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How did Hitler Finance the War? November 29, 2007

Posted by anagasto in law, WWII.



It is a good question.

Germany had lost the first world war, had trouble getting back on its feet, and then came the American stock exchange disaster. People lined up in the street for free food even in the United States. This was when Hitler’s party gathered momentum. Where did the cash come from?

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In the beginning there was credit and great financial support from industry everywhere. Hitler had large plans for the public construction of roads, bridges, monuments and government buildings.

There was  some bullying of industry to get “donations”.  Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” sold as a bestseller worldwide.   However, by the time Hitler got elected, he was probably deep in debt.

Later, in power, Hitler’s finance minister Schacht designed a special currency.  It was a German mark to be used only inside Germany,  and  it could be printed in large amounts  just like food stamps.* * *

* * * So there were two currencies side by side. One was  for inside Germany only, and the other was for trips or business abroad  subject to permission, and so the government could  control and restrict  the movements of every single citizen.

According to New York Times : Reich Bureaucrats  Seen in a New Light, in time the Jews were stripped of all savings and assets,  so that at one point up to 30% of the military were financed by confiscated Jewish belongings.


Added March 2012

In Speer’s Secret Diaries, Speer and Schirach talk about Hitler’s private “Schatulle”, his income. Both of these men were at the top of the Reich, and yet they did not have first-hand information about Hitler’s finances. They talked about it much later, as inmates of Spandau prison, while working in the prison garden. They thought that Hitler obtained funds from the  industrial leaders. In addition they had heard of a scheme devised by one of Hitler’s aides giving him the right to charge for every picture of his face printed by the government, and so Hitler was able to charge on each stamp issued by the post office. Apparently that brought in a lot of money. Hitler used it to finance the construction of opera houses and theaters that were  top priority in his propaganda machinery, but also in his world view. Remember, there wasn’t yet any TV.

However, Speer knew that Hitler’s war debt was immense, and yet Hitler was already planning on vast postwar construction. In order to subdue and control the conquered lands, Hitler was going to build broad-track railway systems reaching all of  Europe and Russia.


Added February 2013

As you can see from the date of the drawing below, Hitler was openly looting Jewish property in 1943.

‘Before being deported, the Jews had to hand in an inventory of all their property. This painting shows my mother counting the items of linen in the chest of drawers while my father notes down the figures.’

22 expropriation of jews

Helga Weiss: List of Possessions, 7 January 1943
My Nazi death camp childhood diary”





As the German economy worked full time for the war, there was nothing people could buy with their salaries, so they put them on a savings account.

Towards the end of the war they had nothing to eat, but many owned large bank deposits. These became worthless, because when the war was over there was nothing anymore that you could buy with Hitler’s money.

The refugees from the East arrived  by the million. On their way many died of hunger, thirst, or cold. The children and old people could not make it:


Licensed under CC Attribution Deutsches Bundesarchiv at http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1985-021-09,

After the war there were bartering centers:

Half a kilo of butter cost 300 Mark.  You would try to exchange that for 100 cigarettes. Cigarettes are nearly ideal as a currency, because they are portable and countable and always in demand. Many things had to be obtained by barter:

“I would exchange a gray dress for an iron, a small oven for a pair of man’s shoes size 41, a sofa in good condition for a pram.”

translated from German “Tausche graues Kleid gegen ein Bügeleisen, einen kleinen Herd gegen Herrenschuhe der Größe 41, ein guterhaltenes Sofa gegen einen Kinderwagen.“ seen  at http://www.bpb.de/themen/69X7WA,3,0,Neubeginn%3A_Alltag_in_Nachkriegsdeutschland.html

In short:

Hitler did NOT pay for his wars.  The civil population was ruined, and the people bore the cost, but not just in Germany.

England and Russia were victorious, and they were ruined all the same.

German refugee  family returning home

Немецкие мирные жители возвращаются домой. Окрестности немецкого города Торгау.
A German refugee family returning home to Torgau.

The photo is from a Russian collection at http://waralbum.ru/42335/

Время съемки: апрель 1945 — Date of photo: 1945
Автор: Александр Гуйвик — Author: Alexander Guyvik



Licensed under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license for Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-C12701 / CC-BY-SA at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv

—-  Photos : 1929 NY stock exchange panic
—-  Hitler and Goering examining a stolen  painting being brought in by their attendants
—-  Battle of Stalingrad
—   German refugees arriving from the East.
—-  Hitler at a Nürnberg rally in 1928.


→  →   See >>>  >>   Nazi  Star  Architect 




1. enghtj55 - November 29, 2007

What are your sources for your above post? I understand this question is of crucial importance, and it has long been of concern to me how Hitler could promise work and keep his promise, which he evidently did, just like Mussolini before him.

2. cantueso - December 21, 2007

My source was the autobiography of Hitler’s finance man, Schacht.

Wikipedia says that Schacht also founded a company that existed only on paper and issued drafts called MEFOs to pay for armaments. You’ll see that at http://tinyurl.com/9yfl37

Elsewhere I found that only Napoleon had been able to finance fifteen years of war without bankrupting his country. Apparently he did it by thoughtful looting. However, he also sold Louisiana to the United States, and that must have brought in cash. Didn’t he sell Louisiana the year he planned to invade Russia ?

3. Lawrence Jones - September 7, 2008

Did he halt social proprams to finance the war effort?

4. cantueso - September 7, 2008

To Lawrence Jones:

Do you mean Hitler? He didn’t. Instead he degraded the currency, that is, he printed the cash that he needed for his plans. At the end of the war the GErmans still had a lot of money, but there was nothing anymore that could be bought with it. Some factories were still working, but the roads and the railways had been destroyed, there wasn’t any transportation anymore and no distribution.

5. Rags35 - September 21, 2008

Is this what they mean by “fiat” money?

6. cantueso - September 21, 2008

Fiat money is money backed exclusively by government order. There is no gold cover. In theory the government can issue as much money as may be needed to keep things going. The US and all European countries work that way. It is a good system, as long as you can trust the people handling it.

But it is the same with gold: have to trust the people handling it, those that weigh and melt it and those that store it.

“Fiat” is Latin meaning “let there be” and is famous as a saying from the first page of the Bible : Fiat lux = let there be light.

7. givenby - October 23, 2009

Bush family funded Adolf Hitler
13.05.2003 [14:40]

Have you ever wondered how Adolph Hitler – a mediocre painter of Austrian origin – transformed himself into Germany’s Fuhrer during the 1930s and 1940s?
The Nazi phenomenon was no historical coincidence, and far less a philosophical whim made real by just one man. Nazism had its followers, many of them exceptionally wealthy, veritable alchemists of the financial world back then.
According to research carried out over the last few years, Wall Street bankers (amongst others) financed Hitler’s rise to power whilst making large profits at the same time. What is yet still more deplorable is the fact that relatives of the current U.S. president were amongst this group of individuals.
U.S. authors Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Cheitkin reveal in the recently published George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography that Prescott Bush (George W. Bush’s grandfather) and other directors of the Union Banking Company (UBC) were Nazi collaborators.
The book relates how in 1922 – when national socialism was emerging – railroad impresario W. Averell Harriman traveled to Berlin and interviewed the Thyssen family with a view to founding a German-U.S. bank. The Thyssens were already behind-the-scenes owners of several financial institutions that allowed them to transfer their money from Germany to the Netherlands and from there onto the United States.
The banks in question were the August Thyssen Bank whose headquarters were located in Berlin; the Bank voor Handel (Netherlands) and the Union Banking Corporation (New York). At the beginning of the 1920s, one of the members of this family, Fritz Thyssen – author of I Paid Hitler – contributed some $25,000 USD to the recently formed German National Socialist Workers’ Party, becoming the prime and most important financier of the Fuhrer in his ascent to power.
According to the book’s authors, Thyssen was fascinated by Hitler, citing his talent as a public speaker and his ability to lead the masses. However, what impressed him most was the order that prevailed at his rallies and the almost military discipline of his followers.
And so, in 1931 Thyssen joined the Nazi party, becoming one of the most powerful members of the Nazi war machine.
At that time, the magnate presided over the German Steel Trust, a steel industry consortium founded by Clarence Dillon, one of Wall Street’s most influential men. One of Dillon’s most trustworthy collaborators was Samuel Bush: Prescott’s father, George Senior’s grandfather and great-grandfather of the current U.S. president George W. Bush.
In 1923, Harriman and the Thyssens decided to set up a bank and appointed George Herbert Walker – Prescott’s father-in-law – as president. Later, in 1926, they established the Union Banking Corporation (UBC) with Prescott Bush at the helm. That same year, he was also named vice president and partner at Brown Brothers Harriman. Both firms allowed the Thyssens to send money to the United States from Germany via the Netherlands.
U.S. economist Victor Thorn has noted that although a large number of other corporations aided the Nazis (such as Standard Oil and Rockefeller’s Chase Bank, as well as U.S. automobile manufacturers) Prescott Bush’s interests were much more profound and sinister.
Thorn adds that UBC became a secret channel to protect Nazi capital leaving Germany for the United States via the Netherlands. When the Nazis needed to retrieve their funds, Brown Brothers Harriman sent them directly to Germany.
In this way, UBC received money from the Netherlands and Brown Brothers Harriman sent it back. And who was on the executive of both of these companies? Prescott Bush himself, the Nazis’ first money launderer.
In their book, Tarpley and Cheitkin explain that in this way a significant part of the Bush family’s financial base is related to supporting and aiding Adolph Hitler. Therefore, the current U.S. president, just like his father (former CIA director, vice president and president) reached the peak of the U.S. political hierarchy thanks to his great-grandfather and grandfather and generally his entire family, who financially aided and encouraged the Nazis.
Some time later, in October 1942, the U.S. authorities confiscated Nazi bank funds from the New York UBC, whose then president was Prescott. The firm was condemned as a financial and commercial collaborator with the enemy and all its assets were seized.
Later, the U.S. government also ordered the seizure of the assets of a further two leading financial agencies directed by Prescott through the accounts of the Harriman banking institution: the Holland-America Trading Corporation (a U.S.-Dutch commercial firm) and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation.
Then on November 11, 1942, an embargo was imposed on the Silesian-American Corporation – another firm headed by Bush and Walker – under the same Trading with the Enemy Act.
However, in 1951, the embargo was lifted and the enterprising businessman recovered some $1.5 million USD, earmarked for new investments largely to swell the Bush family’s patrimony.
To this should be added a resumé of files belonging to Dutch and U.S. information services confirming the direct links between Prescott Bush, the German Thyssen family and the blood money of a group of rich U.S. families from the Second World War.
Tarpley and Cheitkin affirm that the great financial crash of 1929-1931 affected the United States, Germany and Britain, weakening their respective governments. At the same time, Prescott Bush became even more diligent, still more desirous of doing everything that was necessary to safeguard his place in the world. It was during this crisis that some members of the Anglo-U.S wealthy class supported the installation of Hitler’s regime in Germany.
To sum up, the authors categorically state that the Bush family’s fortune arose as a result of its unconditional support for Adolph Hitler’s political project.
The UBC, under Prescott Bush’s direction and with the long-term cooperation of Fritz Thyssen’s German Steel Trust participated in the emergence, preparation and financing of the Nazi war machine through the manufacture of armored vehicles, fighter planes, guns and explosives.
The Bush family’s habit of dominating territories and wealth is nothing new. Their fascist genes were generated during the 1930s. Therefore defining the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the threats to other countries as a continuance of blitzkreig offensives as fascist is no blunder. Neither is convening an anti-fascist front is a rhetorical exercise.


8. cantueso - October 23, 2009

To “Givenby”:

Thyssen started to finance Hitler in 1923. He himself claimed to have donated 1 000 000,– marks to Hitler’s party.

He advertised Hitler among the German industrialists who distrusted Hitler’s rough style and supporters.

He agreed to the prohibition of the Communist party and to the exclusion of Jews from public life, but then he protested against the persecution of Catholics —

and he resigned in 1938 in protest against public and State controlled attacks on Jews and Jewish property(“Kristallnacht”).

He resigned! — Imagine the guts!

He was expelled, he fled in 1940 with all of his family, was arrested in France, sent back to Germany and jailed first in Sachsenhausen and then in Dachau.

Now, tell me how many top profile Americans ever stood up against the Cheney set in the years following the tower collapse.

9. CG - March 1, 2012

Banking with Hitler:

10. Steve - July 2, 2012

Excuse my ignorance in this matter, but I’m still confused as to what the Allies were doing to control Germany after the signing of the treaty of Versailles. For Hitler to build up such wealth and amass the biggest war machine in Europe, how did it go unnoticed…?

11. cantueso - July 3, 2012

The Allies controlled Germany as best they could, but controlling year after year, sending commissions there to inspect this or that — can’t you see that works at best for the (news)paper? And for your TV! Wonderful! For example, the Germans were not allowed to build a “battleship”. Now first define a “battleship” :-D. Will you ask the lawyers to define the battleship?

So (again for instance) I know that the engineers in the big factory had big blueprints on their desks where they planned the future battleship, and when the commission arrived, they put those plans away and started to draw e.g. a lawn mower. — And Hitler did not build up any wealth. He built up debts later to be paid by the conquered countries.

12. glen - October 14, 2012

CG great video!

13. cantueso - December 9, 2012

Oh yes that video. I never watch any video, and I would not understand this one anyway if it is in English, can’t understand spoken English. Anyway, I’ll try or ask somebody here to listen to it to see if it has to be deleted. — I see it is 43 minutes! Might as well watch Gone with the Wind.

I tried, but I cannot understand anything at all. It is BBC, so it is probably alright.

14. rob - January 17, 2013

We need to warn.the public its our responsibility what’s realty going on

15. writer 267 - February 15, 2013


Exactly! But the trouble is that there is no way to find out what is going on! How are you going to do it? Are you going to go to Washington and sit in front of the White House?

16. Charlie - March 17, 2013

I just found this webpage by Googling – I’ve been watching Disney’s Donald Duck and Nazi’s to be honest. Yeah, some one above asked HOW Allies let Hitler to build such a strong military country and so… The answer is – to let Hitler be strong enough against the Soviet Union. This is new school (or maybe old school actually) of historical point of view to those things.

17. cantueso - March 27, 2013

The fear of communism was one of the reasons, but there were many.

Hitler became very strong in a short time and could not easily be restrained because he offered jobs. Unemployment was very high at the time.

He offered the probability of investments and new industrial power.
Even among Jewish people there were some who did not take his antisemitism seriously.

And finally, at the time Hitler was not considered a monster or a psychopath, but a cynic and a rabble-rouser.

18. Things you may not have known had it not been for the internet part 5 | The Space of Alex B. - March 30, 2013

[…] How did Hitler Finance the War? – espiego.wordpress.comhttps://espliego.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/how-did-hitler-finance-the-war/ […]

19. rick - May 28, 2014

It has been said that Switzerland financed hitlers start that got the people all behind the modivation not so much as nazi but as hungery people after WW I in the normal desire to provide for your or desired family . The promised end was bait to encourage the sheep to
follow and produce in gnp for hitlers
intent ? Then as countries were taken
so were the assets thus the ablility to get cash for even just salaries ????

20. cantueso - May 29, 2014

Where did you hear or read that? Unlike the exact sciences, the academic disciplines that study human culture (called “humanities” in English) are all based on sources (publicly available printed documents).

Switzerland as a country could not have helped Hitler. It was (and still is) bound by its constitutional neutrality. Besides, Switzerland was severely divided, since in its French part people did not receive the same news as those in the German-speaking part.– IN addition, there was some political calculus of the Realpolitik kind: how long can a 4 million country resist the military nd economic pressure of an 80 million neighbour?

I don’t think Hitler’s initial success needs to be explained by that massive unemployment which would depress people as it does now. On the contry, every video shows Hitler carried off by an immense wave of hope and enthusiasm.

Now, with TV and with computerized banking and police control, a wave of that kind would be next to impossible to resist.

21. That Time Donald Duck Was A Nazi - November 14, 2015

Donald’s aggressive nature is a double-edged sword however, and while
it at times is a hindrance and even a handicap for him, it has also helped him in times of need.

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