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Between Coercion and Private Initiative - Entrepreneurial Freedom of Action during the ‘Third Reich’

  • Innbundet

  • 2022

  • Engelsk

This book explores the extent of private companies’ freedom of action during the Nazi period through six case studies of different economic sectors. Since the mid-1990s, historical research has intensively discussed the role played by private, domestic and foreign enterprises during the ‘Third Reich’. Numerous case studies suggest that even under the extreme ideological circumstances of the ‘Third Reich’, the strategic decisions of private firms followed economic criteria. In fact, the regime was especially able to control the economy successfully in those cases in which it operated with economic incentives and gave companies room for manoeuvre. This scope, however, became increasingly smaller towards the end of the war due to increasing state intervention and government control. The chapters discuss this scope of action and relate it to the National Socialist crimes.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Business History.

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