Arendt, Otto

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ARENDT, OTTO (1854–1936), German economist and politician who sought radical changes in existing political and economic conditions in Germany. Arendt studied at the university of his native Berlin, but abandoned an academic career to engage in politics, aligning himself with the ultra-conservative Prussian elements. He became the foremost advocate of bimetallism and protective tariffs. In his main work, Die vertragsmaessige Doppelwaehrung (1880), he advocated the use of both gold and silver as legal tender at a fixed ratio to each other. He was also anxious to promote the interests of the land-owning population. He sat on the right wing of Parliament, as a member of the Free Conservatives in the Prussian Diet (1885–1918) and of the Reichspartei in the Reichstag (1898–1918). Arendt's polemical excesses frequently antagonized his adversaries. He was a cofounder of the German Colonial Society. In the Deutsche Wochenblatt, which he edited, he opposed democratic institutions and election by equal ballot to the Reichstag. Arendt's parliamentary career ended with the 1918 revolution. In 1935, as a Jew under the Hitler regime, he was deprived of his German citizenship, although he had converted to Protestantism long before. He married Olga, the daughter of the famous feminist Lina *Morgenstern.


E. von Liebert, Aus einem bewegten Leben (1925); W. Liebe, Die deutsch-nationale Volkspartei 19181924 (1956), 507, 509, 600; Geschichte der Frankfurter-Zeitung (1906), 565, 567ff., 667. add. bibliography: J. Baxa, in: ndb, 1 (1953), 345.

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