The Life, Times, and Work of Ludwig von Mises

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7. Years in Geneva

  • The Life Times and Work of Mises
July 26, 2007

Tags BiographiesHistory of the Austrian School of Economics

Mises left Vienna for six years in Geneva, 1934 – 1940, to write his treatise and leave behind the Austrian branch of the Nazi Party. In Geneva, Mises held the Chair for International Relations. Mises and the Rockefeller Foundation had some financial connections. His salary was the 2007 equivalent of about $160,000 per year. Mises taught in English although he did not speak it so well or so fluently.

In 1938, the German march into Austria interrupted both Mises’ desire to return to Vienna and Mises’ intent to marry Margit. Mises’ Vienna apartment was searched and ransacked by Hitler’s men. The Gestapo took all his books and belongings. It all ended up in a secret archive in Moscow. Guido Hulsmann made copies of almost everything found in Moscow. The material resides in Mises Institute archives.

Intellectuals in the 1930s created the Third Way creed that is now called neo-liberalism.  Government intervention was justified – a real departure from laissez-faire liberalism.

Mises left Geneva and Austria in 1940 upon the advice of his brother, Richard, and Machlup. He did not return until 1947 when he attended the first Mont Pelerin Society meeting.

Lecture 7 of 10 from The Life, Times, and Work of Ludwig von Mises, a George and Joele Eddy Seminar.


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