Personal Papers Heinrich Scholz

If a researcher speaks to me as a researcher, I have to be sure that I am allowed to ask: is what he says true or false? If I am no longer allowed to ask like this, then I am no longer dealing with a researcher, but with someone who is once and forever different from a researcher, may he be whoever he is.
Heinrich Scholz
It is a truth universally acknowledged that important personal papers are in urgent need of a secure storage to preserve them for posterity and careful cataloguing.
Heinrich Scholz giving a lecture (photo)

About Heinrich Scholz

* 17 December 1884 in Berlin
30 December 1956 in Münster, Westphalia

A son of the well-known theologian Hermann Scholz Heinrich Scholz grew up in Berlin. He studied philosophy and theology in Berlin and Erlangen. In 1910 he completed his habilitation in religious philosophy and systematic theology, in 1913 he received his doctorate in philosophy in Erlangen.

In 1917 Heinrich Scholz got a position as a full professor at Breslau University. Long-standing stomach problems saved him from participating in the First World War but led to morphine treatments, numerous cures and, after a life-threatening collapse in 1919, to a severe stomach operation. Heinrich Scholz suffered from significant health problems ever since.

From 1919 to 1928 Scholz worked as professor of philosophy at Kiel University, in 1924 he took up additional studies of mathematics and physics. In 1928 Scholz was appointed full professor of philosophy at Münster University. Here he devoted himself particularly to mathematical logic, and he founded the internationally known "Gruppe von Münster", the "Group of Münster". In 1936 Heinrich Scholz was given a teaching assignment for mathematical logic and foundational research. In October 1943 he was appointed full professor of the first German chair for mathematical logic and foundational research. Scholz was particularly proud of the chair’s well-equipped library. In order to acquire literature and for research purposes he maintained contacts with scholars worldwide, including Alan Turing. The library holdings of his institute included the personal papers of Gottlob Frege (1848–1925) and Ernst Schröder (1841–1902). Scholz maintained special contacts with the Polish logicians. He campaigned for Jan Łukasiewicz to receive an honorary doctorate from Münster University in 1938, and during the Second World War he tried to ease the severe fate of some logicians in occupied Poland with the help of his many relationships.

The philosopher, theologian, and logician Heinrich Scholz wrote countless treatises and reviews. He maintained global contacts with leading scientists of his time. His students included Gisbert Hasenjaeger, Hans Hermes and Karl Schröter.

The personal papers

After the death of Heinrich Scholz, his wife Erna Scholz inherited the rights of the personal papers. They were in disarray, as documents had been kept both in the institute and in Heinrich Scholz's private apartment during his lifetime. In a letter to Prof Gottfried Martin in Mainz dated 13 September 1957 Prof. Hans Hermes made the following statement:

After the death of Heinrich Scholz, I had no time to get in touch with you about the Frege edition. First of all, Heinrich Scholz's personal belongings had to be neatly separated from the institute's belongings, which did not always prove easy. Then I had everything collected here that related to Frege, some of which was scattered in different places. Now that the Personal Papers Frege have been secured, I would like to get in touch with you again.

note + photo
A bundle of documents sent back from Munich to Münster in May 1958, photo taken by Gisbert Hasenjäger

A part of the Personal Papers Heinrich Scholz – above all the valuable Fregiana (the Frege Archive) and important work manuscripts – remained in the Department for Mathematical Logic and Foundational Research (Institut für Mathematische Logik und Grundlagenforschung) in Münster. Erna Scholz took the other part of the documents with her when she moved from Münster to Munich in 1957, where she was advised on them by Wilhelm Britzelmayr. Both in Munich and in Münster, the personal papers were sorted resulting in Erna Scholz sending several bundles back to Münster for final storage in the institute, and in return Scholziana being sent from the institute to Munich.

In addition, over the years large parts of the Personal Papers Heinrich Scholz were sent to scientists twice for research purposes, and the Frege Archive, which had been separated from the Personal Papers Heinrich Scholz, moved to Konstanz for several years for publication purposes.

A large part of the pre-war correspondence of Heinrich Scholz had already been destroyed during the destruction of his institute during the war on 10 October 1943. Documents he was keeping in his private apartment at that time were preserved. After his death, Erna Scholz controlled the use of the Munich part of his personal papers for decades, and she seems to have returned a number of letters that had been sent to Heinrich Scholz by scientists to their original senders. This is the only explanation for correspondence no longer to be found in the personal papers of Heinrich Scholz, but in archives around the world. Erna Scholz occasionally sent original letters to inquiring scholars for research purposes. She cut up letters for reasons of censorship to prevent personal content from being read.

The Munich part of the personal papers was transferred back to the Department for Mathematical Logic and Foundational Research in Münster by Erna Scholz in the 1990s. In summer 2018 the complete Personal Papers Heinrich Scholz, together with the Frege Archive, were handed over to the University and State Library of Münster for permanent storage and indexing.

The Personal Papers Heinrich Scholz comprise 137 archive boxes. They are indexed together with the Frege Collection (the former Frege Archive) in an inventory. Cataloguing in the Kalliope Union Catalog began in May 2023. The personal papers contain, among other documents:

  • Correspondence
  • Work manuscripts
  • Newspaper and magazine articles
  • Prints
  • Life documents

Worth reading

For further information see German text.