How Big Business Bailed Out the Nazis A tragic tale of what can go wrong when profits are entangled with politics.

Sep 2018
4,524
801
cleveland ohio
#1
The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily those of the Brennan Center for Justice.
Considering the outcome of this year’s presidential primaries, where the best-financed candidates were defeated, I’ve been asked repeatedly whether corporate money in politics really matters. And I’ll grant, corporate money so far mostly gone to losing candidates. But history may give us some greater perspective on how corporate money in politics can prove decisive.
It’s a largely forgotten piece of history, but in 1932 the German Nazi Party was facing financial ruin. How did the Nazis move from being broke to being in control of the German government just a year later? The Nazi Party was bailed out by German industrialists in early 1933.
The industrialists who led the way were two huge German firms, I.G. Farben and Krupp. Leaders of both of companies were among the few civilians who were later charged with war crimes at the Nuremberg Tribunals after World War II. These trials placed the story of their financial and moral support of the Nazis into the historical record. Krupp was a huge arms manufacturer. I.G. Farben was a vast chemical company which made everything from Bayer aspirin to Zyklon B, the poison used in the gas chambers.
According to The Arms of Krupp, the Nazi Party was essentially bankrupt in late 1932. Joseph Goebbels, who would later become the Minister of Propaganda, complained, “[w]e are all very discouraged, particularly in the face of the present danger that the entire party may collapse….The financial situation of the Berlin organization is hopeless. Nothing but debts and obligations.”


Regardless of the party’s financial problems, Hitler was named Chancellor in late January 1933. He called for elections in early March. With less than two weeks left before the vote, Herman Goering sent telegrams to Germany’s 25 leading industrialists, inviting them to a secret meeting in Berlin on February 20, 1933. Attending the gathering were four I.G. Farben directors and Krupp chief Gustav Krupp. Hitler addressed the group, saying “private enterprise cannot be maintained in a democracy.” He also told the men that he would eliminate trade unions and communists. Hitler asked for their financial support and to back his vision for Germany.

According to Robert Jackson, the former Supreme Court Justice and chief U.S. prosecutor at Nuremberg, “[T]he industrialists…became so enthusiastic that they set about to raise three million Reichsmarks [worth about $30 million today] to strengthen and confirm the Nazi Party in power.”

Gustav Krupp was the first executive to speak at the Berlin meeting, and pledged one million marks. As the United Nations summarized in a 1949 report, Krupp was a key financier for the Nazi Party, including through his corporation:

It was clear from the evidence that Gustav Krupp embraced Nazism shortly prior to the seizure of power by the Nazi Party and continued his allegiance thereafter. He played an important part in bringing to Hitler's support other leading industrialists and through the medium of the Krupp firm… from time to time made large scale contributions to the [Nazi] Party Treasury.​


 
Likes: Hollywood
Nov 2012
38,588
11,340
Lebanon, TN
#2
Big buisnesses did not bail out the NAZIs the NAZIs took partial ownerships of all businesses.

the operative word was TOOK it was not Given



WE DEMAND THE NATIONALIZATION OF ALL BUSINESSES WHICH HAVE BEEN AMALGAMATED (INTO TRUSTS).

WE DEMAND THAT THE STATE SHALL SHARE IN THE PROFITS OF LARGE INDUSTRIES.

WE DEMAND A LAND-REFORM SUITABLE TO OUR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS, THE PASSING OF A LAW FOR THE CONFISCATION OF LAND FOR COMMUNAL PURPOSES

WE DEMAND AN AGRARIAN REFORM SUITABLE TO OUR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS; THE ENACTMENT OF A LAW TO EXPROPRIATE WITHOUT COMPENSATION THE OWNERS OF ANY LAND THAT MAY BE NEEDED FOR NATIONAL PURPOSES; THE ABOLITION OF GROUND RENTS; AND THE PROHIBITION OF ALL SPECULATION IN LAND.


From the "Twenty-Five Point" Programme of the German National Socialist Workers Party, authored by Adolf Hitler and others on February 24, 1920. (Konrad Heiden's translation in A History of National Socialism)
 
Last edited:
Dec 2014
24,879
13,415
Memphis, Tn.
#3
Big buisnesses did not bail out the NAZIs the NAZIs took partial ownerships of all businesses.

the operative word was TOOK it was not Given



WE DEMAND THE NATIONALIZATION OF ALL BUSINESSES WHICH HAVE BEEN AMALGAMATED (INTO TRUSTS).

WE DEMAND THAT THE STATE SHALL SHARE IN THE PROFITS OF LARGE INDUSTRIES.

WE DEMAND A LAND-REFORM SUITABLE TO OUR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS, THE PASSING OF A LAW FOR THE CONFISCATION OF LAND FOR COMMUNAL PURPOSES

WE DEMAND AN AGRARIAN REFORM SUITABLE TO OUR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS; THE ENACTMENT OF A LAW TO EXPROPRIATE WITHOUT COMPENSATION THE OWNERS OF ANY LAND THAT MAY BE NEEDED FOR NATIONAL PURPOSES; THE ABOLITION OF GROUND RENTS; AND THE PROHIBITION OF ALL SPECULATION IN LAND.


From the "Twenty-Five Point" Programme of the German National Socialist Workers Party, authored by Adolf Hitler and others on February 24, 1920. (Konrad Heiden's translation in A History of National Socialism)
We are not talking about what the Nazi Party CLAIMED to be all about, what they CLAIMED they were GOING to do but rather what they ACTUALLY DID, as a matter of historical record.
In 1920 the Nazi Party had less that 100 members, nation-wide. What they said was pretty much meaningless.
 
Likes: bill sands
Sep 2018
4,524
801
cleveland ohio
#4
Big buisnesses did not bail out the NAZIs the NAZIs took partial ownerships of all businesses.

the operative word was TOOK it was not Given



WE DEMAND THE NATIONALIZATION OF ALL BUSINESSES WHICH HAVE BEEN AMALGAMATED (INTO TRUSTS).

WE DEMAND THAT THE STATE SHALL SHARE IN THE PROFITS OF LARGE INDUSTRIES.

WE DEMAND A LAND-REFORM SUITABLE TO OUR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS, THE PASSING OF A LAW FOR THE CONFISCATION OF LAND FOR COMMUNAL PURPOSES

WE DEMAND AN AGRARIAN REFORM SUITABLE TO OUR NATIONAL REQUIREMENTS; THE ENACTMENT OF A LAW TO EXPROPRIATE WITHOUT COMPENSATION THE OWNERS OF ANY LAND THAT MAY BE NEEDED FOR NATIONAL PURPOSES; THE ABOLITION OF GROUND RENTS; AND THE PROHIBITION OF ALL SPECULATION IN LAND.


From the "Twenty-Five Point" Programme of the German National Socialist Workers Party, authored by Adolf Hitler and others on February 24, 1920. (Konrad Heiden's translation in A History of National Socialism)
the first government to implement massive privatization was the nazis actuaully ythe oposite is true The Roots of Privatization | JSTOR Daily
The Nazis sold off public ownership in “steel, mining, banking, shipyard, ship-lines, and railways.” These had originally been nationalized in the early 1930s because of the economic disaster of the Great Depression. However, Bel argues that Nazi privatization was set “within a framework of increasing state control of the whole economy through regulation and political interference.” Uncooperative industrialists, like the head of the Junkers aircraft company, were removed from their positions; the market was very much controlled by the party.