Robert René Kuczynski

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Robert René Kuczynski
Born 1876
Berlin, German Empire
Died 25.11.1947
Oxford, Great Britain
Residence Germany, Great Britain
Nationality Germany
Fields Economist, Demographer
Institutions Berlin Handelsschule, Brookings Institution, London School of Economics, Colonial Office
Alma mater Universities of Berlin, Freiburg, Strasbourg and Munich
Doctoral advisor Lujo Brentano
Known for Kuczynski rates, figures on the extent of the slave trade

Robert René Kuczynski (1876–1947) was a German-based, Jewish economist and demographer and is said to be one of the founders of modern vital statistics. He studied at the universities of Berlin, Munich, Freiburg and Strasburg and made his doctoral dissertation in 1897. After it he worked for the United States Census Office and different German statistical offices. In 1926, Kuczynski was chairman of the Kuczynski Committee, which organized the petition for a referendum on the expropriation of the Princes. In 1933, after Hitler had come to power, Kuczynski left Germany and went with around 20,000 books (half of the large family library) to Great Britain. There he held lectures at the London School of Economics and became later adviser for the British Colonial Office. His most noted work was in the 1930s when he published figures on the extent of the slave trade between Africa and the Americas over the preceding three centuries. His figure of 15 million slaves became widely used by other researchers, but is no longer thought to be correct.

An obituary of his son Jürgen [1] refers to Rene as a banker - and the family does seem to have been massively wealthy. Eric Hobsbawm ("Interesting Times", p.145) states that while Jürgen was a "charming and ever-hopeful economic historian", his family "owned the Grunewaldviertel" in Berlin and he was "probably the richest citizen of east Berlin".

Kuczynski and wife Berta had six children. Among them the GDR-economist Jürgen Kuczynski, Brigitte Kuczynski, and Ursula Kuczynski. All of them were Soviet spies.[1][2]

Works by Kuczynski[edit]

  • Kuczynski, Robert René; American Loans to Germany, With the Aid of the Council and Staff of the Institute of Economics in Washington, 378 pages, publisher: The Macmillan Company, New York, September 1927
  • Kuczynski, Robert René; Banker's Profits from German loans, publisher: The Brookings Institution, First Edition, Institute of Economics in Washington, Publication 41, 228 Seiten Washington,1932.