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Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte

Journal of Business History

Managing Editor: Schneider-Braunberger, Andrea H.

Ed. by Burhop, Carsten / Kleinschmidt, Christian / Plumpe, Werner

Together with Berghoff, Hartmut / Fahrmeir, Andreas / Hesse, Jan-Otmar / O'Sullivan, Mary / Stokes, Raymond / Welskopp, Thomas

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Volume 63, Issue 1


Des Unternehmers «volkstümliche» Biographie, oder: wie die Ruhrkohlenindustrie Geschichte machte

Eva-Maria Roelevink
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  • Jun.-Prof. für Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Historisches Seminar, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz, Germany
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Published Online: 2018-03-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zug-2017-0005


A popular biography or: how the Ruhrcoal industry created history. The general assumption in our profession is that history it analyzed and written by qualified historians. Companies, industrialists and associations, however, are and were active in especially writing business history as well. It is evident that they commissioned commemorative publications for different reasons than historians wrote business history. By aiming to apply their business history frequently for political reasons of the present time, it turned out to be useful for them to hide the fact that the publications were commissioned working projects. By exemplifying the biography of Emil Kirdorf, written and published in 1936 by Walter Bacmeister, the article draws attention to the ambitions that motivated the industrialists to merchandise Emil Kirdorf's life during the 1930s.

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Published Online: 2018-03-05

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte, Volume 63, Issue 1, Pages 33–68, ISSN (Online) 2367-2293, ISSN (Print) 0342-2852, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zug-2017-0005.

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© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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