Adolf Hitler: "Ich bin Sozialist"
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2015-01-14 13:45:46 UTC
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Bret Cahill
2015-01-14 16:29:55 UTC
Libertarians lie about being pro liberty.

Nazis lied about being socialists.

The common thread is fascism is so unpopular that fascists always need to lie to try to get into power. But once in power the mask comes off.

Brownback lied about a desire to maximum revenue with laffer when all he really wanted was to starve the beast.
nickname unavailable
2015-01-14 22:25:03 UTC
Nazis lied about being Socialists.
You sure portray your Socialists as being pathologically gullible.

You portray German Socialists as being duped by the 'lies' of the tyrant Hitler and later you have portrayed US DemocRAT Socialists as being duped by the 'lies' over Iraq by one you describe as a'moron', GW Bush.

Are DemocRATS and Socialists really that easily duped and still manage to get re-elected over and over by those of their own?
Bret Cahill
2015-01-14 22:44:24 UTC
Libertarians lie about being pro liberty.

Nazis lied about being socialists.

The common thread is fascism is so unpopular that fascists always need to lie to try to get into power. But once in power the mask comes off.

Brownback lied about a desire to maximum revenue with laffer when all he really wanted was to starve the beast.
Post by nickname unavailable
Nazis lied about being Socialists.
You sure portray your Socialists as being pathologically gullible.
Racist bigots are the gullible who keep thinking there's a free lunch on liberty.

Enlightenment philosophers like Montesquieu, Jefferson et. al., never bothered with any distinction between fascists commies and libertarians.

They are all low tax bigot friendly despotisms.

Care to try again?
2015-01-14 23:23:44 UTC
From a German pamphlet:

Do you remember the state of Germany and the German people in the days
before the aged Reich President von Hindenburg chose Adolf Hitler and
his party as the last hope of saving Germany from certain political,
social and economic collapse that would lead to chaos? Tens of
thousands of factories had closed their gates. Millions of workers and
employees lost their jobs and were thrown ruthlessly into the gray
misery of mass unemployment. There seemed no way out...
By the end of 1933, 2 million citizens had jobs again. By September
1936, the number of unemployed had fallen beneath a million. By 1937
unemployment had vanished...
One of the foundations of National Socialism is the knowledge that
only work creates value and prosperity...
But not only the dreadful misery before 1933 reduced the desire of
countless Germans to have children. Crass egotism and materialism also
played a role. The System Era saw having children as foolish and
backward. The transformation that has occurred is clear in the rising
German birth rate...
The National Socialist state gives major tax reductions to fathers for
each child. Families with three or more children receive payments of
10 and 20 marks monthly. By the end of 1937, 510,000 children were
receiving such support...
By the end of 1937, 252,000 mothers had received free vacations...
The Winterhilfswerk is the most beautiful expression of the new German
people's community. It is not the work of a small group of rich
people. No, each German, all of us, rich and poor, manual laborers,
farmers and city-dwellers cooperate in fulfilling the Führer's will:
No German may be hungry or cold!
One does not know whom to admire more: the cheerful willingness of
those who collect, or the rising amount of the gifts, to which even
the poorest contribute their share. The success of the
Winterhilfswerk, written permanently into the law of 1 December 1936,
demonstrates the efforts of the entire German nation. Gifts of money
alone totaled over 920 million marks during the four winters from
1933/34 to 1936/37. An additional 570 million marks of goods were
contributed. 50,000 freight cars alone would have been needed for the
potatoes contributed in the past years. The three million meters of
clothing given out by the WHW would stretch from Berlin to the Middle
East. The two million kilograms of coal would form a wall ten meters
high around all of Germany. These few examples, and more could be
given, prove the strength of the German people's will to be active
Another sign of this socialism is the entirely different status of the
German worker in factories. The social honor of each working German is
guaranteed by law. The state's representatives ensure that exploiting
workers is impossible. The legal working conditions correspond to
National Socialism's high opinion of work. Workers have a right to a
vacation and for paid holidays, even hourly and temporary workers.
There is nothing like this elsewhere in the world.
The dignity of labor is evidenced by improvements in the appearance of
the work place. Wherever one looks in Germany, ugly dark buildings are
vanishing. The "Beauty of Labor" movement in today's Germany is not
empty talk or an impossible demand, but living reality. Large sums
that formerly would have been wasted in strikes and lockouts have been
used since 1933 to improve work places. 23,000 places have been
transformed form soulless drudgery to pleasant places to work. 6,000
factory courtyards now offer space for real relaxation, which was not
true in the past. 17,000 canteens and lounges, 13,000 shower and
changing rooms have been transformed. The dirtier the work, the
cleaner the workers. More than 800 community buildings and 1200 sport
facilities , including over 200 swimming pools, have been established.
The crew quarters in over 3500 ships have also been improved.
The NS Society Kraft durch Freude brings cheer and pleasure to
workplaces through concerts and art exhibits. The art exhibits alone
introduced more than 2,5 million workers to the creations of true
German art. Just five years ago, it was obvious that the great works
of German culture belonged to a small group of the upper class.
Besides the factory concerns and art exhibitions, the NS Society Kraft
durch Freude uses theatrical performances, other concerts, singing and
musical groups to introduce the creations of German art to every
working German. 22 million citizens have attended theatrical
Of no less importance is the KdF's vacation program. Earlier, German
workers did not know what to do with their, at best, five days of
annual vacation. They could not visit the beauties of the German
landscape, much less travel abroad. The NS Society Kraft durch Freude
gave German workers the possibility of vacationing at the beach or in
the mountains, or to explore the homeland. Over 20 million have
participated in KdF trips since 1934. That is more than a quarter of
Germany's population. 19 million citizens participated in 60,000
vacation trips at home. Hand to hand, they would stretch from Berlin
to Tokyo. KdF trains have traveled 2,160,000 kilometers, or 54 times
around the world. The nine large KdF cruise ships have covered a
distance equal to twice the distance from the earth to the moon. They
have carried German workers to Madeira, Italy and Norway, broadening
their horizons and giving them unforgettable experiences. Three
additional ships will be added the KdF's own fleet of four. A KdF
resort is being built on the island of Rügen. It will not be the only
one. A series of other vacation and spa resorts will be built. They
will fulfill the Führer's wishes at the start of the NS Society Kraft
durch Freude: to lead a cheerful, creative and strong people to
success in the world.
The goal of bringing German culture to the entire German people,
regardless of their income, is especially clear with the German radio.
Thanks to the People's Radio Set, a solid, inexpensive and capable
receiver, the number of radio listeners has risen from around 4
million in 1932 to 9.1 million today. The un-German programming of the
System Era has been transformed by National Socialism. Now radio
acquaints the German people with the work of their great masters of
music and literature. Alongside these artistic programs, the
entertaining programming provides for the relaxation of hard-working
Clear proof for the rising prosperity of the German people is provided
by the growing consumption of foodstuffs and luxury items of every
variety. During the prewar year 1913, only a little more than 2.9
million tons of meat were consumed. In 1937, that figure had risen to
3.7 million, up about 5% from 1932. Thanks to the elimination of
unemployment, bread consumption increased by about 10%, sugar by 15%.
Butter consumption rose from 420,000 to 519,000 tons. Milk production,
both for drinking and for making butter and cheese, rose from 23.5 to
25.4 billion liters from 1932 to 1937. Coffee consumption rose from
104,000 to 140,000 tons. Beer consumption has risen from 3.3 to 4.4
billion liters. That is an increase of about 3 billion glasses of
The growing prosperity and rising consumption of foodstuffs and luxury
items required hard work. A people can only consume what it produces.
In the face of this obvious truth, which however only became clear to
us after 1933, all the parliamentary resolutions, all the decisions of
international conferences and the demands of the international unions
become silly talk. The German people have proved that by our own work.
Germany has worked untiringly since 1933, producing itself the goods
it needs to improve its standard of living.
The rising production in all areas, which has never before been seen,
is the fruit of our work. The foundation of our life is agriculture,
whose task is to guarantee that the nation is fed. When the Führer
took power, agriculture was in a ruinous state. Officers of the court
were regular visitors at German farms. The animals and the harvest
were seized ruthlessly because taxes and interests had risen to
impossible levels that German soil could not meet. Forced auctions
drove tens of thousands of German farmers from their land. Desperation
prevailed in the villages. As a result of the desperate situation,
agriculture could not ensure the feeding of the German nation. The
ghost of hunger threatened.
Here too the Führer set to work immediately. Interest and taxes were
lowered, and the German soil was freed from usurious capital. Between
1927 and 1931, German agricultural debt rose by 2,9 billion marks.
From 1933 to 1936, it fell by 800 million marks. The interest burden,
which was over a billion marks in 1931/32, was reduced by National
Socialist actions to 630 million marks. The crowning achievement was
the creation of the Reich Inherited Farm Law, which guaranteed that
the German family farm will always remain the wellspring of the
Just as for farmers and agricultural workers, the urban population is
also being cared for. Although more than enough willing and able
workers were available in 1932, and although the housing need was
certainly great, the government put workers on the dole and built only
141,265 dwellings. This was an area in which the need for new jobs was
particularly clear. Even in 1933, the number of new dwellings rose to
178,000, with particular attention being given to small and mid-sized
units for those with limited incomes. This number grew year by year,
reaching 340,000 dwellings in 1937, double the number of 1932. In all,
National Socialist has built more than 1.4 million new, and above all
healthy and affordable, dwellings for the German people since 1933.
This is enough to house the entire population of Berlin...
Growing prosperity and production led to a growth in traffic. The
entirely neglected German highway system had to be repaired and
expanded. 40,000 kilometers of highway have been repaired since 1933.
That is enough to go all the way around the world! Then there are the
Reich Autobahns, the most splendid construction project in the world.
2,000 kilometers were open to traffic by the end of 1937. 1,000
kilometers more will be added yearly, until Germany has a highway
network unique in all the world.
Automobile production has reached a level that no one would have
thought possible a few years ago.
The number of motor vehicles in Germany has doubled, exceeding the 3
million mark in 1937. Thanks to the growing prosperity, broad circles
of our nation can now afford a car. 137,141 of the new vehicles in
1937, well over half, were purchased by workers and employees. 30,015
workers and employees were able to buy a car the previous year. Cars
are becoming both better and cheaper. The increase in cars will be
even more striking when the Volkswagen comes on the market. Enormous
factories are even now being built. The best proof for the quality and
good pricing of German cars is the fact that automobile exports have
increased by a factor of eight since 1932!..
The great improvements in the German transportation system have
resulted in a growing stream of foreign visitors. The pulsing life in
Germany is drawing more and more visitors to the Third Reich. The
number of overnights by foreigners has risen from 2.7 million in 1932
is far above 7 million in 1937. These foreigners, who often come to
Germany with false ideas, see with their own eyes the work of the
Führer and the remarkable efforts of the German people. They return
home as the best witnesses of the greatness and strength of the German
The Führer has repeatedly reminded the German people that strong
policies are the absolute prerequisite to our economic, social and
cultural health. Only intentional hostility and stupidity can still
deny that the Führer was right in every respect...

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

2015-01-14 23:22:36 UTC
By Walter Ruthard

I myself was brought up in a small village in the southwest of
Germany. In 1939, when the war broke out, we left for the less exposed
Odenwald area until the possible danger of a French invasion had
passed. Shortly after that my father was transferred to the Ruhr
region. He as requested work as a foreman for the Mauser arms factory.
The government, true to their claims to be national and socialist,
took their promises seriously and provided young people starting a
family, as well as those who already had children, with affordable
housing. The first child brought a reduction of the mortgage by 25
percent, and when the fourth child arrived the mortgage was no more.
My parents already had four children then and thus were eligible for a
free newly built house from the government.

This was but one of the many programs the government established in
order to improve the quality of life for its citizens..

Then there was the "Kinderlandverschickung" program. It was started
before the war and enabled mothers in need of recreation to spend some
time in rural settings together with their children..

Another very popular social program of the government was "Kraft
durch Freude" (strength through joy). Here deserving workers could
take all-inclusive tours on luxury liners that were built especially
for this purpose. On these ships there was only one class and
everybody was treated the same. They visited the Azores and
Spitsbergen among other places. Those ships were not allowed to dock
in and English port however. The reason was that the British
government did not want it's citizens to see what it also could have
done for them..

The most misinterpreted program in Germany was the so-called
"Lebensborn". It was the exact opposite of what people are made to
believe it was, or should I say, of what people like to believe.. The
Lebensborn was the institution to help unwed mothers who did not know
where to turn for help. They were taken care of during their
pregnancies and afterward as well. This was the Lebensborn, and any
other interpretation is plain hogwash..

My father was able to buy not one but three guns plus two pistols,
together with plenty of ammunition. All it took him was proof that he
was indeed a German citizen without a criminal record. Then in 1945,
when the French "liberated" us, they disarmed him. I know that he was
not the only one to have guns at home, because I saw the many, many
arms that were handed over to the French, and this was in a very small

Then, after the war was over, we had our first experience with a real
democracy. The French introduced it and gave us some shining examples;
one was that the lived off the country and stole everything which
wasn't nailed down..

It was not until many years later that I learned that Hitler held at
least five plebiscites during the first half of his rule. In
democratic Germany, from 1945 until today there has never been a

There were foreign workers employed in Germany during WWII. I knew
one of them. He worked on a farm and was treated exactly like the son
who was in the army. After the war he stayed on and married the
daughter of the house. He was a prisoner of war from Poland and I
never saw him guarded by any policeman. This is how foreigners were
treated in Germany. They earned the same wages as the Germans, they
took part in the social insurance program, had paid-for holidays
including free train fares, and many came back with friends who also
wanted to work for these "horrible" Germans. Today they are called
slave laborer.

Not everyone was entitled to go on to a university. Only good marks
and above-average performance in schools qualified. But good
performers were promoted with all means available. Today we are much
more democratic; everyone is entitled to a university education and if
the parents are wealthy enough, the son or daughter can study until
they are 35..

Germany was also the country to introduce, in 1933, the first-ever
comprehensive animal protection law. Farm animals had to be kept in
strictly natural environments and no animal factories were allowed. Of
course, no testing of products on animals was permitted, and no kosher

If new industrial facilities were built they had to conform to the
highest standards with adequate lighting and air inside, canteens
where the workers were served nutritious meals at affordable prices,
and beautiful lawns outside: all for the benefit of the workers.. In
national socialist Germany, no child labor was allowed as it still was
in other European countries.

And finally, although I could still go on for a while, I would like to
mention that on express orders from Hitler himself, it was strictly
forbidden to use corporal punishment in the army. He was of the
opinion that in was incompatible with the honor of a German to be
punished by such degrading means.

That was the Germany I grew up in, and I am glad that I did.

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

2015-01-14 23:21:39 UTC
Here is part of an essay by Dr. Robert Ley:

"Who concerned himself with creating good workplaces before? Today the
"Beauty in Labor Office" sees to it that productive people work in
worthy surroundings, not in dirty workplaces. The "Kraft durch Freude"
organization provides German workers with vacations and relaxation.
They travel to the mountains and the beach, and have the chance, often
for the first time, to explore their beautiful fatherland. They travel
in their own ships to the magical southern seas and countries, or to
the splendid beauty of the north. Each German citizen today enjoys the
wonderful achievements of German theater and German music, the best
German orchestras, the best German operas, theaters and films.
Citizens listen to the radio, and play any kind of sport they wish.

There new activities result not in dissipation, distraction and
carnal pleasure, rather in genuine pleasure in physical activity,
nature and culture. He who works hard should be able to enjoy life too
so that he better appreciates his people. The specter of unemployment
no longer haunts the nation. Millions have already found work again,
and those who still have not are cared for by the entire nation. Labor
representatives see to it that the rights of workers and their honor
are not violated, and the factory manager is as responsible for his
employees and they are responsible with him for the success of the
plant in which they together work...

Everyone knows that there is only one man to thank, Adolf Hitler, the
creator of National Socialism, who put the common good above the
individual good, who replaced class struggle of "above and below" and
"right and left" with a new message of the honor of labor and of
service to the people. The National Socialist Labor Service will see
to it that this teaching that makes the German worker the bearer of
the state never vanishes. It is seeing to it that every German
citizen, whatever his occupation may be, first works with his hands
for the good of the nation."

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

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2015-01-14 23:14:05 UTC
Post by nickname unavailable
nice try at distracting us from all of your lies, and the spectacular collapse of the right to work, leaffer curve, low tax utopias. today michigan is in full mode panic, their deficit is exploding.

now on to this tripe.

i can understand your hatred for democracy, hitler and stalin had the same views as you do.


Hitler found no appeal in Western democracy partially because of its slow pace. Likewise, he found great appeal in his National Socialist State and the swift pace of its legislative process: "The essence of leadership as conceived by the National Socialist State is the capacity to form rapid decisions" (Hitler, My New Order 228).
"One works best when alone." This adage, commonly attributed to Hitler, perfectly sums up his views of democracy and parliamentary-style government. He believed that individuals operating in a democracy are not brought to their fullest potential due to the ultimatums and compromises (both in principle and practice) that commonly occur:
...democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people's true values. And this also serves to explain how it is that people with a great past from the time when they surrender themselves to the unlimited, democratic rule of the masses slowly lose their former position; for the outstanding achievements of individuals...are now rendered practically ineffective through the oppression of mere numbers. (Rauschning 785)
After the failed attempt in 1923 to gain power by force, Hitler realized that it was more feasible to build the Nazi party up "within the framework of the Constitution" (Bullock 130; [edition is 1962 unless otherwise noted]). Said Hitler in 1925: "If out-voting them takes longer than out-shooting them, at least the result would be guaranteed by their own constitution...Any lawful process is slow...Sooner or later we shall have a majority -- and after that, Germany" (Bullock 130)[1]. This ideology is the core of Hitler's German-style democracy: where a leader is chosen democratically, then assumes full power and responsibility over the people (Fischer 170). Hitler's tactics for gaining power changed, but the purpose of his mission, to overthrow the Weimar Republic, remained steadfast. To Hitler, no cost was too high for triumph; in overthrowing the Republic in 1933, Hitler made good on his vow to "destroy democracy with the weapons of democracy" (Grunfeld 109).
Hitler did succeed in destroying democracy in Germany; in 1933 he was actually elected democratically. But once he was given the power to rule by decree and suppressed all opposition, his government was no longer democratic. In Mein Kampf, Hitler states his intent for the Nazi Party: "The NSDAP [Nazi] Party must not serve the masses, but rather dominate them" (260; [edition is 1942 unless otherwise noted]). Hitler likewise stressed that the leader of the ruling party should dominate the nation: "The Furher is the supreme judge of the nation; there is no position in the area of constitutional law in the Third Reich independent of this elemental will of the Furher" (Noakes and Pridham).
Hitler's definition of democracy
Hitler, in speeches in Nuremberg and Munich, has given us definitions of democracy, yet these definitions are nowhere near explicit or conclusive. "Democracy in our eyes is a regime that is supported by the will of the people" (My New Order, 554). It is unclear as to whom Hitler means by "our eyes..."; one can assume he is talking of the German people. Furthermore, according to Webster, a regime is simply "a form of government or administration". Hitler's definition, in turn, becomes simple and obvious; the above definition taken literally does not waver from the consensus definition mentioned in the introduction; in fact it is broader, leading one to suggest that the word "regime" had negative connotations that were lost in the English translation.
Fortunately, Hitler has given us a more intricate definition of democracy, even likening it to an aqueduct or blood vessel: "Democracy is the canal through which bolshevism lets its poisons flow into the separate countries and lets work there long enough for these infections to lead to a crippling of intelligence and of the force of resistance" (My New Order, 405). This critical definition also hints at Hitler's opinions of Jews, as explained later in the text.
Hitler had a deep hatred of the Social Democratic party, which he believed "fostered class conflicts at the expense of national unity" (Bullock 42). In Mein Kampf, he outlines his distaste of the Social Democratic movement, being turned off by their hostility towards the maintenance of Germanism in Austria (31) and their opposition to social demands by the working class (35-36). The Social Democratic Party remained antagonistic and disparaging to Hitler; he believed that "...the working men were the victims of a deliberate system for corrupting and poisoning the popular mind, organized by the Social Democratic Party's leaders, who cynically exploited the distress of the masses" for their political gains (Bullock 38). Hitler was also critical of the Social Democrats for their dependence on internationalization and foreign trade. With this in mind, it is no wonder that Hitler believed that Jews were the leaders of Social Democracy and therefore to be hated (Hitler, Mein Kampf 43).
Hitler was not a socialist in the strict sense of the word; this can be shown by his definition of 'socialist', which differs from the norm:
Whoever is prepared to make the national cause his own to such an extent that he knows no higher ideal than the welfare of his nation; whoever has understood our great national anthem, Deutschland, Deutschland, über Alles, to mean that nothing in the wide world surpasses in his eyes this Germany, people and land, land and people -- that man is a Socialist. (Bullock 76)
Hitler's meaning of socialism, therefore did not refer to a specific economic system, but to "an instinct for national self-preservation" (Fischer 125) or nationalism. Concerning the Socialist aspects of the 25-Point program, Hitler made promises "because in 1920, the German working class and the lower middle classes were saturated in a radical anti-capitalism; such phrases were essential for any politician who wanted to attract their support" (Bullock 75).
Nationalism and German culture
Hitler had an overall disregard for the masses and refused to accept trade unions or the working classes. Once Hitler was in power, he broke all promises he had made to the workers. Hitler and the Nazi Party did away with collective bargaining and the right to strike. He replaced trade unions with an organization called the 'Labor Front', but this organization was fundamentally a tool of the Nazi Party and did not operate in the workers' favor. According to the law that created the Labor Front, "Its task is to see that every individual should be able to perform the maximum of work" (Kangas 13).
2015-01-14 23:24:57 UTC
Democracy is a cruel joke when the Jews control the media.

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter."
Winston Churchill

"Jewry rules from behind the mask of democracy. What one calls
democracy today is concealed Jewish domination. Jews determine what
happens in the democratic states"
Julius Streicher, Der Stürmer, #34/1939.

"A couple of weeks ago I quoted a few sentences from a book published
in 1928 titled Propaganda, by ... Edward Bernays. Today I'll read to
you an expanded set of excerpts from Bernays' book to give you a
little more of the gist of his message. I quote:

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits
and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic
society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society
constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of
our country.

"We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes are formed, our
ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. This is a
logical result of the way in which our democratic society is
organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner
if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. . . .

"Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it
remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in
the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our
ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of
persons . . . who understand the mental processes and social patterns
of the masses.
It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who
harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the
world. . .

"No serious sociologist believes any longer that the voice of the
people expresses any divine or especially wise and lofty idea. The
voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is
made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those
persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. . . .

"Whether in the problem of getting elected to office or in the problem
of interpreting and popularizing new issues, or in the problem of
making the day-to-day administration of public affairs a vital part of
the community life, the use of propaganda, carefully adjusted to the
mentality of the masses, is an essential adjunct of political life." -
end of quote -

I should mention that Bernays' book is not profound or especially
valuable in itself. It merely states a few self-evident facts about
the way in which a modern society works. For the person interested in
propaganda, far more useful books are available. The fact that Bernays
was a Jew is not even especially relevant here except to emphasize
that propaganda, the mass media, psychology, and the manipulation of
others always have been subjects of special interest to the Jews. It
is not for nothing that they are as thick in these fields today as
they were in the time of Bernays and Freud. The reason I chose
Bernays' book to quote is that it provides a more concise and clear
summary, in a few quotable paragraphs, of the role of propaganda in
modern life than most other
books on the subject.

If I were you I wouldn't even waste time trying to hunt down a copy of
Bernays' book. All it does is state the obvious: namely, that the
whole concept of democracy is meaningless in an age where a few people
have in their hands the mechanism for controlling the attitudes and
opinions of a majority of the electorate. And Bernays also takes the
disingenuous position that not only is this control a fact of life,
but it is a good thing; it is necessary to control and regiment the
thinking of the public in order to avoid chaos, and it can only lead
us to greater progress and prosperity. He simply glosses over the
question of
who should exercise this control and what their motives should be.

If you really want to study the subject of propaganda, a good place to
start is with the 1962 book, also titled Propaganda, by the Frenchman
Jacques Ellul. That book is still in print and is available from the
sponsor of this program, National Vanguard Books. Professor Ellul
deals with the subject in much greater depth and with much greater
honesty than Bernays does, but he agrees with Bernays on the most
obvious and
fundamental conclusions: on the irrelevance of the idea of democracy,
for example. I quote from Professor Ellul's book:

"If I am in favor of democracy, I can only regret that propaganda
renders the true exercise of it almost impossible. But I think that it
would be even worse to entertain any illusions about a coexistence of
true democracy and propaganda." -- end of quote --

To me it is frustrating that a conclusion that seems so obvious is
nevertheless resisted by so many otherwise intelligent people.
Democracy has become almost a sacred concept to them, this idea that
the policies guiding our nation should be decided by counting the
votes of every featherless biped who has reached the age of 18. It's
like motherhood:
they're almost afraid to question it.

This seems to be as true of intellectuals in our society as it is of
Joe Sixpacks. The fact is that intellectuals are no more likely to be
independent-minded than people who work with their hands; most
intellectuals, just like most Joe Sixpacks, are lemmings. In fact, as
Ellul points out, it is precisely the intellectuals who are most
strongly controlled by propaganda, because they are more open to every
medium of propaganda.

And I must admit that it took me a long time to overcome the ideas
drummed into me when I was in school that under a democracy people are
more free than under any other political system, that under a
democracy we are all free to think and say whatever we want, and that
we have a greater responsibility as citizens of a democracy to make up
our own minds about things independently, and so on. Actually, we
still have some degree of individual freedom in the United States
today because more than 200 years ago men whose temperament was far
more aristocratic than democratic in the modern sense of the word were
willing to go to war against their legitimate government in order to
secure that freedom for us, and people with a truly democratic
temperament, who have been
gnawing away at that freedom ever since, haven't yet succeeded in
suppressing it completely.

Well, it should not be surprising to us that although books such as
Professor Ellul's Propaganda - and many others - are readily
available, almost no one has heard of them. Keeping the public
believing in the myth of democracy is an important element in
maintaining control over the thinking and behavior of the public. It
is simply immoral and
scandalous to question the reality of democracy. It's like questioning
the truth of the "Holocaust" story. And for that reason we're not
likely to be taught in our social studies classes in school or to read
in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal even the most obvious
and self-evident conclusions presented by Bernays or Ellul. We're
taught how democracy safeguards our freedom, even while those who
control the mechanism of propaganda in our democratic society are
working day and night to eliminate that freedom."

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

nickname unavailable
2015-01-15 11:12:28 UTC
Post by nickname unavailable
nice try... blah,blah,snip,snip
your hatred for democracy, hitler and stalin had the same views as you do.


German Socialists in Dortmund, Germany presenting a monument memorializing Hitler's Socialism:

2015-01-15 11:32:36 UTC
"nickname unavailable" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message news:3cc63bc4-fc45-448c-8290-***@googlegroups.com...

Post by nickname unavailable
German Socialists in Dortmund, Germany presenting a monument memorializing
I'll bet you think China is a "People's Republic" too.

What a clown.
nickname unavailable
2015-01-15 17:16:34 UTC
Post by Clave
Post by nickname unavailable
German Socialists in Dortmund, Germany presenting a monument memorializing
I'll bet you think China is a "People's Republic" too.
What a clown.
the white supremacist has nothing in his defense of red state polices, so he is trying the age old distraction, get off the subject, so he opens that front with a lie.
he is a habitual and pathological liar, i doubt he can tell right from wrong, truth from lie.
2015-01-15 22:35:31 UTC
THE ENEMIES of White people around the world have a pathological
love affair with the term 'White supremacist' whenever they report
on or describe White people who act in a collective manner, no
matter how benign, on behalf of their own group interests..
However, the same people who decry 'White supremacism' seem to have a
difficult time describing the actions of non-Whites acting on behalf
of their group interests, often violently, as supremacists of any
And never mind the fact that most so-called White supremacists
simply work to promote separate living space and political
independence from Jewish or other non-White influence.
All right then, I have a question for you about this 'White
supremacism': where is it? Where is this so-called White
supremacism? Have you seen it?

Far too many White people in America and around the world are
race-mixing and aborting themselves out of existence. Our
politicians are allowing record Third World immigration into our
White ancestral homelands. Our White corporate 'free traders' and
White globalists continue to impoverish us as they send our jobs
overseas, and our White politicians send our White soldiers to die
in a senseless war in Iraq for Israel, soldiers who will never sire
another generation of their own kind.

Does that sound like 'White supremacism'?
We continue to allow the media masters to produce their filth,
surpassing each other in obscenity as they abuse our people in print
and on screen. Does that sound like White supremacy?
Ubiquitous misinformation in the media and in the schools has made
too many of us ashamed of our nature and our traditions; our
accomplishments, we are told, belong to the entire world. Even most
Whites-who know they're being lied to-are still too scared to
organize for our common good, because Jewish supremacists such as
the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, their
allies in the media, and their lapdog politicians attack any who
try to stand up to them; even as Jews and other non-Whites are
encouraged, even paid, to organize.

How "supreme" is that, my friends?
If you recall, the recent demonstrations of Mestizo invaders across
America bore a simple message: 'We claim your land! We claim your
jobs! We want your women! We demand your future! If you don't hand
us America, then you are racist pigs!'
Where was the massive so-called White supremacist backlash to these
invaders? Where was the White resistance to this clear and present
danger to our posterity? With the exception of the street activism
of National Vanguard members and supporters and a few other stalwart
patriots, I didn't see it. Did you?

So, where were all the White people during these Mestizo
demonstrations? Well, my guess is they were figuring out how they're
going to pay their next tax bill; working longer hours for less and
less inflation-reduced take-home pay; shopping at yet another new
Wal-Mart for the only kind of goods many can afford, Chinese junk;
watching ball games; attending yet another anti-White motion
picture, and so on. Some are blind, happily embracing their lives as
the new peons in a multiracial America, while others know something
is wrong, but haven't yet figured it out. Some know exactly what is
happening, but are afraid to say anything, falsely believing they
are all alone in their beliefs.
Fear is the dominant note in this funeral march.

Everywhere our borders have been opened and the
new elite teaches our children that intermarriage is good and
desirable. Everywhere the new elite teaches our children that to
defend our genetic heritage is the very definition of evil. The end
result, if trends continue, will be genocide.

There is no fortress against this persistent onslaught. There are no
mighty gates on the horizon swinging open to offer us sanctuary. The
Other is in every city, every county, every town, every hamlet now.
The Opponent continues to work overtime to convince us all that
White racial consciousness is "evil," because they know that we are
the only real obstacle to their malevolent plans for a global
plantation. They are the real supremacists. Not us.

History has set a task for us. It is to dispel the fog of fear that
immobilizes the sleeping White giant of our people. It is to change
the now-dominant note of fear to one of determination. It is to turn
that funeral march into a march of triumph.
National Vanguard. Our time has come and our time is now.

I'm Frank Roman. Thank you for listening and I shall speak with you

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

2015-01-15 22:34:54 UTC
On Thu, 15 Jan 2015 03:32:36 -0800, "Clave"
Post by Clave
Post by nickname unavailable
German Socialists in Dortmund, Germany presenting a monument memorializing
I'll bet you think China is a "People's Republic" too.
What a clown.
Here is part of an essay by Dr. Robert Ley:

"Who concerned himself with creating good workplaces before? Today the
"Beauty in Labor Office" sees to it that productive people work in
worthy surroundings, not in dirty workplaces. The "Kraft durch Freude"
organization provides German workers with vacations and relaxation.
They travel to the mountains and the beach, and have the chance, often
for the first time, to explore their beautiful fatherland. They travel
in their own ships to the magical southern seas and countries, or to
the splendid beauty of the north. Each German citizen today enjoys the
wonderful achievements of German theater and German music, the best
German orchestras, the best German operas, theaters and films.
Citizens listen to the radio, and play any kind of sport they wish.

There new activities result not in dissipation, distraction and
carnal pleasure, rather in genuine pleasure in physical activity,
nature and culture. He who works hard should be able to enjoy life too
so that he better appreciates his people. The specter of unemployment
no longer haunts the nation. Millions have already found work again,
and those who still have not are cared for by the entire nation. Labor
representatives see to it that the rights of workers and their honor
are not violated, and the factory manager is as responsible for his
employees and they are responsible with him for the success of the
plant in which they together work...

Everyone knows that there is only one man to thank, Adolf Hitler, the
creator of National Socialism, who put the common good above the
individual good, who replaced class struggle of "above and below" and
"right and left" with a new message of the honor of labor and of
service to the people. The National Socialist Labor Service will see
to it that this teaching that makes the German worker the bearer of
the state never vanishes. It is seeing to it that every German
citizen, whatever his occupation may be, first works with his hands
for the good of the nation."

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

2015-01-15 14:43:04 UTC
Post by nickname unavailable
nice try... blah,blah,snip,snip
your hatred for democracy, hitler and stalin had the same views as you do.
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic
system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair
salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to
wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we
are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."
--Adolf Hitler-- (Speech of May 1, 1927
Bret Cahill
2015-01-16 12:37:10 UTC
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by nickname unavailable
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic
system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair
salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to
wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we
are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."
--Adolf Hitler-- (Speech of May 1, 1927
Only liartarians, Nazis and other fascists think Nazis told the truth about anything.
nickname unavailable
2015-01-16 22:50:10 UTC
Post by Bret Cahill
Post by BeamMeUpScotty
Post by nickname unavailable
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic
system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair
salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to
wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we
are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions."
--Adolf Hitler-- (Speech of May 1, 1927
Only liartarians, Nazis and other fascists think Nazis told the truth about anything.
yep, lying is all they have.
2015-01-16 23:49:13 UTC
It's easy to prove that the media is a pack of liars. If they
were not liars they would tell people that Hitler believed that the
Jews controlled the media. Why don't they? Here are some quotes from
Mein Kampf:

"The man who is not opposed and vilified and slandered in the Jewish
Press is not a staunch German and not a true National Socialist. The
best rule whereby the sincerity of his convictions, his character and
strength of will, can be measured is by the hostility which his name
arouses among the mortal enemies of our people.

"The followers of the movement, and indeed the whole nation, must be
reminded again and again of the fact that, through the medium of his
newspapers, the Jew is always spreading falsehood and that if he tells
the truth on some occasions it is only for the purpose of masking some
greater deceit, which turns the apparent truth into a deliberate
falsehood. The Jew is the Great Master of Lies. Falsehood and
duplicity are the weapons with which he fights.

"Every calumny and falsehood published by the Jews are tokens of honor
which can be worn by our comrades. He whom they decry most is nearest
to our hearts and he whom they mortally hate is our best friend.

"If a comrade of ours opens a Jewish newspaper in the morning and does
not find himself vilified there, then he has spent yesterday to no
account. For if he had achieved something he would be persecuted,
slandered, derided and abused. Those who effectively combat this
mortal enemy of our people, who is at the same time the enemy of all
Aryan peoples and all culture, can only expect to arouse opposition on
the part of this race and become the object of its slanderous attacks.

"When these truths become part of the flesh and blood, as it were, of
our members, then the movement will be impregnable and invincible."

" Then I began to examine my favorite 'World Press', with that fact
before my mind. "The deeper my soundings went the lesser grew my
respect for that Press which I formerly admired. Its style became
still more repellant and I was forced to reject its ideas as entirely
shallow and superficial. To claim that in the presentation of facts
and views its attitude was impartial seemed to me to contain more
falsehood than truth. The writers were- Jews.

"Thousands of details that I had scarcely noticed before seemed to me
now to deserve attention. I began to grasp and understand things which
I had formerly looked at in a different light."

"Thus another weapon beside that of freemasonry would have to be
secured. This was the Press. The Jew exercised all his skill and
tenacity in getting hold of it. By means of the Press he began
gradually to control public life in its entirety."

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk


2015-01-16 23:48:26 UTC
On Fri, 16 Jan 2015 04:37:10 -0800 (PST), Bret Cahill
Post by Bret Cahill
Only liartarians, Nazis and other fascists think Nazis told the truth about anything.
Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf that the Jews tell big lies. The
Jewish media took his words out of context and claimed that Hitler was
in favor of big lies. This was in itself a big lie and proof that
Hitler was right. Here is what Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf and in

"But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity
for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute
responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had
shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the
catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that
hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for
the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took
away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous
enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the
Fatherland to justice. All this was inspired by the principle--which
is quite true in itself--that in the big lie there is always a certain
force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always
more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature
than consciously or voluntarily, and thus in the primitive simplicity
of their minds they are more readily fall victims to the big lie than
the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little
matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It
would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and
they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort
truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so
may be brought clearly to their minds, they still doubt and waver and
will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For
the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it
has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in
this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These
people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest
"From time immemorial, however, the Jews have known better than
any others how falsehood and calumny can be exploited. Is not their
very existence founded on one great lie, namely, that they are a
religious community, whereas in reality they are a race? And what a
race! One of the greatest thinkers that mankind has produced has
branded the Jews for all time with a statement which is profoundly and
exactly true. He (Schopenhauer) called the Jew 'The Great Master of
Lies'. Those who do not realize the truth of that statement, or do not
wish to believe it, will never be able to lend a hand in helping Truth
to prevail."

http://www.ihr.org http://nationalvanguard.org http://www.bpp.org.uk

nickname unavailable
2015-01-15 17:10:50 UTC
Post by nickname unavailable
nice try... blah,blah,snip,snip
your hatred for democracy, hitler and stalin had the same views as you do.
try as you might, no credible historian will ever say hitler was a lefty, in fact, they will say he was a "CONSERVATIVE":)

Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush. Prescott Bush was allegedly also an eager supporter of Hitler, funnelled money to him via Thyssen, and in return made considerable profits by doing business with Nazi Germany; with the profits he launched his son, the later president, in the oil business.
Hitler served the interests of his “enablers.” His first major initiative was to dissolve the labour unions and to throw the Communists, and many militant Socialists, into prisons and the first concentration camps, which were specifically set up to accommodate the overabundance of left-wing political prisoners.

R. Pauwels
Global Research, January 27, 2007
Url of this article:
Editorial Note

This article was first published by Global Research on 8 June 2004.
While America is at war in the Middle East, this incisive and carefully researched article by Jacques Pauwels provides with a historical understanding of the relationship between war and profit.

In the United States, World War II is generally known as “the good war.”
In contrast to some of America’s admittedly bad wars, such as the near-genocidal Indian Wars and the vicious conflict in Vietnam, World War II is widely celebrated as a “crusade” in which the US fought unreservedly on the side of democracy, freedom, and justice against dictatorship.
No wonder President George W. Bush likes to compare his ongoing “war against terrorism” with World War II, suggesting that America is once again involved on the right side in an apocalyptic conflict between good and evil. Wars, however, are never quite as black-and-white as Mr. Bush would have us believe, and this also applies to World War II. America certainly deserves credit for its important contribution to the hard-fought victory that was ultimately achieved by the Allies. But the role of corporate America in the war is hardly synthesized by President Roosevelt’s claim that the US was the “arsenal of democracy.” When Americans landed in Normandy in June 1944 and captured their first German trucks, they discovered that these vehicles were powered by engines produced by American firms such as Ford and General Motors. 1 Corporate America, it turned out, had also been serving as the arsenal of Nazism.
Fans of the Führer
Mussolini enjoyed a great deal of admiration in corporate America from the moment he came to power in a coup that was hailed stateside as “a fine young revolution.” 2 Hitler, on the other hand, sent mixed signals. Like their German counterparts, American businessmen long worried about the intentions and the methods of this plebeian upstart, whose ideology was called National Socialism, whose party identified itself as a workers’ party, and who spoke ominously of bringing about revolutionary change. 3 Some high-profile leaders of corporate America, however, such as Henry Ford liked and admired the Führer at an early stage. 4
Other precocious Hitler-admirers were press lord Randolph Hearst and Irénée Du Pont, head of the Du Pont trust, who according to Charles Higham, had already “keenly followed the career of the future Führer in the 1920s” and supported him financially. 5
Eventually, most American captains of industry learned to love the Führer. It is often hinted that fascination with Hitler was a matter of personalities, a matter of psychology. Authoritarian personalities supposedly could not help but like and admire a man who preached the virtues of the “leadership principle” and practised what he preached first in his party and then in Germany as a whole.
Although he cites other factors as well, it is essentially in such terms that Edwin Black, author of the otherwise excellent book IBM and the Holocaust, explains the case of IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson, who met Hitler on a number of occasions in the 1930s and became fascinated with Germany’s authoritarian new ruler. But it is in the realm of political economy, not psychology, that one can most profitably understand why corporate America embraced Hitler.
In the 1920s many big American corporations enjoyed sizeable investments in Germany. IBM established a German subsidiary, Dehomag, before World War I; in the 1920s General Motors took over Germany’s largest car manufacturer, Adam Opel AG; and Ford founded a branch plant, later known as the Ford-Werke, in Cologne. Other US firms contracted strategic partnerships with German companies. Standard Oil of New Jersey — today’s Exxon — developed intimate links with the German trust IG Farben. By the early 1930s, an élite of about twenty of the largest American corporations had a German connection including Du Pont, Union Carbide, Westinghouse, General Electric, Gilette, Goodrich, Singer, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola, IBM, and ITT. Finally, many American law firms, investment companies, and banks were deeply involved in America’s investment offensive in Germany, among them the renowned Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, and the banks J. P. Morgan and Dillon, Read and Company, as well as the Union Bank of New York, owned by Brown Brothers & Harriman.
The Union Bank was intimately linked with the financial and industrial empire of German steel magnate Thyssen, whose financial support enabled Hitler to come to power. This bank was managed by Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush. Prescott Bush was allegedly also an eager supporter of Hitler, funnelled money to him via Thyssen, and in return made considerable profits by doing business with Nazi Germany; with the profits he launched his son, the later president, in the oil business. 6 American overseas ventures fared poorly in the early 1930s, as the Great Depression hit Germany particularly hard. Production and profits dropped precipitously, the political situation was extremely unstable, there were constant strikes and street battles between Nazis and Communists, and many feared that the country was ripe for a “red” revolution like the one that had brought the Bolsheviks to power in Russia in 1917.
However, backed by the power and money of German industrialists and bankers such as Thyssen, Krupp, and Schacht, Hitler came to power in January 1933, and not only the political but also the socio-economic situation changed drastically.
Soon the German subsidiaries of American corporations were profitable again. Why? After Hitler came to power American business leaders with assets in Germany found to their immense satisfaction that his so-called revolution respected the socio-economic status quo.
The Führer’s Teutonic brand of fascism, like every other variety of fascism, was reactionary in nature, and extremely useful for capitalists’ purposes. Brought to power by Germany’s leading businessmen and bankers, Hitler served the interests of his “enablers.” His first major initiative was to dissolve the labour unions and to throw the Communists, and many militant Socialists, into prisons and the first concentration camps, which were specifically set up to accommodate the overabundance of left-wing political prisoners.
This ruthless measure not only removed the threat of revolutionary change — embodied by Germany’s Communists — but also emasculated the German working class and transformed it into a powerless “mass of followers” (Gefolgschaft), to use Nazi terminology, which was unconditionally put at the disposal of their employers, the Thyssens and Krupps. Most, if not all firms in Germany, including American branch plants, eagerly took advantage of this situation and cut labour costs drastically. The Ford-Werke, for example, reduced labour costs from fifteen per cent of business volume in 1933 to only eleven per cent in 1938. (Research Findings, 135–6)
Coca-Cola’s bottling plant in Essen increased its profitability considerably because, in Hitler’s state, workers “were little more than serfs forbidden not only to strike, but to change jobs,” driven “to work harder [and] faster” while their wages “were deliberately set quite low.” 7
In Nazi Germany, real wages indeed declined rapidly, while profits increased correspondingly, but there were no labour problems worth mentioning, for any attempt to organize a strike immediately triggered an armed response by the Gestapo, resulting in arrests and dismissals. This was the case in GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim in June 1936. (Billstein et al., 25) As the Thuringian teacher and anti-fascist resistance member Otto Jenssen wrote after the war, Germany’s corporate leaders were happy “that fear for the concentration camp made the German workers as meek as lapdogs.” 8 The owners and managers of American corporations with investments in Germany were no less enchanted, and if they openly expressed their admiration or Hitler — as did the chairman of General Motors, William Knudsen, and ITT-boss Sosthenes Behn — it was undoubtedly because he had resolved Germany’s social problems in a manner that benefited their interests. 9
Depression? What Depression?
Hitler endeared himself to corporate America for another very important reason: he conjured up a solution to the huge problem of the Great Depression. His remedy proved to be a sort of Keynesian stratagem, whereby state orders stimulated demand, got production going again, and made it possible for firms in Germany — including foreign-owned firms — to increase production levels dramatically and to achieve an unprecedented level of profitability.
What the Nazi state ordered from German industry, however, was war equipment, and it was soon clear that Hitler’s rearmament policy would lead inexorably to war, because only the spoils resulting from a victorious war would enable the regime to pay the huge bills presented by the suppliers.
The Nazi rearmament program revealed itself as a wonderful window of opportunity for the subsidiaries of US corporations. Ford claims that its Ford-Werke was discriminated against by the Nazi regime because of its foreign ownership, but acknowledges that in the second half of the 1930s its Cologne subsidiary was “formally certified [by the Nazi authorities] … as being of German origin” and therefore “eligible to receive government contracts.” (Research Findings, 21) Ford took advantage of this opportunity, though the government orders were almost exclusively for military equipment. Ford’s German branch plant had posted heavy losses in the early 1930s, however, with lucrative government contracts thanks to Hitler’s rearmament drive, the Ford-Werke’s annual profits rose spectacularly from 63,000 Reichsmarks in 1935 to 1,287,800 RM in 1939.
GM’s Opel factory in Rüsselsheim near Mainz fared even better. Its share of the German automobile market grew from 35 per cent in 1933 to more than 50 per cent in 1935, and the GM subsidiary, which had lost money in the early 1930s, became extremely profitable thanks to the economic boom caused by Hitler’s rearmament program. Earnings of 35 million RM — almost 14 million dollars (US) — were recorded in 1938. (Research Findings, 135–6; and Billstein et al., 24) 10 In 1939, on the eve of the war, the chairman of GM, Alfred P. Sloan, publicly justified doing business in Hitler’s Germany by pointing to the highly profitable nature of GM’s operations under the Third Reich. 11
Yet another American corporation that enjoyed a bonanza in Hitler’s Third Reich was IBM. Its German subsidiary, Dehomag, provided the Nazis with the punch-card machine — forerunner of the computer — required to automate production in the country, and in doing so IBM-Germany made plenty of money. In 1933, the year Hitler came to power, Dehomag made a profit of one million dollars, and during the early Hitler years the German branch plant paid IBM in the US some 4.5 million dollars in dividends. By 1938, still in full Depression, “annual earnings were about 2.3 million RM, a 16 per cent return on net assets,” writes Edwin Black. In 1939 Dehomag’s profits increased spectacularly again to about four million RM. (Black, 76–7, 86–7, 98, 119, 120–1, 164, 198, and 222)
American firms with branch plants in Germany were not the only ones to earn windfalls from Hitler’s rearmament drive. Germany was stockpiling oil in preparation for war, and much of this oil was supplied by American corporations. Texaco profited greatly from sales to Nazi Germany, and not surprisingly its chairman, Torkild Rieber, became yet another powerful American entrepreneur who admired Hitler. A member of the German secret service reported that he was “absolutely pro-German” and “a sincere admirer of the Führer.” Rieber also became a personal friend of Göring, Hitler’s economic czar. 12
As for Ford, that corporation not only produced for the Nazis in Germany itself, but also exported partially assembled trucks directly from the US to Germany. These vehicles were assembled in the Ford-Werke in Cologne and were ready just in time to be used in the spring of 1939, in Hitler’s occupation of the part of Czechoslovakia that had not been ceded to him in the infamous Munich Agreement of the previous year. In addition, in the late 1930s, Ford shipped strategic raw materials to Germany, sometimes via subsidiaries in third countries; in early 1937 alone, these shipments included almost 2 million pounds of rubber and 130,000 pounds of copper. (Research Findings, 24, and 28)
American corporations made a lot of money in Hitler’s Germany; this, and not the Führer’s alleged charisma, is the reason why the owners and managers of these corporations adored him. Conversely, Hitler and his cronies were most pleased with the performance of American capital in the Nazi state. Indeed, the American subsidiaries’ production of war equipment met and even surpassed the expectations of the Nazi leadership.
Berlin promptly paid the bills and Hitler personally showed his appreciation by awarding prestigious decorations to the likes of Henry Ford, IBM’s Thomas Watson, and GM’s export director, James D. Mooney. The stock of American investments in Germany increased considerably after Hitler came to power in 1933. The major reason for this was that the Nazi regime did not allow profits made by foreign firms to be repatriated, at least not in theory. In reality, corporate headquarters could circumvent this embargo by means of stratagems such as billing the German subsidiary for “royalties” and all sorts of “fees.” Still, the restriction meant that profits were largely reinvested within the land of opportunity that Germany revealed itself to be at the time, for example in the modernization of existing facilities, in the construction or acquisition of new factories, and in the purchase of Reich bonds and real estate. IBM thus reinvested its considerable earnings in a new factory in Berlin-Lichterfelde, in an expansion of its facilities at Sindelfingen near Stuttgart, in numerous branch offices throughout the Reich, and in the purchase of rental properties in Berlin and other real estate and tangible assets. (Black, 60, 99, 116, and 122–3)
Under these circumstances, the value of IBM’s German venture increased considerably, by late 1938 the net worth of Dehomag had doubled from 7.7 million RM in 1934 to over 14 million RM. (Black, 76–7, 86–7, 98, 119–21, 164, 198, and 222) The value of the total assets of the Ford-Werke likewise mushroomed in the 1930s, from 25.8 million RM in 1933 to 60.4 million RM in 1939. (Research Findings, 133) American investment in Germany thus continued to expand under Hitler, and amounted to about 475 million dollars by the time of Pearl Harbor. (Research Findings, 6) 13
Better Hitler than “Rosenfeld”
Throughout the “dirty thirties,” corporate profits in the US remained depressed, at home firms like GM and Ford could only dream of the kind of riches their branch plants in Germany were accumulating thanks to Hitler. In addition, at home corporate America experienced problems with labour activists, Communists, and other radicals. What about the vicious trademarks of the Führer’s personality and regime?
Did they not disturb the leaders of corporate America? Apparently not much, if at all. The racial hatred propagated by Hitler, for example, did not overly offend their sensibilities. After all, racism against non-Whites remained systemic throughout the US and anti-Semitism was rife in the corporate class. In the exclusive clubs and fine hotels patronized by the captains of industry, Jews were rarely admitted; and some leaders of corporate America were outspoken anti-Semites. 14
In the early 1920s, Henry Ford cranked out a vehemently anti-Semitic book, The International Jew, which was translated into many languages; Hitler read the German version and acknowledged later that it provided him with inspiration and encouragement. Another notoriously anti-Semitic American tycoon was Irénée Du Pont, even though the Du Pont family had Jewish antecedents. 15 Corporate America’s anti-Semitism strongly resembled that of Hitler, whose view of Judaism was intimately interwoven with his view of Marxism, as Arno J. Mayer has convincingly argued in his book Why Did the Heavens not Darken? 16
Hitler claimed to be a socialist, but his was supposed to be a “national” socialism, a socialism for racially pure Germans only. As for genuine socialism, which preached international working-class solidarity and found its inspiration in the work of Karl Marx, it was despised by Hitler as a Jewish ideology that purported to enslave or even destroy Germans and other “Aryans.” Hitler loathed as “Jewish” all forms of Marxism, but none more so than communism (or “Bolshevism”) and he denounced the Soviet Union as the homeland of “Jewish” international socialism.
In the 1930s, the anti-Semitism of corporate America likewise revealed itself to be the other side of the coin of anti-socialism, anti-Marxism, and red-baiting. Most American businessmen denounced Roosevelt’s New Deal as a “socialistic” meddling in the economy. The anti-Semites of corporate America considered Roosevelt to be a crypto-Communist and an agent of Jewish interests, if not a Jew himself; he was routinely referred to as “Rosenfeld,” and his New Deal was vilified as the “Jew Deal.” 17 
In  his book The Flivver King, Upton Sinclair described the notoriously anti-Semitic Henry Ford dreaming of an American fascist movement that “pledged to put down the Reds and preserve the property interests of the country; to oust the Bolshevik [Roosevelt] from the White House and all his pink professors from the government services … [and] to make it a shooting offense to talk communism or to call a strike.” 18 Other American tycoons also yearned for a fascist saviour who might rid America of its “reds” and thus restore prosperity and profitability. Du Pont provided generous financial support to America’s own fascist organizations, such as the infamous “Black Legion,” and was even involved in plans for a fascist coup d’état in Washington. (Hofer and Reginbogin, 585–6) 19
Why Worry about the Coming War?
It was quite obvious that Hitler, who was rearming Germany to the teeth, was going to unleash a major war sooner or later. Whatever misgivings America’s captains of industry may initially have had in this respect soon dissipated, because the cognoscenti of international diplomacy and business in the 1930s widely expected that Hitler would spare western countries, instead attacking and destroying the Soviet Union as promised in Mein Kampf. To encourage and assist him in the task that he considered his great mission in life, 20 was the hidden objective of the infamous appeasement policy pursued by London and Paris, and tacitly approved by Washington. 21
Corporate leaders in all western countries, including most emphatically the US, loathed the Soviet Union because that state was the cradle of the communist “counter system” to the international capitalist order of things, and a source of inspiration to America’s own “reds.” Furthermore, they found particularly offensive that the homeland of communism did not fall prey to the Great Depression, but experienced an industrial revolution that has been favourably compared by American historian, John H. Backer with the widely celebrated “economic miracle” of West Germany after World War II. 22
The appeasement policy was a devious scheme, whose real objective had to be concealed from the British and French publics. It backfired spectacularly because its contortions eventually made Hitler suspicious about the real intentions of London and Paris, which caused him to make a deal with Stalin, and thus led to Germany’s war against France and Great Britain rather than the Soviet Union.
Nevertheless, the dream of a German crusade against the communist Soviet Union on behalf of the capitalist West refused to die. London and Paris merely launched a “Phoney War” against Germany, hoping that Hitler would eventually turn against the Soviet Union after all. This was also the idea behind quasi-official missions to London and Berlin, undertaken by GM’s James D. Mooney, who tried very hard — as did the US ambassador in London, Joseph Kennedy, father of John F. Kennedy — to persuade German and British leaders to resolve their inconvenient conflict, so that Hitler could devote his undivided attention to his great eastern project. In a meeting with Hitler in March 1940, Mooney made a plea for peace in western Europe, suggesting “that Americans had understanding for Germany’s standpoint with respect to the question of living space” — in other words, that they had nothing against his territorial claims in the East. (Billstein et al., 37–44) 23
These American initiatives, however, did not produce the hoped-for results. The owners and managers of American corporations with subsidiaries in Germany undoubtedly regretted that the war Hitler had unleashed in 1939 was a war against the West, but in the final analysis it did not matter all that much. What did matter was this: helping Hitler to prepare for war had been good business and the war itself opened up even more extravagant prospects for doing business and making profits.
Putting the Blitz in the Blitzkrieg
Germany’s military successes of 1939 and 1940 were based on a new and extremely mobile form of warfare, the Blitzkrieg, consisting of extremely swift and highly synchronized attacks by air and land.
To wage “lightning war,” Hitler needed engines, tanks, trucks, planes, motor oil, gasoline, rubber, and sophisticated communication systems to insure that the Stukas struck in tandem with the Panzers. Much of that equipment was supplied by American firms, mainly German subsidiaries of big American corporations, but some was exported from the US, albeit usually via third countries. Without this kind of American support, the Führer could only have dreamed of “lightning wars,” followed by “lightning victories,” in 1939 and 1940.
Many of Hitler’s wheels and wings were produced in the German subsidiaries of GM and Ford. By the end of the 1930s these enterprises had phased out civilian production to focus exclusively on the development of military hardware for the German army and air force.
This switch, requested — if not ordered — by the Nazi authorities, had not only been approved, but even actively encouraged by the corporate headquarters in the US. The Ford-Werke in Cologne proceeded to build not only countless trucks and personnel carriers, but also engines and spare parts for the Wehrmacht. GM’s new Opel factory in Brandenburg cranked out “Blitz” trucks for the Wehrmacht, while the main factory in Rüsselsheim produced primarily for the Luftwaffe, assembling planes such as the JU-88, the workhorse of Germany’s fleet of bombers. At one point, GM and Ford together reportedly accounted for no less than half of Germany’s entire production of tanks. (Billstein et al., 25,) 24
Meanwhile ITT had acquired a quarter of the shares of airplane manufacturer Focke-Wulf, and so helped to construct fighter planes. 25 Perhaps the Germans could have assembled vehicles and airplanes without American assistance. But Germany desperately lacked strategic raw materials, such as rubber and oil, which were needed to fight a war predicated on mobility and speed. American corporations came to the rescue.
As mentioned earlier, Texaco helped the Nazis stockpile fuel. In addition, as the war in Europe got underway, large quantities of diesel fuel, lubricating oil, and other petroleum products were shipped to Germany not only by Texaco but also by Standard Oil, mostly via Spanish ports. (The German Navy, incidentally, was provided with fuel by the Texas oilman William Rhodes Davis.) 26 In the 1930s Standard Oil had helped IG Farben develop synthetic fuel as an alternative to regular oil, of which Germany had to import every single drop. (Hofer and Reginbogin, 588–9)
Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect and wartime armament minister, stated after the war that without certain kinds of synthetic fuel made available by American firms, Hitler “would never have considered invading Poland.” 27 As for the Focke-Wulfs and other fast German fighter planes, they could not have achieved their deadly speed without a component in their fuel known as synthetic tetraethyl; the Germans themselves later admitted that without tetraethyl the entire Blitzkrieg concept of warfare would have been unthinkable.
This magic ingredient was produced by an enterprise named Ethyl GmbH, a daughter firm of a trio formed by Standard Oil, Standard’s German partner IG Farben, and GM. (Hofer and Reginbogin, 589) 28 Blitzkrieg warfare involved perfectly synchronized attacks by land and by air, and this required highly sophisticated communications equipment. ITT’s German subsidiary supplied most of that apparatus, while other state-of-the-art technology useful for Blitzkrieg purposes came compliments of IBM, via its German branch plant, Dehomag. According to Edwin Black, IBM’s know-how enabled the Nazi war machine to “achieve scale, velocity, efficiency”; IBM, he concludes, “put the ‘blitz’ in the krieg for Nazi Germany.” (Black, 208) From the perspective of corporate America it was no catastrophe that Germany had established its mastery over the European continent by the summer of 1940.
Some German subsidiaries of American corporations — for example the Ford-Werke and Coca-Cola’s bottling plant in Essen — were expanding into the occupied countries, riding the coat-tails of the victorious Wehrmacht. IBM’s president, Thomas Watson, was confident that his German branch plant would gain advantage from Hitler’s triumphs. Black writes: “Like many [other US businessmen], Watson expected” that Germany would remain master of Europe, and that IBM would benefit from this by “[ruling] the data domain,” that is, by providing Germany with the technological tools for total control. (Black, 212)
On 26 June 1940 a German commercial delegate organized a dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York to cheer the victories of the Wehrmacht in western Europe. Many leading industrialists attended, including James D. Mooney, the executive in charge of GM’s German operations. Five days later, the German victories were again celebrated in New York, this time at a party hosted by the philo-fascist Rieber, boss of Texaco. Among the leaders of corporate America present were James D. Mooney and Henry Ford’s son, Edsel. 29
What a Wonderful War!
Nineteenfourty proved an exceptionally good year for corporate America. Not only did the subsidiaries in Germany share in the spoils of Hitler’s triumphs, but the European conflict was generating other wonderful opportunities. America herself was now preparing for a possible war, and from Washington orders for trucks, tanks, planes, and ships started rolling in. Moreover, initially on a strict “cash-and-carry” basis and then through “Lend-Lease,” President Roosevelt allowed American industry to supply Great Britain with military hardware and other equipment, thus enabling brave little Albion to continue the war against Hitler indefinitely.
By the end of 1940, all belligerent countries as well as armed neutrals like the US itself were being girded with weaponry cranked out by corporate America’s factories, whether stateside, in Great Britain (where Ford et al., also had branch plants), or in Germany. It was a wonderful war indeed, and the longer it lasted, the better — from a corporate point of view.
Corporate America neither wanted Hitler to lose this war nor to win it; instead they wanted this war to go on as long as possible. Henry Ford had initially refused to produce weapons for Great Britain, but now he changed his tune. According to his biographer, David Lanier Lewis, he “expressed the hope that neither the Allies nor the Axis would win [the war],” and he suggested that the US should supply both the Allies and the Axis powers with “the tools to keep on fighting until they both collapse.” 30
On 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht rolled across the Soviet border, powered by Ford and GM engines and equipped with the tools produced in Germany by American capital and know-how.
While many leaders of corporate America hoped that the Nazis and the Soviets would remain locked for as long as possible in a war that would debilitate them both, 31 thus prolonging the European war that was proving to be so profitable, the experts in Washington and London predicted that the Soviets would be crushed, “like an egg” by the Wehrmacht. 32 The USSR, however, became the first country to fight the Blitzkrieg to a standstill.
And on 5 December 1941, the Red Army even launched a counter-offensive. 33 It was henceforth evident that the Germans would be preoccupied for quite some time on the Eastern Front, that this would also permit the British to continue to wage war, and that the profitable Lend-Lease business would therefore continue indefinitely. The situation became even more advantageous to corporate America when it appeared that business could henceforth also be done with the Soviets. Indeed, in November 1941, when it had already become clear that the Soviet Union was not about to collapse, Washington agreed to extend credit to Moscow, and concluded a Lend-Lease agreement with the USSR, thus providing the big American corporations with yet another market for their products.
American Aid to the Soviets…and to the Nazis
After the war, it would become customary in the West to claim that the unexpected Soviet success against Nazi Germany had been made possible because of massive American assistance, provided under the terms of a Lend-Lease agreement between Washington and Moscow, and that without this aid the Soviet Union would not have survived the Nazi attack. This claim is doubtful.
First, American material assistance did not become meaningful before 1942, that is, long after the Soviets had single-handedly put an end to the progress made by the Wehrmacht and had launched their first counteroffensive. Second, American aid never represented more than four to five per cent of total Soviet wartime production, although it must be admitted that even such a slim margin may possibly prove crucial in a crisis situation. Third, the Soviets themselves cranked out all of the light and heavy high-quality weapons — such as the T-34 tank, probably the best tank of World War II — that made their success against the Wehrmacht possible. 34 Finally, the much-publicized Lend-Lease aid to the USSR was to a large extent neutralized — and arguably dwarfed — by the unofficial, discreet, but very important assistance provided by American corporate sources to the German enemies of the Soviets. In 1940 and 1941 American oil trusts increased the lucrative oil exports to Germany; large amounts delivered to Nazi Germany via neutral states.
The American share of Germany’s imports of vitally important oil for engine lubrication (Motorenöl) increased rapidly, from 44 per cent in July 1941 to 94 per cent in September 1941. Without US-supplied fuel, the German attack on the Soviet Union would not have been possible, according to the German historian Tobias Jersak, an authority in the field of American “fuel for the Führer.” 35 Hitler was still ruminating the catastrophic news of the Soviet counter-offensive and the failure of the Blitzkrieg in the East, when he learned that the Japanese had launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. The US were now at war with Japan, but Washington made no move to declare war on Germany.
Hitler had no obligation to rush to the aid of his Japanese friends, but on 11 December 1941, he declared war on the US, probably expecting — vainly as it turned out — that Japan would reciprocate by declaring war on the Soviet Union. Hitler’s needless declaration of war, accompanied by a similarly frivolous Italian declaration of war, made the US an active participant in the war in Europe. How did this affect the German assets of the big American corporations? 36
Business as Usual
The German subsidiaries of American corporations were not ruthlessly confiscated by the Nazis and removed entirely from the control of stateside corporate headquarters until the defeat of Germany in 1945, as parent companies would claim after the war. Regarding the assets of Ford and GM, for example, the German expert Hans Helms states, “not even once during their terror regime did the Nazis undertake the slightest attempt to change the ownership status of Ford [i.e. the Ford-Werke] or Opel.” 37 Even after Pearl Harbor, Ford retained its 52 per cent of the shares of Ford-Werke in Cologne, and GM remained Opel’s sole proprietor. (Billstein et al., 74, and 141)
Moreover, the American owners and managers maintained a sometimes considerable measure of control over their branch plants in Germany after the German declaration of war on the US. There is evidence that the corporate headquarters in the US and the branch plants in Germany stayed in contact with each other, either indirectly, via subsidiaries in neutral Switzerland, or directly by means of modern worldwide systems of communications. The latter was supplied by ITT in collaboration with Transradio, a joint venture of ITT itself, RCA (another American corporation), and the German firms Siemens and Telefunken. 38
In its recent report on its activities in Nazi Germany, Ford claims that its corporate headquarters in Dearborn had no direct contact with the German subsidiary after Pearl Harbor. As for the possibility of communications via branch plants in neutral countries, the report states that “there is no indication of communication with each other through these subsidiaries.” (Research Findings, 88)
However, the lack of such “indication” may simply mean that any evidence of contacts may have been lost or destroyed before the authors of the report were allowed access to the relevant archives; after all, this archival access was only granted more than 50 years after the facts. Moreover, the report itself acknowledges somewhat contradictorily that an executive of the Ford-Werke did travel to Lisbon in 1943 for a visit to the Portuguese Ford subsidiary, and it is extremely unlikely that Dearborn would have been unaware of this. As for IBM, Edwin Black writes that during the war its general manager for Europe, Dutchman Jurriaan W. Schotte, was stationed in the corporate headquarters in New York, where he “continued to regularly maintain communication with IBM subsidiaries in Nazi territory, such as his native Holland and Belgium.” IBM could also “monitor events and exercise authority in Europe through neutral country subsidiaries,” and especially through its Swiss branch in Geneva, whose director, a Swiss national, “freely travelled to and from Germany, occupied territories, and neutral countries.”
Finally, like many other large US corporations, IBM could also rely on American diplomats stationed in occupied and neutral countries to forward messages via diplomatic pouches. (Black, 339, 376, and 392–5) The Nazis not only allowed the American owners to retain possession and a certain amount of administrative control over their German assets and subsidiaries, but their own intervention in the management of Opel and the Ford-Werke, for example, remained minimal.
After the German declaration of war against the US, the American staff members admittedly disappeared from the scene, but the existing German managers — confidants of the bosses in the US — generally retained their positions of authority and continued to run the businesses, thereby keeping in mind the interests of the corporate headquarters and the shareholders in America.
For Opel, GM’s headquarters in the US retained virtually total control over the managers in Rüsselsheim; so writes American historian Bradford Snell, who devoted attention to this theme in the 1970s, but whose findings were contested by GM. A recent study by German researcher Anita Kugler confirms Snell’s account while providing a more detailed and more nuanced picture. After the German declaration of war on the US, she writes the Nazis initially did not bother the management of Opel at all. Only on 25 November 1942 did Berlin appoint an “enemy assets’ custodian,” but the significance of this move turned out to be merely symbolic. The Nazis simply wanted to create a German image for an enterprise that was owned 100 per cent by GM throughout the war. (Billstein et al., 61)
In the Ford-Werke, Robert Schmidt, allegedly an ardent Nazi, served as general manager during the war, and his performance greatly satisfied both the authorities in Berlin and the Ford managers in America. Messages of approval and even congratulations — signed by Edsel Ford — were regularly forthcoming from Ford’s corporate headquarters in Dearborn. The Nazis too were delighted with Schmidt’s work; in due course they awarded him the title, “leader in the field of the military economy.” Even when, months after Pearl Harbor, a custodian was appointed to oversee the Ford plant in Cologne, Schmidt retained his prerogatives and his freedom of action. 39 IBM’s wartime experience with Axis custodians in Germany, France, Belgium, and other countries was likewise far from traumatic.
According to Black, “they zealously protected the assets, extended productivity, and increased profits”; moreover, “existing IBM managers were kept in place as day-to-day managers and, in some cases, even appointed deputy enemy custodians.” (Black, 376, 400–2, 405, and 415) The Nazis were far less interested in the nationality of the owners or the identity of the managers than in production, because after the failure of their Blitzkrieg strategy in the Soviet Union they experienced an ever-growing need for mass-produced airplanes and trucks.
Ever since Henry Ford had pioneered the use of the assembly line and other “Fordist” techniques, American firms had been the leaders in the field of industrial mass production, and the American branch plants in Germany, including GM’s Opel subsidiary, were no exception to this general rule. Nazi planners like Göring and Speer understood that radical changes in Opel’s management might hinder production in Brandenburg and Rüsselsheim. To maintain Opel’s output at high levels, the managers in charge were allowed to carry on because they were familiar with the particularly efficient American methods of production. Anita Kugler concludes that Opel, “made its entire production and research available to the Nazis and thus — objectively speaking — contributed to enhance their long-term capability to wage war.” (Billstein et al., 81) 40
Experts believe that GM’s and Ford’s best wartime technological innovations primarily benefitted their branch plants in Nazi Germany. As examples they cite all-wheel-drive Opel trucks, which proved eminently useful to the Germans in the mud of the Eastern Front and in the desert of North Africa, as well as the engines for the brand new ME-262, the first jet fighter, were also assembled by Opel in Rüsselsheim. 41 As for the Ford-Werke, in 1939 this firm also developed a state-of-the-art truck — the Maultier (“mule”) — that had wheels on the front and a track on the back end. The Ford-Werke also created a “cloak company,” Arendt GmbH, to produce war equipment other than vehicles, specifically machining parts for airplanes. But Ford claims that this was done without Dearborn’s knowledge or approval.
Towards the end of the war this factory was involved in the top-secret development of turbines for the infamous V-2 rockets that wreaked devastation on London and Antwerp. (Research Findings, 41–2) ITT continued to supply Germany with advanced communication systems after Pearl Harbor, to the detriment of the Americans themselves, whose diplomatic code was broken by the Nazis with the help of such equipment. 42 Until the very end of the war, ITT’s production facilities in Germany as well as in neutral countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain provided the German armed forces with state-of-the-art martial toys. Charles Higham offers specifics:
After Pearl Harbor the German army, navy, and air force contracted with ITT for the manufacture of switchboards, telephones, alarm gongs, buoys, air raid warning devices, radar equipment, and thirty thousand fuses per month for artillery shells … This was to increase to fifty thousand per month by 1944. In addition, ITT supplied ingredients for the rocket bombs that fell on London, selenium cells for dry rectifiers, high-frequency radio equipment, and fortification and field communication sets. Without this supply of crucial materials it would have been impossible for the German air force to kill American and British troops, for the German army to fight the Allies, for England to have been bombed, or for Allied ships to have been attacked at sea. 43
No surprise then that the German subsidiaries of American enterprises were regarded as “pioneers of technological development” by the planners in Germany’s Reich Economics Ministry and other Nazi authorities involved in the war effort. 44
Edwin Black also claims that IBM’s advanced punch card technology, precursor to the computer, enabled the Nazis to automate persecution. IBM allegedly put the fantastical numbers in the Holocaust, because it supplied the Hitler regime with the Hollerith calculating machines and other tools that were used to “generate lists of Jews and other victims, who were then targeted for deportation” and to “register inmates [of concentration camps] and track slave labor.” (Black, xx) However, critics of Black’s study maintain that the Nazis could and would have achieved their deadly efficiency without the benefit of IBM’s technology. In any event, the case of IBM provides yet another example of how US corporations supplied state-of-the-art technology to the Nazis and obviously did not care too much for what evil purposes this technology would be used.
Profits über Alles!
The owners and managers of the parent firms in the US cared little what products were developed and rolled off the German assembly lines. What counted for them and for the shareholders were only the profits. Branch plants of American corporations in Germany achieved considerable earnings during the war, and this money was not pocketed by the Nazis. For the Ford-Werke precise figures are available.
The profits of Dearborn’s German subsidiary rose from 1.2 million RM in 1939 to 1.7 million RM in 1940, 1.8 million RM in 1941, 2.0 million RM in 1942, and 2.1 million RM in 1943. (Research Findings, 136). 45 The Ford subsidiaries in occupied France, Holland, and Belgium, where the American corporate giant also made an industrial contribution to the Nazi war effort, were likewise extraordinarily successful. Ford-France, for example — not a flourishing firm before the war — became very profitable after 1940 thanks to its unconditional collaboration with the Germans; in 1941 it registered earnings of 58 million francs, an achievement for which it was warmly congratulated by Edsel Ford. (Billstein et al, 106; and Research Findings, 73–5) 46
As for Opel, that firm’s profits skyrocketed to the point where the Nazi Ministry of Economics banned their publication to avoid bad blood on the part of the German population, which was increasingly being asked to tighten its collective belt. (Billstein et al, 73) 47 IBM not only experienced soaring profits in its German branch plant, but, like Ford, also saw its profits in occupied France jump primarily because of business generated through eager collaboration with the German occupation authorities. It was soon necessary to build new factories. Above all, however, IBM prospered in Germany and in the occupied countries because it sold the Nazis the technological tools required for identifying, deporting, ghettoizing, enslaving, and ultimately exterminating millions of European Jews, in other words, for organizing the Holocaust. (Black, 212, 253, and 297–9)
It is far from clear what happened to the profits made in Germany during the war by American subsidiaries, but some tantalizing tidbits of information have nevertheless emerged. In the 1930s American corporations had developed various strategies to circumvent the Nazis’ embargo on profit repatriation. IBM’s head office in New York, for example, regularly billed Dehomag for royalties due to the parent firm, for repayment of contrived loans, and for other fees and expenses; this practice and other byzantine inter-company transactions minimized profits in Germany and thus simultaneously functioned as an effective tax-avoidance scheme. In addition, there were other ways of handling the embargo on profit repatriation, such as reinvestment within Germany, but after 1939 this option was no longer permitted, at least not in theory.
In practice, the American subsidiaries did manage to quite considerably increase their assets that way. Opel, for example, took over a foundry in Leipzig in 1942. 48 It also remained possible to use earnings in order to improve and modernize the branch plant’s own infrastructure, that too, happened in the case of Opel.
There also existed opportunities for expansion in the occupied countries of Europe. Ford’s subsidiary in France used its profits in 1941 to build a tank factory in Oran, Algeria; this plant allegedly provided Rommel’s Africa Corps with the hardware needed to advance all the way to El Alamein in Egypt. In 1943 the Ford-Werke also established a foundry not far from Cologne, just across the Belgian border near Liège, to produce spare parts. (Research Findings, 133) It is likely, furthermore, that a portion of the lucre amassed in the Third Reich was transferred back to the US in some way, for example, by way of neutral Switzerland. Many US corporations maintained offices there that served as intermediaries between stateside headquarters and their subsidiaries in enemy or occupied countries, and that were also involved in “profit funnelling,” as Edwin Black writes in connection with the Swiss branch of IBM. (Black, 73) 49
For the purpose of profit repatriation, corporations could also call on the experienced services of the Paris branches of some American banks, such as Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan, and of a number of Swiss banks. Chase Manhattan was part of the Rockefeller empire, as was Standard Oil, IG Farben’s American partner; its branch in German-occupied Paris remained open throughout the war and profited handsomely from close collaboration with the German authorities. On the Swiss side there also happened to be some financial institutions involved that — without asking difficult questions — took care of the gold robbed by the Nazis from their Jewish victims. An important role was played in this respect by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel, a presumably international bank that had been founded in 1930 within the framework of the Young Plan for the purpose of facilitating German reparation payments after World War I.
American and German bankers (such as Schacht) dominated the BIS from the start and collaborated cozily in this financial venture. During the war, a German and a member of the Nazi Party, Paul Hechler, functioned as director of the BIS, while an American, Thomas H. McKittrick, served as president. McKittrick was a good friend of the American ambassador in Berne and American secret service [OSS, forerunner of the CIA] agent in Switzerland, Allen Dulles. Before the war, Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster Dulles had been partners in the New York law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, and had specialized in the very profitable business of handling American investments in Germany. They had excellent connections with the owners and top managers of American corporations and with bankers, businessmen, and government officials — including Nazi bigwigs — in Germany. After the outbreak of war, John Foster became the corporate lawyer for the BIS in New York, while Allen joined the OSS and took up a post in Switzerland, where he happened to befriend McKittrick. It is widely known that during the war the BIS handled enormous amounts of money and gold originating in Nazi Germany. 50 Is it unreasonable to suspect that these transfers might have involved US-bound profits of American branch plants, in other words, money hoarded by clients and associates of the ubiquitous Dulles brothers?
Bring on the Slave Labour!
Before the war, German corporations had eagerly taken advantage of the big favour done for them by the Nazis, namely the elimination of the labour unions and the resulting transformation of the formerly militant German working class into a meek “mass of followers.” Not surprisingly, in Nazi Germany real wages declined rapidly while profits increased correspondingly. During the war prices continued to rise, while wages were gradually eroded and working hours were increased. 51 This was also the experience of the labour force of the American subsidiaries. In order to combat the labour shortages in the factories, the Nazis relied increasingly on foreign labourers who were put to work in Germany under frequently inhuman conditions.
Together with hundreds of thousands of Soviet and other POWs as well as inmates of concentration camps, these Fremdarbeiter (forced labourers) formed a gigantic pool of workers that could be exploited at will by whomever recruited them, in return for a modest remuneration paid to the SS. The SS, moreover, also maintained the required discipline and order with an iron hand. Wage costs thus sank to a level of which today’s downsizers can only dream, and the corporate profits augmented correspondingly.
The German branch plants of American corporations also made eager use of slave labour supplied by the Nazis, not only Fremdarbeiter, but also POWs and even concentration camp inmates. For example, the Yale & Towne Manufacturing Company based in Velbert in the Rhineland reportedly relied on “the aid of labourers from Eastern Europe” to make “considerable profits,” 52 and Coca-Cola is also noted to have benefitted from the use of foreign workers, as well as prisoners of war in its Fanta plants. 53 The most spectacular examples of the use of forced labour by American subsidiaries, however, appear to have been provided by Ford and GM, two cases that were recently the subject of a thorough investigation.
Of the Ford-Werke it is alleged that starting in 1942 this firm “zealously, aggressively, and successfully” pursued the use of foreign workers and POWs from the Soviet Union, France, Belgium, and other occupied countries — apparently with the knowledge of corporate headquarters in the US. 54 Karola Fings, a German researcher who has carefully studied the wartime activities of the Ford-Werke, writes:
[Ford] did wonderful business with the Nazis. Because the acceleration of production during the war opened up totally new opportunities to keep the level of wage costs low. A general freeze on wage increases was in effect in the Ford-Werke from 1941 on. However, the biggest profit margins could be achieved by means of the use of so-called Ostarbeiter [forced workers from Eastern Europe]. 55 The thousands of foreign forced labourers put to work in the Ford-Werke were forced to slave away every day except Sunday for twelve hours, and for this they received no wage whatsoever.
Presumably even worse was the treatment reserved for the relatively small number of inmates of the concentration camp of Buchenwald, who were made available to the Ford-Werke in the summer of 1944. (Research Findings, 45–72) In contrast to the Ford-Werke, Opel never used concentration camp inmates, at least not in the firm’s main plants in Rüsselsheim and Brandenburg. The German subsidiary of GM, however, did have an insatiable appetite for other types of forced labour, such as POWs. Typical of the use of slave labour in the Opel factories, particularly when it involved Russians, writes historian Anita Kugler, were “maximum exploitation, the worst possible treatment, and…capital punishment even in the case of minor offences.” The Gestapo was in charge of supervising the foreign labourers. 56
A Licence to Work for the Enemy
In the US, the parent corporations of German subsidiaries worked very hard to convince the American public of their patriotism, so that no ordinary American would have thought that GM, for example, which financed anti-German posters at home, was involved on the distant banks of the Rhine in activities that amounted to treason. 57
Washington was far better informed than John Doe, but the American government observed the unwritten rule stipulating that “what is good for General Motors is good for America,” and turned a blind eye to the fact that American corporations accumulated riches through their investments in, or trade with, a country with which the US was at war.
This had a lot to do with the fact that corporate America became even more influential in Washington during the war than it had been before; indeed, after Pearl Harbor representatives of “big business” flocked to the capital in order to take over many important government posts.
Supposedly they were motivated by sterling patriotism and offered their services for a pittance, and they became known as “dollar-a-year men.” Many, however, appeared to be there in order to protect their German assets. Former GM president William S. Knudsen, an outspoken admirer of Hitler since 1933 and friend of Göring, became director of the Office of Production Management. Another GM executive, Edward Stettinius Jr., became Secretary of State, and Charles E. Wilson, president of General Electric, became “the powerful number-two man at the War Production Board.” 58
Under these circumstances, is it any wonder that the American government preferred to look the other way while the country’s big corporations squirreled in the land of the German enemy? In fact, Washington virtually legitimated these activities. Barely one week after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on 13 December 1941, President Roosevelt himself discreetly issued an edict allowing American corporations to do business with enemy countries — or with neutral countries that were friendly with enemies — by means of a special authorization. 59
This order clearly contravened the supposedly strict laws against all forms of “trading with the enemy.” Presumably, Washington could not afford to offend the country’s big corporations, whose expertise was needed in order to bring the war to a successful end. As Charles Higham has written, Roosevelt’s administration “had to get into bed with the oil companies [and with the other big corporations] in order to win the war.” Consequently, government officials systematically turned a blind eye to the unpatriotic conduct of American investment capital abroad, but there were some exceptions to this general rule. “In order to satisfy public opinion,” writes Higham, token legal action was taken in 1942 against the best-known violator of the “trading with the enemy” legislation, Standard Oil. But Standard pointed out that it “was fueling a high percentage of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, [thus] making it possible for America to win the war.”
The Rockefeller enterprise eventually agreed to pay a minor fine “for having betrayed America” but was allowed to continue its profitable commerce with the enemies of the United States. 60 A tentative investigation into IBM’s arguably treasonous activities in the land of the Nazi enemy was similarly aborted because the US needed IBM technology as much as the Nazis did. Edwin Black writes: “IBM was in some ways bigger than the war.” Both sides could not afford to proceed without the company’s all-important technology. “Hitler needed IBM. So did the Allies.” (Black, 333, and 348) Uncle Sam briefly wagged a finger at Standard Oil and IBM, but most owners and managers of corporations who did business with Hitler were never bothered at all. The connections of ITT’s Sosthenes Behn with Nazi Germany, for example, were a public secret in Washington, but he never experienced any difficulties as a result of them. Meanwhile, it would appear that the headquarters of the Western Allies were keen to go as easy as possible on the American-owned enterprises in Germany. According to German expert Hans G. Helms, Bernard Baruch, a high-level advisor to President Roosevelt, had given the order not to bomb certain factories in Germany, or to bomb them only lightly; it is hardly surprising that the branch plants of American corporations fell into this category. And indeed, while Cologne’s historical city centre was flattened in repeated bombing raids, the large Ford factory on the outskirts of the city enjoyed the reputation of being the safest place in town during air attacks, although some bombs did of course occasionally fall on its properties. (Billstein et al, 98-100) 61
After the war GM and the other American corporations that had done business in Germany were not only not punished, but even compensated for damages suffered by their German subsidiaries as a result of Anglo-American bombing raids. General Motors received 33 million dollars and ITT 27 million dollars from the American government as indemnification. The Ford-Werke had suffered relatively little damage during the war, and had received more than 100,000 dollars in compensation from the Nazi regime itself; Ford’s branch plant in France, meanwhile, had managed to wrest an indemnification of 38 million francs from the Vichy Regime. Ford nevertheless applied in Washington for 7 million dollars worth of damages, and after much wrangling received a total of 785,321 dollars “for its share of allowable losses sustained by Ford-Werke and Ford of Austria during the war,” which the company has acknowledged in its recently published report. (Research Findings, 109)
Corporate America and Post-War Germany
When the war in Europe ended, corporate America was well positioned to help determine what would happen to defeated Germany in general, and to their German assets in particular. Long before the guns fell silent, Allan Dulles from his observation post in Berne, Switzerland, established contact with the German associates of the American corporations he had earlier served as a lawyer in Sullivan & Cromwell, and as Patton’s tanks pushed deep into the Reich in the spring of 1945, ITT boss Sosthenes Behn donned the uniform of an American officer and rode into defeated Germany to personally inspect his subsidiaries there. More importantly the administration in the US occupation zone of Germany teemed with representatives of firms such as GM and ITT. 62 They were there, of course, to ensure that Corporate America would continue to enjoy the full usufruct of its profitable investments in defeated and occupied Germany. One of their first concerns was to prevent the implementation of the Morgenthau Plan. Henry Morgenthau was Roosevelt’s secretary of the Treasury, who had proposed to dismantle German industry, thereby transforming Germany into a backward, poor, and therefore harmless agrarian state.
The owners and managers of corporations with German assets were keenly aware that implementation of the Morgenthau Plan meant the financial death knell for their German subsidiaries; so they fought it tooth and nail. A particularly outspoken opponent of the plan was Alfred P. Sloan, the influential chairman of the board of GM. Sloan, other captains of industry, and their representatives and contacts in Washington and within the American occupation authorities in Germany, favoured an alternative option: the economic reconstruction of Germany, so that they would be able to do business and make money in Germany, and eventually they got what they wanted. After the death of Roosevelt, the Morgenthau Plan was quietly shelved, and Morgenthau himself would be dismissed from his high-ranking government position on 5 July 1945 by President Harry Truman. Germany — or at least the western part of Germany — would be economically reconstructed, and US subsidiaries would turn out to be major beneficiaries of this development. 63
The American occupation authorities in Germany in general, and the agents of American parent companies of German subsidiaries within this administration in particular, faced another problem. After the demise of Nazism and of European fascism in general, the general mood in Europe was — and would remain for a few short years — decidedly anti-fascist and simultaneously more or less anti-capitalist, because it was widely understood at that time that fascism had been a manifestation of capitalism. Almost everywhere in Europe, and particularly in Germany, radical grassroots associations, such as the German anti-fascist groups or Antifas, sprang up spontaneously and became influential. Labour unions and left-wing political parties also experienced successful comebacks; they enjoyed wide popular support when they denounced Germany’s bankers and industrialists for bringing Hitler to power and for collaborating closely with his regime, and when they proposed more or less radical anti-capitalist reforms such as the socialization of certain firms and industry sectors.
Such reform plans, however, violated American dogmas regarding the inviolability of private property and free enterprise, and were obviously a major source of concern to American industrialists with assets in Germany. 64 The latter were also aghast at the emergence in Germany of democratically elected “works’ councils” that demanded input into the affairs of firms. To make matters worse, the workers frequently elected Communists to these councils. This happened in the most important American branch plants, Ford-Werke and Opel.
The Communists played an important role in Opel’s work’s council until 1948, when GM officially resumed Opel’s management and promptly put an end to the experiment. The American authorities systematically opposed the anti-fascists and sabotaged their schemes for social and economic reform at all levels of public administration as well as in private business. In the Opel plant in Rüsselsheim, for example, the American authorities collaborated only reluctantly with the anti-fascists, while doing everything in their power to prevent the establishment of new labour unions and to deny the works’ councils any say in the firm’s management. Instead of allowing the planned democratic “bottom-up” reforms to blossom, the Americans proceeded to restore authoritarian “top-down” structures wherever possible.
They pushed the anti-fascists aside in favour of conservative, authoritarian, right-wing personalities, including many former Nazis. At the Ford-Werke in Cologne, anti-fascist pressure forced the Americans to dismiss the Nazi general manager Robert Schmidt, but thanks to Dearborn and the American occupation authorities he and many other Nazi managers were soon firmly back in the saddle. 65
Capitalism, Democracy, Fascism, and War
“About the things one cannot speak about, one ought to remain silent,” declared the famous philosopher Wittgenstein, and a colleague, Max Horkheimer, paraphrased him with regard to the phenomenon of fascism and its German variety, Nazism, by emphasizing that if one wants to talk about fascism, one cannot remain silent about capitalism.
Hitler’s Third Reich was a monstrous system made possible by Germany’s top business leaders, and while it proved a catastophe for millions of people, it functioned as a Nirvana for corporate Germany. Foreign-owned enterprises were also allowed to enjoy the wonderful services
Hitler’s regime rendered to das Kapital, such as the elimination of all workers’ parties and labour unions, a rearmament program that brought them immense profits, and a war of conquest that eliminated foreign competition and provided new markets, cheap raw materials, and an unlimited supply of even cheaper labour from POWs, foreign slave labourers, and concentration camp inmates. The owners and managers of America’s leading corporations admired Hitler because in his Third Reich they could make money like nowhere else, and because he stomped on German labour and swore to destroy the Soviet Union, homeland of international communism.
Edwin Black wrongly believes that IBM was atypical of American corporations in flourishing from capitalism’s great fascist feast on the banks of the Rhine. Many, if not all of these corporations, took full advantage of the elimination of labour unions and left-wing parties and the orgy of orders and profits made possible by rearmament and war. They betrayed their country by producing all sorts of equipment for Hitler’s war machine even after Pearl Harbor, and they objectively helped the Nazis to commit horrible crimes.
These technicalities, however, did not seem to perturb the owners and managers in Germany and even in the US, who were aware of what was going on overseas. All that mattered to them, clearly, was that unconditional collaboration with Hitler allowed them to make profits like never before; their motto might well have been: “profits über Alles.” After the war, the capitalist masters and associates of the fascist monster distanced themselves à la Dr. Frankenstein from their creature, and loudly proclaimed their preference for democratic forms of government. Today, most of our political leaders and our media want us to believe that “free markets” — a euphemistic code word for capitalism — and democracy are Siamese twins. Even after World War II, however, capitalism, and especially American capitalism, continued to collaborate cozily with fascist regimes in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Chile, while supporting extreme-right movements, including death squads and terrorists, in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere.
One might say that in the headquarters of the corporations, whose collective interest is clearly reflected in American government policies, nostalgia has lingered on for the good old days of Hitler’s Third Reich, which was a paradise for German as well as American and other foreign firms: no left-wing parties, no unions, unlimited numbers of slave labourers, and an authoritarian state that provided the necessary discipline and arranged for an “armament boom” and eventually a war that brought “horizonless profits,” as Black writes, alluding to the case of IBM.
These benefits could more readily be expected from a fascist dictatorship than from a genuine democracy, hence the support for the Francos, Suhartos, and other Pinochets of the post-war world. But even within democratic societies, capitalism actively seeks the cheap and meek labour that Hitler’s regime served up on a silver platter, and recently it has been by means of stealthy instruments such as downsizing and globalization, rather than the medium of fascism, that American and international capital have sought to achieve the corporate Nirvana of which Hitler’s Germany had provided a tantalizing foretaste.
Important References:
See Edwin Black, IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation (London: Crown Publishers, 2001)
Walter Hofer and Herbert R. Reginbogin, Hitler, der Westen und die Schweiz 1936–1945 (Zürich: NZZ Publishing House, 2002)
Reinhold Billstein, Karola Fings, Anita Kugler, and Nicholas Levis, Working for the Enemy: Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor during the Second World War ( New York: Berghahn, 2000) Research Findings About Ford-Werke Under the Nazi Regime (Dearborn, MI: Ford Motor Company, 2001)

1 Michael Dobbs, “US Automakers Fight Claims of Aiding Nazis,” The International Herald Tribune, 3 December 1998.
2 David F. Schmitz, “‘A Fine Young Revolution’: The United States and the Fascist Revolution in Italy, 1919–1925,” Radical History Review, 33 (September 1985), 117–38; and John P. Diggins, Mussolini and Fascism: The View from America (Princeton 1972).
3 Gabriel Kolko, “American Business and Germany, 1930–1941,” The Western Political Quarterly, 25 (December 1962), 714, refers to the “‘skepticism’ displayed by the American business press with respect to Hitler because he was ‘a political and economic nonconformist.’”
4 Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate (New York 2001), especially 172–91.
5 Charles Higham, Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933–1949 (New York 1983), 162.
6 Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, “The Hitler Project,” chapter 2 in George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography (Washington 1991). Available online at < http://www.tarpley.net/bush2.htm >.
7 Mark Pendergrast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola: The Unauthorized History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company that Makes It (New York 1993), 221.
8 Cited in Manfred Overesch, Machtergreifung von links: Thüringen 1945/46 (Hildesheim Germany 1993), 64.
9 Knudsen described Nazi Germany after a visit there in 1933 as “the miracle of the twentieth century.” Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 163.
10 Stephan H. Lindner, Das Reichskommissariat für die Behandlung feindliches Vermögens im Zweiten Weltkrieg: Eine Studie zur Verwaltungs-, Rechts- and Wirtschaftsgeschichte des nationalsozialistischen Deutschlands (Stuttgart 1991), 121; Simon Reich, The Fruits of Fascism: Postwar Prosperity in Historical Perspective (Ithaca, NY and London 1990), 109, 117, 247; and Ken Silverstein, “Ford and the Führer,” The Nation, 24 January 2000, 11–6.
11 Cited in Michael Dobbs, “Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration,” The Washington Post, 12 December 1998.
12 Tobias Jersak, “Öl für den Führer,” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11 February 1999.
13 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, xvi.
14 The authors of a recent book on the Holocaust even emphasize that “in 1930 anti-Semitism was much more visible and blatant in the United States than in Germany.” See Suzy Hansen’s interview with Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan Van Pelt, authors of Holocaust: a History,< http:/salon.com/books/int/2002/10/02/dwork/index.html. >
15 Henry Ford, The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem (Dearborn, MI n.d.); and Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 162.
16 Aino J. Mayer, Why Did the Heavens not Darken? The Final Solution in History (New York 1988).
17 Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate, 279; and Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 161.
18 Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America (Pasadena, CA 1937), 236.
19 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 162–4.
20 See Bernd Martin, Friedensinitiativen und Machtpolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939–1942 (Düsseldorf 1974); and Richard Overy, Russia’s War (London 1998), 34–5.
21 See Clement Leibovitz and Alvin Finkel, In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion (New York 1998).
22 John H. Backer, “From Morgenthau Plan to Marshall Plan,” in Robert Wolfe, ed., Americans as Proconsuls: United States Military Governments in Germany and Japan, 1944–1952 (Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL 1984), 162.
23 Mooney is cited in Andreas Hillgruber, ed., Staatsmänner und Diplomaten bei Hitler. Vertrauliche Aufzeichnungen über Unterredungen mit Vertretern des Auslandes 1939–1941 (Frankfurt am Main 1967), 85.
24 Anita Kugler, “Das Opel-Management während des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Die Behandlung ‘feindlichen Vermögens’ und die ‘Selbstverantwortung’ der Rüstungsindustrie,” in Bernd Heyl and Andrea Neugebauer, ed., “… ohne Rücksicht auf die Verhältnisse”: Opel zwischen Weltwirtschaftskrise and Wiederaufbau, (Frankfurt am Main 1997), 35–68, and 40–1; “Flugzeuge für den Führer. Deutsche ‘Gefolgschaftsmitglieder’ und ausländische Zwangsarbeiter im Opel-Werk in Rüsselsheim 1940 bis 1945,” in Heyl and Neugebauer, “… ohne Rücksicht auf die Verhältnisse,” 69–92; and Hans G. Helms, “Ford und die Nazis,” in Komila Felinska, ed., Zwangsarbeit bei Ford (Cologne 1996), 113.
25 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 93, and 95.
26 Jersak, “Öl für den Fühier”; Bernd Martin, “Friedens-Planungen der multinationalen Grossindustrie (1932–1940) als politische Krisenstrategie,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 2 (1976), 82.
27 Cited in Dobbs, “U.S. Automakers.”
28 Jamie Lincoln Kitman, “The Secret History of Lead,” The Nation, 20 March 2002.
29 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 97; Ed Cray, Chrome Colossus: General Motors and its Times (New York 1980), 315; and Anthony Sampson, The Seven Sisters: The Great Oil Companies and the World They Made (New York 1975), 82.
30 David Lanier Lewis, The Public Image of Henry Ford: an American Folk Hero and His Company (Detroit 1976), 222, and 270.
31 Ralph B. Levering, American Opinion and the Russian Alliance, 1939–1945 (Chapel Hill, NC 1976), 46; and Wayne S. Cole, Roosevelt and the Isolationists, 1932–45 (Lincoln, NE 1983), 433–34.
32 The hope for a long, drawn-out conflict between Berlin and Moscow was reflected in many newspaper articles and in the much-publicized remark uttered by Senator Harry S. Truman on 24 June 1941, only two days after the start of Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union: “If we see that Germany is winning, we should help Russia, and if Russia is winning, we should help Germany, so that as many as possible perish on both sides ….” Levering, American Opinion, 46–7.
33 Even as late as 5 December 1941, just two days before the Japanese strike against Pearl Harbor, a caricature in Hearst’s Chicago Tribune suggested that it would be ideal for “civilization” if these “dangerous beasts,” the Nazis and the Soviets, “destroyed each other.” The Chicago Tribune caricature is reproduced in Roy Douglas, The World War 1939–1943: The Cartoonists’ Vision (London and New York 1990), 86.
34 Clive Ponting, Armageddon: The Second World War (London 1995), 106; and Stephen E. Ambrose, Americans at War (New York 1998), 76–77.
35 Jersak, “Öl fürden Führer.” Jersak used a “top secret” document produced by the Wehrmacht Reichsstelle für Mineralöl, now in the military section of the Bundesarchiv (Federal Archives), File RW 19/2694. See also Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 59–61.
36 James V. Compton, “The Swastika and the Eagle,” in Arnold A. Offner, ed., America and the Origins of World War II, 1933–1941 (New York 1971), 179–83; Melvin Small, “The ‘Lessons’ of the Past: Second Thoughts about World War II,” in Norman K. Risjord , ed., Insights on American History. Volume II (San Diego 1988), 20; and Andreas Hillgruber, ed., Der Zweite Weltkrieg 1939–1945: Kriegsziele und Strategie der Grossen Mächte, 5th ed., (Stuttgart 1989), 83–4.
37 Helms, “Ford und die Nazis,” 114.
38 Helms, “Ford und die Nazis,” 14–5; and Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 104–5.
39 Silverstein, “Ford and the Führer,” 15–6; and Lindner, Das Reichskommüsariet, 121.
40 Kugler, “Das Opel-Management,” 52, 61 ff., and 67; and Kugler, “Flugzeuge,” 85.
41 Snell, “GM and the Nazis,” Ramparts, 12 (June 1974), 14–15; Kugler, “Das Opel-Management,” 53, and 67; and Kugler, “Flugzeuge,” 89.
42 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 112.
43 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 99.
44 Lindner, Das Reichskommissariet, 104.
45 Silverstein, “Ford and the Führer,” 12, and 14; Helms, “Ford und die Nazis,” 115; and Reich, The Fruits of Fascism, 121, and 123.
46 Silverstein, “Ford and the Führer,” 15–16.
47 Kugler, “Das Opel-Management,” 55, and 67; and Kugler, “Flugzeuge,” 85.
48 Communication of A. Neugebauer of the city archives in Rüsselsheim to the author, 4 February 2000; and Lindner, Das Reichskommissariat, 126–27.
49 Helms, “Ford und die Nazis,” 115.
50 Gian Trepp, “Kapital über alles: Zentralbankenkooperation bei der Bank für Internationalen Zahlungsausgleich im Zweiten Weltkrieg,” in Philipp Sarasin und Regina Wecker, eds., Raubgold, Reduit, Flüchtlinge: Zur Geschichte der Schweiz im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Zürich 1998), 71–80; Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 1–19 and 175; Anthony Sampson, The Sovereign State of ITT (New York 1973), 47; “VS-Banken collaboreerden met nazi’s,” Het Nieuwsblad, Brussels, 26 December 1998; and William Clarke, “Nazi Gold: The Role of the Central Banks — Where Does the Blame Lie?,” Central Banking, 8, (Summer 1997),< http://www.centralbanking.co.uk/cbv8n11.html. >
51 Bernt Engelmann, Einig and gegen Recht und Freiheit: Ein deutsches Anti-Geschichtsbuch (München 1975), 263–4; Marie-Luise Recker, “Zwischen sozialer Befriedung und materieller Ausbeutung: Lohn- und Arbeitsbedingungen im Zweiten Weltkrieg,” in Wolfgang Michalka, ed., Der Zweite Weltkrieg. Analysen, Grundzüge, Forschungsbilanz (Munich and Zürich 1989), 430–44, especially 436.
52 Lindner, Das Reichkommissariat, 118.
53 Pendergrast, For God, Country, and Coca-Cola, 228.
54 “Ford-Konzern wegen Zwangsarbeit verklagt,” Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 6 March 1998 as cited in Antifaschistisck Nochrichten, 6 (1998),< http://www.antifaschistischenachricten.de/1998/06/010.htm. >
55 Karola Fings, “Zwangsarbeit bei den Kölner Ford-Werken,” in Felinska, Zwangsarbeit bei Ford, (Cologne 1996), 108. See also Silverstein, “Ford and the Führer,” 14; and Billstein et al., 53–5, 135–56.
56 Kugler, “Das Opel-Management,” 57; Kugler, “Flugzeuge,” 72–6, quotation from 76; and Billstein et al., 53–5.
57 GM-financed patriotic posters may be found in the Still Pictures Branch of the National Archives in Washington, DC.
58 Michael S. Sherry, In the Shadow of War:The United States Since the 1930s (New Haven and London 1995), 172.
59 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, xv, and xxi.
60 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 44–6.
61 Helms, “Ford und die Nazis,” 115–6; Reich, The Fruits of Fascism, 124–5; and Mira Wilkins and Frank Ernest Hill, American Business Abroad: Ford on Six Continents (Detroit 1964), 344–6.
62 Higham, Trading With the Enemy, 212–23; Carolyn Woods Eisenberg, “U.S. Policy in Post-war Germany: The Conservative Restoration,” Science and Society, 46 (Spring 1982), 29; Carolyn Woods Eisenberg, “The Limits of Democracy: US Policy and the Rights of German Labor, 1945–1949,” in Michael Ermarth, ed., America and the Shaping of German Society, 1945–1955 (Providence, RI and Oxford 1993), 63–4; Billstein et al., 96–97; and Werner Link, Deutsche und amerikanische Gewerkschaften und Geschäftsleute 1945–1975: Eine Studie über transnationale Beziehungen (Düsseldorf 1978), 100–06, and 88.
63 Gabriel Kolko, The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943–1945 (New York 1968), 331, and 348–9; Wilfried Loth, Stalins ungeliebtes Kind: Warum Moskau die DDR nicht wollte (Berlin 1994), 18; Wolfgang Krieger, “Die American Deutschlandplanung, Hypotheken und Chancen für einen Neuanfang,” in Hans-Erich Volkmann, ed., Ende des Dritten Reiches — Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs: Eine perspektivische Rückschau (Munich and Zürich 1995), 36, and 40–1; and Lloyd C. Gardner, Architects of Illusion: Men and Ideas in American Foreign Policy 1941–1949 (Chicago 1970), 250–1.
64 Kolko, The Politics of War, 507–11; Rolf Steininger, Deutsche Geschichte 1945–1961: Darstellung und Dokumente in zwei Bänden. Band 1 (Frankfurt am Main 1983), 117–8; Joyce and Gabriel Kolko, The Limits of Power: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1945–1954 (New York 1972), 125–6; Reinhard Kühnl, Formen bürgerlicher Herrschaft: Liberalismus — Faschismus (Reinbek bei Hamburg 1971), 71; Reinhard Kühnl, ed., Geschichte und Ideologie: Kritische Analyse bundesdeutscher Geschichtsbücher, second edition (Reinbek bei Hamburg 1973), 138–9; Peter Altmann, ed., Hauptsache Frieden. Kriegsende-Befreiung-Neubeginn 1945–1949: Vom antifaschistischen Konsens zum Grundgesetz (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1985), 58 ff.; and Gerhard Stuby, “Die Verhinderung der antifascistisch-demokratischen Umwälzung und die Restauration in der BRD von 1945–1961,” in Reinhard Kühnl, ed., Der bürgerliche Staat der Gegenwart: Formen bürgerlicher Herrschaft II (Reinbek bei Hamburg 1972), 91–101.
65 Silverstein, “Ford and the Führer,” 15–6; and Lindner, Das Reichskommissariat, 121.
Copyright © 2013 Global Research
2015-01-14 23:18:36 UTC
Leon Degrelle

"We have the power. Now our gigantic work begins."
Those were Hitler's words on the night of January 30, 1933, as
cheering crowds surged past him, for five long hours, beneath the
windows of the Chancellery in Berlin.

His political struggle had lasted 14 years. He himself was 43, that
is, physically and intellectually at the peak of his powers. He had
won over millions of Germans and organized them into Germany's largest
and most dynamic political party, a party girded by a human rampart of
hundreds of thousands of storm troopers, three fourths of them members
of the working class. He had been extremely shrewd. All but toying
with his adversaries, Hitler had, one after another, vanquished them

Standing there at the window, his arm raised to the delirious throng,
he must have known a feeling of triumph. But he seemed almost torpid,
absorbed, as if lost in another world.

It was a world far removed from the delirium in the street, a world of
65 million citizens who loved him or hated him, but all of whom, from
that night on, had become his responsibility. And as he knew-as almost
all Germans knew on January 1933 -- that this was a crushing, an
almost desperate responsibility.

Half a century later, few people understand the crisis Germany faced
at that time. Today, it's easy to assume that Germans have always been
well-fed and even plump. But the Germans Hitler inherited were virtual

During the preceding years, a score of "democratic" governments had
come and gone, often in utter confusion. Instead of alleviating the
people's misery, they had increased it, due to their own instability:
it was impossible for them to pursue any given plan for more than a
year or two. Germany had arrived at a dead end. In just a few years
there had been 224,000 suicides - a horrifying figure, bespeaking a
state of misery even more horrifying.

By the beginning of 1933, the misery of the German people was
virtually universal. At least six million unemployed and hungry
workers roamed aimlessly through the streets, receiving a pitiful
unemployment benefit of less than 42 marks per month. Many of those
out of work had families to feed, so that altogether some 20 million
Germans, a third of the country's population, were reduced to trying
to survive on about 40 pfennigs per person per day.

Unemployment benefits, moreover, were limited to a period of six
months. After that came only the meager misery allowance dispensed by
the welfare offices.

Notwithstanding the gross inadequacy of this assistance, by trying to
save the six million unemployed from total destruction, even for just
six months, both the state and local branches of the German government
saw themselves brought to ruin: in 1932 alone such aid had swallowed
up four billion marks, 57 percent of the total tax revenues of the
federal government and the regional states. A good many German
municipalities were bankrupt.

Those still lucky enough to have some kind of job were not much better
off. Workers and employees had taken a cut of 25 percent in their
wages and salaries. Twenty-one percent of them were earning between
100 and 250 marks per month; 69.2 percent of them, in January of 1933,
were being paid less than 1,200 marks annually. No more than about
100,000 Germans, it was estimated, were able to live without financial

During the three years before Hitler came to power, total earnings had
fallen by more than half, from 23 billion marks to 11 billion. The
average per capita income had dropped from 1,187 marks in 1929 to 627
marks, a scarcely tolerable level, in 1932. By January 1933, when
Hitler took office, 90 percent of the German people were destitute.
No one escaped the strangling effects of the unemployment. The
intellectuals were hit as hard as the working class. Of the 135,000
university graduates, 60 percent were without jobs. Only a tiny
minority was receiving unemployment benefits.

"The others," wrote one foreign observer, Marcel Laloire (in his book
New Germany), "are dependent on their parents or are sleeping in
flophouses. In the daytime they can be seen on the boulevards of
Berlin wearing signs on their backs to the effect that they will
accept any kind of work."

But there was no longer any kind of work.
The same drastic fall-off had hit Germany's cottage industry, which
comprised some four million workers. Its turnover had declined 55
percent, with total sales plunging from 22 billion to 10 billion

Hardest hit of all were construction workers; 90 percent of them were

Farmers, too, had been ruined, crushed by losses amounting to 12
billion marks. Many had been forced to mortgage their homes and their
land. In 1932 just the interest on the loans they had incurred due to
the crash was equivalent to 20 percent of the value of the
agricultural production of the entire country. Those who were no
longer able to meet the interest payments saw their farms auctioned
off in legal proceedings: in the years 1931-1932, 17,157 farms-with a
combined total area of 462,485 hectares - were liquidated in this way.
The "democracy" of Germany's "Weimar Republic" (1918 -1933) had proven
utterly ineffective in addressing such flagrant wrongs as this
impoverishment of millions of farm workers, even though they were the
nation's most stable and hardest working citizens. Plundered,
dispossessed, abandoned: small wonder they heeded Hitler's call.
Their situation on January 30, 1933, was tragic. Like the rest of
Germany's working class, they had been betrayed by their political
leaders, reduced to the alternatives of miserable wages, paltry and
uncertain benefit payments, or the outright humiliation of begging.
Germany's industries, once renowned everywhere in the world, were no
longer prosperous, despite the millions of marks in gratuities that
the financial magnates felt obliged to pour into the coffers of the
parties in power before each election in order to secure their
cooperation. For 14 years the well-blinkered conservatives and
Christian democrats of the political center had been feeding at the
trough just as greedily as their adversaries of the left..

One inevitable consequence of this ever-increasing misery and
uncertainty about the future was an abrupt decline in the birthrate.
When your household savings are wiped out, and when you fear even
greater calamities in the days ahead, you do not risk adding to the
number of your dependents.

In those days the birth rate was a reliable barometer of a country's
prosperity. A child is a joy, unless you have nothing but a crust of
bread to put in its little hand. And that's just the way it was with
hundreds of thousands of German families in 1932..

Hitler knew that he would be starting from zero. From less than zero.
But he was also confident of his strength of will to create Germany
anew-politically, socially, financially, and economically. Now legally
and officially in power, he was sure that he could quickly convert
that cipher into a Germany more powerful than ever before.
What support did he have?

For one thing, he could count on the absolute support of millions of
fanatical disciples. And on that January evening, they joyfully shared
in the great thrill of victory. Some thirteen million Germans, many of
them former Socialists and Communists, had voted for his party.
But millions of Germans were still his adversaries, disconcerted
adversaries, to be sure, whom their own political parties had
betrayed, but who had still not been won over to National Socialism.
The two sides-those for and those against Hitler-were very nearly
equal in numbers. But whereas those on the left were divided among
themselves, Hitler's disciples were strongly united. And in one thing
above all, the National Socialists had an incomparable advantage: in
their convictions and in their total faith in a leader. Their highly
organized and well-disciplined party had contented with the worst kind
of obstacles, and had overcome them..

In the eyes of the capitalists, money was the sole active element in
the flourishing of a country's economy. To Hitler's way of thinking,
that conception was radically wrong: capital, on the contrary, was
only an instrument. Work was the essential element: man's endeavor,
man's honor, blood, muscles and soul.

Hitler wanted not just to put an to the class struggle, but to
reestablish the priority of the human being, in justice and respect,
as the principal factor in production..

For the worker's trust in the fatherland to be restored, he had to
feel that from now on he was to be (and to be treated) as an equal,
instead of remaining a social inferior. Under the governments of the
so-called democratic parties of both the left and the right, he had
remained an inferior; for none of them had understood that in the
hierarchy of national values, work is the very essence of life; ..

The objective, then, was far greater than merely getting six million
unemployed back to work. It was to achieve a total revolution.
"The people," Hitler declared, "were not put here on earth for the
sake of the economy, and the economy doesn't exist for the sake of
capital. On the contrary, capital is meant to serve the economy, and
the economy in turn to serve the people."

It would not be enough merely to reopen the thousands of closed
factories and fill them with workers. If the old concepts still ruled,
the workers would once again be nothing more than living machines,
faceless and interchangeable..

Nowhere in twentieth-century Europe had the authority of a head of
state ever been based on such overwhelming and freely given national
consent. Prior to Hitler, from 1919 to 1932, those governments piously
styling themselves democratic had usually come to power by meager
majorities, sometimes as low as 51 or 52 percent.

"I am not a dictator," Hitler had often affirmed, "and I never will
be. Democracy will be rigorously enforced by National Socialism."
Authority does not mean tyranny. A tyrant is someone who puts himself
in power without the will of the people or against the will of the
people. A democrat is placed in power by the people. But democracy is
not limited to a single formula. It may be partisan or parliamentary.
Or it may be authoritarian. The important thing is that the people
have wished it, chosen it, established it in its given form.

That was the case with Hitler. He came to power in an essentially
democratic way. Whether one likes it or not, this fact is undeniable.
And after coming to power, his popular support measurably increased
from year to year. The more intelligent and honest of his enemies have
been obliged to admit this, men such as the declared anti-Nazi
historian and professor Joachim Fest, who wrote:

For Hitler was never interested in establishing a mere tyranny. Sheer
greed for power will not suffice as explanation for his personality
and energy-He was not born to be a mere tyrant. He was fixated upon
his mission of defending Europe and the Aryan race ... Never had he
felt so dependent upon the masses as he did at this time, and he
watched their reactions with anxious concern.
These lines weren't written by Dr. Goebbels, but by a stern critic of
Hitler and his career..

When it came time to vote, Hitler was granted plenary powers with a
sweeping majority of 441 votes to 94: he had won not just two thirds,
but 82.44 percent of the assembly's votes. This "Enabling Act" granted
Hitler for four years virtually absolute authority over the
legislative as well as the executive affairs of the government..

After 1945 the explanation that was routinely offered for all this was
that the Germans had lost their heads. Whatever the case, it is a
historical fact that they acted of their own free will. Far from being
resigned, they were enthusiastic. "For the first time since the last
days of the monarchy," historian Joachim Fest has conceded, "the
majority of the Germans now had the feeling that they could identify
with the state."..

"You talk about persecution!" he thundered in an impromptu response to
an address by the Social Democratic speaker. "I think that there are
only a few of us [in our party] here who did not have to suffer
persecutions in prison from your side ... You seem to have totally
forgotten that for years our shirts were ripped off our backs because
you did not like the color . . . We have outgrown your persecutions!"
"In those days," he scathingly continued, "our newspapers were banned
and banned and again banned, our meetings were forbidden, and we were
forbidden to speak, I was forbidden to speak, for years on. And now
you say that criticism is salutary!"..

Hitler's millions of followers had rediscovered the primal strength of
rough, uncitified man, of a time when men still had backbone..

Gustav Noske, the lumberjack who became defense minister - and the
most valiant defender of the embattled republic in the tumultuous
months immediately following the collapse of 1918 - acknowledged
honestly in 1944, when the Third Reich was already rapidly breaking
down, that the great majority of the German people still remained true
to Hitler because of the social renewal he had brought to the working

Here again, well before the collapse of party-ridden Weimar Republic,
disillusion with the unions had become widespread among the working
masses. They were starving. The hundreds of Socialist and Communist
deputies stood idly by, impotent to provide any meaningful help to the
desperate proletariat.

Their leaders had no proposals to remedy, even partially, the great
distress of the people; no plans for large-scale public works, no
industrial restructuring, no search for markets abroad.
Moreover, they offered no energetic resistance to the pillaging by
foreign countries of the Reich's last financial resources: this a
consequence of the Treaty of Versailles that the German Socialists had
voted to ratify in June of 1919, and which they had never since had
the courage effectively to oppose..

In 1930, 1931 and 1932, German workers had watched the disaster grow:
the number of unemployed rose from two million to three, to four, to
five, then to six million. At the same time, unemployment benefits
fell lower and lower, finally to disappear completely. Everywhere one
saw dejection and privation: emaciated mothers, children wasting away
in sordid lodgings, and thousands of beggars in long sad lines.
The failure, or incapacity, of the leftist leaders to act, not to
mention their insensitivity, had stupefied the working class. Of what
use were such leaders with their empty heads and empty hearts-and,
often enough, full pockets?

Well before January 30, thousands of workers had already joined up
with Hitler's dynamic formations, which were always hard at it where
they were most needed. Many joined the National Socialists when they
went on strike. Hitler, himself a former worker and a plain man like
themselves, was determined to eliminate unemployment root and branch.
He wanted not merely to defend the laborer's right to work, but to
make his calling one of honor, to insure him respect and to integrate
him fully into a living community of all the Germans, who had been
divided class against class.

In January 1933, Hitler's victorious troops were already largely
proletarian in character, including numerous hardfisted street
brawlers, many unemployed, who no longer counted economically or

Meanwhile, membership in the Marxist labor unions had fallen off
enormously: among thirteen million socialist and Communist voters in
1932, no more than five million were union members. Indifference and
discouragement had reached such levels that many members no longer
paid their union dues. Many increasingly dispirited Marxist leaders
began to wonder if perhaps the millions of deserters were the ones who
saw things clearly. Soon they wouldn't wonder any longer.
Even before Hitler won Reichstag backing for his "Enabling Act,"
Germany's giant labor union federation, the ADGB, had begun to rally
to the National Socialist cause. As historian Joachim Fest
acknowledged: "On March 20, the labor federation's executive committee
addressed a kind of declaration of loyalty to Hitler." (J. Fest,
Hitler, p. 413.)

Hitler than took a bold and clever step. The unions had always
clamored to have the First of May recognized as a worker's holiday,
but the Weimar Republic had never acceded to their request. Hitler,
never missing an opportunity, grasped this one with both hands. He did
more than grant this reasonable demand: he proclaimed the First of May
a national holiday..

I myself attended the memorable meeting at the Tempelhof field in
1933. By nine o'clock that morning, giant columns, some of workers,
others of youth groups, marching in cadence down the pavement of
Berlin's great avenues, had started off towards the airfield to which
Hitler had called together all Germans. All Germany would follow the
rally as it was transmitted nationwide by radio..

In the dark, a group of determined opponents could easily have heckled
Hitler or otherwise sabotaged the meeting. Perhaps a third of the
onlookers had been Socialists or Communists only three months
previously. But not a single hostile voice was raised during the
entire ceremony. There was only universal acclamation.
Ceremony is the right word for it. It was an almost magical rite.
Hitler and Goebbels had no equals in the arranging of dedicatory
ceremonies of this sort. First there were popular songs, then great
Wagnerian hymns to grip the audience. Germany has a passion for
orchestral music, and Wagner taps the deepest and most secret vein of
the German soul, its romanticism, its inborn sense of the powerful and
the grand.

Meanwhile the hundreds of flags floated above the rostrum, redeemed
from the darkness by arrows of light.

Now Hitler strode to the rostrum. For those standing at the of the
field, his face must have appeared vanishingly small, but his words
flooded instantaneously across the acres of people in his audience.
A Latin audience would have preferred a voice less harsh, more
delicately expressive. But there was no doubt that Hitler spoke to the
psyche of the German people.

Germans have rarely had the good fortune to experience the enchantment
of the spoken word. In Germany, the tone has always been set by
ponderous speakers, more fond of elephantine pedantry than oratorical
passion. Hitler, as a speaker, was a prodigy, the greatest orator of
his century. He possessed, above all, what the ordinary speaker lacks:
a mysterious ability to project power.

A bit like a medium or sorcerer, he was seized, even transfixed, as he
addressed a crowd. It responded to Hitler's projection of power,
radiating it back, establishing, in the course of myriad exchanges, a
current that both orator and audience gave to and drew from equally.
One had to personally experience him speaking to understand this

This special gift is what lay at the basis of Hitler's ability to win
over the masses. His high-voltage, lightning-like projection
transported and transformed all who experienced it. Tens of millions
were enlightened, riveted and inflamed by the fire of his anger,
irony, and passion.

By the time the cheering died away that May first evening, hundreds of
thousands of previously indifferent or even hostile workers who had
come to Tempelhof at the urging of their labor federation leaders were
now won over. They had become followers, like the SA stormtroopers
whom so many there that evening had brawled with in recent years.
The great human sea surged back from Tempelhof to Berlin. A million
and a half people had arrived in perfect order, and their departure
was just as orderly. No bottlenecks halted the cars and busses. For
those of us who witnessed it, this rigorous, yet joyful, discipline of
a contented people was in itself a source of wonder. Everything about
the May Day mass meeting had come off as smoothly clockwork.
The memory of that fabulous crowd thronging back to the center of
Berlin will never leave me. A great many were on foot. Their faces
were now different faces, as though they had been imbued with a
strange and totally new spirit. The non-Germans in the crowd were as
if stunned, and no less impressed than Hitler's fellow countrymen.
The French ambassador, André François-Poncet, noted:
The foreigners on the speaker's platform as guests of honor were not
alone in carrying away the impression of a truly beautiful and
wonderful public festival, an impression that was created by the
regime's genius for organization, by the night time display of
uniforms, by the play of lights, the rhythm of the music, by the flags
and the colorful fireworks; and they were not alone in thinking that a
breath of reconciliation and unity was passing over the Third Reich.
"It is our wish," Hitler had exclaimed, as though taking heaven as his
witness, "to get along together and to struggle together as brothers,
so that at the hour when we shall come before God, we might say to
him: 'See, Lord, we have changed. The German people are no longer a
people ashamed, a people mean and cowardly and divided. No, Lord! The
German people have become strong in their spirit, in their will, in
their perseverance, in their acceptance of any sacrifice. Lord, we
remain faithful to Thee! Bless our struggle!" (A. François-Poncet,
Souvenirs d'une ambassade à Berlin, p. 128.)

Who else could have made such an incantatory appeal without making
himself look ridiculous?

No politician had ever spoken of the rights of workers with such faith
and such force, or had laid out in such clear terms the social plan he
pledged to carry out on behalf of the common people.

The next day, the newspaper of the proletarian left, the "Union
Journal," reported on this mass meeting at which at least two thirds-a
million-of those attending were workers. "This May First was victory
day," the paper summed up.

With the workers thus won over, what further need was there for the
thousands of labor union locals that for so long had poisoned the
social life of the Reich and which, in any case, had accomplished
nothing of a lasting, positive nature?

Within hours of the conclusion of that "victory" meeting at the
Tempelhof field, the National Socialists were able to peacefully take
complete control of Germany's entire labor union organization,
including all its buildings, enterprises and banks. An era of Marxist
obstruction abruptly came to an end : from now on, a single national
organization would embody the collective will and interests of all of
Germany's workers.

Although he was now well on his way to creating what he pledged would
be a true "government of the people," Hitler also realized that great
obstacles remained. For one thing, the Communist rulers in Moscow had
not dropped their guard-or their guns. Restoring the nation would take
more than words and promises, it would take solid achievements. Only
then would the enthusiasm shown by the working class at the May First
mass meeting be an expression of lasting victory.

How could Hitler solve the great problem that had defied solution by
everyone else (both in Germany and abroad): putting millions of
unemployed back to work?

What would Hitler do about wages? Working hours? Leisure time?
Housing? How would he succeed in winning, at long last, respect for
the rights and dignity of the worker?

How could men's lives be improved-materially, morally, and, one might
even say, spiritually? How would he proceed to build a new society fit
for human beings, free of the inertia, injustices and prejudices of
the past?

"National Socialism," Hitler had declared at the outset, "has its
mission and its hour; it is not just a passing movement but a phase of

The instruments of real power now in his hands-an authoritarian state,
its provinces subordinate but nonetheless organic parts of the
national whole-Hitler had acted quickly to shake himself free of the
last constraints of the impotent sectarian political parties.
Moreover, he was now able to direct a cohesive labor force that was no
longer split into a thousand rivulets but flowed as a single, mighty

Hitler was self-confident, sure of the power of his own conviction. He
had no intention, or need, to resort to the use of physical force.
Instead, he intended to win over, one by one, the millions of Germans
who were still his adversaries, and even those who still hated him.
His conquest of Germany had taken years of careful planning and hard
work. Similarly, he would now realize his carefully worked out plans
for transforming the state and society. This meant not merely changes
in administrative or governmental structures, but far-reaching social

He had once vowed: "The hour will come when the 15 million people who
now hate us will be solidly behind us and will acclaim with us the new
revival we shall create together." Eventually he would succeed in
winning over even many of his most refractory skeptics and

His army of converts was already forming ranks. In a remarkable
tribute, historian Joachim Fest felt obliged to acknowledge

Hitler had moved rapidly from the status of a demagogue to that of a
respected statesman. The craving to join the ranks of the victors was
spreading like an epidemic, and the shrunken minority of those who
resisted the urge were being visibly pushed into isolation-The past
was dead. The future, it seemed, belonged to the regime, which had
more and more followers, which was being hailed everywhere and
suddenly had sound reasons on its side.

And even the prominent leftist writer Kurt Tucholsky, sensing the
direction of the inexorable tide that was sweeping Germany, vividly
commented: "You don't go railing against the ocean." (J. Fest, Hitler,
pp. 415 f.)

"Our power," Hitler was now able to declare, "no longer belongs to any
territorial fraction of the Reich, nor to any single class of the
nation, but to the people in its totality."

Much still remained to be done, however. So far, Hitler had succeeded
in clearing the way of obstacles to his program. Now the time to build
had arrived.

So many others had failed to tackle the many daunting problems that
were now his responsibility. Above all, the nation demanded a solution
to the great problem of unemployment. Could Hitler now succeed where
others had so dismally failed?..

Unemployment could be combated and eliminated only by giving industry
the financial means to start up anew, to modernize, thus creating
millions of new jobs.

The normal rate of consumption would not be restored, let alone
increased, unless one first raised the starvation-level allowances
that were making purchases of any kind a virtual impossibility. On the
contrary, production and sales would have to be restored before the
six million unemployed could once again become purchasers.
The great economic depression could be overcome only by restimulating
industry, by bringing industry into step with the times, and by
promoting the development of new products..

Nearly ten years earlier, while in his prison cell, Hitler had already
envisioned a formidable system of national highways. He had also
conceived of a small, easily affordable automobile (later known as the
"Volkswagen"), and had even suggested its outline. It should have the
shape of a June bug, he proposed. Nature itself suggested the car's
aerodynamic line.

Until Hitler came to power, a car was the privilege of the rich. It
was not financially within the reach of the middle class, much less of
the worker. The "Volkswagen," costing one-tenth as much as the
standard automobile of earlier years, would eventually become a
popular work vehicle and a source of pleasure after work: a way to
unwind and get some fresh air, and of discovering, thanks to the new
Autobahn highway network, a magnificent country that then, in its
totality, was virtually unknown to the German worker.

From the beginning, Hitler wanted this economical new car to be built
for the millions. The production works would also become one of
Germany's most important industrial centers and employers.
During his imprisonment, Hitler had also drawn up plans for the
construction of popular housing developments and majestic public

Some of Hitler's rough sketches still survive. They include groups of
individual worker's houses with their own gardens (which were to be
built in the hundreds of thousands), a plan for a covered stadium in
Berlin, and a vast congress hall, unlike any other in the world, that
would symbolize the grandeur of the National Socialist revolution.
"A building with a monumental dome," historian Werner Maser has
explained, "the plan of which he drew while he was writing Mein Kampf,
would have a span of 46 meters, a height of 220 meters, a diameter of
250 meters, and a capacity of 150 to 190 thousand people standing. The
interior of the building would have been 17 times larger than Saint
Peter's Cathedral in Rome." (W. Maser, Hitler, Adolf, p. 100.)

"That hall," architect Albert Speer has pointed out, "was not just an
idle dream impossible of achievement."

Hitler's imagination, therefore, had long been teeming with a number
of ambitious projects, many of which would eventually be realized.
Fortunately, the needed entrepreneurs, managers and technicians were
on hand. Hitler would not have to improvise.

Historian Werner Maser, although quite anti-Hitler-like nearly all of
his colleagues (how else would they have found publishers?) - has
acknowledged: "From the beginning of his political career, he [Hitler]
took great pains systematically to arrange for whatever he was going
to need in order to carry out his plans."

"Hitler was distinguished," Maser has also noted, "by an exceptional
intelligence in technical matters." Hitler had acquired his knowledge
by devoting many thousands of hours to technical studies from the time
of his youth.

"Hitler read an endless number of books," explained Dr. Schacht. "He
acquired a very considerable amount of knowledge and made masterful
use of it in discussions and speeches. In certain respects he was a
man endowed with genius. He had ideas that no one else would ever have
thought of, ideas that resulted in the ending of great difficulties,
sometimes by measures of an astonishing simplicity or brutality."
Many billions of marks would be needed to begin the great
socioeconomic revolution that was destined, as Hitler had always
intended, to make Germany once again the European leader in industry
and commerce and, most urgently, to rapidly wipe out unemployment in
Germany. Where would the money be found? And, once obtained, how would
these funds be allotted to ensure maximum effectiveness in their

Hitler was by no means a dictator in matters of the economy. He was,
rather, a stimulator. His government would undertake to do only that
which private initiative could not.

Hitler believed in the importance of individual creative imagination
and dynamism, in the need for every person of superior ability and
skill to assume responsibility.

He also recognized the importance of the profit motive. Deprived of
the prospect of having his efforts rewarded, the person of ability
often refrains from running risks. The economic failure of Communism
has demonstrated this. In the absence of personal incentives and the
opportunity for real individual initiative, the Soviet "command
economy" lagged in all but a few fields, its industry years behind its

State monopoly tolls the death of all initiative, and hence of all

For all men selflessly to pool their wealth might be marvelous, but it
is also contrary to human nature. Nearly every man desires that his
labor shall improve his own condition and that of his family, and
feels that his brain, creative imagination, and persistence well
deserve their reward.

Because it disregarded these basic psychological truths, Soviet
Communism, right to the end, wallowed in economic mediocrity, in spite
of its immense reservoir of manpower, its technical expertise, and its
abundant natural resources, all of which ought to have made it an
industrial and technological giant.

Hitler was always adverse to the idea of state management of the
economy. He believed in elites. "A single idea of genius," he used to
say, "has more value than a lifetime of conscientious labor in an

Just as there are political or intellectual elites, so also is there
an industrial elite. A manufacturer of great ability should not be
restrained, hunted down by the internal revenue services like a
criminal, or be unappreciated by the public. On the contrary, it is
important for economic development that the industrialist be
encouraged morally and materially, as much as possible.

The most fruitful initiatives Hitler would take from 1933 on would be
on behalf of private enterprise. He would keep an eye on the quality
of their directors, to be sure, and would shunt aside incompetents,
quite a few of them at times, but he also supported the best ones,
those with the keenest minds, the most imaginative and bold, even if
their political opinions did not always agree with his own.
"There is no question," he stated very firmly, "of dismissing a
factory owner or director under the pretext that he is not a National

Hitler would exercise the same moderation, the same pragmatism, in the
administrative as well as in the industrial sphere.
What he demanded of his co-workers, above all, was competence and
effectiveness. The great majority of Third Reich functionaries - some
80 percent-were never enrolled in the National Socialist party.
Several of Hitler's ministers, like Konstantin von Neurath and
Schwerin von Krosigk, and ambassadors to such key posts as Prague,
Vienna and Ankara, were not members of the party. But they were

"Herr Schacht," he said, "we are assuredly in agreement on one point:
no other single task facing the government at the moment can be so
truly urgent as conquering unemployment. That will take a lot of
money. Do you see any possibility of finding it apart from the
Reichsbank?" And after a moment, he added: "How much would it take? Do
you have any idea?"

Wishing to win Schacht over by appealing to his ambition, Hitler
smiled and then asked: "Would you be willing to once again assume
presidency of the Reichsbank?" Schacht let on that he had a
sentimental concern for Dr. Luther, and did not want to hurt the
incumbent's feelings. Playing along, Hitler reassured Schacht that he
would find an appropriate new job elsewhere for Luther.
Schacht then pricked up his ears, drew himself up, and focused his big
round eyes on Hitler: "Well, if that's the way it is," he said, "then
I am ready to assume the presidency of the Reichsbank again."
His great dream was being realized. Schacht had been president of the
Reichsbank between 1923 and 1930, but had been dismissed. Now he would
return in triumph. He felt vindicated. Within weeks, the ingenious
solution to Germany's pressing financial woes would burst forth from
his inventive brain.

"It was necessary," Schacht later explained, "to discover a method
that would avoid inflating the investment holdings of the Reichsbank
immoderately and consequently increasing the circulation of money

"Therefore," he went on, "I had to find some means of getting the sums
that were lying idle in pockets and banks, without meaning for it to
be long term and without having it undergo the risk of depreciation.
That was the reasoning behind the Mefo bonds."

What were these "Mefo" bonds? Mefo was a contraction of the
Metallurgische Forschungs-GmbH (Metallurgic Research Company). With a
startup capitalization of one billion marks - which Hitler and Schacht
arranged to be provided by the four giant firms of Krupp, Siemens,
Deutsche Werke and Rheinmetall-this company would eventually promote
many billions of marks worth of investment.

Enterprises, old and new, that filled government orders had only to
draw drafts on Mefo for the amounts due. These drafts, when presented
to the Reichsbank, were immediately convertible into cash. The success
of the Mefo program depended entirely on public acceptance of the Mefo
bonds. But the wily Schacht had planned well. Since Mefo bonds were
short-term bonds that could be cashed in at any time, there was no
real risk in buying, accepting or holding them. They bore an interest
of four percent-a quite acceptable figure in those days-whereas
banknotes hidden under the mattress earned nothing. The public quickly
took all this into consideration and eagerly accepted the bonds.
While the Reichsbank was able to offer from its own treasury a
relatively insignificant 150 million marks for Hitler's war on
unemployment, in just four years the German public subscribed more
than 12 billion marks worth of Mefo bonds!

These billions, the fruit of the combined imagination, ingenuity and
astuteness of Hitler and Schacht, swept away the temporizing and
fearful conservatism of the bankers. Over the next four years, this
enormous credit reserve would make miracles possible.
Soon after the initial billion-mark credit, Schacht added another
credit of 600 million in order to finance the start of Hitler's grand
program for highway construction. This Autobahn program provided
immediate work for 100,000 of the unemployed, and eventually assured
wages for some 500,000 workers.

As large as this outlay was, it was immediately offset by a
corresponding cutback in government unemployment benefits, and by the
additional tax revenue generated as a result of the increase in living
standard (sping) of the newly employed.

Within a few months, thanks to the credit created by the Mefo bonds,
private industry once again dared to assume risks and expand. Germans
returned to work by the hundreds of thousands.

Was Schacht solely responsible for this extraordinary turnaround?
After the war, he answered for himself as a Nuremberg Tribunal
defendant, where he was charged with having made possible the Reich's
economic revival:

I don't think Hitler was reduced to begging for my help. If I had not
served him, he would have found other methods, other means. He was not
a man to give up. It's easy enough for you to say, Mr. Prosecutor,
that I should have watched Hitler die and not lifted a finger. But the
entire working class would have died with him!

Even Marxists recognized Hitler's success, and their own failure. In
the June 1934 issue of the Zeitschrift für Sozialismus, the journal of
the German Social Democrats in exile, this acknowledgement appears:
Faced with the despair of proletarians reduced to joblessness, of
young people with diplomas and no future, of the middle classes of
merchants and artisans condemned to bankruptcy, and of farmers
terribly threatened by the collapse in agricultural prices, we all
failed. We weren't capable of offering the masses anything but
speeches about the glory of socialism.

VI. The Social Revolution
Hitler's tremendous social achievement in putting Germany's six
million unemployed back to work is seldom acknowledged today. Although
it was much more than a transitory achievement, "democratic"
historians routinely dismiss it in just a few lines. Since 1945, not a
single objective scholarly study has been devoted to this highly
significant, indeed unprecedented, historical phenomenon.
Similarly neglected is the body of sweeping reforms that dramatically
changed the condition of the worker in Germany. Factories were
transformed from gloomy caverns to spacious and healthy work centers,
with natural lighting, surrounded by gardens and playing fields.
Hundreds of thousands of attractive houses were built for working
class families. A policy of several weeks of paid vacation was
introduced, along with week and holiday trips by land and sea. A
wide-ranging program of physical and cultural education for young
workers was established, with the world's best system of technical
training. The Third Reich's social security and workers' health
insurance system was the world's most modern and complete.
This remarkable record of social achievement is routinely hushed up
today because it is embarrasses those who uphold the orthodox view of
the Third Reich. Otherwise, readers might begin to think that perhaps
Hitler was the greatest social builder of the twentieth century..

Nevertheless, restoring work and bread to millions of unemployed who
had been living in misery for years; restructuring industrial life;
conceiving and establishing an organization for the effective defense
and betterment of the nation's millions of wage earners; creating a
new bureaucracy and judicial system that guaranteed the civic rights
of each member of the national community, while simultaneously holding
each person to his or her responsibilities as a German citizen: this
organic body of reforms was part of a single, comprehensive plan,
which Hitler had conceived and worked out years earlier.
Without this plan, the nation would have collapsed into anarchy.
All-encompassing, this program included broad industrial recovery as
well as detailed attention to even construction of comfortable inns
along the new highway network.

It took several years for a stable social structure to emerge from the
French Revolution. The Soviets needed even more time: five years after
the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, hundreds of thousands of Russians
were still dying of hunger and disease. In Germany, by contrast, the
great machinery was in motion within months, with organization and
accomplishment quickly meshing together..

Hitler personally dug the first spadeful of earth for the first
Autobahn highway, linking Frankfurt-am-Main with Darmstadt. For the
occasion, he brought along Dr. Schacht, the man whose visionary credit
wizardry had made the project possible. The official procession moved
ahead, three cars abreast in front, then six across, spanning the
entire width of the autobahn..

Hitler's plan to build thousands of low-cost homes also demanded a
vast mobilization of manpower. He had envisioned housing that would be
attractive, cozy, and affordable for millions of ordinary German
working-class families. He had no intention of continuing to tolerate,
as his predecessors had, cramped, ugly "rabbit warren" housing for the
German people. The great barracks-like housing projects on the
outskirts of factory towns, packed with cramped families, disgusted

The greater part of the houses he would build were single story,
detached dwellings, with small yards where children could romp, wives
could grow vegetable and flower gardens, while the bread-winners could
read their newspapers in peace after the day's work. These
single-family homes were built to conform to the architectural styles
of the various German regions, retaining as much as possible the
charming local variants.

Wherever there was no practical alternative to building large
apartment complexes, Hitler saw to it that the individual apartments
were spacious, airy and enhanced by surrounding lawns and gardens
where the children could play safely.

The new housing was, of course, built in conformity with the highest
standards of public health, a consideration notoriously neglected in
previous working-class projects.

Generous loans, amortizable in ten years, were granted to newly
married couples so they could buy their own homes. At the birth of
each child, a fourth of the debt was cancelled. Four children, at the
normal rate of a new arrival every two and a half years, sufficed to
cancel the entire loan debt.

Once, during a conversation with Hitler, I expressed my astonishment
at this policy. "But then, you never get back the total amount of your
loans?," I asked. "How so?" he replied, smiling. "Over a period of ten
years, a family with four children brings in much more than our loans,
through the taxes levied on a hundred different items of consumption."
As it happened, tax revenues increased every year, in proportion to
the rise in expenditures for Hitler's social programs. In just a few
years, revenue from taxes tripled. Hitler's Germany never experienced
a financial crisis.

To stimulate the moribund economy demanded the nerve, which Hitler
had, to invest money that the government didn't yet have, rather than
passively waiting-in accordance with "sound" financial principles-for
the economy to revive by itself.

Today, our whole era is dying economically because we have succumbed
to fearful hesitation. Enrichment follows investment, not the other
way around..

Even before the year 1933 had ended, Hitler had succeeded in building
202,119 housing units. Within four years he would provide the German
people with nearly a million and a half (1,458,128) new dwellings!
Moreover, workers would no longer be exploited as they had been. A
month's rent for a worker could not exceed 26 marks, or about an
eighth of the average wage then. Employees with more substantial
salaries paid monthly rents of up to 45 marks maximum.

Equally effective social measures were taken in behalf of farmers, who
had the lowest incomes. In 1933 alone 17,611 new farm houses were
built, each of them surrounded by a parcel of land one thousand square
meters in size. Within three years, Hitler would build 91,000 such

Everywhere industry was hiring again, with some firms-like Krupp, IG
Farben and the large automobile manufacturers-taking on new workers on
a very large scale. As the country became more prosperous, car sales
increased by more than 80,000 units in 1933 alone. Employment in the
auto industry doubled. Germany was gearing up for full production,
with private industry leading the way.

The new government lavished every assistance on the private sector,
the chief factor in employment as well as production. Hitler almost
immediately made available 500 million marks in credits to private

This start-up assistance given to German industry would repay itself
many times over. Soon enough, another two billion marks would be
loaned to the most enterprising companies. Nearly half would go into
new wages and salaries, saving the treasury an estimated three hundred
million marks in unemployment benefits. Added to the hundreds of
millions in tax receipts spurred by the business recovery, the state
quickly recovered its investment, and more.

Hitler's entire economic policy would be based on the following
equation: risk large sums to undertake great public works and to spur
the renewal and modernization of industry, then later recover the
billions invested through invisible and painless tax revenues. It
didn't take long for Germany to see the results of Hitler's recovery

Economic recovery, as important as it was, nevertheless wasn't
Hitler's only objective. As he strived to restore full employment,
Hitler never lost sight of his goal of creating a organization
powerful enough to stand up to capitalist owners and managers, who had
shown little concern for the health and welfare of the entire national

Hitler would impose on everyone-powerful boss and lowly wage earner
alike-his own concept of the organic social community. Only the loyal
collaboration of everyone could assure the prosperity of all classes
and social groups.

Consistent with their doctrine, Germany's Marxist leaders had set
class against class, helping to bring the country to the brink of
economic collapse. Deserting their Marxist unions and political
parties in droves, most workers had come to realize that strikes and
grievances their leaders incited only crippled production, and thus
the workers as well.

By the of 1932, in any case, the discredited labor unions were
drowning in massive debt that realistically could never be repaid.
Some of the less scrupulous union officials, sensing the oncoming
catastrophe, had begun stealing hundreds of thousands of marks from
the workers they represented. The Marxist leaders had failed:
socially, financially and morally.

Every joint human activity requires a leader. The head of a factory or
business is also the person naturally responsible for it. He oversees
every aspect of production and work. In Hitler's Germany, the head of
a business had to be both a capable director and a person concerned
for the social justice and welfare of his employees. Under Hitler,
many owners and managers who had proven to be unjust, incompetent or
recalcitrant lost their jobs, or their businesses.

A considerable number of legal guarantees protected the worker against
any abuse of authority at the workplace. Their purpose was to insure
that the rights of workers were respected, and that workers were
treated as worthy collaborators, not just as animated tools. Each
industrialist was legally obliged to collaborate with worker delegates
in drafting shop regulations that were not imposed from above but
instead adapted to each business enterprise and its particular working
conditions. These regulations had to specify "the length of the
working day, the time and method of paying wages, and the safety
rules, and to be posted throughout the factory," within easy access of
both the worker whose interests might be angered and the owner or
manager whose orders might be subverted.

The thousands of different, individual versions of such regulations
served to create a healthy rivalry, with every factory group vying to
outdo the others in efficiency and justice.

One of the first reforms to benefit German workers was the
establishment of paid vacations. In France, the leftist Popular Front
government would noisily claim, in 1936, to have originated legally
mandated paid vacations-and stingy ones at that, only one week per
year. But it was actually Hitler who first established them, in 1933
-- and they were two or three times more generous.

Under Hitler, every factory employee had the legal right to paid
vacation. Previously, paid vacations had not normally exceed four or
five days, and nearly half of the younger workers had no vacation time
at all. If anything, Hitler favored younger workers; the youngest
workers received more generous vacations. This was humane and made
sense: a young person has more need of rest and fresh air to develop
his maturing strength and vigor. Thus, they enjoyed a full 18 days of
paid vacation per year.

Today, more than half a century later, these figures have been
surpassed, but in 1933 they far exceeded European norms.
The standard vacation was twelve days. Then, from the age of 25 on, it
went up to 18 days. After ten years with the company, workers got a
still longer vacation: 21 days, or three times what the French
socialists would grant the workers of their country in 1936.
Hitler introduced the standard forty-hour work week in Europe. As for
overtime work, it was now compensated, as nowhere else in the
continent at the time, at an increased pay rate. And with the
eight-hour work day now the norm, overtime work became more readily

In another innovation, work breaks were made longer: two hours each
day, allowing greater opportunity for workers to relax, and to make
use of the playing fields that large industries were now required to

Whereas a worker's right to job security had been virtually
non-existent, now an employee could no longer be dismissed at the sole
discretion of the employer. Hitler saw to it that workers' rights were
spelled out and enforced. Henceforth, an employer had to give four
weeks notice before firing an employee, who then had up to two months
to appeal the dismissal. Dismissals could also be annulled by the
"Courts of Social Honor" (Ehrengerichte).

This Court was one of three great institutions that were established
to protect German workers. The others were the "Labor Commissions" and
the "Council of Trust."

The "Council of Trust" (Vertrauensrat) was responsible for
establishing and developing a real spirit of community between
management and labor. "In every business enterprise," the 1934 "Labor
Charter" law stipulated, "the employer and head of the enterprise
(Führer), the employees and workers, personnel of the enterprise,
shall work jointly toward the goal of the enterprise and the common
good of the nation."

No longer would either be exploited by the other-neither the worker by
arbitrary whim of the employer, nor the employer through the blackmail
of strikes for political ends.

Article 35 of the "Labor Charter" law stated: "Every member of an
enterprise community shall assume the responsibility required by his
position in said common enterprise." In short, each enterprise would
be headed by a dynamic executive, charged with a sense of the greater
community-no longer a selfish capitalist with unconditional, arbitrary

"The interest of the community may require that an incapable or
unworthy employer be relieved of his duties," the "Labor Charter"
stipulated. The employer was no longer unassailable, an all-powerful
boss with the last word on hiring and firing his staff. He, too, would
be subject to the workplace regulations, which he was now obliged to
respect no less than the least of his employees. The law conferred the
honor and responsibility of authority on the employer only insofar as
he merited it..

In the Third Reich, the worker knew that "exploitation of his physical
strength in bad faith or in violation of his honor" was no longer
tolerated. He had obligations to the community, but he shared these
obligations with every other member of the enterprise, from the chief
executive to the messenger boy. Finally, the German worker had clearly
defined social rights, which were arbitrated and enforced by
independent agencies. And while all this had been achieved in an
atmosphere of justice and moderation, it nevertheless constituted a
genuine social revolution..

Factories and shops, large and small, were altered or transformed to
conform to the strictest standards of cleanliness and hygiene:
interiors, so often dark and stifling, were opened up to light;
playing fields were constructed; rest areas where workers could unbend
during break, were set aside; employee cafeterias and respectable
locker rooms were opened. The larger industrial establishments, in
addition to providing the normally required conventional sports
facilities, were obliged to put in swimming pools!

In just three years, these achievements would reach unimagined
heights: more than two thousand factories refitted and beautified;
23,000 work premises modernized; 800 buildings designed exclusively
for meetings; 1,200 playing fields; 13,000 sanitary facilities; 17,000

To assure the healthy development of the working class, physical
education courses were instituted for younger workers. Some 8,000 were
eventually organized. Technical training was equally emphasized.
Hundreds of work schools, and thousands of technical courses were
created. There were examinations for professional competence, and
competitions in which generous prizes were awarded to outstanding
masters of their craft.

Eight hundred departmental inspectors and 17,300 local inspectors were
employed to conscientiously monitor and promote these improvements.
To provide affordable vacations for German workers on a hitherto
unprecedented scale, Hitler established the "Strength through Joy"
program. As a result, hundreds of thousands of workers were now able
to make relaxing vacation trips on land and sea each summer.
Magnificent cruise ships were built, and special trains brought
vacationers to the mountains and the seashore. In just a few years,
Germany's working-class tourists would log a distance equivalent to 54
times the circumference of the earth! And thanks to generous state
subsidies, the cost to workers of these popular vacation excursions
was nearly insignificant..

Was Hitler's transformation of the lot of the working class
authoritarian? Without a doubt. And yet, for a people that had grown
sick and tired of anarchy, this new authoritarianism wasn't regarded
as an imposition. In fact, people have always accepted a strong man's

In any case, there is no doubt that the attitude of the German working
class, which was still two-thirds non-Nazi at the start of 1933, soon
changed completely. As Belgian author Marcel Laloire noted at the

When you make your way through the cities of Germany and go into the
working-class districts, go through the factories, the construction
yards, you are astonished to find so many workers on the job sporting
the Hitler insignia, to see so many flags with the swastika, black on
a bright red background, in the most densely populated districts.
Hitler's "German Labor Front" (Deutsche Arbeitsfront), which
incorporated all workers and employers, was for the most part eagerly
accepted. The steel spades of the sturdy young lads of the "National
Labor Service" (Reichsarbeitsdienst) could also be seen gleaming along
the highways.

Hitler created the National Labor Service not only to alleviate
unemployment, but to bring together, in absolute equality, and in the
same uniform, both the sons of millionaires and the sons of the
poorest families for several months' common labor and living.
All performed the same work, all were subject to the same discipline;
they enjoyed the same pleasures and benefited from the same physical
and moral development. At the same construction sites and in the same
barracks, Germans became conscious of what they had in common, grew to
understand one another, and discarded their old prejudices of class
and caste.

After a hitch in the National Labor Service, a young worker knew that
the rich man's son was not a pampered monster, while the young lad of
wealthy family knew that the worker's son had no less honor than a
nobleman or an heir to riches; they had lived and worked together as
comrades. Social hatred was vanishing, and a socially united people
was being born.

Hitler could go into factories-something few men of the so-called
Right would have risked in the past-and hold forth to crowds of
workers, at times in the thousands, as at the huge Siemens works. "In
contrast to the von Papens and other country gentlemen," he might tell
them, "in my youth I was a worker like you. And in my heart of hearts,
I have remained what I was then."

During his twelve years in power, no untoward incident ever occurred
at any factory he visited. Hitler was at home when he went among the
people, and he was received like a member of the family returning home
after making a success of himself.

But the Chancellor of the Third Reich wanted more than popular
approval. He wanted that approval to be freely, widely, and repeatedly
expressed by popular vote. No people was ever be more frequently asked
for their electoral opinion than the German people of that era-five
times in five years.

For Hitler, it was not enough that the people voted from time to time,
as in the previous democratic system. In those days, voters were
rarely appealed to, and when they expressed an opinion, they were
often ill-informed and apathetic. After an election, years might go
by, during which the politicians were heedless and inaccessible, the
electorate powerless to vote on their actions.

To enable the German public to express its opinion on the occasion of
important events of social, national, or international significance,
Hitler provided the people a new means of approving or rejecting his
own actions as Chancellor: the plebiscite.

Hitler recognized the right of all the people, men and women alike, to
vote by secret ballot: to voice their opinion of his policies, or to
make a well-grounded judgment on this or that great decision in
domestic or foreign affairs. Rather than a formalistic routine,
democracy became a vital, active program of supervision that was
renewed annually.

The articles of the "Plebiscite Law" were brief and clear:

1.The Reich government may ask the people whether or not it approves
of a measure planned by or taken by the government. This may also
apply to a law.

2. A measure submitted to plebiscite will be considered as established
when it receives a simple majority of the votes. This will apply as
well to a law modifying the Constitution.

3. If the people approves the measure in question, it will be applied
in conformity with article III of the Law for Overcoming the Distress
of the People and the Reich.

The Reich Interior Ministry is authorized to take all legal and
administrative measures necessary to carry out this law.
Berlin, July 14, 1933.
Hitler, Frick..

From the first months of 1933, his accomplishments were public fact,
for all to see. Before end of the year, unemployment in Germany had
fallen from more than 6,000,000 to 3,374,000. Thus, 2,627,000 jobs had
been created since the previous February, when Hitler began his
"gigantic task!" A simple question: Who in Europe ever achieved
similar results in so short a time?..

In his detailed and critical biography of Hitler, Joachim Fest limited
his treatment of Hitler's extraordinary social achievements in 1933 to
a few paragraphs. All the same, Fest did not refrain from

The regime insisted that it was not the rule of one social class above
all others, and by granting everyone opportunities to rise, it in fact
demonstrated class neutrality-These measures did indeed break through
the old, petrified social structures. They tangibly improved the
material condition of much of the population. (J. Fest, Hitler, pp.

Not without reason were the swastika banners waving proudly throughout
the working-class districts where, just a year ago, they had been
unceremoniously torn down.

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