HISTORY OF THE CLUB

Establishment

On June 27, 1922, the merchants, industrialists and high-ranking civil servants of Hamburg took up an idea from the banker Max M. Warburg to found the Übersee Club. World War I had just ended and the nation's economy was in dire straits. The combined burden of territorial losses and reparation payments imposed in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles meant that Germany was struggling to get back on its feet. As an organisation spanning commerce and academia, i.e. both entrepreneurs and prominent thinkers, the club's primary goal was to encourage joint action by politicians and business leaders aimed at rebuilding the international economy. A second goal anchored in its charter was to develop and expand Hamburg's traditional ties with the world's markets.

Temporary Closure

The club survived until the start of the 1930s. But then insurmountable financial difficulties – and the rise of National Socialism which rendered cosmopolitan organisations unsustainable – forced it to cease operation in 1934.

 

Re-establishment

In 1948, with World War II over, the Übersee Club rose from the ashes – reconstituted by a group of Hamburg merchants with the same objectives as in 1922. The reopening coincided with the introduction of the new West German currency – the Deutschmark – which also marked the start of a new economy.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF THE ÜBERSEE CLUB

Dedication to promoting democracy, tolerance and open-mindedness: this sums up the philosophy of the Übersee Club. We'd like to invite you on a voyage through the history of our club. Learn about the lectures it hosts, the speakers, the Übersee Tag, our restaurant facilities, and our partner institutions around the globe. Welcome to the Übersee Club in the heart of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

PRESIDENTS

Pioneers of values and ideals – the presidents of the Übersee Club since its founding

The fortunes of the Übersee Club have been guided by a series of leading figures from Hamburg's political and commercial realms.

In his own way, each president has contributed key initiatives that have shaped the club's path.

1922

Dr. Wilhelm Cuno

 

1931

Siegfried Graf von Roedern 

1932 - 1933 

Theodor Ritter 

Presidents after 1948:

Rudolf H. Petersen

1948–1955 

Rudolf H. Petersen

 

Max Mörck

1956-1957

Max Mörck

 

Prof. Dr. Rolf Stödter

1958–1963 

Professor Dr. Rolf Stödter

 

Alwin Münchmeyer

1964–1967 

Alwin Münchmeyer

 

Prof. Dr. Rolf Stödter

1968–1987 

Professor Dr. Rolf Stödter

 

 

Carl-Heinz Illies

1988–1991 

Carl-Heinz Illies

 

Dr. Hellmut Kruse

1992–1999 

Dr. Hellmut Kruse

Dr. Peter von Foerster

2000 - 2011

Dr. Peter von Foerster

 

 

Michael Behrendt

since 2012

Michael Behrendt