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Đorđe Vajfert (Serbian Cyrillic: Ђорђе Вајферт, German: Georg Weifert; 15 June 1850 – 12 January 1937) was a Serbian industrialist of German descent, Governor of the National Bank of Serbia and later Yugoslavia.[1] In addition, he is considered the founder of the modern mining sector in Serbia and a great benefactor.

Đorđe Vajfert
Ђорђе Вајферт
Djordje Vajfert.jpg
3rd Governor of the National Bank of Serbia
In office
1890–1902
Preceded byFilip Hristić
Succeeded byTihomilj J. Marković
5th Governor of the National Bank of Serbia (Yugoslavia)
In office
1912–1926
Preceded byTihomilj J. Marković
Succeeded byLjubomir Srećković
Personal details
Born15 June 1850
Pančevo, Austrian Empire
Died12 January 1937
Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia
NationalitySerbian
Signature

BiographyEdit

Georg Weifert was born in Pančevo, German Banat to a Danube Swabian family. From an early age Đorđe Vajfert worked with his father, Ignatz Weifert in Belgrade, in brewing. Theirs was the first brewery in the Kingdom of Serbia. He graduated from the Braumeisterschule in Weihenstephan, near Munich. Then he returned to Serbia and took over the brewery of his father, which he expanded. With the profits he bought a coal mine in Kostolac, then a copper mine in Bor, a Steinberg works at Zaječar and finally a gold mine. With the proceeds from the mines, he was the richest man in Serbia and was considered the greatest industrialist of the future Yugoslavia.

In 1890 Vajfert was appointed Governor of the National Bank of Serbia. He served in this capacity from 1890 to 1902, and again from 1912 to 1914/1918.[1] During this period he acquired a good reputation maintaining the value of the Serbian dinar and in credit. After 1918, because of his good offices, Vajfert was appointed Governor of the National Bank of Yugoslavia.[1] His best-known arrangement as Governor was the conversion of the Austro-Hungarian krone into the new Yugoslav dinar. This also led to great criticism, as the former Serbian dinar was exchanged 1:1 in the new dinar, the Austrian money into a 4:1 ratio – this led to substantial losses of property of those Yugoslavs who formerly lived in Austria-Hungary.

 
Weifert on the 1000 Serbian dinar bill.

Đorđe Vajfert was an important patron and supporter of humanitarian and cultural institutions. He donated his prized collection of ancient coins and his private library to the University of Belgrade. In Pančevo, from where his parents Ignatz and Anna originated, he left the Roman Catholic Church a small chapel known as Anina crkva (the Church of Anna), in memory of his mother.

Vajfert was a major benefactor in the opening of a large Catholic cemetery in Pancevo where the remains of many family members of Vajfert remain. They also built up a fund for Pancevo St. Anne Catholic Church and many other public and charitable institutions.

Vajfert died on 12 January 1937, at 17:20 pm at his villa in Belgrade. The funeral service was held in the Catholic Church of St. Anne Pancevo 14 January, and the 15th he was buried in the Catholic cemetery Pančevo. The heir to his business empire was his nephew Ferdinand Gramberg. Since 2001, his portrait is depicted on the 1000 Serbian dinar note.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

^ The early years . Led-vajfert.org. Accessed on 2011-12-29

^ Politics, no. 10,287 from Wednesday 13 January 1937th, str. 5

^ Politics, no. 10,289 from Friday 15 January 1937th, str. 6

^ Politics, no. 10,290 from Saturday 16 January 1937th, str. 6

Government offices
Preceded by
Filip Hristić
Governor of the National Bank of Serbia
1890–1902
Succeeded by
Tihomilj J. Marković
Preceded by
Tihomilj J. Marković
Governor of the National Bank of Serbia
1912–1918
Succeeded by
Himself, Yugoslavia created
Preceded by
Himself
Governor of the National Bank of Yugoslavia
1918–1926
Succeeded by
Ljubomir Srećković