Günter Reimann

German economist

Hans Steinicke (November 13, 1904February 5, 2005), better known by his pen-name Günter Reimann, was a German-born economist and writer. He was noted as founder and editor of International Reports, a New York-based weekly publication he created in 1947 and sold to the London Financial Times in 1983, and author of The Vampire Economy (1939) about what he described as the onerous business policy of the National Socialist German Workers Party and its disastrous effects on the German economy. Prior to World War II, Reimann was a member of the Communist Party of Germany and at the forefront of the underground resistance to Adolf Hitler within Nazi Germany.

Quotes edit

The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism, 2014 edit

Auburn: Alabama, Mises Institute reprint 2014, first published in 1939

  • I must confess that I think as most German businessmen do who today fear National Socialism as much as they did Communism in 1932. But there is a distinction. In 1932, the fear of Communism was a phantom; today National Socialism is a terrible reality. Business friends of mine are convinced that it will be the turn of the ‘white Jews' (which means us, Aryan businessmen) after the Jews have been expropriated… The difference between this and the Russian system is much less than you think, despite the fact that we are still independent businessmen.
    • p. 6 (letter from a German businessman)
  • You have no idea how far state control goes and how much power the Nazi representatives have over our work. . . In this respect they certainly differ from the former Social-Democratic officials. These Nazi radicals think of nothing except ‘distributing the wealth.’ Some businessmen have even started studying Marxist theories, so that they will have a better understanding of the present economic system.
    • p. 6 (letter from a German businessman)
  • While State representatives are busily engaged in investigating and interfering, our agents and salesmen are handicapped, because they never know whether or not a sale at a higher price will mean denunciation as a ‘profiteer’ or ‘saboteur’ followed by a prison sentence.
    • p. 7 (letter from a German businessman)
  • You cannot imagine how taxation has increased. Yet everyone is afraid to complain about it. The new State loans are nothing but confiscation of private property, because no one believes that the Government will ever make repayment, not even pay interest after the first few years.
    • p. 7 (letter from a German businessman)
  • The old type of capitalist who adheres to the traditional concepts of property rights is doomed to failure under fascism.
    • p. 9
  • The slightest formal mistake was punishable with tremendous penalties. A fine of millions of marks was imposed for a single bookkeeping error. Obviously, the [Nazi] examination of the books was simply a pretext for partial expropriation of the private capitalist with a view to complete expropriation and seizure of the desired property later.
    • p. 12
  • In others cases, National Socialist officials were levying harsh fines of millions of marks for a “single bookkeeping error.”
    • p. 12
  • The totalitarian State does not tolerate any ‘second government,’ any challenge to the power of the all-wise dictator. [As the Nazi party has stated] ‘Within the constitution of the Third Reich any position independent of the will of the Fuehrer no longer exists. The principle of separation of power is a thing of the past. Only the Party has a privileged position.’
    • p. 13 (Zeitschrift der Akademie fuer Deutches Recht, July 1, 1938, p. 513)
  • Fritz Nonnenbruch, the financial editor of the Voelkischer Beobachter, states: ‘There exists no law which binds the State. The state can do what it regards as necessary, because it has the authority…. The next stage of National-Socialist economic policy consists of replacing capitalist laws by policy.’
    • p. 13 (Fritz Nonnenbruch, Die Dynamische Wirtschaft (Munich, Centralverlag der N.S.D.A.P., 1936), pp. 114-119
  • The existence of a state within the State—the Party and the bureaucracy—is a phenomenon of the post-War world.
    • p. 18
  • Whereas in democratic countries the businessman may use his money to influence legislation and public opinion and thus operated as a source of power and corruption, in fascist countries he can exist only as the subject upon whom State power operates. The corruption in fascist arises inevitably from the reversal of the role of the capitalist and the State as wielders of economic power.
    • p. 24
  • [F]ascism is a new brand of feudalism in which the private capitalist has become merely a tool of the State—where absolute power has entirely taken the place of money power.
    • p. 28
  • Of all businessmen the small shopkeeper is the one most under control and most at the mercy of the Party. The Party man, whose good will he must have, does not live in faraway Berlin; he lives right next door or just around the corner. This local Hitler gets a report every day on what is discussed in Heer Schultz’s bakery and Herr Schmidt’s butcher shop. He would regard these man as ‘enemies of the State’ if they complained too much. That would mean, at the very least, the cutting of their quota or scarce and hence highly desirable goods, and it might mean the loss of their business license.
    • p. 31
  • A foreign visitor to the Berlin Stock Exchange would easily be deceived. There are announcements of daily quotations and price changes as though a free Stock Exchanged still existed, but nowhere would he find the former ‘public’— private buyers and sellers—as represented by independent brokers, bankers and ‘visitors.’
    • p. 178
  • The larger the big corporations grow and the closer they become connected with the State bureaucracy, the fewer changes there are for the rise of new competitors.
    • p.187
  • Japanese exporters are organized in export cartels by the State. The State restricts competition among exporters and importers. The same thing is done in Germany and Italy. Moreover, it is not only in totalitarian States that payments for imported goods have become dependent on governmental decisions.
    • p. 216

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about: