Friedrichkarl Roedemeyer

Date of
January 25, 1894, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Date of
January 21, 1947, in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany

Friedrichkarl (also spelled Friedrich-Karl) Roedemeyer was born in 1894 and trained as a pharmacist, but later turned to linguistics and radio studies.

Roedemeyer served in the German army from 1914 to 1919. As a reservist in the Prussian city of Posen (today Poznán, Poland), he studied at the Royal Academy there, attending seminars on philosophy, pedagogy, and German studies. Roedemeyer also worked at Posen’s theater, where he developed an interest in recitation and voice training. On his return to western Germany in 1919, he followed courses in linguistics at Göttingen University. It was there that Roedemeyer became a student of the Germanist Eduard Sievers

In the 1920s, Roedemeyer taught speech and voice at the University of Frankfurt and worked for the phonetician Wilhelm Doegen, the founder of the Lautarchiv (“sound archive”), whom he later credited as an influential figure for his own thinking on radio studies. Around the same time, Roedemeyer became involved in radio production, specializing in speech training and himself contributing to several radio programs. Interested in the sociology and psychology of listening, he became one of the leading radio scholars in the Third Reich. After initial difficulties in establishing his career because of an unwillingness to fall in line with the regime’s antisemitism, in 1939 Roedemeyer was tasked with setting up the first university department of radio studies, the Institut für Rundfunkwissenschaft, at the University of Freiburg. He directed the department until 1945, helping to build a strongly interdisciplinary “science of radio” (Rundfunkwissenschaft). The department closed at the end of the war, when its technical equipment and documentation were confiscated by the French occupying forces.


Key Publications:                

  • Vom akustischen Porträt”, Die Sendung 7, no 8 (21 February 1930): 123
  • “Akustische Dokumentation: Grundsätzliches und Organisatorisches.” Dokumentation und Arbeitstechnik (January/February/March 1944): 3–4; (April/May/June 1944): 8–9. 
  • Vom Wesen des Sprech-Chores. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1931.
  • Sprache deutscher Landschaft. Königstein: Langewiesche, 1934.
  • Sprechkunst und Sprechkunde.Berlin: Metten, 1938.
  • Deutsche Sprache, deutsches Lied. Berlin: Deutsche Grammophon GmnH, 1939.
  • Sprechtechnik und mundartfreie Aussprache. Kassel: Bärenreiter-Verlag, 1929.
  • Die Sprache des Redners. München: Oldenbourg, 1940.
  • Rede und Vortrag. Wien: Spaeth & Linde, 1938.
  • Ein stiller Hain. Querfurt: Jaeckel, 1933.
  • Der Einsatz der Schallplatte in Forschung UnterrichtBerlin: Stollberg, 1939.

Further Contributions:


  • Arnulf Kutsch. Rundfunkwissenschaft im Dritten Reich: Geschichte des Instituts für Rundfunkwissenschaft der Universität Freiburg. Munich: K. G. Saur, 1985.
  • Simons, Gerd and Ulrich Schermaul. “Roedemeyer, Freidrichkarl.” Accessed December 14, 2018.
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