Wartime

Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht informed Max M. Warburg at a meeting in Berlin in September 1937 that the bank could no longer remain in the imperial investment consortium. Max M. Warburg responded that he would then be forced to liquidate the firm. He decided to convert the bank into a limited partnership with the help of friends.

In his memoirs, Max M. Warburg wrote: “At the end of August 1938, my wife and I traveled to the United States with our daughter Gisela. It was a vacation. We thought we’d return to Hamburg in late autumn. My responsibilities at the Jewish welfare charity, which had grown year by year, tied me to Hamburg and I had no plans to emigrate whatsoever.” On December 26, 1946, Max M. Warburg died in New York at the age of 79.

1938    In May, friend and general agent Dr. Rudolf Brinckmann and business associate Paul Wirtz take over the bank.

1939    The silent participation that the Warburg family continued to maintain in the bank is seized at the outbreak of war.

1941    The bank is forced to change its name to Brinckmann, Wirtz & Co.

1945    Eric M. Warburg, an officer in the US Army, visits Hamburg and finds the bank still “alive” in the middle of the ruins.

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