The Economic History Review

Against the mainstream: Nazi privatization in 1930s Germany1

Volume 63 Issue 1
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Pages: 34-55Authors: GERMÀ BEL
Published online: December 14, 2009DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00473.x

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Nationalization was particularly important in the early 1930s in Germany. The state took over a large industrial concern, large commercial banks, and other minor firms. In the mid-1930s, the Nazi regime transferred public ownership to the private sector. In doing so, they went against the mainstream trends in western capitalistic countries, none of which systematically reprivatized firms during the 1930s. Privatization was used as a political tool to enhance support for the government and for the Nazi Party. In addition, growing financial restrictions because of the cost of the rearmament programme provided additional motivations for privatization.