Doctoral dissertation by Frank Ahland

"Dance on raw eggs without breaking them." The unionists Louis Rosenberg

Theme of the doctoral project is to produce a biography of Louis Rosenberg, who presided 1962-1969 the DGB. Thus, the Borsdorf of 1982 established and still existing gap could be substantially in the biography of German trade union leader close to a part.

Not a biography, and with it the need to understand history from the lived lives of others, in the 1970s reached a crisis, but the scientific legitimacy. The already weak theoretical framework of historicism, the man as a world for themselves ("homo clausus understand") and in the wake of a biography "of individuality and Genieideal" transported (von Treitschke, "Men make history"), was under the impression of a structural or social-approach shaken. Structural and social history, but also knowledge of other sciences such as psychology themed, the relationship of humans in their relations to new environment, the integration of the biography in the historical social sciences became possible. Here is, according to Bourdieu, not life from its end here, but with its "placement and Deplazierungen" be understood in a constantly changing field, with breaks, Inkonsistenzien and discontinuities. The concept of habitus, which is particularly characterized by the internalization of family socialization as a "second nature" may, as a bridge between social embeddedness of individuals and serve its concrete action and experience.

The biography of a union is necessary not only describes the development of his identity and his habit. It is (also) a political, but it is also a social history biography, so far as it is characterized mainly by socio premises. The options of the individual, including a trade union official, are significantly influenced by its social bonds with their large number of the resulting feedback. Trade unionists are rarely the subject of the biography, the result not only from the source problem, but apparently also from a lack of interest in particular of traditional biography to them. It can deliver such a biography among other clues to the identity of the trade union leaders, their conception of individuality and collectivity, their habit. A biography of Rosenberg's, since 1949 in the federal Executive Chairman of the DGB and 1962-69 can be applied as a historical "plummet" (Thomas Mann), provide clues about the processes of opinion formation and decision making within the highest bodies of the DGB, the mechanisms the recruitment of their nationals on the processing of social change in part of a social elite. Rosenberg did not seem destined to lead in his seventh decade of life, the trade union federation. Many said, however: his bourgeois origins, his deer-Duncker organization past, his professional staff, its emigrants fate, probably also his Jewish parents. On the basis of Rosenberg's biography can gain insights about the social position of an emigre Jewish organization with a liberal past, through mechanisms of social closure and openness, both within the unions and in the wider society, in which Rosenberg latest feeds into a DGB-chairman. Rosenberg was the last DGB chairman, who did not come from one of the boardrooms of the individual unions, he, like his predecessor, Willi Richter, first federal member of the Executive of the DGB. In his tenure, the last major conflicts were about the relationship between governing body and individual unions. It was Rosenberg to those who had been instrumental in the late forties come about compromise.

What applies generally to meet union leaders, in principle, also apply to Rosenberg: He did not produce much of what is in the traditional sense for a biography used. While it is often stressed, particularly Rosenberg could write to the origin and formation of an autobiography, but suggests - at least at present - nothing to suggest. Also diary entries are not found in the reductions in the Archives of Social Democracy in Bonn. In AdsD are two parts of the estate: in the DGB-Archiv in the FES are found in 1969 by Rosenberg himself and the DGB DGB to the archive transferred files. The portfolio comprises 12 boxes now in material from the years 1951 to 1969, primarily lecture and speech manuscripts and newspaper articles. Next is the second part AdsD a discount in the FES itself is This is a file inventory that consists in large part from acts of 1969 and 1977, but in addition a number of lectures and speech manuscripts from the years 1947 to 1969. In addition a number of photo albums and calendar are the years 1953-1972, some of notes about telephone calls and the like treat. Evidence suggests that Rosenberg has taken at least some of his documents from exile to Germany. If these documents are still there, so they may be located in the descendants Rosenberg, möglicherwese but also in Britain. About the time of emigration is likely to documents in the archives of the Labour Party and probably the Ministry of Labour, for which Rosenberg was active during the war find. In the immediate post-war period should the archives of the Allies (mainly offer the British and the Americans) provided some insight, especially in terms of call logs, correspondence and confidential assessments. The general acts of the DGB DGB found in the archive in the FES, including the minutes of the meetings of the Executive and the federal executive departments. Another possibility is the oral or written questioning of witnesses, especially the employees, such as secretaries, who can easily can be identified by name. Whether it makes sense to the files of the Economic and Social Committee of the EEC in Brussels, Rosenberg headed for a time as President or Vice President, and of the ICFTU in Amsterdam, he was its Vice President from 1963 to 1969 to use, can not at this stage be waived.

This project was carried out by: Frank Ahland