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Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933–1945

Allianz and the German Insurance Business, 1933–1945

$160.00 (C)

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  • Date Published: October 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521809290

$ 160.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Gerald Feldman's history of the internationally prominent insurance corporation Allianz AG in the Nazi era is based largely on new or previously unavailable archival sources, making this a more accurate account of Allianz and the men who directed its business than was ever before possible. Feldman takes the reader through varied cases of collaboration and conflict with the Nazi regime with fairness and a commitment to informed analysis, touching on issues of damages in the Pogrom of 1938, insuring facilities used in forced labor camps, and the problems of denazification and restitution. The broader issues examined in this study--when cooperation with Nazi policies was compulsory and when it was complicit, the way in which profit, ideology, and opportunism played a role in corporate decision making, and the question of how Jewish insurance assets were expropriated--are particularly relevant today given the ongoing international debate about restitution for Holocaust survivors. This book joins a growing body of scholarship based on open access to the records of German corporations in the Nazi era. Gerald D. Feldman is Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley. His book, The Great Disorder (Oxford, 1993) received the DAAD Book Prize of the German Historical Association and the Book Prize for Central European History from the American Historical Association. He was an invited expert at the London Gold Conference in December 1997 and at the U.S. Conference on Holocaust Assets in Washington, D.C. in December 1998 and served as an advisor to the Presidential Commision on Holocaust Assets in the United States.

    • Studies the history of one of the world's largest and most important insurance companies
    • A detailed account of the ways in which Jewish assets were expropriated in the Nazi era
    • An independent study which uses newly opened archival sources
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    • Winner of the Hagley Prize 2001

    Reviews & endorsements

    "There is much more of value in this book than can be addressed in a short review." Journal of Modern History

    "An unparalleled command of primary and secondary sources..." Enterprise and Society

    "Feldman has made several accomplishments...he has provided us with a uniquely detailed and systematic historical review of the relation between one of Germany's leading firms (and industries) and the Nazi regime...Feldman's book provides us with a powerful and detailed study of the psychology of survival (through oportunism) and self-absolution." Autumn 2002

    "This is a valuable book that adds much to our understanding of how the German economy functioned under Nazi rule..." American Historical Review

    "This pilot study sets standards in the field and has already inspired new research. Insurance history in the Third Reich has become--thanks to the compensation discussion and Feldman--an expanding field of study for business historians." H-GERMAN

    "Feldman has produced a well-documented study, based on one firm, of the relationship between German business and the Nazi regime...[His] version of the Allianz story is convincing. Economic historians should find it useful." Canadian Journal of History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521809290
    • length: 592 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 37 mm
    • weight: 0.91kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    1. The Allianz concern and its leaders, 1918–33
    2. Allianz, Kurt Schmitt, and the Third Reich, 1933–4
    3. Adaptation and aryanization
    4. Allianz and the Reich group: politics of the insurance business in the period of regime radicalization, 1936–9
    5. The 'Night of Broken Glass' and the insurance industry
    6. Allianz, the insurance business, and the fate of Jewish Life Insurance Policies, 1933–45
    7. Allianz, Munich Re, and the insurance business in 'greater Germany'
    8. Allianz and Munich Re in the Second World War
    9. Confronting the past: denazification and restitution

  • Author

    Gerald D. Feldman, University of California, Berkeley


    • Winner of the Hagley Prize 2001

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