The NBS Archives are open to the public at the following times:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9 a.m. to 12 noon / 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Archives are closed to the public in July, August and September.
The Archives will be closed from 20 Mar 2020 until further notice.
Drážďanská banka, Berlin (Karlovy Vary branch)
Dresdner Bank was founded in the German city of Dresden in 1872 and in 1884 it moved its headquarters to Berlin. The bank’s early history was closely tied to Eugen Gutmann, who helped the bank survive the crisis of 1873. The bank was constantly expanding through the acquisition of other financial institutions and the opening of new branches. In 1881 it opened a branch in Berlin, which eventually led to the bank moving its entire headquarters. Over the following years, the bank invested in heavy industry, the African colonies and the Middle East. At the beginning of the 20th century, it gained unlimited access to the industrious Rhineland.
After the First World War, the post-war inflation helped the institution to expand even further, increasing the number of its employees from 9,600 in 1914 to 23,000 in 1923. At the same time, the number of accounts rose from 376,000 to 540,000 and the bank’s share capital doubled to 1.1 billion marks.
In 1932, the German state took over the majority of the bank’s shares. During the rule of the National Socialists between 1933 and 1942, the bank’s trading increased threefold, with the institution being directly subordinated to the Reich government and to Hitler himself. Within this context, the bank participated in the policy of aryanisation, including the takeover of the Jewish-owned Arnhold private bank in Dresden.
The institution benefited from the war in eastern Europe and from forced labour by Jews and prisoners of war. It was the bank of choice of the SS organisation and funded its activities. After the outbreak of the war, the bank lost many of its business contacts, but it profited from banks being forced to give up their branches in territories occupied or under the influence of the German Reich. In Slovakia, it took over Bratislavská obchodná a úverná banka, renaming it to Deutsches Handels- und Kreditbank. In the Czech lands, it took over the Bohemian Discount Bank and used it to continue with aryanisation and to drive its competitors out of business. It also tried to increase its share of the ownership of Živnostenská banka in Prague.
After the occupation of the Czech Sudetenland following the Munich Agreement of 1938, the bank forced Živnostenská banka to give up its branches in the borderland, including the branch in Karlovy Vary. This branch became the banking institution that managed the account of Arbeitersonderguthaben, via which Slovak workers’ wages earned in Germany were transferred to Slovakia. The wage transfers were directed through Dresdner Bank in Berlin. In Slovakia, the equivalents in Slovak crowns were paid out by Poštová sporiteľňa in Bratislava to an address registered by the workers in their bank cards.
In the early part of the Second World War, transfers could take 4-5 months to process. After the outbreak of the Slovak National Uprising, the German counterparty stopped the regular execution of payments, with the situation worsening, for obvious reasons, in the spring of 1945. Following the end of the Second World War, the Regional Institute for Slovakia of Národná banka Československá in Bratislava, as the legal successor of Slovenská národná banka, called upon all legal and natural persons to register their external claims and liabilities by 23 February 1946. In 1953, the foreign exchange supervision of the liquidation of external claims was taken over by Oblastný likvidátor, Bratislava, which was renamed to Správa pre veci majetkové a devízové in 1964. Due to the lack of any post-war international agreement concerning the settlement of claims, Slovak citizens’ claims against Germany have not yet been settled.
After the Second World War, Živnostenská banka regained control of its former branches, but then ceased to exist with the establishment of Štátna banka československá.
The Regional Institute for Slovakia of Štátna banka československá in Bratislava took over the preserved documents of Dresdner Bank’s Karlovy Vary branch from the Second World War period and stored them in its archives, in a former monastery in Marianka. In 1975 - 1977, the archive records were moved to a new utility building of the archives at 27 Krajná Street in Bratislava and later, in 2003, they were transferred to the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska at 8 Cukrová Street in Bratislava. The archive fonds consists of incomplete documentation relating to the remuneration of Slovak workers for work in Germany. These are mainly accounting documents, lists, statements and correspondence. The documents were sorted, and their registry list was prepared in 2015.