Kurt Baron von Schröder

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Schroeder at the Nuremberg Trials

Baron Kurt von Schroeder (November 24, 1889 in Hamburg, Germany - November 4, 1966) was a German banker based in Cologne who was a member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), and who hosted a notorious meeting between Franz von Papen and Adolf Hitler that facilitated Hitler's rise to power.

Schroeder was born in Hamburg, Germany, on 24 November 1889. He was a student at the University of Bonn, and joined the Reichswehr during World War I. He there served as a captain in the General Staff.

After the war he joined a firm of bankers in Cologne. In 1928 he joined the German People's Party. He contributed money to the Nazi Party and joined the Circle of Friends of the Economy (Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft) and the National Socialist German Workers Party.

Role in supporting Hitler[edit]

Schroeder was an important member of the Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft, which provided Adolf Hitler and his party with enough financial support to survive through the early 1930s. He also hosted a critical meeting on 4 January 1933 between Papen and Hitler that eventually led to Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany. As a result of Schroder's efforts, Heinrich Himmler awarded him with the honorary rank of SS Brigadefuhrer. On 24 November 1939 (his birthday), Schroeder was presented with a SS honor Degen (sword) by Himmler bearing the inscription "Meinen Lieben Kurt Freiherr von Shroder zum 24.11.39. H Himmler. Reichsfuhrer SS".

Schroder figures prominently in the book by former Hoover Institution scholar Antony C. Sutton titled Wall Street And The Rise Of Hitler. As Sutton observes,

After the war, there were attempts to conceal the financing of Nazi regime, some by the former American bankers and officials of the Allied military government, especially by blocking the investigation of the bank Bankhaus J.H. Stein based in Cologne, Germany. This bank, the so-called "bank of the cartel kings", had been suspected to have served as a conduit for funding Heinrich Himmler's SS through deposits by German industrial cartels.[citation needed]

Rewards for support[edit]

Schroeder became chairman of the board of directors of several major companies in Germany and was president of the Rhineland Industrial Chamber in Cologne.

Postwar[edit]

After the Second World War, Schroeder was arrested and was tried by a German court for crimes against humanity. He was found guilty and was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.

Kurt von Schröder died on November 4, 1966.

References[edit]