Friday, July 30, 2010

Wilfried Feldenkirchen (1947-2010)

With sadness we report the death of longtime BHC member Wilfried Feldenkirchen.  He died in  a car accident on June 21, 2010, while test driving a replica of Siemens' 1905 electric car, the Victoria, a project for which he was the manager.  He was professor of economic, social, and business history in the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.  A former trustee of the BHC and a member of the editorial board of Enterprise & Society, Professor Dr. Feldenkirchen specialized in nineteenth- and twentieth-century corporate and financial history, focusing particularly on Siemens.
In addition to numerous articles and essays, his works include:
The Banks and the Steel Industry in the Ruhr: Developments in Relations from 1874 to 1914 (1981)
Werner von Siemens: Inventor and International Entrepreneur (1994)
Siemens, 1918-1945 (1999)
Siemens: From Workshop to Global Player (2000)
"Vom Guten das Beste": Von Daimler und Benz zur DaimlerChrysler AG (2003)
Die Siemens-Unternehmer (2005)
His article, "Big Business in Interwar Germany: Organizational Innovation at Vereinigte Stahlwerke, IG Farben, and Siemens," in the Autumn 1987 Business History Review won the Newcomen Prize for the best essay in the BHR that year.
A fuller CV may be found here, and obituaries here and here.  A video of Professor Feldenkirchen inspecting and discussing the Victoria (in German; audio begins c. 2 min. in) is available on YouTube.