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Press release 03.11.2017

Bundesbank facilitates research project on the history of the Reichsbank, Bank deutscher Länder and early Bundesbank

The Deutsche Bundesbank is facilitating an extensive academic appraisal of the history of the Reichsbank, the Bank deutscher Länder and the early years of the Bundesbank. The study is set to examine the period from 1923 to 1969 from economic, social and cultural perspectives. The independent project will be run under the joint leadership and expertise of Prof. Albrecht Ritschl, Head of the Economic History Department at the London School of Economics, and Prof. Magnus Brechtken, Deputy Director of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich, each of whom will work independently on separate subprojects.

Now that the project has been initiated, the analysis will focus on the evolution of the Reichsbank into the Bank deutscher Länder and finally into the Bundesbank, as well as on the occupants of key positions in the Bundesbank and its predecessors. A special focus of the study will be the functioning of the Reichsbank during the Nazi regime. Although there are already isolated studies on these topics, there has not yet been a comprehensive academic appraisal.

The study period begins in 1923/24, when the new currency stabilised after the hyperinflation phase and Hjalmar Schacht began his first tenure as President of the Reichsbank, and ends in 1969, with the departure of Karl Blessing, the last Bundesbank President who had belonged to Hjalmar Schacht’s inner circle of staff.

The research project is expected to take around four years.

Deutsche Bundesbank
Communications Department

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