The Nazi Party
had strong links with big business
. Indeed, many industrial enterprises of the 1930s were headed by high-ranking Nazis and their friends. Gauleiter Wagner
, for example, as the Bavarian Minister of Education
, oversaw selection of textbook
s at great profit to himself. Göring
developed a huge industrial empire through his Four Year's Plan
's companion, Weber
, had large investments on Munich
service and its retail
fuel trade. Hjalmar Schacht
Minister of Economics
, was appointed president of the Reichsbank in 1933 and from this position produced twelve billion marks by 1938. Fritz Thyssen
, a Nazi Party member and the iron
and steel mogul
, supplied the Nazis with large funds. Typically, the Nazi Party was not dependent on big business for funding, but had stronger support from small businessmen. The strained alliance the Nazis did have with big businesses was more the result
of political expedience than shared attitudes.
Big business had generally been opposed to the Weimar Republic
, but the arrival of Hitler helped them to mellow somewhat. Businessmen hated having to acknowledge the trade union
s, which they believed had too much power,
and claimed the Welfare
taxation was ruining them. Hitler gained the acceptance of big business by ordering the disbandment of the trade unions and a share of the remunerative profits from armaments contracts. Predictably, this resulted in an accelerated rise (36% between 1933 and 39) in profits and a drop (5% between 1932 and 1939) in the share of wages of the Gross National Income. Throughout this, businesses had to survive several constraints, not the least of which was competition from high-ranking Nazis
like Göring who received priority treatment under government
regulations on import
levels and the allotment of raw materials
. Big businesses flourished, but not as well as much as they would have wanted.
collectively contributed more to the economy than big businesses, but did not reap the same rewards. Largely this was because of the enormous taxes
that were being used to prepare for the Second World War
, and of the restrictions on trade and currency
. Other policies, particularly anti-Semitic
and militarist ones, hurt larger businesses as well because of the way they unsettled oreign trading partners and investors. Tourism
was reduced considerably also as a result of Germany
's foreign policy. A shortage of workers from 1935 caused by the reintroduction of military conscription
caused many southern businessmen to become disillusioned with the Führer
they had trusted. Among those who did benefit were the owners of factory|factories] and shops that produced and sold Nazi uniforms, tin soldiers and similar gear and the hundreds of clerk
working for the party bureaucracy
Although the relationship between the Nazis and big businesses was uneasy, it was a more comfortable one than the businesses had with others. Before the Nazi rise to power they had counted on the German People's Party (DVP)
to protect their interests, but their dissolution on 4 July 1933 prompted most of the businessmen to turn to the NSDAP (Nazis) as the only other party left. Consequently, some large funds the DVP had received were transferred to the
NSDAP. The ability of the Nazis to turn the potential enemies of big businessmen into (albeit weak) allies demonstrates their impressive manipulative abilities.
and holidays it granted raised the workers' morale
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