Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Social and Economic History


"Alltag in der Hölle. Deutsche Männer im Krieg"

The recently released ZDF documentary is dedicated to the mentality of the war generation and their coping strategies. Felix Römer was hired as a research consultant for the production and comments the everyday life of the "Werhmacht" soldiers as a historian.

ZDF History-Alltag in der Hölle

Panel discussion with Felix Römer at the "Forschungszentrum für Zeitgeschichte Hamburg"

In the fourth edition of the event series on diversity as a contemporary historical perspective, Felix Römer discusses experiences in and with the pandemic with Martina Steer. In order to better understand why and how we (do not) talk about the aggravation of social inequality, the discourse on social inequality must also be explained historically. Data and statistics on the pandemic are available today, for example from the social health insurance funds, but they are often withheld. Historically, this invisibility of economic and social inequalities was linked to the lack of political intervention.

Wer, wie, was? Corona spaltet. Über Erfahrungen in und mit der Industrie


Laetitia Lenel receives the Humboldt Award 

For her dissertation "The Hopeful Science. A Transatlantic History of Business Forecasting, 1920-1960", Laetitia Lenel has now been honored with the Humboldt Award 2021.

German corporations during the Nazi occupation of Ukraine - Martin Lutz and Kim Christian Priemel

While German business’s complicity in Nazi-era crimes from “Aryanization” to forced labor and mass murder has been well documented by historical research, corporate expansion into occupied Europe has received much less attention. Beyond plundering and labor recruitment we still know little about what German companies actually did abroad and whether it mattered to the actual war effort. The present article follows several electrical and construction companies, among them Siemens, AEG, and Philipp Holzmann, to wartime Ukraine, the most important arena of German economic exploitation in Eastern Europe. It traces their role within the occupation regime, their crucial contribution to the war, and their own goals in the process. Through a detailed examination of the giant, world-renowned hydroelectric power plant DniproGES (Dneprostoi), we argue that private business both literally and metaphorically powered German conquest, occupation, and the continuing war effort.

The article was published in "The Journal of Modern History" in September 2021.

Felix Römer talks to WDR about the lack of data on social inequalities in the pandemic.

The topic of economic inequality, i.e. poverty, income and wealth distribution, has been neglected in the Federal Republic since the postwar period. This was due, among other things, to the fact that official statistics hardly produced any data on social and economic inequality.



The serious gaps in data collection can be seen especially in comparison with other countries, which Felix Römer also emphasizes in an article for the Freitag on 18.03.2021.