K Street in Nazi Germany

Building on these old posts about the relationship between capitalism and Nazism, here’s another nugget from Martin Kitchen’s biography of Speer:

Speer’s plan for Berlin underlined the fact that the headquarters of the Armed Forces and of Germany’s leading companies did not merely share the same address, but lived together in harmony….Ernst Petersen’s project for the washing powder manufacturer Henkel was next door to Herbert Rimpl’s building for the Hermann Göring Works. IG Farben was placed opposite Hitler’s palace. AEG was across the street from the Ministry of Propaganda. This sense of togetherness and of monumentality was strengthened by bunching these huge buildings together along the north-south axis.


  1. empty January 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm | #

    Apropos of which

    • robert kircher January 2, 2016 at 12:09 am | #

      so, corey, the corporate, militay-industrial-complex was not an artifact of cultural-institutional Americana invented on the post-WWII prompting of GE’s charlie smith. no wonder president eisenhower raised the warning flag.

  2. G Hiatt January 2, 2016 at 12:06 am | #

    In Carol Quigley’s –“Tragedy and Hope-A History of the World in Our Time” — when he writes about ‘The Quartet’ in Nazi Germany he means the army, bureaucracy, land owners and industrialists, who supported Hitler.

    “The Nazi system was dictatorial capitalism—that is, a society organized so that everything was subject to the benefit of capitalism.”

    “Nazism was propped up by the Quartet as a counter-revolutionary force against the Weimar Republic, democracy, and the dangers of social revolution (Socialism), and Communism.”

    “The danger to the profit system from the state has always existed because the state is not essentially organized on a for profit basis. In Germany this danger from the state was averted by the industrialists taking over the state, not directly, but through an agent, the Nazi Party. The threat from public ownership was eliminated under Hitler. The United Steel Works, as well as three of the largest banks in Germany, which had been taken over during the crisis of 1931, were restored to private ownership.”

    “Under this system there were no collective bargaining, no way in which any group defended the worker in the face of the great power of the employer. Under this control there was a steady downward reduction of working conditions. Employers got the labor, wage, and working conditions they wanted, and abolished labor unions and collective bargaining.”


    Someone once said — “Fascism is the iron hoop around the collapsing barrel of capitalism”

  3. Roquentin January 3, 2016 at 10:18 am | #

    Once again: yes and no. You could claim the close relationship amounted to something akin to nationalization. I should confess, I’m reading a book by a Russian art historian, Igor Golomstock, who draws parallels between the Soviet and National Socialist systems, particularly in the cultural arena, which are way too compelling to ignore. He gets decent mileage out of Molotov-Ribbentrop and many other such events in the 20s and 30s. It really made a difference hearing this case from someone who wasn’t evangelizing from neoliberalism. It’s also worth mentioning the racist turn the Soviet government took immediately after WWII and Stalin’s plan kick all the Jews out of Moscow.

    I know this isn’t specifically economic, but then as now I argue that National Socialism amounted to a hybrid system with heavy state control of industry while leaving the basics of capital accumulation intact. It was an attempt to prevent outright communist revolution, but also adapted certain aspects of that system.

    I wrote this on my phone. Forgive any grammar problems.

  4. Jean Paul Polis January 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm | #

    Ok. Very interesting.

    First: @Roquentin, according to the nietzschean view of traditionalists, Russia is now the apollonian Katechon, the tellurocratic Order, the socialist and collectivistic pro-labour East versus the dionysian Antichrist, the thalassocratic Chaos, the liberal and individualistic pro-capital West represented by USA.

    In that eschatological Final Battle – in the same apocalyptic Land of all three monotheisms, in the end Kali yuga age – the “orthodox converted” Russia is calling for support in countries of the world for a great anti-liberal coalition. Except in english speaking countries, “liberal” has nothing to do with universal freedom and democracy.

    Thus some russian intellectuals are trying to find internal resistance (fifth columns) in western countries painting “red” the historical fascism (national-bolshevism) and seeking consensus among anti-capitalism conservatives (philologically – I know – a non sense), nationalists and traditionalists. Think about Le Pen/J. Sapir or… Trump (I don’t know, maybe he’s a fascist, I think he’s a gatekeeper, however I think it’s too early for a “reductio ad Hitlerum”…) .

    That’s is why you are confused.

    It’s politic, not history: these two posts and the others linked are philologically correct.

    Second: Corey, you have missed the point; although your articles are interesting.

    Why “interesting”?

    Because your psycology – an American mind developed in a totalitarian liberal regime – can’t answer quickly directly to a criticism of the very real fondamental american political values: the (absent) relation between democracy and classic liberalism on which is founded American Constitution.

    Thus if someone “point the finger” in the direction of the most impressive brutal antidemocratic force of the modernity, the American imperialist capitalism FREE from people sovereignty (this is liberalism, please, nothing to do with “fighting hierarchies”), the Pavlovian feedback is: « you are a nazi »; or “you are revisionist”, or whatelse. Isn’t it?

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    The American narcistic ideology can’t contemplate the hypothesys that the criticism belongs to a real democratic person, with e real modern democratic culture as it’s developed in western – “tellurocratic” – Europe countries after WWII. When 30 millions of Russians died for having the Red Flag on the top of Reichstag, Anglosaxon capitalism let us Europeans developing real democratic constitutions…. untill the liberal counter-revolution and the Russian Katastrojka.

    It’s obviuos that fascism was the ideological “superstructure” of a capitalistic “base” (URSS was different!), maybe with the typical “autonomy” of dictatorships with strong national State.

    Thus: If we are all agree with the fact that free capitalism is the “base” of all modern monstrosities, why a Nation founded on a classic liberal constitution designed to let “free the Capital” in a segmented society, should not create monsters like Hitler?

    What does your liberal religion say?

    Maybe Roosevelt was better then Hitler, if you like “morals”: the American capitalism was the same of Nazi one. No more, no less.

    The capitalism in the social (keynesian for rigid constitution) democracies has been diverse.

    Is it more clear, now?

    If the most powerful Nation has no represented a political or intellectual movement for a modern democratic Constitution – socialist and keynesian, labour oriented – how is possible to save from USA and the rest of the world?

    Maybe, as we can see from the level of modern american political and intellectual debate, is better that USA collapses: as Sheldon Wollin pointed out, before the constitution of the federal State, the single American states were more democratic than after the Declaration of indipendence.

    Happy New Year.

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