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Rettungsanker in der Flaute.

Das Verhältnis von Staat und Unternehmen beim Krisenmanagement der deutschen Großreedereien 1931–1942

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The collapse of the world economy in the late 1920s led to particularly drastic repercussions for the German shipping industry. This article outlines the basic conditions of the crisis of these industries and analyses furthermore their specific causes in Germany. The strategies to master the crisis that were implemented by the state and the enterprises are described in the continuity of the Weimar Republic to the Nazi-Regime up to the Second World War. Despite the fact that the bankrupt shipping companies became in fact government property and in accordance with the ideology of the determining function of private initiative in entrepreneurship, the concerned companies acquired a high measure of autonomy in decision making processes. Due to the local competition of the hanseatic port cities and the interests of the large-scale enterprises, the measures accomplished by the states' administration to reconstruct and discharge the branch in financial and organisational terms were partly defeated. The re-privatisation of the so-called greater shipping block finally took place under the auspices of the solvent tobacco business. Nevertheless, the dominant position of the concentrated duo-pole Hapag Lloyd-Union remained to a large extent intact.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Founded in 1903, Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte is the oldest German periodical of social and economic history. The international, peer-reviewed journal features original articles in German, English, French and Italian.

    Today, VSWG is edited by Günther Schulz, Jörg Baten, Markus A. Denzel, Gerhard Fouquet and Hans Pohl and deals with all aspects of social history, social developments from the Middle Ages to today, as well as history of finance and economic history.

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