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Abandonment of the title, timeline[edit]


In modern times, Geheimrat has returned as an honorary title ('Herr Geheimrat') conferred upon exceptional scientists. It is mentioned by Norbert Weiner in his book, Ex-Prodigy. It is similar to the knighting or conferring of 'Sir' by the head of the monarchy in England.

certainly untrue. I have never heard anybody of this or the prevous century being called Geheimrat. The Austrians have a habit of calling certain people, e.g. the president or chancellor of a university "Hofrat", meaning "Court Councillor". But that's all what's left of the manycolourful titles of the k.u.k. monarchy.

Simon A. 14:31, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sorry, Simon, but the fact that you have never heard of something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Felix Klein certainly did bear the title of Geheimrat during the 20th century. I think David Hilbert did too. Michael Hardy 00:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, and concerning the rest: The reference to the German monarchy is quite strange: After all, there were many small monarchies in the realm of German language, all with all kinds of titles.

In summery, the article can be condensed to: "Geheimrat" is the German equivalent to Privy Counsellor. whithout any loss of correctness.

I'll do this and then might list on VfD if there's no objections. Sorry.

Simon A. 14:31, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I have the book, Ex-Prodigy (or I am a Mathematician). I don't remember the exact phrase but in the portion where Norbert Weiner was asking if the 'Professor' was at home , the governess was offended because the professor was suppossed to be addressed as Herr Geheimrat which was more prestigious than an ordinary professor. I'm not a native of Germany so go ahead and list on Vfd if the article is not Wikipedia material.--Jondel 14:47, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Well, I justed glanced through the biography part in the Norbert Wiener article, and it seems that he was in Germany for a longer time only in 1914, which was still imperial times, of course. So, maybe, the professor, he was visiting, also had a political office. Simon A. 15:32, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The professor whom Norbert Wiener was visiting was Felix Klein. Michael Hardy (talk) 16:04, 9 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Achnowledgements. I copied the list of Geheimrats from the German page. --Jondel 01:27, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)


The first sentence seems to imply this title was used only in the time of the Holy Roman Empire. But later it lists Geheimräte living at later times including even the 20th century. Michael Hardy (talk) 04:06, 23 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could I add my two cents?
The pretty famous biologist Sydney Brenner mentions in passing this phrase 'Herr Geheimrat' here: at 4:55 minutes in.
He is talking about how Cyril Hinshelwood was the same as a 'Herr Geheimrat'.
Hope this helps!
HappyLarry88 (talk) 15:38, 4 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

6-11-2018 The title "Geheimrat" was certainly still used in the 20th century. My mother told me that her aunt was Kinderfraulein in a certain family where the "man of the house" was always addressed as "Herr Geheimrat" This was in the 1930s — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 11 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Does geheim really mean trusted? I have not been able to find any confirmation of this. It certainly means secret, and as far as I have been able to discover, nothing else. --Klausok (talk) 04:58, 10 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps it should be translated as "confidential." NRPanikker (talk) 20:02, 9 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]