Institute for Contemporary History, Munich


Lida Barner is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London (UCL). She studied for her MA in Socio-cultural Anthropology, History and the Study of Religions at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), Munich. She also has an MA in Hebrew and Jewish Studies from the University College London (UCL). 

She is interested in the role of intellectual property rights in the economic exclusion of the Jews in National Socialism. In her Ph.D. project Intellectual Plunder? 'Aryanisation' and Restitution of 'Jewish patents' in National Socialism, she analyses how technical and scientific innovations by Jewish inventors were exploited in Nazi Germany.

She examines the discriminating measures by the Reich Patent Office, Nazi inventor associations, and intellectual property specialists against patent right owners defined as Jews by Nazi Law, and the opportunities for others to profit from inventions originally made by Jews through so-called 'patent aryanisations'.

She also analyses how the Jewish owners tried to safeguard their intellectual property rights by transferring them abroad, and describes their chances for post war compensation. Her project centres on case studies from post war restitution files from Jewish patent holders from different regions in Germany (Berlin, Munich, Chemnitz).

She will be an EHRI Fellow at the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich, in August 2012. Among the Institute's holdings she will e.g. access the records of the Office of Military Government for Germany (OMGUS) on their post war patent policy, and make use of those technical, industrial and legal periodicals from the Nazi period not available in the United Kingdom. During her Fellowship she will also conduct research in archives in and around Munich, the Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, the Bayerisches Staatsarchiv, the Stadtarchiv Munich, the German Technical Museum, and the Staatsarchiv Nürnberg to complete her sample of patent restitution cases.

She can be contacted at