III Publishing

Notes on German Big Business
and the Rise of Hitler
by Henry Ashby Turner

page 3
by William P. Meyers

Site Search

Also sponsored by Earth Pendant at PeacefulJewelry

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Barack Obama
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation

The Nazi money machine

A large branch of the Nazi Party was the SA, the storm-trooper organization. Critics asked how could "so many men be fitted in uniforms and, in some cases, provided with food and shelter. The answer, now confirmed by an abundance of documentation, is that, just as the Nazis claimed, they financed the SA almost exclusively with their own resources and their own efforts." [116] The money came from dues, a special SA surcharge on dues, and subsidies from local and regional parties to their SA units. In many cases SA members hit up party members for extra contributions; it was probably hard to say no. Most SA members were able to buy their own uniforms.

In particular "The SA soup kitchens and hostels that spread throughout much of Germany as the depression worsened did not depend, as often assumed, on large financial subsidies but were instead made possible by countless small donations, many in kind, on the part of devoted party members." [116]

The SA had become quite an enterprising business. It sold uniforms and paraphernalia both at retail outlets and by mail order. "It lend its endorsement to mass-consumption products in return for a share of profits." This included Sturmer razor blades and Kampf margarine. But the biggest cash cow was cigarettes sold under the Sturm brand. SA members were encouraged "to dissuade the owners of taverns frequented by party members from stocking competing brands." There were even coupons from the cigarettes that could be redeemed for SA equipment.

The party sold copies of Hitler's Mein Kampf and other Nazi literature, including newspapers. Another large chunk of income came from charging for admission to rallies, which often attracted people who were not party members. Then the SA men would pass the hat inside the rallies. And the Nazis held far more rallies than any other German party. [117-119]

In 1930 the party extended selling a medical insurance plan from the SA to the entire membership. [121]

Since membership began growing rapidly in 1929, the magnitude of money the party received largely reflected the growth in dues-paying members. [121]

Radical Appeal: Nazis in the Reichstag, Fall 1930

"When the new Reichstag convened ... [the party] acted quickly to show where it stood on economic issues. . . The Nazis proposed to nationalize all large banks; to ban trading in stocks and bonds, to outlaw impersonal transfers of stock . . . to limit interest rates to 5% . . . and to confiscate the property of "princes of banking and the stock exchange." These proposals had "an immediate chilling effect on the business community." The Nazis also supported a major strike of metalworkers in Berlin in the fall of 1930. [127]

Next: Adolf Hitler's Personal Finances (page 4)

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6

III Blog list of articles