German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler
Did big business play a crucial role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power? Did German capitalists undermine the Weimaqr Republic, finance the Nazi Party, ... Show synopsis Did big business play a crucial role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power? Did German capitalists undermine the Weimaqr Republic, finance the Nazi Party, and use their influence on behalf of Hitler's appointment to the chancellorship of Germany? For half a century, such charges as these have been repeatedly made, and today one of the most widely held explanations for the Third Reich's origins places prime responsibility on Germany's leading corporations. Astonishingly, this subject has never been adequately explored--and until now it was commonly believed that the records that might throw light on this important connection had been either lost or destroyed. In the pages of this groundbreaking book, Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., shows us that these records do indeed exist. And the evidence that leads him to his startling conclusion--that big business did not, on balance, support Hitler's political program--overthrows many of our conventional ideas about the rise of Hitler's regime. German Big Business and the Rise of Hitler takes us through the major corporate archives of Weimar and Nazi Germany and inside the executive offices of the giants of Germany industry--I. G. Farben, Flick, Krupp, Siemens, and many others. It shows us the dynamics between corporations and political machines, businessmen and politicians, industrial associations and political parties. Beginning with an examination of the heritage of German big business and the role it played in the politics of the Weimar Republic, Turner scrutinizes the attitudes of the Nazi Party leadership--Hitler in particular--toward economic issues and big business. He then traces the known contacts between the Nazis and the men of big business down to the triumph of Nazism in 1933. For the first time, the story is told form both sides, employing documentation from Nazi as well as business sources. In the course of assessing the significance of financial contributions to Hitler's party, the author provides the first systematic analysis of Nazism's sources of income. He also gives us a new window, not only on Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, but also on the behavior of 20th-century plrivate corporations, their executives, and their influence on our times.