This book examines the role of Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest commercial bank, during the Nazi dictatorship, and asks how the bank changed and accommodated to a transition from democracy and a market economy to dictatorship and a planned economy. Set against the background of the world depression and the German banking crisis of 1931, the book looks at the restructuring of German banking and offers new material on the bank's expansion in central and eastern Europe. As well as summarizing recent research on the bank's controversial role in gold transactions and the financing of the construction of Auschwitz, the book also examines the role played by particular personalities in the development of the bank, such as Emil Georg von Strauss and Hermann Abs.
'James' monograph is well researched and documented. By drawing together the most important elements of his two previous publications, James' monograph of Deutsche Bank is more readily accessible to readers. We are left with the image of a bank that reluctantly became involved in the racist and expansionary policies of the Third Reich, whose powers were subordinated to the state.' Business History
"Harold James, the most knowledgeable expert of Deutsche Bank's history during the Third Reich, presents a thoroughly researched, highly knowledgeable and well written account on how the Deutsche Bank got involved in the politics of Nazi Germany...Ultimately James helps readers to judge whether the managers of the Deutsche Bank acted as accomplices or as unwitting agents."
- Christopher Kopper, Universitat Bielefeld
"In this important study, Harold James expands and deepens his earlier work on the country's pre-eminent bank in the Third Reich. Backed by newly discovered sources, he does not present a pretty picture of senior Deutsche Bank executives who, progressively marginalized in their political influence, defensively accommodated themselves to the Nazi dictatorship because resistance seemed too risky or was deemed to be futile in the face of the regime's dogmatic dynamism...Highly recommended not only to historians of Nazism, but also to Business School students."
- Volker R. Berghahn, Department of History, Columbia University
"...James's book is a very valuable contribution to the (currently) ever-increasing literature on German banks in the Third Reich."
- H-German, Mark Spoerer, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Hohenheim (Stuttgart)
"thoroughly researched, closely annotated book..." - H.A. Turner, Yale University
"Prof. James' account is well substantiated and persuasive." - Peter Hayes, Northwestern University