Max Muss

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Max Ludwig Adolf Muss (* 8 April 1885 in Bad Schwartau; † 12 February 1954 in Darmstadt) was a German university lecturer.


Max Ludwig Adolf Muss was born in Bad Schwartau in April 1885 as the son of the gardener Ludwig Adolf Muss and his wife Johanna Röhmer. After completing his secondary education, he first completed a bank apprenticeship at the Oldenburgische Spar- und Leihbank in 1901 and then became a bank employee. In 1906/07 he did his one-year military service. From 1909 Muss studied national economics, history, statistics and ethnography at the University of Leipzig. He graduated with a doctorate in philosophy on April 26, 1913. The title of the thesis was: Die Staatliche Kreditanstalt des Herzogtums Oldenburg

He then spent a year as a research assistant at the Rhenish-Westphalian Economic Archives and the Rhenish Society for Scientific Research in Cologne. From 1915 to 1918 he took part in the First World War as a soldier.

On 1 January 1919 he took up a post as assistant lecturer at the Staatswissenschaftliches Seminar of the University of Leipzig. During his time in Leipzig, Muss was a member of a democratic student fraternity and was chairman of the democratic student association in 1919/20. Muss habilitated in May 1921, the subject of his habilitation thesis being “Der bankmässige Zahlungsausgleich in Deutschland: Eine Studie über Theorie und Aufbau des deutschen Giro- und Scheckwesens”. From then on he was a private lecturer in economics and private business at the University of Leipzig. The following year he received an associate professorship at the University of Rostock

On April 1, 1924, he was appointed to a full professorship in economics at the TH Darmstadt. Muss thus succeeded Franz Berghoff-Ising, who had died in April 1920. At the same time, Muss also took over as director of the state economic institute in Hesse. The appointment of Max Muss was connected with the establishment of an independent department for cultural and political sciences at the TH Darmstadt, which had been decided upon shortly before. This took into account the growing importance of these subjects in education. Nevertheless, these subjects retained the status of supplementary subjects until the expansion of the university after the end of the Second World War.

Max Muss played a significant role in the establishment and expansion of this new department. From 1928 to 1930 he was Dean of the Department of Cultural and Political Sciences

Max Muss’ attitude towards the Nazi regime cannot be answered unequivocally. He did not join the NSDAP, the SA or the SS. However, he was uncritical of the war aims. In addition, he was involved in “armaments research projects important to the war effort”. In 1942, for example, he was head of the university working group for spatial research at the TH Darmstadt

After the closure of the TH Darmstadt at the end of March 1945 by the American military authorities, Muss participated in the efforts of numerous professors for a quick reopening. Muss was elected to the so-called “Confidence Committee” on April 28, 1945. The mechanics professor Wilhelm Schlink and the civil engineer Erich Reuleaux also belonged to this committee. Since Muss also worked for the Economic Institute of Hesse and the Office of State Statistics from July 1945, he resigned from the Confidence Committee. He was succeeded by Alwin Walther.

From 1946 to 1949, Muss was the first dean of the newly founded Faculty of Cultural and Political Sciences at the TH Darmstadt. During this time, he was instrumental in the development of the new course of study in industrial engineering/mechanical engineering. In 1953 he became emeritus professor
Max Muss died in Darmstadt at the age of 78. He had been married to Elisabeth Säuberlich since 1914.


  • 1913: The State Credit Institute of the Duchy of Oldenburg, Tübingen.
  • 1920: Leopold Bleibtreu (1777-1839), Essen.
  • 1922: Der bankmässige Zahlungsausgleich in Deutschland : Eine Studie über Theorie u. Aufbau d. deutschen Giro- u. Scheckwesens, Berlin.
  • 1924: Die deutsche Volkswirtschaft als Organismus, Leipzig.
  • 1932: The economic crisis in Germany, Stuttgart.
  • 1935: Die Struktur der modernen Wirtschaft : Ein Überblick über die Zusammenhänge, die Gestaltungen und Kräfte in der Volkswirtschaft, Berlin.
  • 1938: Aufgabe Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, in: Konrad Meyer (ed.): Volk und Lebensraum. Forschung im Dienste von Raumordnung und Landesplanung, Heidelberg, pp. 510-515.


  • Melanie Hanel: Normality under Exceptional Conditions. The TH Darmstadt under National Socialism. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (WBG), Darmstadt 2014, ISBN 978-3-534-26640-1.
  • Christa Wolf and Marianne Viefhaus: Verzeichnis der Hochschullehrer der TH Darmstadt. Darmstadt 1977, p. 147.
  • 100 Years Technical University Darmstadt. Yearbook 1976/77, Darmstadt 1977.

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