Funding Evil

hoesch

For the NSDAP to become as powerful as it did, it had to receive financial backing, They could not only rely on donations of party members, because in the early 1930s many of them were not that wealthy, one of the reasons they had joined the party was to get themselves in a financial better position.

On November 19, 1932 , twenty representatives of industry, agriculture and the finance sector signed a petition ,urging Paul von Hindenburg to make Adolf Hitler the Chancellor of Germany.

The drafting of the petition was aided especially by Hjalmar Schacht, who had been the President of the Reichsbank until 1930 and resumed that position again after Hitler took power in January 1933.

SCHACHT

A few months after that petition, on February 20 1933, a group of 20 German  industrialists had a secret meeting with Hitler at the residence of Hermann Göring.  Hjalmar Schacht was again one of the participants. The meeting was held to facilitate funding for the Nazis election campaign for the March 5 ,1933 election.

The aim was to  achieve a two-thirds majority in order  to pass the Enabling Act,which would give Hitler total power over the Reichstag,   they wanted to raise three million Reichsmark to fund the campaign.

The Nazis  did not achieve the 3 million they desired during that meeting, but according to records,  over two million Reichsmarks were contributed or pledged at the meeting.

This is where it gets a bit problematic for me although several of the companies present on that day or who contributed monies afterwards, are no longer in existence. Some of them were disbanded after the war, or others like Hoechst who were  bought up r merged into  by other companies, Hoechst for example was partially acquired by the Dutch Hoogovens in the 1970s and the remainder of the company merged with France’s Rhône-Poulenc S.A. in 1999.

But there were companies who are still trading nowadays and are some of the biggest brands in the world. Companies like Siemens,Opel,Allianz insurance,BMW or companies like Osram lighting  who contributed 40,000 Reichsmark and AEG Electronics who gave 60,000 Reichsmark.

These companies are now household names, my dilemma is do we need to boycott them? Which would mean we can no longer sit leave alone drive an Opel or BMW, and lets not forget VW and Ford had also links to the NSDAP.

IG Farben who not only contributed 400,000 Reichsmark but also supplied Zyklon B via its subsidiary Degesch.

zyklon

But a part of IG Farben continued trading after the war as Bayer, which is one of the biggest pharmaceutical and life sciences companies in the world, many patients depend on their medicines,

As for Hjalmar Schacht who so willingly  participated in the meeting and petition, he was one of the non military people involved in the 20 July plot to kill Hitler.

I genuinely struggle with this because it is not a black and white issue. Do we really boycott all the companies who had ties with the Nazi regime? Because that is basically a great deal of companies who have been around since before WWII.

Coca Cola(via Fanta); Hugo Boss;Mercedes Benz;C&A;IBM;Chanel,Audi;Nestle;Barclays Bank;Kodak;AP;Adidas and Puma. There are literally hundreds of companies.

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