Bonn, Moritz Julius

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BONN, MORITZ JULIUS (1873–1965), German economist. Bonn was descended from a family of bankers in Frankfurt. He studied economics at Heidelberg, Munich, and Vienna. During this period he was strongly influenced by the "Kathedersozialist" Lujo von Brentano. In 1895 he completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Brentano. Afterwards he attended the London School of Economics. In 1910 he became founding director of the College of Commerce in Munich. Travels led him to Great Britain, Italy, the U.S., and Africa. Bonn became an expert on international financial affairs. From 1914 he taught in the United States, and was politically active on behalf of Germany. In 1917, just before America entered World War i, he returned home. In 1921 he was appointed professor at the Berlin College of Commerce, and became its rector in 1931. He was a member of the German delegation to the Versailles peace negotiations, and subsequently adviser to German chancellors on reparation problems. During the financial conference in Spain 1920, Bonn was – together with Walther *Rathenau, Carl *Melchior, and others – one of the founders of the idea of the "policy of fulfillment" concerning the reparation payments of the Germans after World War i. In 1922 he took part at the international conference in Genoa. In 1930–32 Bonn worked as an expert for the League of Nations. As a left-wing liberal Bonn criticized the German political situation, which eventually led to the rise of Hitler. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 Bonn emigrated to England, fearful of being further persecuted as a Jew. There he taught at the London School of Economics, but spent much of his time in the United States teaching, lecturing, and writing. He died in London and, at his request, his remains were brought for burial to Kronberg, near Frankfurt. His writings include Nationale Kolonialpolitik (1910), Grundfragen der englischen Volkswirtschaft (1913), Die Balkanfrage (1914), Nordmerikanische Fragen (1914), Die Auflösung des modernen Staates (1921), Der Friedensvertrag und Deutschlands Stellung in der Weltwirtschaft (1921), Die Stabilisierung der Mark (1922), Die Krisis der europäischen Demokratie (1925), Amerika und sein Problem (1925), Kapitalismus oder Feudalismus? (1932),Währungsprojekte und warum? (1932), The American Experiment (1934), The Crumbling of Empire: The Disintegration of the World Economy (1938), and his autobiography, Wandering Scholar (1948).

[Joachim O. Ronall /

Christian Schoelzel (2nd ed.)]