No theory forbids me to say "Ah!" or "Ugh!", but it forbids me the bogus theorization of my "Ah!" and "Ugh!" - the value judgments. - Theodor Julius Geiger (1960)

Hans Oppenheimer

Hans Oppenheimer (1901-1945) was a German sociologist. He studied philosophy at Heidelberg University with well-known scholars like Heinrich Rickert and Alfred Weber. Oppenheimer won a prize from the faculty and a best-of-year gold medal for his doctoral thesis in 1924, which was subsequently reviewed with praise in professional journals and was frequently cited. It was also mentioned in the "Handwörterbuch der Soziologie" (Dictionary of Sociology). A summary of this thesis can be accessed by using the button below.

Oppenheimer married philosopher Friederike Fürst, and together they had three kids, the youngest of the three was born in London, where the family wanted to settle. Oppenheimer did not receive an immigration permit though. During World War II, the family lived in exile in the Netherlands and was deported to Bergen Belsen. Only the children survived the camp.

Special thanks to Nicole Holzhauser for her research on Oppenheimer, which featured on Deutschlandfunk radio.


Holzhauser, N. (2015), In Erinnerung an Hans Oppenheimer (18. Juni 1901 – 20. März 1945), in: Zyklos 2 Jahrbuch für Theorie und Geschichte der Soziologie (pp.177-184).