Christopher Kopper

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Christopher Kopper (* 1962 in Bergisch Gladbach ) is a German historian . Since 2012 he has been an adjunct professor at the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology at Bielefeld University .


Christopher Kopper is the son of bank manager Hilmar Kopper , who was CEO of Deutsche Bank from 1989 to 1997 , and his wife Irene. He grew up in the Rhineland, Hamburg and Kronberg im Taunus .

After leaving school, Kopper studied modern history , economics and political science at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and the Ruhr University in Bochum . In 1992 he received his doctorate from the University of Bochum on the banking policy of the Third Reich . Kopper then worked from 1991 to 1998 as a research assistant at the Department of Medieval and Modern History at the Georg-August University in Göttingen . During this time he worked, among other things, on a research project on the history of the German railways on behalf of Deutsche Bahn AG .

In 1998, Kopper moved to the USA at the University of Minnesota as a DAAD guest lecturer for modern history, German literature and regional studies . In 2001 he went to the University of Pittsburgh in a comparable position . He returned to Germany in 2003, where he has been working at Bielefeld University since 2003. First he worked as a DAAD scholarship holder until 2004, then as a lecturer . In 2005 he completed his habilitation with a thesis on the role of the Deutsche Bundesbahn in the economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s in the Federal Republic of Germany . In December 2005 he received the Venia Legendi and was appointed private lecturer . During the following years, Kopper took over several professorships at the universities of Paderborn , Bielefeld, Münster and Siegen . Since 2012 he has been an adjunct professor in Bielefeld. In the same year he became managing director of the Documentation Center Economic Region OWL. He is liaison professor of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and a member of the SPD .

Work areas

The focus of Kopper's work is the recent German economic , financial and transport history , especially in the time of National Socialism and the post-war period . His study on banking history in the Third Reich , published in 2005, attracted public attention , in which he also analyzed the past of Deutsche Bank, which his father ran. His biography of Hjalmar Schacht was also recognized as clean and critically researched .

In 2016, Kopper was commissioned by the Volkswagen Group with the preparation of an expert opinion that should "shed light on the dark years of the [Brazilian] military dictatorship and clarify the behavior of those responsible in Brazil and possibly also in Germany". The results were presented in December 2017. According to this, employees of the VW factory security cooperated with the military dictatorship, tolerated arrests, surveillance and mistreatment by the military police, not only on the factory premises, and took an active part in them. "The correspondence with the board of directors in Wolfsburg shows an unreserved approval of the military government until 1979," said Kopper.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Philipp Gessler: Father, son and holy money. In: taz. June 17, 2006, accessed November 27, 2014.
  2. Deutsche Bank: "My God, they were all merchants". ( Memento from December 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Conversation with Hilmar and Christopher Kopper. In: Stern. 32/2005, August 13, 2005, accessed November 27, 2014.
  3. ^ Matthias Streitz: Banker Hjalmar Schacht: Hitler's autocratic helper. In: Spiegel online. November 10, 2006, accessed November 27, 2014.
  4. Volkswagen is said to have supported the military dictatorship in Brazil , Spiegel Online, accessed on July 25, 2017.