Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Wolfgang Hug †

Today I attended the funeral mass for Wolfgang Hug, professor emeritus of history and its didactics at the Pedagogical University in Freiburg.

Professor Wolfgang Hug (right) in conversation with the late
 Chairman of Freiburg’s Museumsgesellschaft Dr. Ulrich Dold in 2010
When I read about Wolfgang Hug's passing away I was extremely sad. Like Red Baron he was a member of the Freiburger Museumsgesellschaft and the Freiburg Historic Society Schau-ins-Land so I saw him quite often. We always had lively discussions about God everything under the sun but unlike me, he was an inexhaustible source of knowledge with respect to history. Although I studied physics, Wolfgang leniently supported my late-in-life efforts in Freiburg’s history.

Whenever he gave a talk about Baden’s history or about religious topics I hung on every word, reading his lips. Nobody was able to talk as eloquently and with a subtle ironic undertone about Erasmus of Rotterdam* as Professor Hug. His last publications concerned the Reformation, a topic he as a committed Catholic filled with his hopes for ecumenism.
*Erasmus spent a couple of years in Freiburg

It was impressive to see Wolfgang living in peace with his Catholic Church. He did not excuse the crimes committed by and in the name of the Church but tried to explain to posterity the conditions under which people made their decisions in the past even if they had the chance to make a different one.

Historians and amateur historians miss you, Wolfgang. Rest in peace.

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