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In 1934, the Nazi regime decided to expand German staple fibre capacities significantly. The planned expansion expressed by the ‘National Pulp Programme’ was not only motivated by the balance of payments crisis at this time, but also by long-term autarky considerations. However, private companies and the Nazi regime disagreed on the size of the cellulose fibre markets and on how risks were to be shared. Therefore the Nazi regime considered the foundation of privately owned but actually state controlled new suppliers as a way of influencing the private companies to comply with its demands. However, as far as the established companies’ willingness to invest was concerned, this strategy did not prove particularly successful. These companies were disposed to invest but only according to their long-term expectations regarding the potential staple fibre market given normal conditions; that is, with no import restrictions on natural fibres. Surprisingly, not only the big, established companies but also the private shareholders of the regional plants–often comparatively small textile companies–were not forced by the state to fulfil the requirements of the Nazi regime. Therefore these results suggest that the still-prevailing command economy thesis is not supported by the evidence.