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11 - Völkisch Capitalism

Himmler’s Bankers and the Continuity of Capitalist Thinking and Practice in Germany

from Part IV - Racializing Capitalism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2022

Moritz Föllmer
Affiliation:
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Pamela E. Swett
Affiliation:
McMaster University, Ontario
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Summary

This chapter argues that the Nazi regime produced a specific variety of capitalism, referred to here as völkisch capitalism. The focus of the study is on the contradiction between Nazi settlement policy, imbued with anticapitalist rhetoric, and the capitalist practice of settlement in the annexed territories during World War II. It is shown that the settlers were treated as capitalist subjects, that state compensation for the property of resettled “ethnic Germans” was organized by the Deutsche Umsiedlungs-Treuhandgesellschaft mbH (German Resettlement Trust Company) (DUT) as a private company, and that the DUT carried out this practice both through private-sector auditing techniques and through a partnership with private banks on behalf of the public sector. The directors of the DUT, German bankers whose careers stretched unbroken from the Great Depression to the West German economic miracle of the 1960s, followed this völkischthinking of the years 1933–45 and practiced it to the best of their capitalist knowledge during World War II.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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