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A Prussian Socialism? Wichard von Moellendorff and the Dilemmas of Economic Planning in Germany, 1918–19

  • David E. Barclay

Extract

In the wake of Germany's military defeat in 1918, social and economic programs that previously could have been left to academicians or party theoreticians suddenly acquired a new urgency and immediacy. One of the more interesting—and controversial—of these was an ambitious proposal by the engineer Wichard von Moellendorff, who served in 1918 and 1919 as Under State Secretary in the Reich Economics Office (later the Economics Ministry), to redesign the entire edifice of the German economy through the implementation of a system of economic “collectivism” or “planning” (Gemeinwirtschaft or Planwirtschaft). With the assistance of his superiors, the right-wing Social Democrats August Müller and Rudolf Wissell, Moellendorff endeavored to institutionalize his plans in the months after the November Revolution, until a negative cabinet decision in July 1919 precipitated his resignation.

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1. Roselius, Ludwig, Gegen die Zwangswirtschaft des Reichswirtschafts-Ministeriums (Berlin, 1919), p. 42;Felix, David, Walther Rathenau and the Weimar Republic: The Politics of Reparation (Baltimore, 1971), p. 57.

2. Bowen, Ralph H., German Theories of the Corporative State: With Special Reference to the Period 1870–1919 (New York, 1947), pp. 160–61;von Klemperer, Klemens, Germany's New Conservatism: Its History and Dilemma in the Twentieth Century (Princeton, 1957), p. 222;Maier, Charles S., “Between Taylorism and Technocracy: European Ideologies and the Vision of Industrial Productivity in the 1920s,” Journal of Contemporary History 5, no. 2 (1970): 28, 45;Schmid, Dieter, “Wichard von Moellendorff: Ein Beitrag zur Idee der wirtschaftlichen Selbstverwaltung,” (Ph.D. diss., Freie Universität Berlin, 1970), p. 8.

3. Zunkel, Friedrich, Industrie und Staatssozialismus: Der Kampf um die Wirtschaftsordnung in Deutschland 1914–1918 (Düsseldorf, 1974), pp. 1415.

4. Thus I am agreeing with Professor Charles S. Maier's contention that one of the main characteristics of the 1920s was a “restoration” or “recasting” of bourgeois Europe, and that one of the hallmarks of this was the emergence of what, for heuristic purposes, he has somewhat reluctantly called “corporatist pluralism” with corporatism defined as a characteristic of a political economy in which consensus was sought “less through the occasional approval of a mass public than through continued bargaining among organized interests…. Consensus became hostage to the cooperation of each major interest.” Maier also emphasizes such contributory factors as “the integration of organized labor into a bargaining system supervised by the state” and the decline during the First World War “of the distinction between private and public sectors.” Maier, Charles S., Recasting Bourgeois Europe: Stabilization in France, Germany, and Italy in the Decade after World War I (Princeton, 1975), pp. 911; see also his article “Strukturen kapitalistischer Stabilität in den zwanziger Jahren: Errungenschaften undDefekte,”in Organisierter Kapitalismus: Voraussetzungen und Anfänge, ed. Winkler, Heinrich August (Göttingen, 1974), pp. 195213, as well as the stimulating discussion in Schmitter, Philippe C., “Still the Century of Corporatism?Review of Politics 36, no. 1 (01 1974): 85131.

5. Feldman, Gerald D., Iron and Steel in the German Inflation 1916–1923 (Princeton, 1977), p. 101.

6. Feldman, Gerald D., “Economic and Social Problems of the German Demobilization, 1918–19,” Journal of Modern History 47, no. 1 (03 1975): 2.

7. For biographical information on Moellendorff, see a handwritten “Lebenslauf” (dated Oct. 5, 1917) and a typed “Lebenslauf” (dated 1931), both in Bundesarchiv, Koblenz (hereafter cited as BA): Nachlass (hereafter cited as NL) Wichard von Moellendorff, no. 2. The most thorough, if somewhat repetitive, treatment of Moellendorff's life and thought can be found in Schmid, “Moellendorff,” although note the forthcoming dissertation by the Essen scholar Klaus Braun. See also Curth's, Hermann introduction to von Moellendorff, Wichard, Konservativer Sozialismus, ed. Curth, Hermann (Hamburg, 1932), pp. 728; Bowen, Corporative State, pp. 182–206; von der Gablentz, Otto Heinrich, “Zu Unrecht vergessen: Wichard von Moellendorff,” Gewerkschaftliche Monatshefte 5, no. 6 (06 1954): 362–64;Facius, Friedrich, Wirtschaft und Stoat: Die Entwicklung der staatlichen Wirtschaftsverwaltung in Deutschland vom 17. Jahrhundert bis 1945 (Boppard am Rhein, 1959), p. 232.

8. Schmid, “Moellendorff,” p. 29.

9. See the following articles by Moellendorff on the subject: “Psychologie und Wirtschaftsleben,” Die neue Rundschau 24, pt. 1 (1913): 258–62;Taylorismus und Antitaylorismus,” Die neue Rundschau 25, pt. 1 (1914): 411–17;Germanische Lehren aus Amerika,” Die Zukunft 86 (03 7, 1914): 323–32. On European responses to Taylor, see Maier, “Between Taylorism and Technocracy.”

10. Burchardt, Lothar, “Walther Rathenau und die Anfänge der deutschen Rohstoffbewirtschaftung im Ersten Weltkrieg,” Tradition 15, no. 4 (0708 1970): 169–96;Burchardt, Lothar, “Eine neue Quelle zu den Anfängen der Kriegswirtschaft in Deutschland,” Tradition 16, no. 2 (0304 1971): 7292. See also Feldman, Gerald D., Army, Industry, and Labor in Germany 1914–1918 (Princeton, 1966), pp. 4647, 169–72; Facius, Wirtschaft und Staat, pp. 81–82; and Schmid, “Moellendorff,” pp. 39–47.

11. “Lebenslauf” (1931), BA:NL Moellendorff, no. 2; Feldman, Army, p. 189. See also Moellendorff's interesting views on the nitrogen industry as a “case study” of the pitfalls and possibilities of Germany's wartime organization in his manuscript “Stickstoff als Schulfall,” BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 75, and Schmid, “Moellendorff,” pp. 61–66.

12. Bruck, W. F., “Die Kriegsunternehmung: Versuch einer Systematik,” Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 48 (19201921): 590–97; Zunkel, Industrie, pp. 59–64. See also Gaertner, Friedrich, “Die Vorgeschichte der Planwirtschaft,” Der österreichische Volkswirt 12, no. 39 (06 26, 1920): 733–35; and Redlich, Fritz, “German Economic Planning for War and Peace,” Review of Politics 6 (1944): 315–35.

13. Moellendorff to Privy Councillor Meydenbauer, Sept. 11, 1916, quoted in Feldman, Army, p. 170. See also Moellendorff's remarks in “Aufzeichnung über die 5. Sitzung der Mitarbeiter [Reichskommissariat für Übergangswirtschaft] am Dienstag, den 12. Dezember 1916, vorm. 10½ Uhr,” p. 5, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 102; and “Aufzeichnung über die Besprechung betreffend Schwefelkiese und Phosphate am Freitag, den 5. Januar 1917, vorm. 10½ Uhr,” p. 14, ibid.

14. See Moellendorff's views on these and related themes in a long memorandum of Apr. 18, 1917, addressed to Rittmeister Dr. Bueb, reprinted in Deist, Wilhelm, ed., Militär und Innenpolitik im Weltkrieg 1914–1918, 2 vols. (Düsseldorf, 1970), 1: 575–76n.

15. Bowen, Corporative State, p. 184n. Bowen notes that the people who read Deutsche Gemeinwirtschaft were influential, but in terms of numbers only 3,000 copies were printed, with 1,900 being sold and another 200 distributed free or as review copies. Rathenau's wartime writings, on the other hand, were certainly more widely distributed. Karl Siegismund to Moellendorff, Jul. 10, 1918, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 5; cf. Schmid, “Moellendorff,” p. 143.

16. von Moellendorff, Wichard, Die deutsche Gemeinwirtschaft (Berlin, 1916), pp. 1213. “In German Berlin more was happening than in any other European metropolis; more shops, more pubs, more grease and brass, more tempo and ornamentation, more business and cosmopolitanism, and oh! so little German spirit and German morality.” Ibid., p. 23.

17. Ibid., pp. 37, 41–45. Moellendorff commented that in the core economy control of enterprises could take the form of import and export monopolies, in his memorandum “Begriff, Wesen und Ausbildung kriegsbereiter deutscher Wirtschaftsformen,” Nov. 1, 1916, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 11; cf. his remarks in the report on “Stickstoff als Beispiel grundsätzlich veränderter Friedenswirtschaft,” Feb. 3,1917, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 102. Moellendorff later claimed in a letter to the journalist Felix Pinner that as far as he was concerned autarky was not so much a value or goal in itself as a tactical necessity in the context of the war and immediate postwar years. Moellendorff to Pinner, May 9, 1932, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 5.

18. Moellendorff,Gemeinwirtschaft, pp. 46, 31, 32.

19. Wichard von Moellendorff, Von Einst zu Einst: Der alte Fritz, J. G. Fichte, Freiherr vom Stein, Friedrich List, Fürst Bismarck, Paul Lagarde über Deutsche Gemeinwirtschqft (Jena, 1917); cf. Bowen, Corporative State, pp. 186–87.

20. Biechele, Eckhard, “Der Kampf urn die Gemeinwirtschaftskonzeption des Reichswirtschaftsministeriums im Jahre 1919: Eine Studie zur Wirtschaftspolitik unter Reichswirtschaftsminister Rudolf Wissell in der Frühphase der Weimarer Republik” (Ph.D. diss., Freie Universität Berlin, 1973), pp. 8990.

21. Bemhard, Georg, Wirtschaftsparlamente: Von den Revolutionsräten zum Reichswirtschaftsrat (Vienna, 1923), pp. 1314.

22. The development of these ideas between 1916 and 1918 is discussed at some length in Schmid, “Moellendorff,” pp. 71–81. See also Moellendorff's manuscripts “Über die Bildung einer Art von Volkswirtschaftsrat nach Steinscher oder Bismarckscher Auffassung” (Dec. 24, 1916) and “Berufung eines obersten Wirtschafts-Beirates (OWB)” (Feb. 7, 1917), both in BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 111.

23. Benn, Ernest J. P., The Trade of To-morrow (London, 1917), esp. pp. 918, 222–32.

24. von Moellendorff, Wichard, “Deutscher Reichswirtschaftsrat,” Vossische Zeitung, Sept. 10 and 14, 1918 (morning eds.).

25. von Moellendorff, Wichard, “Der wunde Punkt,” Vossische Zeitung, 10 18,1918 (evening ed.), and “Was gebietet uns die nationale Ehre?” Vossische Zeitung, 10 14, 1918 (evening ed.).

26. Adolf Löwe to Moellendorff, Sept. 19, 1918, and Hellmrich (Ausschuss für wirtschaftliche Fertigung) to Moellendorff, Oct. n, 1918, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 11.

27. Elben, Wolfgang, Das Problem der Kontinuität in der deutschen Revolution: Die Politik der Staatssekretäre und der militärischen Fährung vom November 1918 bis Februar 1919 (Düsseldorf, 1965), chap, ii;Matthias, Erich, introduction to the documentary collection Die Regierung der Volksbeauftragten, ed. Miller, Susanne and Potthoff, Heinrich, 2 vols. (Düsseldorf, 1969), 1: liv–lx;Honhart, Michael William, “The Incomplete Revolution: The Social Democrats’ Failure to Transform the German Economy, 1918–1920” (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 1972), pp. 3940.

28. Schieck, Hans, “Der Kampf um die deutsche Wirtschaftspolitik nach dem Novemberumsturz 1918” (Ph.D. diss., Ruprecht-Karl-Universität zu Heidelberg, 1958), pp. 8286.

29. For example, the right-wing Social Democrat Ernst Heilmann had expressed sentiments remarkably similar to Moellendorff's in 1917: “Socialism means a collective economy [Sozialismus heisst Gemeinwirtschaft]…. Socialism only means the ordering of the entire economy according to a unified plan with a unified goal; it means the regulation of all national goods as if they were part of a single great firm.” Heilmann, Ernst, “Seid Sozialisten!Die Glocke 3, no. 2 (10 13, 1917): 48.

30. Müller, August, Sozialisierung oder Sozialismus? Eine kritische Betrachtung über Revolutionsideale (Berlin, 1919), pp. 9697;Krüger, Peter, Deutschland und die Reparationen 1918/19: Die Genesis des Reparationsproblems in Deutschland zwischen Waffenstillstand und Friedensschluss (Stuttgart, 1973), pp. 5765.

31. Ebert, Friedrich, Schriften, Aufzeichnungen, Reden, ed. jun., Friedrich Ebert, 2 vols. (Dresden, 1926), 2: 129.

32. Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 46–47.

33. Müller, Sozialisierung, p. 124; Jöhlinger, Otto, “Der Wiederaufbau der deutschen Volkswirtschaft: Zur Berufung Wichards von Moellendorff,” Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 12 7, 1918 (morning ed.); “Denkschrift betreffend den Reichsfonds” (Dec. 20, 1918) and “Richtlinien für die Geschäftsgebarung der Reichs-Fonds-Stelle,” both BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 152. See also Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 74–81; Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 65–66; Biechele, “Kampf,” pp. 113–14; Krüger, Reparationen, p. 69.

34. See Moellendorff's conferences with his coworkers in the Reich Economics Office: “Niederschrift der Besprechung vom 20. November 1918” and “Niederschrift der Besprechung vom 21. November 1918,” both in BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 160; “Niederschrift der Besprechung vom 22. November 1918,” BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 155. See also his notes of conferences between Nov. 23 and Dec. 10, 1918, in BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 78; and “Niederschrift des Ergebnisses aus den Besprechungen zwischen dem 23.November und 5. Dezember 1918,” BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 153.

35. “Denkschrift des Reichswhtschaftsamts über seine Tätigkeit seit Mitte November 1918” (Dec. 30, 1918), p. 3, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 152.

36. “Denkschrift zur Frage der praktischen Sozialisierung” (Jan. 4, 1919) and “Denkschrift zur Neuregelung der Reichsbehorden” (Jan. 4,1919), both in BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 152. See also Honhart, “Revolution,” p. 94, and Biechele, “Kampf,” p. 79.

37. “Entwurf eines Reich-Gesetzes über Energiewirtschaft” (Jan. 14, 1919), “Erste Vorschläge für ein Reichskohlengesetz” and “Erste Vorschläge für ein Reichs-Elektrizitätsgesetz,” all in BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 167.

38. “Stenogramm einer Aussprache des Unterstaatssekretärs v. Moellendorff in der Lessing-Hochschule vom 4. Februar 1919,” BA: NL Rudolf Wissell, I/12/859–62. These remarks were reprinted under the title “Die Gemeinwirtschaft” in Der Geist der neuen Volksgemeinschaft: Eine Denkschrift für das deutsche Volk, ed. Heimatdienst, Zentrale für (Berlin, 1919), pp. 5255.

39. “Vom Verhältnis der Wirtschaft zur Verfassung” (Feb. 1919), BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 86.

40. Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 103–9. On the various currents of opinion within the German Democratic Party, see Albertin, Lothar, Liberalismus und Demokratie am Anfang der Weimarer Republik: Eine vergleichende Analyse der Deutschen Demokratischen Partei und der Deutschen Volkspartei (Düsseldorf, 1972), esp. pp. 293308.

41. Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 121–22; Ernst Trendelenburg to Moellendorff, Feb. 8, 1919, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 154.

42. Wissell, Rudolf to Moellendorff, Feb. 14, 1919, BA: NL Wissell, IV/22/3305. On Wissell, see Bach, Otto, ed., Rudolf Wissell: Ein Leben für soziale Gerechtigkeit, 2nd ed. (Berlin-Grunewald, 1959), and Barclay, “Social Politics and Social Reform.”

43. “Sonder-Presse-Sitzung vom 27. Februar 1919 (Protokoll-Auszug),” p. 4, BA: NL Wissell, IV/22/3306–21.

44. Schulze, Hagen, ed., Akten der Reiehskanzlei, Weimarer Republik: Das Kabinett Scheidemann,13. Februar bis 20. Juni 1919 (Boppard am Rhein, 1971), pp. xlv, 10n.; Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 153–56; Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 130–35.

45. Wissell to Carl Legien, Mar. 4, 1919, BA: NL Wissell, II/18/1856.

46. Texts of the two bills can be found, inter alia, in Heilfron, Eduard, ed., Die deutsche Nationalversammlung im Jahre 1919 in ihrer Arbeit für den Aufbau des neuen deutschen Volksstaates, 9 vols. (Berlin, 19191920), 3: 1336–37n.

47. For Wissell's National Assembly speech defending the two bills, see Wissell, Rudolf, Praktische Wirtschaftspolitik: Unterlagen zur Beurteilung einer fünfmonatlichen Wirtschaftsführung (Berlin, 1919), pp. 2840.

48. Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 161–62. On the origins and effects of the coal socialization legislation, see, among others, Baumont, Maurice, La Grosse industrie allemande et le charbon (Paris, 1928), pp. 123–29, and Loose, Kurt, Vorgeschichte, Gestaltung und Auswirkung des Kohlenwirtschaftsgesetzes vom 23. März 1919 (Bonn, 1930).

49. See the correspondence between Wissell and the Socialization Commission in Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Amsterdam: NL Karl Kautsky, G13/22, 12, 23, 4–5, 10, as well as the discussion of these matters in Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 146–48.

50. The text of the potash law can be found in Heilfron, ed., Nationalversammlung, 4: 2639–40. For a consideration of the Mar.–Apr. “Socialization Laws” from a Marxist-Leninist perspective, see Brehme, Gerhard, Die sogenannte Sozialisierungsgesetzgebung der Weimarer Republik (Berlin/DDR, 1960), pp. 5198.

51. “Entwurf eines Gesetzes über die Regelung der Elektrizitäts-Wirtschaft” (Apr. 30, 1919), BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 156.

52. Moellendorff's remarks can be found in a document reprinted in Feldman, Gerald D. and Homburg, Heidrun, Industrie und Inflation: Studien und Dokumente zur Politik der deutschen Unternehmer 1916–1923 (Hamburg, 1977), p. 212.

53. “Zweiter Monatsbericht des Reichswirtschaftsministeriums für die Zeit vom 16. März bis 15. April 1919” (Apr. 25, 1919), pp. 2, 9–10, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 168 (another copy in BA: Bestand R 43 I/1126: 79–88). See also the discussion in Feldman, Iron and Steel, pp. 105, 187–89.

54. The bill languished in the Committee of States for several months and was finally withdrawn in August, after Wissell's resignation (Schulze, ed., Kabinett Scheidemann, pp. 371–72n.). See also Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” p. 164; “Zweiter Monatsbericht des Reichswirtschaftsministeriums,” p. 10; “Dritter Monatsbericht des Reichswirtschaftsministeriums für die Zeit vom 16. April bis 15. Mai 1919” (May 28, 1919), pp. 1–2, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 168 (another copy in BA: R 43 I/1126: 150–62); “Entwurf eines Reichsausschusses für das Papierfach,” in Veröffentlichungen des Rekhsverbands der deutschen Industrie, no. 2 (June 1919), pp. 28–29.

55. “Niederschrift der vorbereitenden Sitzung des Düngestickstoff-Ausschusses am 18. Juni 1919, nachmittags 4 Uhr” and “Niederschrift der konstituierenden Sitzung des Düngestickstoff-Ausschusses am 30. Juni 1919, nachmittags 4 Uhr im Reichswirtschaftsministerium,” BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 160; “4. Monatsbericht des Reichswirtschaftsministeriums für die Zeit vom 16. Mai 1919 bis 15. Juni 1919” (June 26, 1919), pp. 2, 14, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 168 (another copy in BA: R 43 I/1126: 272–84).

56. “Selbstverwaltungskörper,” Veröffentlichungen des Rekhsverbands der deutschen Industrie, no. 2 (June 1919), p. 11.

57. The minutes of this meeting are reprinted in Feldman and Homburg, Industrie und Inflation, pp. 210–17; see also the discussion in Feldman, Iron and Steel, pp. 105–8. Among Moellendorff's most embittered industrial critics were iron wares industrialists in the Elberfeld area, who reacted with extreme hostility to the Economics Ministry's efforts in May and June to establish an Export Control Sub-Bureau there. See ibid., p. 107; see also the harshly polemical tone of the speeches reproduced in Verband zur Wanning der gemeinsamen Interessen der deutschen Kleineisen- und Waffen-Industrie, Elberfeld, Sitz, Bericht über die Verhandlungen der deutschen Kleineisen- und Waffen-Industrie zwecks Zusatnmenschluss der gesamten Kleineisen- und Waffen-Industrie und über die Stellungnahme zu den Plänen des Reichswirtschqftsministeriums über die Planwirtschaft und die Gründung einer Aussenhandelsnebenstelle in Elberfeld (Elberfeld, n.d. [1919] copy in Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft, Cologne: Sammlung Oskar Funcke, Kasten 1). On the other hand, Moellendorff could count on a rather friendly reception from leaders of the highly organized chemical industry, such as Julius Bueb of the Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (who had known him during the war) or Franz Oppenheim of Agfa. Carl Duisberg of Bayer, however, was less enthusiastic, noting that Moellendorff “was far too theoretical and kept his head in the clouds too much.” Bueb to Duisberg, Feb. 6, 1919; Oppenheim to Duisberg, Feb. 15, 1919; and Duisberg to Oppenheim, Feb. 19, 1919, all in Bayer-Archiv, Leverkusen: Autographensammlung Carl Duisberg.

58. “Bericht über die Frage der Selbstverwaltungskörper: 12. Juni 1919/Berlin,” Veröffentlkhungen des Rekhsverbands der deutschen Industrie, no. 3 (July 1919), pp. 4–13. Moellendorff's speech is reprinted in Moellendorff, Konservativer Sozialismus, pp. 125–40, and Rudolf Wissell and Wichard von Moellendorff, Wirtschaftliche Selbstverwaltung: Zwei Kundgebungen des Reichswirtschqftsministeriutns (Jena, 1919), pp. 17–30.

59. “Bericht über die Frage der Selbstverwaltungskörper,” pp. 21, 25. See also Maier, Recasting Bourgeois Europe, pp. 145–46.

60. Kraemer to Moellendorff, July 2, 1919, BA: NL Moellendorff, no. 153.

61. Feldman, Gerald D., “The Collapse of the Steel Works Association, 1912–1919: A Case Study in the Operation of German ‘Collective Capitalism,’” in Sozialgeschichte Heute: Festschrift für Hans Rosenberg zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. Wehler, Hans-Ulrich (Göttingen, 1974), p. 585. See also the discussion in Feldman, Iron and Steel, pp. 104–5.

62. II. Kongress der Arbeiter-, Bauern- und Soldatenräte Deutschlands am 8. bis 14. April 1919 im Herrenhaus zu Berlin: Stenographisches Protokoll (Berlin, 1919), p. 185, and Wissell, Rudolf, “Zur Räte-Idee,” Die Neue Zeit 37, pt. 2, no. 9 (05 30, 1919): 204. This article encapsulates Wissell's remarks at the congress.

63. II. Kongress, pp. 180–86.

64. Ibid., pp. 221–22; see also Maier, Recasting Bourgeois Europe, p. 143.

65. Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” p. 152.

66. Schulze, ed., Kabinett Scheidemann, pp. xlvi, 264–65, 268–71; Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 155–57,164. See also Georg Gothein, “Aus meiner politischen Arbeit,” p. 86, BA: NL Georg Gothein, no. 12.

67. Schulze, ed., Kabinett Scheidemann, p. 272n. The memorandum and economic program can be found ibid., pp. 272–89; both documents, as well as various legislative guidelines attached to them, are also reprinted in Wissell, Praktische Wirtschaftspolitik, pp. 97–123.

68. Schulze, ed., Kabinett Scheidemann, pp. 275, 279–80. Emphasis in original.

69. Ibid., pp. 281,284–89; Wissell, Praktische Wirtschaftspolitik, pp. 113–23. The memorandum and the program have been discussed in a variety of places; but see Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 172–78; Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 160–66; Biechele, “Kampf,” pp. 192–95, and the older treatments in Redlich, “German Economic Planning,” pp. 328–30, and Bowen, Corporative State, pp. 190–95.

70. Schulze, ed., Kabinett Scheidemann, pp. 289–97.

71. Bernhard, Georg, “Der Aufbau,” Vossische Zeitung, 05 26, 1919 (morning ed.);Steinmann-Bucher, Arnold, Sozialisierung? (Berlin, 1919), p. 170.

72. For example, see “Bericht über eine Konferenz des Hansabundes am 28. März 1919, in welcher festgestellt werden sollte, ob und welche Wege vorhanden sind, die unter Aufrechterhaltung der privatwirtschaftlichen Grundlagen der Gesamtwirtschaft denjenigen Zielen möglichst Rechnung tragen, welche die Arbeiterkreise mit der Sozialisierung anstreben,” BA: R 13 I/283: 74–80.

73. Roselius, Gegen die Zwangswirtschaft.

74. Curt Köhler to Reich Cabinet, June 20, 1919, BA: R 43 I/1146: 168–69. See also the complaints of the Hansa-Bund in BA: R 43 I/1189:18, as well as the numerous letters to the Reich government from various local chambers of commerce and similar organizations in BA: R 43 I/1146. Some important leaders of the chemical industry—who, as was already noted, tended to give Moellendorff a friendly hearing—were highly critical of the behavior both of the Hansa-Bund and of the economic liberals in the Scheidemann cabinet. For example, Rudolf Frank of the Association for the Maintenance of the Interests of the Chemical Industry of Germany (Verein zur Wahrung der Interessen der chemischen Industrie Deutschlands) noted in early June that “If the Hansa-Bund would work against Herr Moellendorff and criticize him objectively, it would be perfectly entitled to do so. But to attack an opponent in such an unbelievably purely personal, malicious, and unfair way … is simply crude.” Frank went on to denounce Dernburg and Gothein, “who work entirely in the interest of commerce against industry.” Frank to Carl Duisberg, June 8, 1919, Bayer-Archiv, Leverkusen: Autographensammlung Carl Duisberg.

75. Protokoll über die Verhandlungen des Parteitags der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands abgehalten in Weimar vom 10. bis 15. Juni 1919 (Berlin, 1919), p. 364. Most of this speech is reproduced in Wissell, Rudolf, “Wir kommen doch wieder hoch!Sozialistische Monatshefte 25 (07 7, 1919): 597605.

76. See the discussion in Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” pp. 182–83; Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 172–78; and Breitman, Richard David, “Socialism and the Parliamentary System in Germany 1918–1932: The Political Strategy of the German Social Democratic Party Leaders” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1975), pp. 110–11. For a critical contemporary view of the congress, see Singer, Kurt, “Sozialdemokratische Wirtschaftspolitik,” Wirtschaftsdienst 4, no. 25 (06 20, 1919): 465–66.

77. Baumeister, Albert, a prominent unionist, wrote to Wissell on June 17: “Your speech at the party congress has evoked lively and agreeable comment among our comrades, and it will long remain the subject of spirited discussion” (BA: NL Wissell, II/16/ 1119). The historian Arthur Rosenberg later noted that in his Weimar speech Wissell “saw very clearly the state of affairs in Germany at that time.”Rosenberg, Arthur, A History of the German Republic, trans. Ian Morrow, F. D. and Sieveking, L. Marie (London, 1936), p. 126.

78. Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 184–85.

79. Protokoll der Verhandlungen des zehnten Kongresses der Gewerkschaften Deutschlands: Abgehalten zu Nümberg vom 30. Juni bis 5. Juli 1919 (Berlin, 1919), pp. 523–61; see also the discussions in Honhart, “Revolution,” pp. 181–83, and Breitman, “Socialism,” p. 112.

80. “Entwurf einer Erklärung der Reichsregierung auf die Interpellation Arnstadt und Genossen,” BA: R 43 I/1350: 135–53, and “Zur Frage der Wirtschaftspolitik,” BA: R 43 I/1350: 117–331.

81. BA: R 43 I/1350: 90; Wissell to Ebert, July 12, 1919, BA: NL Wissell, m/20/ 2851–55.

82. Honhart, “Revolution,” chap, vi; Breitman, “Socialism,” pp. 114–22; Feldman, Iron and Steel, pp. 108, 130–40, 187–209.

83. Honhart, “Revolution,” chap. vi.

84. Breitman, “Socialism,” p. 114.

85. On Moellendorff's later life, see Bowen, Corporative State, pp. 204–6, and especially Schmid, “Moellendorff,” pp. 181–86.

86. Fritz Rathenau to Wissell, July 18, 1919, BA: NL Wissell, II/17/1712–13.

87. Relations between Walther Rathenau and Moellendorff had been deteriorating for some time prior to 1919 (Burchardt, “Rohstoffbewirtschaftung,” p. 189, and Schmid, “Moellendorff,” p. 183). Among other things, they differed over who should get credit for the KRA. Then Wissell had criticized Rathenau's views in a National Assembly speech in March, and Rathenau had fired off an angry “open letter” in the Saalezeitung of Apr. 7, to which Moellendorff had replied in the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Apr. 20 (morning ed.). Documents concerning this affair can be found in BA: R 43 I/2111; it is also described in Albertin, Liberalismus, p. 305n., and Maier, Recasting Bourgeois Europe, p. 159.

88. Landauer, Karl, “Die Planwirtschaft: Ein Nachwort zu Parteitagsdebatte,” Die Neue Zeit 39, pt. 1, no. 11 (12 10, 1920): 253–55;Landauer, Carl, European Socialism: A History of Ideas and Movements from the Industrial Revolution to Hitler's Seizure of Power, 2 vols. (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1959), 1: 844–45. See also the exchange between Sachs, Max, “Planwirtschaft und Sozialisierung,” Die Neue Zeit 39, pt. 1, no. 19 (02 4,1921): 448–53, and Landauer, Karl, “Nochmals zur Frage der Planwirtschaft,” Die Neue Zeit 39, pt. 1, no. 20 (02 11, 1921): 472–75. On the relationship between “guild” ideas and the gemeinwirtschqftlich views of Rathenau, Moellendorff, and Wissell, see Heimann, Eduard, “Die Sozialisierung,” Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 45 (19181919): 540–57.

89. Schieck, “Wirtschaftspolitik,” p. 165.

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Central European History
  • ISSN: 0008-9389
  • EISSN: 1569-1616
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