Benz, Richard

CULTURAL HISTORIAN, GERMANIST, ESSAYIST (GERMANY)
BORN 12 Jun 1884, Reichenbach im Vogtland, Sachsen - DIED 9 Nov 1966, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg
BIRTH NAME Ben, Richard Edmund
GRAVE LOCATION Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg: Bergfriedhof, Rohrbacher Strasse (Abteilung E)

Richard Benz was the son of a protestant clergyman. He studied in Heidelberg where the lectures of Henry Thode inspired him. In March 1907 he was promoted on "Märchendichtung der Romantik" ("Romantic fairy tale poetry"). In 1907 he settled in Freiburg im Breisgau. In 1908 he married Helene Kellner (d.1964), the daughter of honorary consul August Kellner. In 1909 their daughter Ursula was born. After his father-in-law died in 1910 he returned to Heidelberg where he worked as a private scholar for the rest of his life. He published medieval folk literature and in 1923 "Die Stunde der deutschen Musik" was published. It was followed by "Die deutsche Romantik" in 1937.

In 1935 his book "Geist und Reich" was banned by the Reichschrifttumskammer because its treatment of racial questions were not in line with the nazi ideology. But he was also praised by the nazis and he during the Second World War he undertook a lecture tour on behalf of the Propaganda Ministry. In 1940 "Goethe und die romantische Kunst" was published.

After the war he was temporarily banned from working, but he was able to resume his work and he became highly respected. He published "Goethe und Beethoven" in 1948. In 1952 he received the Bundesverdienstkreuz and in 1954 he was elected into the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and he became a hororary citizen of Heidelberg. In 1961 his book "Heidelberg - Schicksal und Geist" was published. From 1962 he was blind. He died in 1966 in Heidelberg.

Related persons
• wrote about Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von

Images

The grave of Richard Benz at the Bergfriedhof, Heidelberg.
Picture by Androom (30 Jul 2018)

 

Sources
Wikipedia (DE)
Heidelberger Geschichtsverein


Benza, Ida

Published: 25 Feb 2024
Last update: 25 Feb 2024