Money for the Third Reich : the Nazis' financial legerdemain, 1933-1938 / by Guido Giacomo Preparata.
Approximately seven million unemployed—a fourth of Germany's labor force—was fully re-employed in less than four years under Hitler. The protagonist of the financial counterpart to this swift resurgence of industrial might in the face of forthcoming hostility, was central banker Hjalmar Schacht. Rearmament and a semblance of prosperity across the German Fatherland were punctuated by the issue of a number of enigmatic bills, which formed the network of monetary circulation in the Hitlerite regime. The present work attempts to unravel the mechanisms and origin of the “special paper” that financed the Recovery and the war effort. The dissertation is divided into two parts. The first part is a factual account of the monetary policies (both domestic and international) pursued by the Reichsbank under the direction of Schacht, followed by a statistical review of the economic performance of the Third Reich. The second part concerns itself with the economics of the Nazis' financial exploits; it comprises four chapters. Each of these analyzes a separate aspect of the Recovery through the works of unorthodox thinkers that sought to identify the (monetary) causes of modern depressions and unemployment. The ideas of monetary crank Silvio Gesell and Christian mystic Rudolf Steiner are reviewed herein; a parallel is then made between the program of “Work Creation” launched by Hitler in collusion with the Interests revolving round the Reichsbank and the prophetic tones of the second part of Goethe's Faust. A third section reviews the main themes of Douglas's “Social Credit”; as with the theories of Gesell and Steiner, the purpose of this chapter is to trace any similarities between the remedies of the Nazis and the “plans” contrived in the midst of economic collapse. In general, in order to account for the spectacular upswing of the Hitlerites, the second part of the work seeks to trace an “unconscious heeding” on the part of Nazi authorities to the prescriptions and palliatives devised by a spate of contemporary reformers. A final chapter is devoted to the so-called “Keynesian theory” and its presumed affinity with the financial stratagems effected by Schacht.
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