“European economic unity will come, for its time is here.”
— Walther Funk, 19421
The Reichsbank president and BIS director was half right. European economic unity did indeed arrive, but it came sixty years after he predicted. Walther Funk lived to see two of the most important early milestones: the establishment in 1951 of the European Coal and Steel Community, Europe’s first supranational institution, whose loans were managed by the BIS, and the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, when the six core countries—Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands—established the European Economic Community.
Funk was released from Spandau Prison in Berlin the same year and died ...