2005–06 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow Dr. Ralf Banken
Dr. Ralf Banken received his Ph.D. in history from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany where he graduated summa cum laude. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was a Researcher at the Forscungsinstituet fuer Sozial and Wirtschaftsgeschichte at the University of Cologne and taught at the Historisches Seminar der Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, University Frankfurt am Main. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research, Dr. Banken conducted research on his project, “The Development of the German Precious Metal Sector and the Nazi Robbery of Precious Metals, 1933-1945.”
Dr. Banken’s scholarly work addresses the development of economic law in Germany in the twentieth century and specifically the development of economic policies during the Third Reich. He is the author of over a dozen scholarly articles and publications including La Degussa et le commerce de metaux précieux dans l’Europe occupée (Histoire Economique et Sociale) and Der Nationalsozialismus in der Unternehmensgeschichte. Hinterlässt die Sonderkonjunktur Spuren? (Akkumulation), among many others. For his exceptional scholarly work, Dr. Banken received the Friedrich Sperl Award for the best dissertation at the University of Frankfurt am Main and the first prize award of the Volksbank Saar-West eG for the best contribution to the regional history of the Saare.
During his tenure at the Museum, Dr. Banken researched the Nazi robbery of precious metals. He examined the confiscation and robberies of precious metals in Germany and the occupied territories as well as how such resources were used by Nazi institutions and private companies. His project drew upon the Museum’s rich collection of archival sources including Jewish survivor testimonies.