Short Biography

 Ludwig Quidde, born on March 23, 1858 in the city of Bremen, was a German historian, pacifist and politician who throughout his life advocated democracy, peace and international understanding.

After finishing his studies of history, philosophy and economics in Straßburg and Göttingen, Quidde worked as a historian until 1884.  With the publication of the pamphlet “Caligula” Quidde’s scientific career came to a bitter end as it was considered to be a satire on Emperor Wilhelm II.

Hereafter, Quidde focused on his political activities. Amongst others, he served as a representative of the “Deutsche Volkspartei” (DtVP) in the Bavarian Assembly from 1907 until 1918. After World War I, Quidde was elected to the Weimar National Assembly. More important than his political involvement, however, was his work in pacifistic organizations; besides the moral condemnation of war, peacekeeping via international cooperation mattered to him. He tried to realize this aim amongst others by his membership in the German Peace Society (DFG) whose chairperson he became in 1914 and by organizing the World Peace Congress in Munich in 1907. In 1927, Quidde was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with the French pacifist Ferdinand Buisson.

When Hitler came to power, Quidde emigrated to Geneva where he lived under poor conditions, but still tried to support German pacifists in exile for example by founding the “Committee for the Support of Exiled Pacifists”.

Quidde died in exile in Geneva on March 5, 1941.



1858                 March 23: Ludwig Quidde is born in Bremen as the son of the merchant Ludwig Quidde and his wife Anne (nee Cassebohm).

1877-1881      After graduating from school, he studies history, philosophy and economics in Strasbourg and Göttingen where he also does his doctorate.

1881                He publishes a pamphlet against anti-Semitic tendencies among the student body.
Quidde becomes a coworker for the edition of the German Reichstagsakten of the 14th/15th century and moves to Frankfurt/Main.

1882                Quidde marries the musician and writer Margarete Jacobson.

1885                He publishes "Studien zur Geschichte des Rheinischen Landfriedensbundes von 1259" and considers himself to be a political historian.

1886-1889      For personal reasons, Quidde lives in Königsberg where he continues to work on the Reichtstagsakten.

1887                Quidde becomes an associate member of the Historische Kommission der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences).

1889-1895      He publishes the "Deutsche Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft" which he founded and which can be classified  as left-wing.

1890                Quidde moves to Munich where he becomes head of the edition of the German Reichstagsakten.

1890                Administration of the Preußisches Historisches Institut in Rom (Prussian Historical Institute in Rom); at the same time, Quidde receives his professorship.

1892                Return to Munich.

1893                Quidde joins the Deutsche Volkspartei (German People’s Party) in Southern Germany.
He anonymously publishes a polemic against militarism in the German Reich ("Militarismus im heutigen Deutschen Reich") which marks the beginning of his pacifistic involvement.

1893-1895      Quidde is co-founder of the first German Historian’s Days (Deutsche Historikertage) and of the German Association of Historians (Deutscher Historikerverband).

1894                The successful satire "Caligula. Eine Studie über römischen Cäsarenwahnsinn" brings Quidde into prison for three months on account of lèse-majesté as it contains allusions to Wilhelm II. and furthermore leaves him socially stigmatised and the historical sciences isolated.
Quidde contributes to the work of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft (German Peace Association) which was founded by Bertha von Suttner.

1894-1900      Publication of the democratic daily newspaper "Münchner Freie Presse".

1895                Quidde is involved in the development of a new program for the Deutsche Volkspartei (German People’s Party) in which the party calls for  Parliamentarisation, a reform of the justice sector and the military as well as an expansion of federalism.

1896                Due to his Caligula-study, Quidde is suspended as head of the edition of the German Reichstagsakten.
Chairman of the Bavarian State Association of the German People’s Party (bayerischer Landesverband der Deutsche Volkspartei).

1898                Quidde is again given the position of head of the edition of the Reichsakten.

1901                German Representative of the International Peace Bureau in Bern. Quidde’s interest is focused on the Franco-German reconciliation.  

1907-1918      Member of Parliament for the German People’s Party (Deutsche Volkspartei; later of the Fortschrittlichen Volkspartei) at the Bavarian regional parliament.

1913                At the 20th World Peace Conference, Quidde presents his draft for an international treaty on a standstill in armament ("Entwurf zu einem internationalen Vertrage über Rüstungsstillstand").

1914-1929      Quidde is chairperson of the German Peace Association (Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft).

1917                Quidde pleads for peace with Russia without annexations and contributions.

1918                Quidde becomes Vice-President of the Provisional National Assembly in Bavaria (Provisorischer Nationalrat in Bayern).
He joins the Deutsche Demokratische Partei(DDP; German Democratic Party).

1919                Quidde is elected to the constitution-giving National Assembly (Verfassunggebende Nationalversammlung).

1921                Quidde is chairperson of the pacifist umbrella organization "Deutsches Friedenskartell" (German Peace Cartel) and becomes a unifying figure of the peace movement.

1924                Quidde publishes "Der deutsche Pazifismus während des Weltkrieges 1914-1918" (German pacifism during the World War 1914-1918) and is arrested for treason.

1927                Quidde receives the Nobel Peace Prize, together with the French pacifist and human rights activist Ferdinand Buisson.

1929                Publication of his lecture series on the history of public peace in the middle Ages ("Histoire de la paix publique en Allemagne au moyen age").

1930                Quidde leaves the DDP which increasingly becomes right-wing.

1933                Quidde emigrates to Switzerland where he works for the "Neue Zürcher Zeitung".

1941                March 5: Ludwig Quidde dies in Geneva.