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Presentation: “Tanz mit dem Vulkan – die ostdeutschen Werften und der Bremer Vulkan“

A research projects is focusing on the question of what effect the transformation in East Germany has had to date on economic structures. The tracks that lead to Bremen will be highlighted in a digital presentation with subsequent discussion round at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 28, 2021.

To date, it is a controversially discussed case – and not only in Bremen: The Vulkan-Werft AG – a shipyard company – took part in the privatization process in East Germany with the help of EU funds. The former chair of the board Friedrich Hennemann was in this way able to turn his vision of a maritime conglomerate into reality. Alongside the GDR shipyards in Wismar, Rostock, and Stralsund, several West German companies were also on the shopping list.

The Bremen company Vulkan-Werft AG went bankrupt in 1996 and caused drastic structural crises for the affected regions. Many disappointed people stood in front of the shipyard gates in the East and West. The Bremen Parliament called together an inquiry committee in 1997. Said committee was to clarify whether the traditional company had embezzled EU funds and which role Bremen had played in it all. The court disputes ended in 2010 with a settlement. Yet the structural, economic challenges remained.

Research into Economic Inequality Between the East and West

The research into the economic inequality between East Germany and West Germany is part of the Obstacles to Modernization in the Economy and Science of the GDR (Mod-Block-DDR) project at the University of Bremen. Within the research network, which comprises three other universities and is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, an interdisciplinary team led by the economics professor Jutta Günther is dealing with the question of what influence socialism and the transformation in East German states have had on economic structures to date.

Online Presentation and Discussion with Former State Councilor

Heiner Heseler, former State Councilor for the Senator for Economy and Ports and an expert in shipbuilding, will tell us of his experience, highlight consequences, and discuss structural-political teachings at the digital event. All those interested are invited to take part!

The event will take place digitally via Zoom at 6 p.m. on January 28, 2021. Registration via: office-guentherprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de.


Prof. Dr. Jutta Günther

Faculty of Business Studies & Economics

Spokesperson – “Mod-Block-DDR” research network

Tel.: +49 421 218-66630

Email: jutta.guentherprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Further Information:

Project website:

Event series: (in German only)

Working group page:





Bremer Vukan