Triple layered image of a stamp showing Ernst Jünger's portrait on the side as an older man, with a faded frontal portrait as a younger man in the background. The stamp is titled “1895 Ernst Jünger 1998.”

Correspondence and Afterlife. Ernst Jünger’s Letter Archive

Ernst Jünger (1895–1998) assembled a letter archive containing 130,000 documents, which he systematically organized and kept at his home in Wilflingen. Today it is part of his literary estate held at the German Literature Archive in Marbach and includes approximately 90,000 letters to him (from around 5000 correspondents) and some 40,000 letters by him preserved as transcriptions or copies. The letters are significant both to Jünger’s opus in terms of his literary production and its reception but also more broadly in terms of 20th-century literary and political history. They constitute a documentary basis for his autobiographical writings and diary chronicles, in which he often refers to his correspondence. Beyond their value in relation to Jünger’s work as an author, they are also important as historical sources given Jünger’s role as a writer and political player with close contacts to a variety of different people over many decades.

The project aims to publish a monograph based on a qualitative screening of the letter archive. The book will present Jünger’s postal activities, the conceptualization of the archive, as well as its meaning for his work and reception. In addition, selected letters – even some with relatively unknown correspondents – will be included in the volume in order to emphasize the value of these materials. The project hypothesizes that through his preemptive archival measures, Jünger became a representative of a new form of authorship: the author as archivist. With predecessors from as early as the late 18th century (Goethe being only one of the most prominent among them) who took heed of newly established literature archives, the archive-author does not merely write for his times and contemporaries, but also establishes the documentary foundations necessary for the engagement with his works that will first take place generations later.


Fig. above: Stamp from 1998 for the death of Ernst Jünger

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) 2015–2020
Head researcher(s): Detlev Schöttker


see also


With additional notes by Detlev Schöttker

Ernst Jünger: Das Abenteuerliche Herz
Zweite Fassung: Figuren und Capriccios

Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2021, 168 pages
ISBN 978-3-608-98360-9 (Print); 978-3-608-12006-6 (E-Pub)

With additional notes by Detlev Schöttker. Print: 2nd edition (paperback), the e-book is based on the 1st edition of the 2013 print edition.

Ernst Jünger: An der Zeitmauer

Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2019, 256 pages
ISBN 978-3-608-96069-3 (Print), 978-3-608-10604-6 (E-Book EPUB)
Anja Keith und Detlev Schöttker (ed./eds.)

Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf
Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, Frankfurt a.M. 2019, 168 pages
ISBN 978-3-465-04380-5
Thomas Bantle, Alexander Pschera, Detlev Schöttker (ed./eds.)

Jünger Debatte
Band 1 (2017): Ernst Jünger und das Judentum

Publication organ of the Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger Gesellschaft e.V.
Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, Frankfurt a.M. 2017, 256 pages
ISBN 978-3-465-04312-6


Reading and talk
13 Oct 2021 · 7.00 pm

Anja Keith and Detlev Schöttker: Reading and talk: Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf. The Correspondence 1962–1974

Potsdam Museum, Am Alten Markt 9, 14467 Potsdam

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Book presentation
22 Dec 2019 · 11.00 am

Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf: Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Gedenk- und Bildungsstätte Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, Am Großen Wannsee 56-58, 14109 Berlin

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Lecture and reading
23 Nov 2017 · 7.00 pm

Detlev Schöttker: Ernst Jünger und Joseph Wulf. Ein Briefwechsel

NS-Dokumentationszentrum, Brienner Str. 34, 80333 München, Auditorium

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08 Apr 2017 · 10.00 am

Detlev Schöttker: Wer ist Otho? Zur Rolle Brasiliens in Ernst Jüngers »Marmorklippen«

Kloster Heiligkreuztal, Am Münster 7, 88499 Altheim-Heiligkreuztal

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08 Dec 2016 · 10.30 am

Detlev Schöttker: Die Ansichtskarten-Sammlung als Inspirationsquelle bei Walter Benjamin und Ernst Jünger

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institut, Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai, Via dei Servi 51, 50122 Firenze (Italy)

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24 Aug 2015 · 4.00 pm

Detlev Schöttker: Fakten und Fiktionen in Ernst Jüngers Tagebüchern

Tongji-Universität Shanghai (China)

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25 Apr 2015 · 10.15 am

Detlev Schöttker: Fortschritt als Katastrophe. Benjamins Jünger-Lektüren im Pariser Exil

Deutsches Seminar der Universität Basel, Nadelberg 4, Raum 3

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Media Response

25 Jan 2023
Trotz allem “im Humanen einig”

Review chapter in: Götz Aly: Unser Nationalsozialismus. Reden in der deutschen Gegenwart, Frankfurt a.M.: S. Fischer 2023, 135–140

01 May 2022
Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf. Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Review by Bruno Jahn, in: Germanistik – Internationales Referatenorgan mit bibliographischen Hinweisen 62 3–4 (May 2022), 1021–1022

12 Apr 2021
Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf. Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Review by Aurélia Kalisky, in: H-Soz-Kult, 12 Apr 2021

11 Dec 2020
Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf. Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Rezension von Matthias Schöning, in: Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 139.4 (2020), 632–635

14 Aug 2020
Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf. Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Review by Holger Böning, in: Jahrbuch für Kommunikationsgeschichte 22 (2020), 202

22 Jun 2020
Anja Keith/Detlev Schöttker (Hrsg.): Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf: Der Briefwechsel

Review by Peter Steinbach, in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft 6 (2020), 587–590

24 Jan 2020
Ernst Jünger – Joseph Wulf: Der Briefwechsel. Im Licht des Humanismus

Radio review by Ruthard Stäblein, in: Deutschlandfunk, 24 Jan 2019

02 Jan 2020
Ernst Jünger / Joseph Wulf. Der Briefwechsel 1962–1974

Review by Reinhard Mehring, in: Zeitschrift für Germanistik, New series XXX (2020), 252–253

18 Sep 2019
“Plötzlich handelten Menschen von ewigem Geist wie Idioten”

Review by Götz Aly, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18 Jan 2019

03 Sep 2018
Jünger Debatte Band 1 (2017): Ernst Jünger und das Judentum

Review by Cord-Friedrich Berghahn, in: Zeitschrift für Germanistik, Neue Folge XXVIII (2018), Vol. 3, p. 683–687

11 Oct 2017
Briefwechsel: Ernst Jünger und Joseph Wulf (extract)

Prepublication of an extract of Bantle/Pschera/Schöttker (ed.): Jünger Debatte Band 1 (2017): Ernst Jünger und das Judentum, in: Supplement Geisteswissenschaften, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11 Oct 2017