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6 - Private Life in the People’s Economy

Spending and Saving in Nazi Germany

from II - The Private in the Volksgemeinschaft

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2019

Elizabeth Harvey
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Johannes Hürter
Affiliation:
Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History Munich - Berlin
Maiken Umbach
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Andreas Wirsching
Affiliation:
Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History Munich - Berlin
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Summary

This chapter explores personal property and the desire for possessions as a dimension of private life in Nazi Germany. It examines the regime’s promotion of ‘German advertising’ as part of its drive against ‘Jewish’ business and asks how far, if at all, popular aspirations for consumer goods were accommodated within a dictatorship that was geared to a war economy at the expense of private consumption. It goes on to ask how far and with what arguments the regime in wartime encouraged private saving, and it shows that the promotional material used by savings banks often encouraged private saving using arguments – even in wartime – that focused less on patriotic duty than on personal dreams of material possessions. In promoting wartime saving, the regime thus in many respects continued its pre-war encouragement of private consumer aspirations, even if such aspirations were largely deferred.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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