Return to Fascism and Communism/Socialism
Through the agency of three new guilds (the Food Estate, the Estate of Trade and Industry, and the Labor Front), the government assumed control of every group of producers and consumers in the country. In accordance with the method of “German socialism,” the facade of a market economy was retained. All prices, wages, and interest rates, however, were “fixed by the central authority. They [were] prices, wages, and interest rates in appearance only; in reality they [were] merely determinations of quantity relations in the government’s orders . . . . This is socialism in the outward guise of capitalism.”
The nation’s businessmen retained the responsibility to produce and suffered the losses attendant on failure. The state determined the purpose and conditions of their production, and reaped the benefits; directly or indirectly, it expropriated all profits. “The time is past,” explained the Nazi Minister of Economics, “when the notion of economic self-seeking and unrestricted use of profits made can be allowed to dominate . . . . The economic system must serve the nation.”
“What a dummkopf I was!” cried steel baron Fritz Thyssen, an early Nazi supporter, who fled the country . . . .
As to Hitler’s pledges to the poorer groups: the Republic’s social insurance budgets were greatly increased, and a variety of welfare funds, programs, agencies, and policies were introduced or expanded, including special provisions for such items as unemployment relief, workmen’s compensation, health insurance, pensions, Winter Help campaigns for the destitute, the Reich Mothers’ Service for indigent mothers and children, and the National Socialist People’s Welfare organization.