Entrepreneur – Leader – Visionary
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On the 100th birthday of the visionary entrepreneur
REINHARD MOHN (1921-2009) is regarded as one of the most important German entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Returning home from World War II, he took over his parents’ publishing company in 1947 and in the decades that followed, beginning with the founding of the Bertelsmann Lesering in 1950, set the course for Bertelsmann’s development into an international media group with a corporate culture based on social partnership. The economic success of Bertelsmann AG, which Mohn managed from the East Westphalian provinces, was accompanied by a high reputation as one of the most attractive and progressive employers in the Federal Republic. In 1977, Mohn established the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which is dedicated to promoting a democratic civil society and is today considered the most important of Germany’s foundations.
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JOACHIM SCHOLTYSECK has been Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn since 2001. Beyond German economic and business history (»Der Aufstieg der Quandts« [The Rise of the Quandts], 2011; »Merck«, 2018 ), his research interests include Italian history in the 19th and 20th centuries, the German Empire (»Alliierter oder Vasall?« [Allied or Vassal?], 1994), resistance to National Socialism (»Robert Bosch und der liberale Widerstand gegen Hitler« [Robert Bosch and the Liberal Resistance to Hitler], 2000), and the Cold War (»Die Außenpolitik der DDR« [The Foreign Policy of the GDR], 2003). Scholtyseck is, among other things, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (House of History of the Federal Republic of Germany) and of the Otto-von-Bismarck-Stiftung.