Hans F. Sennholz, RIP
by Ron Paul by Ron Paul
Before the U.S. House of Representatives on June 28, 2007
Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the life and achievements of Hans F. Sennholz. Dr. Sennholz was one of the foremost free-market economists of his generation and an inspiration to tens of thousands of people around the world.
Dr. Sennholz was born on February 3, 1922 in Germany in the midst of the German hyperinflation crisis and experienced firsthand the Great Depression and the horrors of Hitler’s dictatorship. After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Marburg and a doctorate in political science from the University of Cologne, Dr. Sennholz received a Ph.D. in economics at New York University, where he studied under the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises.
In his 37 years as a professor of economics at Grove City College, Dr. Sennholz was a formative influence for over 10,000 students. During an era in which Keynesianism was the dominant economic ideology, Dr. Sennholz’ efforts played a major role in keeping alive the flame of classical liberalism and market-based economics. Dr. Sennholz and his free market ideas were a perfect fit for Grove City, which is one of only two colleges in the United States which eschews federal education funding.
Dr. Sennholz later became President of the Foundation for Economic Education, reviving the institution and renewing its mission to advancing the ideals of private property, individual liberty, the rule of law, and the free market. He also served as an adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, from which he received the Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize in 2004 for his lifelong dedication to the cause of liberty.
I first met Dr. Sennholz in the early 1970’s during the campaign to legalize the private ownership of gold. He was a tremendous influence on me and introduced me to other eminent economists of the Austrian School. Dr. Sennholz consistently taught the beneficial effects of the gold standard and was a tireless opponent of inflation. He never ceased to persist in pointing out the problems of fiat currency, the evils of inflation, and the perils of the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.
Dr. Sennholz passed away on Saturday, June 23, 2007 at the age of 85, having lived a full and rewarding life. Generations of free-market economists are indebted to him, his spirited teaching, and his lucid writing for keeping free-market economic teaching alive during trying times. Congress would do well to heed his advice on the importance of free markets and the folly of fiat currency.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.