Jens Jessen

Director of the Kiel Institute

May/September 1933 – February 1934

* Dec. 11, 1895, † Nov. 30, 1944

After studying in Kiel and completing his habilitation in Göttingen, Jessen was given a full professorship in Kiel and the direction of the Institute in the course of the seizure of power" in May 1933, which he shared with his predecessor and friend Bernhard Harms until September. Jessen pursued a racist and anti-democratic human resources policy and undertook efforts to transform the previously liberal institute into a cadre training center for Nazi-related economists. In the course of power struggles over scientific policy, he was stripped of his leadership of the institute as early as February 1934.

His opposition to the regime grew when he was unable to assert his ideas of a National Socialist economy and his criticism of the National Socialists' economic policy. After Harms' death, he was selected in the fall of 1939 to take his place in the nationally conservative Wednesday society. There he intensified contacts with opposition circles and participated in the planning of the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944. After the failure of the attempted coup, he was arrested and executed.