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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:851 1891-1981 R318

Fritz Redlich papers


The papers of Fritz Redlich document his life and immigration from Germany to the United States in 1936, as well as his career as an economic historian.


  • 1891-1981

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.

Digital use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder Special Collection’s ability to provide access to audiovisual content. For further information please contact reference staff at


13 linear feet (18 boxes, 16 volumes, 4 microfilm reels)

The papers of Fritz Redlich span his entire life. The material documents his birth and childhood and adult life in Germany before his immigration to the United States in 1936. Also included are records reflecting Redlich’s teaching career, his relationships with students and colleagues, his research and writing output, his employment as an economist in federally funded programs during the 1940s, and his eventual connection with HBS.

Of interest in this collection is Redlich’s vast correspondence with noted German and American economists and other German-American exiles during the 1930s and 1940s. Fritz Redlich’s diaries and the Redlich family photographs taken in Germany from 1889 to 1936 and reflect the lifestyle of an affluent German family before the outbreak of World War II. Bound letters (1914–1920) and military records in subject files document his experience voluntarily fighting In the German army during World War I. A significant amount of this collection is in German with no translations.

Biographical / Historical

Fritz Leonhard Redlich was born in 1891 and graduated from the University of Berlin with his PhD in economics in 1914. He voluntarily served in the German army during World War I, and after the war worked in his family’s business, Hugo Fuerst & Co., which manufactured glycerin and imported raw drugs. Fritz Redlich’s main ambition, however, was a scholarly life, and he produced many articles during the 1920s and 1930s. When the family business failed in 1931, Redlich sought a teaching post. However, after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, few non-Aryans could find employment in Germany, so Redlich left his homeland, never to return, in March 1936. His early years in the United States were marked by struggles to support himself financially. He held short-term teaching positions including at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (1937), and Mercer University in Macon, Georgia (1937–1942).

In 1943, Fritz Redlich became an economist at the Federal Public Housing Authority in Boston. While continuing his research and writing, he also taught at the University of Massachusetts World War II-era campus at Fort Devens in 1947 and was director of research and statistics for the Housing Board of Massachusetts from 1948 to 1950. In 1950, Arthur H. Cole, Executive Director of the Harvard University Research Center in Entrepreneurial History and the Librarian of Baker Library, Harvard Business School (HBS), invited Redlich to be a senior associate at the Research Center where he stayed until 1958.

Fritz Redlich’s research focused on economic history, but also included military, labor, and social history (such as his study, The German Military Enterpriser and His Workforce, 1964). Redlich used the Kress Collections in Economic History and Philosophy at Baker Library extensively for his research and publications. In addition he offered advice on book purchasing and promoted the Kress Collection. Redlich died on October 21, 1978.


The collection is arranged in six series: I. Correspondence, II. Subject files, III. Writing and Research, IV. Photographs, V. Diaries and VI. Audio-Visual Materials.

Physical Location


Processing Information

Processed by: Natalia Gutierrez-Jones Date: May 2018

Redlich, Fritz, 1892-1978. Fritz Redlich Papers, 1891-1981: A Finding Aid
Natalia Gutierrez-Jones
March 2018
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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