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Missing in Action: Germany's Upper Classes During the Nazi Period

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SoDesuKa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 12:18 AM
Original message
Missing in Action: Germany's Upper Classes During the Nazi Period
During the Nazi period of German history, roughly the twenty-year period from 1925 through 1945, where were the upper classes? I don't find any reference to their existence, much less their influence on events. This is anomalous and causes me to suspect that the historical records have been scrubbed.

We know that the upper classes existed before the Nazis, and they existed after the Nazis. My question has to do with what they were up to during the Nazis.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 12:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. I can't say about all of them but his supporters were industrialists,
celebrities, bankers etc. I read this in a history long ago so I don't have a link. They were there and they were the money behind him and they are the ones who were connected to Americans like Prescott Bush and the others who got into trouble with the law for supporting them during the war(aiding and abetting).
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SoDesuKa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Slave Labor Camps
I'm actually looking for an economic interpretation of the slave labor camps. Instead I'm seeing bend-over-backwards interpretations that suggest that the purpose of slave labor camps was to punish enemies of the state. Clearly, that can't be their sole purpose, especially given the Reich's need for industrial production.

Nazi economist Hjalmar Schacht was one of the few Nuremberg defendants who was actually acquitted.



Hjalmar Schacht
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I agree with you that was not the only reason - they used many prisoners
that had no political axe to grind. Anyone who was in a camp for any reason (i.e gays, activists, foreigners, Jewish persons) were used.

You might want to search the DU archives for articles regarding Prescott bush and the camps. I do not know if he himself was involved but some of his friends were. FDR's justice department charged them with aiding and abetting. The records are in the National Archives. I know that they are in the DU archives because I spent half a day typing the info out. Don't know how to retrieve thought.
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SoDesuKa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-21-11 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. German Economy Was Rescued by Ignorance
If the Nazis had had any economic ideas of their own, these ideas would probably have been as zany as the rest of Nazi theory. However, because the Nazis didn't know what they were doing, their ignorance had the perverse effect of enabling the government to stumble across a solution to the Depression. German rearmament got people working again, a secondary effect of what it was intended to do.

In our times, our own government is making our current recession much worse. I'm astonished at the lack of thought that goes into political slogans. Low taxes aren't creating jobs in America. The jobs are going overseas where the people are willing to work for 40 cents an hour.




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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. Visconti's film "The Damned" will give you a pretty good idea

It's startling, really, when you see it (made in the late 60's, about events in the 30's) how familiar the collusion between the corporatists/industrialists, and the growing military state, really is.

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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. visited the Holocaust Museum in DC last year
they have extensive information and artifacts there and I recommend anyone nearby check it out...

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=100051...

also...

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,5111...

"BMW's Quandt Family to Investigate Wealth Amassed in Third Reich"
"...According to a family friend, it was apparently a nightmarish experience for many family members. Nevertheless, instead of considering their legal options, family members were more concerned about damage control and how best to protect the Quandt family's image..."
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Monk06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. Search Ludwig and Margareta Stoneborough-Wittgenstein of the Carl Wittgenstein
Edited on Sat Aug-20-11 12:52 AM by Monk06
Steel conglomerate. Carl Wittgenstein saw Hitler coming and
went into partnership with US Steel in order to move the bulk
of the family assets out of Germany when expatriation of Jewish
assets was still legal. And the Wittgenstein family were not officially
Jewish having converted to Catholicism in the 1830s. Even so Margareta
Wittgenstein had to sign over all the family's holdings in Deutsche Marks
to the SS when she was detained by the Gestapo in Czechoslovakia.
She barely made it out of Germany alive.

Her home in Vienna still exists as an historical monument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haus_Wittgenstein
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. The Jewish people were in a different situation. And she is lucky to
have gotten out because changing religion did not help that much when they were going by genealogy lines instead.
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Tansy_Gold Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
5. Friedrich Percyval Reck-Malleczewen
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SoDesuKa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. The Psychological Interpretation of the Nazi Period
Whole societies do not become psychotic. That's nonsense. Whatever happened in Germany between 1930 and 1945 demands a more sensible explanation than some extrapolation from individual psychology.

The Nazi period needs to be explained in ways that don't rely on flights of fancy. It wasn't all that long ago.
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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 01:59 AM
Response to Original message
8. Generaloberst Kurt Gebhard Adolf Philipp Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_von_Hammerstein-Equor...

He had earned the nickname, "The Red General," for fraternizing with the trade unions. Hammerstein-Equord personally warned Adolf Hitler in December 1932, against trying a coup by illegal means, promising that in that case he would give the order to shoot.
...
During World War II, Hammerstein-Equord was involved in several plots to overthrow Hitler.
...
He became active in the German Resistance, working with Carl Friedrich Goerdeler.
...
Two of his sons, Ludwig and Kunrat, took part in a failed plot to kill Hitler and replace the Nazi regime with a new government on 20 July 1944, fleeing Germany in its aftermath.
...
As Chief of the Army High Command, Hammerstein-Equord oversaw the composition of the German manual on military unit command (Truppenfhrung), dated 17 October 1933.

He is quoted as originating a special classification scheme for his men:

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent -- their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy -- they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent -- he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.
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SoDesuKa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Unserious
The rise of the Nazis suggests something so reckless and unserious about German society that it's difficult to explain. Did the upper classes disappear during that time? We can see from the Nazis' actions that they didn't care what happened to Germany, but what's surprising is that nobody else did either. I can't explain that.

Granted, here and there there are individual exceptions. But the whole of serious German society seems to have been out to lunch during the Nazi period. How do you explain that? I hear silliness like the theory of some collective madness falling over the entire country, but there's nothing really satisfying about novel, one-off explanations like that.

How did those silly-ass Nazis come to power in the first place? And when they got there, how did they keep such their ungainly governmental structure going, when there should have been massive resistance?
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. For a reasonable answer you have to start by looking at the terms
of the treaty after WWI and add in the Great Depression. They were in a very bad economic fix. No one seemed to have answers to the joblessness and poverty that followed. They were looking for a leader. Hitler did not come out yelling about the Jewish people, or taking over the world, or concentration camps or anything threatening like that. He talked about rebuilding the old Germany before the crisis, the very thing that people longed for. That was all he needed to get elected. Once he solidified his power the SS made damn good and sure that the people followed him. But one of the biggest things we overlook is how charismatic he was. Not to us but to those people who were in a very serious economic crisis.
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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Look to current day America
Edited on Sat Aug-20-11 09:26 PM by Kennah
I'm not saying people are being shoved onto trains and going into ovens, but a whole lot of people are just keeping to themselves, partaking in reality TV, ignoring the plight of millions, ignoring our national downward spiral into Depression II.

They read about military strikes on brown people thousands of miles away and think "Ah, good, it's not here. I'm safe."

Or how about anything happening in Wisconsin? Can even 1 adult in 10 with a TV articulate even the most rudimentary of facts about Scott Walker, recall elections, attempts to destroy the unions, etc.

How did those silly-ass Tea Baggers come to power last November? Same way those silly-ass Nazis did. They got elected.

And I totally agree with you that the majority of Germans in the upper classes did nothing, and people like von Hammerstein-Equord were an exception.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. You know his classification could be used to describe politicians
also. LOL.
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Kennah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-11 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Certainly the previous occupant of the White House, but I'm not sure "mischief" quite cuts it
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whistler162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-25-11 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
17. A mixed bag some where pro-NAZI and some did what they
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