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War and Economy in the Third Reich$
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R. J. Overy

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202905.001.0001

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Introduction: The Nazi Economy in Peace and War

Introduction: The Nazi Economy in Peace and War

(p.1) Introduction: The Nazi Economy in Peace and War
War and Economy in the Third Reich

R. J. Overy

Oxford University Press

The place of the German economy in the preparation and prosecution of war is of central importance in any interpretation of the Third Reich. The relationship between war and economy not only involved economic issues but profoundly affected German politics and German military strategy. This reflected Adolf Hitler's own view of the economy as primarily an instrument of power. For him the economy was not simply an arena for generating wealth and technical progress; its raison d'être lay in its ability to provide the material springboard for military conquest. Hitler held to a widely shared view that in the dog-eat-dog post-war world, prosperity had to be fought for, securing ‘the bread of freedom from the hardship of war’. This book is based around four major themes, each one of which has been, and remains, an area of historical controversy.

Keywords:   Germany, economy, war, Third Reich, politics, military, Adolf Hitler

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