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Bureaucracy, Work and Violence: The Reich Ministry of Labour in Nazi Germany, 1933–1945

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Bureaucracy, Work and Violence

The Reich Ministry of Labour in Nazi Germany, 1933–1945

Edited by Alexander Nützenadel
Translated from the German by Alex Skinner

530 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-458-2 $179.00/£132.00 Hb Published (May 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-459-9 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $59.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Reviews for the German Edition:

“The results of this broad archival research venture are as impressive as they are innovative, especially since—unlike the thoroughly researched topic of Nazi state social and labor policy—the Reich Ministry of Labor comes into the spotlight for the first time.” • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“One reads with interest the descriptions of institutional affairs, housing, pension insurance, labor law, and developments after 1945. The strength of the study lies in its presentation of new results based on intensive archival work by scholarly collaborators.” • Süddeutsche Zeitung


Work played a central role in Nazi ideology and propaganda, and even today there remain some who still emphasize the supposedly positive aspects of the regime’s labor policies, ignoring the horrific and inhumane conditions they produced. This definitive volume provides, for the first time, a systematic study of the Reich Ministry of Labor and its implementation of National Socialist work doctrine. In detailed and illuminating chapters, contributors scrutinize political maneuvering, ministerial operations, relations between party and administration, and individual officials’ actions to reveal the surprising extent to which administrative apparatuses were involved in the Nazi regime and its crimes.

Alexander Nützenadel is Professor of Social and Economic History at the Humboldt University Berlin. He is the coordinator of the DFG Priority Programme “Experience and Expectation: Historical Foundations of Economic Behavior” and spokesman for the Independent Historians’ Commission on the History of the Reich Labour Ministry during the National Socialist Era. His publications include Stunde der Ökonomen. Wissenschaft, Expertenkultur und Politik in der Bundesrepublik 1949–1974 (2005).

Subject: Genocide History
Area: Germany


List of Figures and Tables
List of Abbreviations

Rüdiger Hachtmann, Elizabeth Harvey, Sandrine Kott, Alexander Nützenadel, Kiran Klaus Patel and Michael Wildt

Alexander Nützenadel

Part I: Administrative Structure, Personnel and Institutional Conflicts

Chapter 1. The Reich Ministry of Labour, 1919–1945: Organization, Leading Personnel and Political Room for Manoeuvre
Ulrike Schulz

Chapter 2. Mid-Level Civil Servants’ Education, Professional Life and Career Structure
Lisa-Maria Röhling

Chapter 3. The Reich Ministry of Labour and the German Labour Front: Permanent Conflict and Informal Cooperation
Rüdiger Hachtmann

Part II: Policy Fields

Chapter 4. The Housing Policies of the Reich Ministry of Labour
Karl Christian Führer

Chapter 5. Pension Insurance Policy: The Impact of Labour Deployment and Discrimination
Alexander Klimo

Chapter 6. Labour Law in the Nazi State: The Labour Trustees and the Criminalization of Breaches of Employment Contract
Sören Eden

Chapter 7. The Labour Administration and the Organization of the War Economy
Henry Marx

Part III: Expansion, War and Crimes

Chapter 8. Social Policy. External Propaganda and Imperial Ambitions
Kiran Klaus Patel and Sandrine Kott

Chapter 9. Labour Administration and Manpower Recruitment in Occupied Europe: Belgium and the General Government
Elizabeth Harvey

Chapter 10. The General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment and the Reich Ministry of Labour
Swantje Greve

Chapter 11. Holocaust and Labour Administration: Jewish Labour Deployment in the Ghettos of the Occupied Eastern Territories
Michael Wildt

Part IV: The Ministry after 1945

Chapter 12. A Vanishing Act: The Reich Ministry of Labour and the Nuremberg Trials, 1945–1949
Kim Christian Priemel

Chapter 13. New Beginning and Continuities: The Top Personnel of the Central German Labour Authorities, 1945–1960
Martin Münzel

Appendix I: Designations of Office
Appendix II: Biographies


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