Wehrwirtschaftsführer

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Albert Speer (right) congratulates Wehrwirtschaftsführer Edmund Geilenberg (left) on the bestowal of 'Ritterkreuz des Kriegsverdienstkreuzes' (May 1944), photo from the Bundesarchiv (National archive of Germany)
Willy Messerschmitt (1958)

Wehrwirtschaftsführer (WeWiFü) were, during the time of Nazi Germany (1933–1945), executives of companies or big factories called 'rüstungswichtiger Betrieb' (company important for the production of war materials). Wehrwirtschaftsführer were appointed, starting 1935, by the 'Wehrwirtschafts- und Rüstungsamt' (department for implementing the policy of directing the nation's economic activity towards preparation for and support of the war effort, including armaments) being a part of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), that was pushing the build-up of arms for the Wehrmacht. The purpose of the appointment was to bind them to the Wehrmacht and to give them a quasi-military status.

After 1938, the Reich Ministry of Economics (de) appointed the Wehrwirtschaftsführer. From 1940 on, this title was given more and more also to leading employees in companies not belonging to the armament branch, also to demonstrate that those companies were contributing to the wartime economy.

Especially before 1940, appointments did not indicate the political attitude of the person receiving the title. They also gave no information saying that his company / the company he was managing was important for the armament.

If a manager was appointed 'Wehrwirtschaftsführer', his company could more easily use negative employment laws for the workers and employees.

Appointed were (this is no complete list):

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blanke-Bohne, Reinhold. “Die unterirdische Verlagerung von Rüstungsbetrieben und die Außenlager des KZ Neuengamme in Porta Westfalica bei Minden.” Dissertation, University of Bremen, 1984.
  2. ^ Gustav-Hermann Seebold "Ein Stahlkonzern im Dritten Reich – Der Bochumer Verein 1927–1945", Peter Hammer Verlag Wuppertal 1981, p. 242 (in German)
  3. ^ Manfred Overesch: Bosch in Hildesheim 1937–1945: freies Unternehmertum und nationalsozialistische Rüstungspolitik, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-525-36754-4 (in German)
  4. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2nd aktualisierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8, p. 404. (in German)

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