Hans Harksen

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Hans Harksen (* 17 January 1897 in Dessau; † 20 December 1985 ibid) was the long-time head of the Dessau City Archives and founder of the Dessau Calendar.


Hans Harksen was the son of the senior government councillor Wilhelm Harksen (1858-1945), who was in charge of surveying the Harz Mountains in Anhalt. Harksen attended the secondary school in Harzgerode and the Gymnasium Carolinum Bernburg, where he passed the Abitur at Easter 1916. He then studied natural sciences and philosophy in Berlin in the summer semester of 1916, and from the winter semester of 1916/17 to the winter semester of 1920/21 German studies, history and philosophy in Berlin, Jena, Leipzig and Halle, with an interruption of two semesters due to the war. After he had already attended economics lectures in Leipzig, among others with Wilhelm Stieda, he finally studied national economics in Halle from the summer semester of 1921. After receiving his doctorate in 1927, he was employed by the magistrate of the city of Dessau in the finance department.

Resting place in Dessau

Hans Harksen was a person open to the new and had joined the “Circle of Friends of the Bauhaus” soon after the Bauhaus moved to Dessau. On 12 July 1933, he was dismissed from the magistrate’s office, which was justified by his commitment to the Bauhaus. After unemployment and working in various companies in Dessau and Berlin, Harksen returned to Dessau with his family in 1945. In November 1945, he joined the budget department of the Dessau City Council. In 1951 he joined the city archives, which he remained associated with as a staff member until 1979. From 1951 to 1972 he was its director.

In 1957 Harksen founded the Dessau Calendar, which follows the tradition of the Anhalt Calendar and publishes a variety of contributions on the history of Dessau and Anhalt, and from the beginning accompanied the reconstruction of the city of Dessau.


  • Uta Schmitt The first Bauhaus exhibitions in the GDR. In:, 25 May 2010.
  • Hans-Joachim Mellies: Personen und Persönlichkeiten, Erkundungen auf dem Dessauer Friedhof III. Jonitzer Verlag, Dessau 2014, ISBN 978-3-945927-01-4.