World War I and the Twenties
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 led to the closure of the institute and in the following year to its seizure by the Italian state. Although the Bibliotheca Hertziana reopened on 15 April 1920, it was not until 1927 that the confiscation was repealed. The inflation of the early 1920s drastically reduced the foundation's original assets, and although the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and the Federal Foreign Office contributed to the institutes’s budget, the global economic crisis inevitably led to a further deterioration of the financial situation. Despite these difficulties, the first academic librarian, Ludwig Schudt, was appointed in 1920. Along with the director and the doorman, Schudt thus became the third employee of the small institute.