second World War, he advocated rapprochement between the countries and fought against prejudices on both sides. Most of his over 30 books were published in French and German.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid tribute to Grosser’s life’s work. “Hardly anyone in the past decades has been so knowledgeable, so passionate and so convincing for mutual understanding between France and Germany as Alfred Grosser,” he explained in Berlin: “for his life’s work of critical and sincere understanding between peoples.” he can rely on his sharp intellect, his immense education and finally his great life experience. “His persuasive power was that of a free spirit, eloquent and quietly urgent, modest, mediating and always reliable,” said Steinmeier.

Born in Frankfurt

Grosser, who came from a Jewish family and was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1925 as the son of a pediatrician, emigrated to France in 1933. From 1955 to 1992 he was a professor at the renowned Institut d’études politiques in Paris. In 1975 he received the German book trade’s Peace Prize. Grosser’s name is closely linked to German-French understanding after the Second World War. The German-born intellectual with Jewish roots taught as a professor at the elite Parisian university Sciences Po (Institut d’etudes politiques de Paris) from 1955 to 1992.

Grosser’s father had fought as a German soldier in the First World War and was awarded the Iron Cross First Class. The family fled the National Socialists to France in 1933, where the father died shortly after arrival. The mother and her children received French citizenship in 1937. This saved her from internment in 1939.

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This message was sent on February 8th, 2024 on the Deutschlandfunk program.

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