Reinhold Zilch

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Reinhold Zilch at the XV International Numismatic Congress in Taormina / Sicily

Reinhold Zilch (born January 21, 1952 in Berlin ) is a German historian , financial historian and numismatist .


Reinhold Zilch was born and raised in Berlin, his father Bruno Zilch (1919–1995) was a teacher with a doctorate in German studies, his mother Ursula Zilch (née Krüger , 1917–1998) was a German teacher and specialist in shorthand.

Reinhold Zilch went from 1958 in Berlin Koepenick to school and made 1969 at the Gerhart-Hauptmann-School in Berlin-Friedrichshagen his high school . From 1969 he studied economics at the Hochschule für Ökonomie Berlin (HfÖ), and he completed his subsequent three-year research study in 1976 at the Humboldt University of Berlin (HUB) as a doctor of economics (Dr. oec.) With a dissertation for Subject “Reichsbank and financial preparation for war 1907 to 1914” (printed in 1983).

Reinhold Zilch has been married to Dorle Zilch , who has a doctorate in economics and historian, since 1976 . The couple has a son and a daughter and three grandchildren.

Occupation and main research areas

After working as a research assistant in the economic history department of the economics section of the HUB from 1976, which also included teaching duties, Zilch moved in 1979 to the Central Institute for History of the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (AdW) in the German History Research Group 1900-1917 under the leadership by Willibald Gutsche .

In his research he initially concentrated on the social history of Wilhelmine Germany , especially the role of bank capital and the Junkers, in order to then devote himself to the economic questions of the German occupation policy in the First World War . At the center of the investigations were the issuing banks set up by the Central Powers in the occupied areas for economic exploitation: the Société Générale de Belgique in the General Government of Belgium , the Loan Fund East in the area of ​​the Commander-in-Chief (Ober Ost) , the Polish State Loan Fund in 1916 as a vassal state on the Territory of the Generalgouvernement Warsaw and the Generalgouvernement Lublin founded the Kingdom of Poland as well as the Banca Generala Romana in the military Generalgouvernement Romania .

On the basis of archival material, mostly evaluated for the first time, as well as extensive contemporary literature and journalism, the results of the investigation were published under the title “Occupation and currency in the First World War. The German Occupation Policy in Belgium and Russian Poland 1914–1918 ”was written as a dissertation B and in 1990 was awarded the academic degree of Doctor of Science from the Humboldt University in Berlin. sc. oec. attained. In 1997 this scientific work was recognized by the HUB as an achievement equivalent to a habilitation , so that Reinhold Zilch is on an equal footing with a private lecturer . This monograph is one of the few internationally comparative studies on the occupations during the First World War.

At the end of 1989 / beginning of 1990, Reinhold Zilch took the initiative for the academic edition project “ACTA BORUSSICA. New Series ”and found support from colleagues at the Academy Institute such as Wolfgang Küttler , Walter Schmidt , Gerhard Schulze and Gustav Seeber as well as from German historians such as Otto Büsch , Wolfram Fischer , Jürgen Kocka and Gerhard A. Ritter , as well as the director of Olms Verlag Eberhard Mertens . In 1992, after the GDR Academy of Sciences was wound up, Reinhold Zilch received individual funding until 2004 in the scientist integration program or in the subsequent university renewal program linked to the Free University of Berlin and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (BBAW ). In 1994 the edition “Protocols of the Prussian State Ministry 1817–1934/38” was set up as an academy project at the BBAW and was headed by Zilch until mid-1998. He himself worked on the periods 1900–1918 and 1925–1938.

Reinhold Zilch (2008)

In the academy project “Prussia as a cultural state” that followed in 2004, Zilch specialized in the 20th century as well as financial, medical and school policy. When the academy project expired at the end of 2015, Zilch left the BBAW and in 2016/17 prepared a DFG project on the role of the former head of the Imperial Foreign Office Gottlieb von Jagow in the historical-political debates of the Weimar period on the question of war guilt. In 2018, the DFG application was approved and Reinhold Zilch was employed as a research assistant at the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Munich .

Archive and lecture tours took Reinhold Zilch to Belgium , Bulgaria , Estonia , Great Britain , Italy , Austria , Poland , Slovakia , Hungary and the USA .

Numismatic research

As a financial historian , Reinhold Zilch found thematic access to the material witnesses of monetary and financial history at an early stage. In connection with his dissertation he published in 1979 "The history of the small Reichsbanknotes at 20 and 50 marks".

Encouraged by Willibald Gutsche , who voluntarily headed the Society for Local History in the GDR Kulturbund , Reinhold Zilch became a member of the Central Technical Committee for Numismatics and from 1984 to 1990 he was co-editor of the magazine “Numismatic Contributions”. He also held courses on the introduction to financial history and numismatics for students of economic history as well as archival studies at the Humboldt University in Berlin and, after 1990, at the Free University of Berlin .

Based on the research interest in issuing banks and paper money , Zilch endeavors to develop a modern self-image of numismatics that takes into account the current developments in monetary and payment transactions and the propagation of their knowledge potential for historiography as a whole.

Another focus of Zilch's work is the developments in the numismatic national iconography of successor states in Europe during and after the First World War.

Memberships (selection)


Reinhold Zilch has published more than 20 books as author and co-author or editor. There are also numerous journal publications as well as reviews and annotations .

  • Economic and socio-political reform approaches in the Prussian State Ministry during the First World War and the Weimar Constitution. On the question of continuity in the ministerial bureaucracy. In: Prussia's path to modernity. Constitution - administration - political culture between reform and reform blockade , ed. v. Bärbel Holtz u. Hartwin Spenkuch, Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2001, pp. 387–396. (= Reports and treatises, edited by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, special volume 7).
  • The unloved crowns. The rejection of the gold coins of the German-Austrian Mint Association from 1857 by German trade. In: International Studies on the History of Economy and Society , ed. by Karl Hardach , part 2, Frankfurt / M. etc. 2012, pp. 1325–1340 (= Festschrift Lothar Baar).
  • The Prussian Ministry of Culture and the official midwifery textbooks 1815–1904. In: Rheinische Midwife History in Context , ed. by Daniel Schäfer , Kassel University Press 2010, pp. 157–195. (= Cologne contributions to the history and ethics of medicine, Volume 1).
  • Public finances and educational reform. Forms of state funding of the education system 1797 to 1819. In: Research on Brandenburg and Prussian history. New episode, Berlin, 8th year (2008), supplement 9: Crisis, reform and finance. Prussia before and after the disaster of 1806 , ed. by J. Kloosterhuis and W. Neugebauer, Berlin 2008, pp. 147–168.
  • The introduction of the Fraktur font by Ludwig Sütterlin and the Prussian Ministry of Culture (1910–1924). In: Haas, Stefan / Hengerer, Mark (ed.): In the shadow of power. Communication cultures in politics and administration 1600–1950. Campus, Frankfurt / M .; New York 2008, pp. 203-219.
  • The Berlin Reformation Medal from 1839 as a school prize. The use of the medal in the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. Part 1: The donation of a Reformation medal by the Berlin magistrate in 1839 and the competition between Christoph Carl Pfeuffer and Gottfried Bernhard Loos . Part 2: The distribution of the Berlin Reformation Medal from 1839 and the reallocation of the surplus copies to a school prize for the next 100 years. In: money trend. International magazine for coins and paper money 50 (2018), no. 5, pp. 90–97; H. 9, pp. 104-108.
  • Numismatic secrets of the First World War. Part 1: Unknown German large loan cash notes from 500 marks. Part 2: The Belgian emergency money and “the danger of serious grievances”. In: money trend. International magazine for coins and paper money 46 (2014), no. 11, pp. 236–239; 50 (2018), H. 7/8, pp. 108-115.
  • "Goethe on banknotes is an outrage". On the disputes about the design of the Reichsbanknotes from 1919 to 1925. Part 1: Allegories or heads? (1919-1923); Part 2: freedom fighter, artist or inventor? (1923-1926). In: money trend. International magazine for coins and paper money 43 (2011), no. 11, pp. 186–193; 44 (2012), H. 1, pp. 192-194.
  • On mark and penny. From the history of money. Der Kinderbuchverlag, Berlin 1986, 103 p. Numerous illustrations.
  • Reinhold Zilch (ed.): Gottlieb von Jagow (1863-1935) and his environment. A top imperial diplomat between the First World War and war (in) guilt research. Workshop on 6./7. June 2019 in Munich, Historical College. Organizer: Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences; Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin; Funded by the DFG. Meeting reports of the Leibniz Society of Sciences in Berlin, Volume 142, Volume 2020. trafo Wissenschaftsverlag Dr. Wolfgang Weist, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-86464-179-4 .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bruno Zilch: The contribution of the fruitful society to the development of the German national literature. University of Education Potsdam, Faculty of History and Philology, dissertation, Potsdam 1973.
  2. today's Gerhart-Hauptmann-Gymnasium [1]
  3. ^ Dorle Zilch: The beginnings of local history in the Kulturbund, taking into account the beginning of regional research on economic and social history. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, dissertation in economics, Berlin 1991.
  4. Reinhold Zilch: "Junker" as a historical category in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 29 (1981), pp. 1140–1147.
  5. Reinhold Zilch: Basic features of the financial occupation policy of German imperialism in the First World War. In: Yearbook for Economic History 1980 I, pp. 63–78; Karl Helfferich's memoranda of August 28 and 29, 1914 on the financial repression and plundering of Belgium (documentation). In: Yearbook for Economic History 1980 VI, pp. 193–212.
  6. Reinhold Zilch: Occupation and currency in the First World War. German occupation policy in Belgium and Russian Poland 1914-1918. With an appendix: Catalog of German occupation money in World War I, by Jürgen Koppatz. Keip, Goldbach 1994, 431 pp.
  7. "… a rare comparative work, offering a close analysis of exploitation through currency manipulation." (Schaepdrijver, Sophie de: Populations under occupation. In: The Cambridge History of the First World War , ed. V. Jay Winter, Volume 3, Cambridge 2013, p. 663).
  8. ACTA BORUSSICA. New series, 1st row: The Protocols of the Prussian State Ministry 1817-1934 / 38 , Vol. 9 (= 1900–1909), Vol. 10 (= 1909–1918), Vol. 12 (= 1925–1938), Olms- Weidmann, Hildesheim etc. 2001, 1999, 2004; also:
  9. ACTA BORUSSICA. New series, 2nd row: Prussia as a cultural state, Department I: The Prussian Ministry of Culture as state authority and social agency (1817-1934) , co-editor and co-author of vol. 1–3 (in 6 parts), Akademie Verlag, Berlin and 2009 , 2010, 2012; Department II: The Prussian Cultural State in Political and Social Reality ; sole editor and author of vol. 5: Financing of the cultural state in Prussia since 1800. De Gruyter Academy Research, Berlin, Munich, Boston 2014, 532 pp., 46 tab .; sole editor and author of vol. 10: Sources on elementary schools in Brandenburg from the first half of the 19th century. De Gruyter Academy Research, Berlin, Boston 2017, 450 p .; also: .
  10. See
  11. Reinhold Zilch: Gottlieb von Jagow and the war guilt question 1918–1935 - research questions and previous results of the DFG project. In: Report on the workshop “Gottlieb von Jagow (1863-1935) and his environment. An imperial top diplomat between the First World War and war (in) guilt research ”. (Munich, June 6th and 7th, 2019) [2]
  12. Berlin 1979, 28 pp., 10 ills. (= Kleine Schriften des Münzkabinett, no.7).
  13. See the table of contents
  14. Reinhold Zilch: Numismatics Today - Tasks and Problems. In: Numismatic Contributions 20 (1978), no. 2, pp. 50-55.
  15. Reinhold Zilch: Modern forms of money. Tasks and development problems of numismatics. In: Blätter für Heimatgeschichte 5 (1987), H. 1, pp. 49-55.
  16. Reinhold Zilch: Coins and other sources on monetary history. In: The archival sources. With an introduction to the historical auxiliary sciences, ed. v. Friedrich Beck et al. Eckart Henning , Böhlau Verlag, Cologne, Weimar, Vienna, 5th expanded and updated edition 2012, pp. 378–384, 445–448. (= UTB No. 8273) (1st edition 1994).
  17. ^ Reinhold Zilch: Old and new in the numismatic iconography of successor states after the First World War. In: The beautiful appearance. Symbolism and aesthetics of banknotes. Volume for the conference of the same name at the University of Augsburg from October 17 to 19, 2014, Battenberg Gietl Verlag, Regenstauf 2016, pp. 103–126.
  18. ^ Reinhold Zilch: The numismatic iconography of successor state banknotes in Central and Eastern Europe, 1918-1939. In: XV International Numismatic Congress Taormina 2015. Proceedings, ed. v. Maria Caccamo Caltabiano u. a., Rome, Messina 2017, Volume 1, pp. 1299-1302.