Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - School of Business and Economics

History

The School of Business and Economics at Humboldt-Universitaet is an academic teaching and research institute with a rich history and tradition. Its origins date back to 1886 when Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet started a research group in statistcis for the political sciences. The early years were heavily influenced by political economists and statisticians such as Richard Boeckh, Ladislaus von Bortkiewicz, Gustav von Schmoller, and Adolph Wagner. Later, distinguished economists such as Theodor Beste, Heinrich von Stackelberg, the Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief, and Max Weber became members of the institute. In 1904 Berlin's business community decided to construct a building for a new commercial college on the grounds between Spandauer Strasse, Neue Friedrichstrasse (now Anna-Louise-Karsch-Strasse), and Heilig-Geist-Gasse. The Holy Ghost Chapel, believed to have been built around 1300 and therefore one of the oldest preserved buildings in Berlin, was integrated into the construction plan. Berlin-Commercial College was inaugurated on October 27, 1906. Friedrich Leitner, Konrad Mellerowicz, Willi Prion, Johann Friedrich Schär, Werner Sombart, Heinrich von Stackelberg, as well as Max and Alfred Weber were among the renowned economists and social scientists that comprised the faculty of the new college. In 1918, Hugo Preuß, one of the fathers of the Weimar Constitution, presided over the college for a short time before becoming Secretary of the Interior of the newly-founded republic. In 1928, the school entered a dark phase of its history. Carl Schmitt, a theorist of national socialism, gained influence at the college, and assaults on Jewish faculty members and students became common-place. Many lecturers were expelled including Constantin von Dietze, Emil Lederer and Moritz Julius Bonn, three internationally prominent researchers. Others, such as Jens Jessen and Johannes Popitz, initially followed the new leadership, but later lost their lives when they decided to oppose it. Franz Eulenburg, a prominent political economist and statistician, was murdered. After World War II, the collage was integrated into the newly established Humboldt-Universitaet with a significant involvement from the well-known East German economist Jürgen Kuczynski. The new department was dedicated as "a critical trustee of Berlin's traditions and an active developer of socialism, with deep foundations in Berlin and its economy." After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the School of Business and Economics was re-established and re-opened in 1993 by an internationally-staffed commission under the direction of Wilhelm Krelle, a distinguished economist from Bonn. The commission designed a research and teaching profile mandating a high academic standard, an international orientation, and an interdisciplinary as well as a quantitative (statistic-mathematical) focus.