Indexing the Scientific Legacy of Helmut König

Subject to funding from the Friends of the BBF, the scientific papers left by the educational scientist and educational historian from the GDR, Helmut König (1920–2005), were indexed.

Project Description

Helmut König (1920–2005) was an educational scientist and educational historian in the GDR. From 1950 until 1969, he worked and lectured at the Pedagogical Faculty of Humboldt University, Berlin, serving as its dean between 1965 and 1968. Following the establishment of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the GDR (APW), he became head of the “Office for the History of Education” at the APW and held this post until his retirement in 1981.

Even today, his prolific and source-based work on national education in Germany remains effective, as does his work concerning Friedrich Fröbel. In 1984, he edited Fröbel’s “Mutter-, Spiel- und Koselieder” (nursery rhymes), inspired by the vast body of papers left by Fröbel kept by the Archive of the APW, now in the Archive of the BBF. One of the last works presented by König was his edition of letters entitled “Mein lieber Herr Fröbel! Briefe von Frauen und Jungfrauen an den Kinder- und Menschenfreund“ in 1990 – “Dear Mr Fröbel – Letters from women and maidens to the philanthropist”.

The complete papers have been indexed in the archive database.


From the Papers

A specialty of König’s legacy is, that it contains for nearly all of his publications but particularly his essays, his hand-written original and the typed manuscript as well as the printed copy thereby making it easy to comprehend his working method.

The substantial impact Helmut König had on the development of the “history of education” as a discipline in the GDR regarding research topics but also staff and teacher education is discernible from documents concerning his membership in decisive boards and his activities at Humboldt University as well as the APW.

The papers contain also a collection of materials on the “Freie Schulgemeinde Wickersdorf”, where König worked as a trainee teacher from 1948 until 1950. These resources provide information about the school, which had originally been co-founded by the reform pedagogue Gustav Wyneken (1875–1963) regarding the period following Soviet occupation and the early years of the GDR.


Indexing of König’s legacy was funded by the Friends of the BBF.

Project Management

Project Team

  • Dr. Ursula Basikow

Project Details

Completed Projects
Third-Party Funded Project
Contact: Bettina Reimers