Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

uni'alumni 2015_ENG

Günther Klugermann is a Freiburger through and through. With the excep- tion of vacations, the 64-year-old has never been away from the town for more than a few weeks. His love of the town is also reflected in his work: Klugermann has published several historical illustrated books about Freiburg in the past years. Freiburg in the 1950s or the 1960s, the way Freiburg used to look, Freiburg on that tragic night in November 1944 – the historian spent weeks at the municipal archive, the state archive, and in old newspapers researching all of these topics. “I have an ironic, entertaining writing style and always allow my opinion to shine through,” says the author. Klugermann never thought he would wind up writing books. Initially, he earned a degree in economics at the University of Freiburg – with a minor in sociology. “But I knew I would never be an economist.” After completing his studies, he tried his hands at several occupations, including taxi driver and a caretaker of sorts. He then completed a further training course as a job counselor and spent two years “mired down in bureaucracy – that wasn’t my thing.” At the same time, he began studying sociology again, a science that had already fascinat- ed him during his first course of study. Upon completing his magister degree, he worked at the Freiburg Institute of Applied Social Science, the Bad Krozingen Rehabilitation Center, and the Association for Social Sciences Research in Medicine. “Then the Berlin Wall fell, and suddenly all the funding for my projects was canceled.” Visualizing Daily Lives After further detours, he finally ended up getting into history. His love of it, as well as his family, is a focal point of his life. He was already interested in the Middle Ages as a schoolboy. Then his grandfather died when he was 20 years old. “That was a turning point for me; he was a second father to me.” Kluger- mann began researching his own origins and genealogy in general. “I went all the way back to the beginning of the first parish registers, after the end of the Thirty Years War. Somewhere along the line I reached the point where collecting data wasn’t enough for me anymore. I wanted to know how the people had lived, to visualize their daily lives as clearly as possible.” He attended conferences, listened to lectures, joined historical societies, participated in projects. He has helped create an exhibition on childhood in Freiburg in the 20th century, written local chronicles for villages in the region, and unearthed interesting topics in old copies of the Freiburger Zeitung. In 2013, for instance, the restaurant Waldsee cele- brated its 130th anniversary. “At first there was only the lake, which delivered ice to the breweries in the winter so they could cool their beer. Then a local im- provement association got the idea of using it for tourism – for fishing, boating, and ice skating.” Waldsee became a popular destination for family outings. The city initially gave its OK for provisory snack stands, and in 1883 the restau- rant was built. Klugermann researched the history of the house for an anniver- sary chronicle. He visited Waldsee many times while conducting the research. “It is important for me to get a feeling for the geographical situation.” Earning a degree in history is not on his agenda, but he does have plans to write a dissertation on a topic in historical sociology. Günther Klugermann has hit on a new topic again. Claudia Füßler Waldsee in Freiburg is a popular destination for family outings. Its history is one of the many topics Günther Klugermann has researched. Photo: Patrick Seeger Unearthing Local History PORTRAIT Günther Klugermann studies the history of Freiburg and the region 30