All 6 entries tagged Nazi Consolidation Of Power

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June 09, 2007

Thyssen Fritz (1873–1951)

Thyssen Fritz (1873-1951).

Thyssen was a  multimillionaire industrialist controlling the United Steel Trust. Joined the Nazi Party in 1923 who helped fund the Nazi Party. This financial support was particularly important in these early years. Was one of the group of industrialists who petitioned Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor but demanded that Otto Strasser and the SA should be repudiated for their continuous attacks on industry and their demands for nationalisation. In 1933 became head of the national employers association a powerful industry pressure group which enthusisatically embraced the corporatism of the Nazis. Quite a different position to that held by Gustav Krupp for example. In the Spring of 1933 Thyssen was extremely critical of Krupp and his leadership of the German Employers Federation (RDI) and Krupp’s tactic of trying to find a business/labour compromise in talks with the trade unions. But in 1938 he became rapidly disillusioned by the way in which autarky and the 4 Year Plan were overturning conventional economics and appeared to be dead set on a course to war. As a result he fled to Switzerland. Subsequently Goring’s Reichswerke took over slices of Thyssen’s empire which - somewhat ironically! - were confiscated under the law of 1934 which gave the Nazi state the power to expropriate the property of communists. Thyssen eventually went to France and was turned over to the Nazis by the Vichy government there, and was incarcerated in a concentration camp. He went to Argentina in 1948.


This entry is linked to a posting on Visconti's representation of Nazism in The Damned. This posting supplements that article.   

Reichenau, Walter von (1884–1942)

Reichenau, Walter von (1884-1942)

Reichnau was a career army officer he followed General Blomberg into the Ministry of War in 1933 fully co-operating with the Nazis. Reichenau made the agreement with Himmler to keep the army confined to barracks during the 1934 Rohm Purge. After the event Reichenau even issued a statement justifying the murder of General von Schleicher. He commanded the 10th Army in Poland in 1939 and the 6th Army invading Belgium and France and was made a Field Marshall. In Russia he issued specific anti-Jewish orders and would almost certainly have been tried at Nuremberg had he not been killed in an air crash in 1942.


This entry is linked to a posting on Visconti's representation of Nazism in The Damned. This posting supplements that article.   

Lubbe, Marianus van den (1909–1934)

Lubbe, Marianus van den (1909-1934)

Luube was found in the Reichstag building on the night of the Reichstag fire and was executed by beheading for this the following year. Originally trained as a mason he was an itinerant construction worker. At one point had joined the Dutch communist Party but disliked the discipline and authoritarian codes therefore left to join an small anarcho-syndicalist group. He had his eyesight severely damaged by an accident at work and was almost unemployable. From February 1931 he had begun a trek towards Russia. Getting only as far as Poland he returned to Germany going to Berlin. Lubbe was a believer in ‘direct action’ which he thought would arouse the working classes from their apathy and passivity in the face of the growth of Nazism. He had practised ‘direct action’ in Holland which had caused his break with the Communist Party. He started a campaign of arson in Berlin beginning with an attempt on the 23rd of February to burn down a welfare office a symbol of the oppression of the working class through unemployment. He followed this up with arson attempts on the town hall and the former royal palace. These attempts had been frustrated by early discovery and had barely mentioned in the press. Lubbe then proceeded to attack the Reichstag itself. Although half blind he was able to gain easy access to the building and proceeded to start a series of fires. He was eventually found and overcome by Reichstag officials. Subsequent evidence confirms that Lubbe had been acting alone. Rudolf Diels the non-Nazi head of the Prussian police considered that Lubbe was a madman however Hitler ranted that it was a communist plot and that Communists and social democrats would be repressed mercilessly. Orders were issued for the arrest of over 4,000 Communists. Diels ignored the demand that they be instantaneously shot. There is huge debate about whether Lubbe was set up to do this work by Nazi agents. Certainly it is the case that the excuse for the repression of the communists only a few days before the last election of the Weimar period which saw Hitler being finally swept into power on a popular vote was an excellent pretext to use great physical violence to disrupt and fragment the Communist party and Social Democratic Party campaigns. The timing of this event and upping of the ante in terms of violence against left of centre opposition to Nazism legitimised through state institutions which led to the ability to pass the ‘enabling act’ provides strong circumstantial evidence pointing to a case of agent provocateurism. (For a useful recent account see Evans: 2003: pp 328-338). 


This entry is linked to a posting on Visconti's representation of Nazism in The Damned. This posting supplements that article.

Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, Gustav (1870–1950)

Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, Gustav (1870-1950)

The main inheritor of the vast industrial and munitions manufacturing group which went by the same name. From 1931 he was in the important position of Chairman of the Association of German Industrialists. Initially he had opposed the rise of the Nazis warning Hindenburg against them. However he was reconciled to Hitler’s leadership and following Schacht became an enthusiastic supporter. Underlying this support was the way that Hitler destroyed the unions and their political power bases in the Communists and Social Democrats, combined with the removal of Otto Strasser who posed a radical threat. Finally the very strong Nazi position on rearmament guaranteed a meal ticket for the foreseeable future of Krupps. Gustav thus made heavy contributions to the Adolf Hitler Fund administered by Martin Bormann.


This entry is linked to a posting on Visconti's representation of Nazism in The Damned. This posting supplements that article.

Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, Alfred (1907–1967)

Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, Alfred (1907-1967)

The son and heir of Gustav Krupp he was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and in charge of weapons and munitions production at the company during WW II. He opened factories in Nazi occupied countries utilising slave and concentration camp labour. He was made minister of the war economy in 1943 and sentenced at Nuremberg to 12 years in prison and the confiscation of all his vast property worth many millions of pounds. He was released very early in 1951 and his property was restored to him.


This entry is linked to a posting on Visconti's representation of Nazism in The Damned. This posting supplements that article.

Heydrich, Reinhard (1904 – 1942)

Heydrich, Reinhard (1904 - 1942)

Returned to The Damned Article 

Chief of Reich Security Head Office and Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. Son of the founder of the Halle Conservatory. In a a contemporary Lexicon of Music and Musicians by his father’s name was a note which said ‘real name Suss’. There is therefore a clear implication that Heydrich was of Jewish extraction a fact that he sought to hide very carefully. His appearance was more Nordic and he was a skilled and fanatical organiser. He was continuously promoted within the SS and Security Services and was responsible for organising the Einsatzgruppen organised murder squads. As protector of Bohemia and Moravia he employed a carrot and stick approach. Those who served the regime were rewarded whilst others were fearsomely treated. The allies in London thought he was setting a dangerous precedent and this appeared to be one of the main reason why they organised his assassination. As a reprisal the village of Lidice was raised to the ground and thousands were transported to the camps. There was little danger of serious collaboration between the Czechs and the Nazis again. Heydrich’s reputation is one of an almost pathological cold ruthlessness.


This entry is linked to a posting on Visconti's representation of Nazism in The Damned. This posting supplements that article.   

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