Gerald Feldman's history of the internationally prominent insurance corporation Allianz AG in the Nazi era is based largely on new or previously unavailable archival sources, making this a more accurate account of Allianz and the men who directed its business than was ever before possible. Feldman takes the reader through varied cases of collaboration and conflict with the Nazi regime with fairness and a commitment to informed analysis, touching on issues of damages in the Pogrom of 1938, insuring facilities used in forced labor camps, and the problems of denazification and restitution. The broader issues examined in this study--when cooperation with Nazi policies was compulsory and when it was complicit, the way in which profit, ideology, and opportunism played a role in corporate decision making, and the question of how Jewish insurance assets were expropriated--are particularly relevant today given the ongoing international debate about restitution for Holocaust survivors. This book joins a growing body of scholarship based on open access to the records of German corporations in the Nazi era. Gerald D. Feldman is Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley. His book, The Great Disorder (Oxford, 1993) received the DAAD Book Prize of the German Historical Association and the Book Prize for Central European History from the American Historical Association. He was an invited expert at the London Gold Conference in December 1997 and at the U.S. Conference on Holocaust Assets in Washington, D.C. in December 1998 and served as an advisor to the Presidential Commision on Holocaust Assets in the United States.
'... an interesting read for those of us who know the Germany insurance scene and the enduring qualities of the men and women who work within it.' Sam Ignarski, Lloyd's List 'This important work by Feldman demonstrate the value of continuing to focus scholarly labours on interpreting and elucidating the implications and consequences of the National Socialist dictatorship ... very significant contributions to this literature ... One of the elements that makes Feldman's book so compelling is the author's keen eye for the bizarre and unexpected twists ...'. Financial History Review