Hans Schaeffer Papers
Scope and Contents
The Hans Schaeffer Papers have been arranged in two series: Correspondence and Diaries.
Letters within the correspondence discuss, among other topics, the fall of the Weimar Republic, the conditions of Jews in and Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, politics and resistance in Nazi Germany, the economic policies of Hjalmar Schacht, conditions in Europe during World War II, the Holocaust, post-World War II Germany, restitution and reparations, the founding of the State of Israel, and conditions in India shortly after its independence.
Since the beginning of the 1920s Hans Schaeffer kept very detailed diaries. These diaries are an important source of information for the study of German Economic History. Schaeffer's diaries contain only a minimal amount of personal information and concentrate predominantly on his professional life. They provide an insight into the political occurrences in Germany in the time between the Weimar Republic and the beginning of the Hitler-Dictatorship.
- Schäffer, Hans, 1886-1967 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, English, Swedish, and French.
Researchers must use microfilm (MF 512).
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
Hans Schaeffer was born in Breslau (then Germany, now Wroclaw, Poland) on April 11, 1886. He studied law and history at the Universities of Breslau and Geneva and got his Doctor of Law in 1907 at Breslau University. From 1912 onward he was a lawyer in Breslau, where he married Eva Heilberg, the daughter of a notable lawyer in Silesia.
After World War I, he worked in the German Ministry of Commerce, where he was concerned with the Constitution of the Weimar Republic and, in particular, problems of inflation and reparations. Hans Schaeffer was considered an expert on reparation problems.
From 1929 to 1932, he was senior official in the German Ministry of Finance. He worked there in a key position during the years of financial crisis, including the stock market crash of 1929 and the bank crisis of 1931.
Schaeffer became director of the Ullstein Verlag in 1932, which was a major publishing house in Germany in that time. He served there until his dismissal by the Nazis in 1933.
During the years of crisis he got in touch with the Swedish Match Company (S TAB) and with Allen Dulles, Marcus Wallenberg and Jean Monnet, oversaw the liquidation and reorganization of the company following the death of its owner, Ivar Kreuger.
He emigrated to Joenkoeping, Sweden, with his family in 1936. In Sweden, he worked as an investment advisor and lawyer for S TAB.
Schaeffer was also active in Jewish affairs. Among other engagements, he served as the president of the Council of Jews from Germany after 1957.
He also worked as an adviser for the Swedish government on international finance meetings. He also advised Germany after 1945 under Konrad Adenauer, especially in terms of regularization of foreign debts. In 1963 he received a so-called Grosse Bundesverdienstkreuz mit Stern, which is the only award of the Federal Republic of Germany and is given for special achievement in different fields, such as culture, politics or economics.
Hans Schaeffer died in Joenkoeping, Sweden, on March 20, 1967.
10.5 Linear Feet
The Hans Schaeffer Collection contains the correspondence and diaries of the German lawyer and financial expert Hans Schaeffer. Famous personalities from German politics, economy and culture, such as Konrad Adenauer, Theodor Heuss and Hermann Ullstein appear in Schaeffer’s correspondence and in his diaries. The diaries in particular provide a detailed insight into the political and economical situation in Germany during the 1930s.
This collection is arranged into two series.
This collection is on thirty-one reels of microfilm.
- Reel 1: 1/1 - 1/5
- Reel 2: 1/6 - 1/14
- Reel 3: 1/15 - 1/22
- Reel 4: 1/23 - 2/6
- Reel 5: 2/7 - 2/11
- Reel 6: 2/12 - 2/19
- Reel 7: 2/20 - 3/3
- Reel 8: 3/4 - 3/11
- Reel 9: 3/12 - 3/16
- Reel 10: 3/17 - 3/25
- Reel 11: 4/1 - 4/5
- Reel 12: 4/6 - 4/11
- Reel 13: 4/12 - 4/16
- Reel 14: 4/17 - 5/2
- Reel 15: 5/3 - 5/6
- Reel 16: 5/7 - 5/10
- Reel 17: 5/11 - 5/15
- Reel 18: 5/16 - 6/2
- Reel 19: 6/3 - 6/7
- Reel 20: 6/8 - 6/12
- Reel 21: 6/13 - 6/18
- Reel 22: 7/1 - 7/6
- Reel 23: 7/7 - 7/12
- Reel 24: 7/13 - 7/19
- Reel 25: 8/1 - 8/5
- Reel 26: 8/6 - 8/10
- Reel 27: 8/11 - 8/15
- Reel 28: 8/16 - 9/9
- Reel 29: 9/10 - 9/13
- Reel 30: 9/14 - 10/1
- Reel 31: 10/2 - 10/4
Hans Schaeffer's memoir has been placed in the LBI Memoir Collection with the call number ME 564.
- Guide to the Papers of Hans Schaeffer (1886-1967), 1924-1994 AR 7177 / MF 512
- Processed by Valentina Schmidt
- © 2007
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- 2010-06-10 : Encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States