The Third Reich's Corporation Law of 1937 / by Curtis Warren Bajak.
This dissertation examines the degree to which the Nazi state and its ideology influenced the development of the German Corporation Law of 1937. The prevailing scholarly view holds that National Socialism exerted little influence on German business law and that the Corporation Law of 1937 merely represented the culmination of uninterrupted developments through which long-evident trends in corporate practice found their statutory realization. This dissertation, in contrast, concludes that, while important National Socialist demands went substantially unrealized in the 1937 statute, Nazi ideology nonetheless influenced the new statute's development significantly. Though the legislative process by which the Corporation Law came into being brought about a considerable dilution of those tenets of National Socialist ideology that related to the corporation's internal structure, the new statute still realized an important aspect of Nazi ideology by guaranteeing the complete subordination of the corporation to the state. National Socialist ideology also ensured that the Corporation Law of 1937 would anchor in law the complete management dominance within the corporation that had represented prevailing corporate practice since the Weimar period, but which the Justice Ministry had felt compelled for political reasons to balance against concessions to the shareholders and the general public in its statutory drafts of 1930 and 1931. Nazi ideology, therefore, effectively nullified the results of the corporation law reform movement that had emerged during the latter years of the Weimar Republic.
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