Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft, or Circle of Friends of the Economy (which became known as "Freundeskreis Reichführer SS" or "Freundeskreis Himmler") was a group of German industrialists whose aim was to strengthen the ties between the Nazi Party and business and industry. The group was formed and co-ordinated by Wilhelm Keppler, one of Adolf Hitler's close economic advisors.

Role and development[edit]

Keppler, who had been a member of the NSDAP since 1927, formed the Circle after Hitler's request in 1932 for the formation of a "study group on economic questions".[1] Members were not initially expected to be party members (though many later joined the party), and portrayed the group as "palaver" and "an "innocuous gentleman's club".[2] The size of the group never exceeded 40 members.[1] Groups represented included manufacturing, banking, and SS officials.[3]

The group became associated with Heinrich Himmler, a friend of Keppler, beginning in 1935.[2] From 1936 to 1944, the members of the circle donated approximately 1 million Marks a year to Himmler for uses "outside the budget".[1] One use of the money was to fund the Ahnenerbe, which conducted Aryan historical and eugenicist research.[2]

At least some members of the group, such as Flick, later benefited from the NSDAP's policy of aryanization of Jewish-owned competitors.[2]

Post-war sentencing of group members[edit]

After the war, William Keppler was sentenced to ten years in prison following the Ministries Trial at Nuremberg in 1949. He was released in February 1951.

Friederich Flick was also sentenced to seven years after the Flick trial, and released early in 1950.[2]

Members[edit]

Members of the group included:[1][4]

From manufacturing:

From banking:

From politics and the SS:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sutton, Antony C. (2010-11-01). "Chapter 9: Wall Street and the Nazi Inner Circle". Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler. CLAIRVIEW BOOKS. ISBN 9781905570270. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Stallbaumer, L. M. "Frederick Flick's Opportunism and Expediency". Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies. Anti-Defamation League. 13 (2). 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Berghoff, Hartmut; Rauh, Cornelia (2015-05-30). The Respectable Career of Fritz K.: The Making and Remaking of a Provincial Nazi Leader. Berghahn Books. pp. 62–63. ISBN 9781782385943. 
  4. ^ Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (PDF). VI: The Flick Case. United States Government Printing Office. 1952. p. 287. 
  5. ^ "The Righteous Among The Nations". Yad Vashem. Retrieved 2017-03-20.