Wolfgang Abendroth

Wolfgang Abendroth's grave

Wolfgang Abendroth (2 May 1906 – 15 September 1985) was a socialist German jurist and political scientist. He was born in Elberfeld, now a part of Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia. Abendroth was an important contributor to the constitutional foundation of postwar West Germany. He briefly held a professorship in law in East Germany. As he was opposed to Stalinism, he left for West Germany, where he was appointed professor in political science at Marburg in 1950. Abendroth also served as a senior judge in the state court of Hesse.

In the late 1950s, at the University of Marburg, Abendroth oversaw the habilitation in political science of major German philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist Jürgen Habermas. Habermas dedicated his habilitation work, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, to Abendroth, in particular because Habermas valued Abendroth's role in re-founding postwar West Germany as a liberal constitutional state and in engaging in vigorous public debate in the spirit of the ideal Habermas laid out in his first major study.[1]


  1. ^ Peter Uwe Hohendahl, "Jürgen Habermas: 'The Public Sphere' (1964)," trans. Patricia Russian, New German Critique 3 (Autumn 1974), p. 45-8.