The Next Generation in Waiting Position: A Collective Biography of the Leading Figures at the Bank Deutscher Länder and the Bundesbank (1948-1970)

Employees (IfZ):  PD Dr. Christian Marx

This research project centers on a collective biographical study of the socialization, education, and influences affecting the leading figures of the Bank deutscher Länder (BdL) and the Bundesbank during the first post-war decades. It includes the analysis of their academic backgrounds and personal networks as well as continuities between National Socialism and West Germany. Numerous figures active at the BdL and the Bundesbank developed their world view during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era, and began their careers at the Reichsbank. The question thus arises as to the extent that their mentalities and convictions continued on past 1945 and influenced their decisions and actions at the West German central bank.

The study delves in particular into the question of how the BdL, founded in 1948 as the leading institution in a two-tier central banking system, and the Bundesbank, founded in 1957, developed in an institutional perspective and how they were organized and staffed. In addition to the internal organization of the central bank, the project focuses on the members of the main bodies including the Central Bank Council and the Board of Directors as well as the boards of the Landeszentralbanken (central banks of the Länder) and the high-level staff of the BdL/Bundesbank. This includes the analysis of personnel structures and generational attitudes as well as social profiles, educational backgrounds, career patterns, and possible membership in the NSDAP.  The aim of the project is both to reveal any continuities from the Nazi era in terms of personnel as well as to establish the significance of the backgrounds of the leading figures, in terms of experience and socialization, for the development of the bank and the democratic development of West Germany.

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