Business in the Age of Extremes: Essays in Modern German and Austrian Economic History (Publications of the German Historical Institute)
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This collection of essays explores the impact that nationalism, capitalism, and socialism had on economics during the first half of the twentieth century. Focusing on Central Europe, contributors examine the role that businesspeople and enterprises played in Germany's and Austria's paths to the catastrophe of Nazism. Based on new archival research, the essays gathered here ask how the business community became involved in the political process and describes the consequences arising from that involvement. Particular attention is given to the responses of individual businesspeople to changing political circumstances and their efforts to balance the demands of their consciences with the pursuit for profit.
following the fall of Chancellor Heinrich Br¨uning, there were vehement protests. At a time when 6 million Germans were unemployed, the minister of finance had spent approximately RM 90 million to bailout an industrial magnate whose speculation had brought him to the brink of ruin. Another aspect of the Gelsenberg deal came in for massive criticism above all from Ruhr industrialists. As a result of the government’s purchase of GBAG, the German state had become the majority owner of the dominant
democracy, preserving capitalism and his own firm’s success could not be achieved in opposition to the masses and their representatives. Cooperation with the moderate Social Democrats and the unions was thus necessary. Duisberg no more mourned the passing of the German Empire than he would have regretted seeing the collapse of the National Socialist regime. He remained focused pragmatically to the end of his life on the smooth functioning of the social center. social partnership as an
fragility of Austria’s coal supply.31 The task of obtaining the release of the various liens on Austrian state assets was undertaken by the British Foreign Office and British diplomats. With respect to the neutral countries that had provided credits during 1920, by the close of 1921, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland had agreed, as had Norway, although the necessary legislation had not yet been passed by its parliament.32 Among the states having varying rights under the terms of
in the Age of Extremes in Central Europe 5 participated in the reconfiguration of the German state, especially when business interests were directly concerned. Effective lobbying was still possible, albeit by employing new methods and rhetoric. The business community, including many foreign corporations, entered into a kind of partnership with National Socialism, with varying degrees of conviction, initiative, and common interests, but also in other cases with reluctance, and even coercion.
current account credits became an important part of savings banks’ business. In 1929, about 18 percent of savings bank assets were personal loans, most often in the form of current account credit to businesses through giro accounts. The national Deutsche Girozentrale and state giro clearinghouses increasingly cooperated to generate consortium loans to municipalities; in the case of smaller cities, they issued bonds that bundled them together to make a more attractive package for securities