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Register of the Dieter Spethmann Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Dieter Spethmann papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1966-2002
    Collection number: 2002C61
    Creator: Spethmann, Dieter, 1926-
    Extent: 161 manuscript boxes (67.1 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Relates to German, European and international economic conditions, and especially to the steel industry.
    Language: German.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Dieter Spethmann papers, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2002.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    1926, March 27 Born, Essen, Germany
    1945-1948 Studied law and economics
    1952-1954 Involved in activities to settle German pre-war debts
    1952-1955 Legal Department, Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG
    1953 Doctor of Law (Dr. Jur.)
    1955-1958 Personal assistant to the chairman, August Thyssen-Hütte AG
    1958-1962 Financial manager, August Thyssen-Hütte AG
    1962-1964 Member, Executive Board, Thyssen Handelsunion AG
    1964-1970 Chairman, Executive Board, Thyssen Edelstahlwerke AG
    1970-1973 Member, Executive Board, Thyssen AG
    1973 Apr.-1991 Chairman, Board of Managing Directors, Thyssen AG

    Scope and Content Note

    These papers focus on the latter part of Dieter Spethmann's career in the German steel industry and as chairman of the global Thyssen concern. They provide information about the activities of Thyssen, one of seventeen companies formed from the United Steel Works, a combine of steel companies founded in 1926 and dismantled after World War II. The papers also document the participation of Spethmann in the growth of a united Europe, particularly through the European Community and the reunification of Germany, and globalization.
    In addition to material concerning Thyssen and the steel industry, there are also some files relating to special projects nurtured by Spethmann, such as his magnetic train (Transrapid), which is contained in the SUBJECT FILE.
    Texts of speeches represent the bulk of SPEECHES AND WRITINGS. In most cases a final typescript is the sole format for each speech or article. However, the unnumbered items at the end of the series typically contain collateral materials such as correspondence relating to the invitation to speak, clippings, reports, earlier speeches by Spethmann or others, and statistical tables.
    Spethmann was heavily involved in the Industrial Circle for Foreign Affairs (Industriekreis für Auslandsbeziehungen), which was established circa 1955. The Industrial Circle was an informal group of about thirty important industrial and business leaders centered on the Düsseldorf-Essen-Cologne area that met ten to fifteen times a year. At each meeting a prominent guest visited for dinner, usually at Castle Jägerhof in Düsseldorf. After dinner the guest spoke briefly on a subject related to the guest's official position, followed by an open discussion. The meetings were closed; no press was present, and participants were obliged not to quote publicly from the meetings. The Circle's managers included Sigismund von Braun, circa 1976-1993, and Klaus Blech, 1994-2001. Rough summaries of the discussions with guests during the von Braun period are included in the INDUSTRIAL CIRCLE CORRESPONDENCE/Guests of honor subseries.
    The HANS SPETHMANN FILE contains writings by Dieter's father, who was a geographer and historian of economics. In 1923 he left his university teaching post to accept an invitation by the coal mining industry of the Ruhr, where he did research. Included in this collection are two of his writings about the Ruhr, Das Ruhrgebiet (3 volumes) and the unpublished "Der Ruhrbergbau und der Zweite Weltkrieg," which chronicles the history of the Ruhr coal mining industry during World War II. He died in 1957.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the repository's online public access catalog.


    International economic relations.
    Steel industry and trade--Germany (West)
    Germany (West)--Economic conditions.
    Europe--Economic conditions--1945-