The library has just received the diaries of a German lawyer and politician from Hamburg, Die Tagebücher: Ferdinand Beneke.

Ferdinand Beneke was born in 1774 to a merchant family in Bremen. He graduated from Göttingen University in law and began a legal career in Hamburg. He was involved in the liberation of Hamburg during the Napoleonic Wars and the subsequent rebuilding of Hamburg government. In 1816 he became “Oberaltensekretär und Konsulent” (senior secretary and consultant) in the Hamburg parliament and held the post till his death in 1848, making him one of the most influential politicians in Hamburg during this period.

From 1792 until his death in 1848 he wrote a detailed daily diary, which has been kept in Hamburg State Archives and with its publication will now be available in the IHR library. It is an outstanding source to the political, social and literary development of the time and of the day to day life in Germany from the Napoleonic era to the pre-March period. [1]

So far only the first part has been published, covering the years 1792-1801. A further 3 parts have been planned with the publishing project to be finished by 2017. The diaries can be ordered from our onsite store, see library catalogue.

Further reading

About Ferdinand Beneke:

Other pre-March / Vormärz diaries and letters can be found in our German collections:

[1] The period leading up to the March Revolution in the states of the German Confederation in 1848, also known culturally as Biedermeier.