Biography of Georg Weifert


Georg Weifert was born on 15 July 1850 in Pančevo, at the time a part of the Habsburg Monarchy. His family was engaged in brewing. After he became a Serbian citizen in 1873, he developed beer production in Belgrade. “The First Serbian Steam Brewery Georg Weifert A.D.” had an important role in the industrialisation of the country. He was particularly active in the exploration of mineral resources of Serbia and was responsible for the discovery of copper ore in Bor in 1903.

He was a member of the Founding and first Governing Council of the National Bank (1884), governor in two terms (1890–1902, 1912–1926), and from 1926 a life-long honorary governor of the Yugoslav National Bank until his death on 12 January 1937.

His work in the issuance institute during the First World War, when the National Bank operated in Marseille, France, was particularly significant. Although the country was under occupation, the government and the king were in exile, and the National Bank was constantly moving since July 1914, the exchange rate of the dinar remained stable, despite all the turmoil. After the liberation of the country, after four and a half years of exile and thousands of kilometres travelled (Belgrade–Niš–Kruševac–Skopje–Thessaloniki–Marseille–Belgrade), the National Bank came full circle, returning in 1919 to its old place in Belgrade.

In the new state, Weifert, as the Governor, organised affairs concerning the unification of the currency and the takeover of the branch networks of the former Austro-Hungarian Bank. The National Bank was the government’s agent in recovering the national currency and preventing stock market speculation.