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Hjalmar Schacht

Who is the Smartest Nazi?

Any person who is a member of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party is identified as a Nazi. Hitler and the Nazis ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945. They advocated totalitarian rule, territorial expansion, anti-Semitism, and Aryan supremacy, all leading directly to World War II and the Holocaust. But do you know who is the Smartest Nazi? 

At Nuremberg, 21 Nazis were subjected to IQ tests. The overall average IQ was 128. Hjalmar Schacht, a key resistance fighter who was acquitted on all charges, was the most astute Nazi. He scored 143.

Who was Hjalmar Schacht?

Hjalmar Schacht was a German economist, banker, and center-right politician who co-founded the German Democratic Party in 1918. During the Weimar Republic, he was the Currency Commissioner and President of the Reichsbank. He was a vocal opponent of his country’s post-World War I reparations obligations.

He served in Adolf Hitler’s government as President of the Reichsbank from 1933 to 1939 and as Minister of Economics from August 1934 to November 1937.

While Schacht was lauded for his role in Germany’s economic miracle, he opposed elements of Hitler’s policy of German re-armament because it violated the Treaty of Versailles and, in his opinion, disrupted the German economy.

In this regard, Schacht’s views brought him into conflict with Hitler, most notably with Hermann Göring. In January 1939, he resigned as President of the Reichsbank. He remained a Minister-without-Portfolio and received the same salary until January 1943, when he left the government. (Source: The Guardian)

What is Hjalmar Schacht’s Contribution to Germany’s Economy? 

The Nazis saw economics as laying the groundwork for their future ideological goals. The Nazis came to power in 1933 with a set of goals in mind that they hoped to achieve through economics but no clear policy to achieve them. They desired economic stability, the abolition of unemployment, and the establishment of Autarky.

In the years following their election, the Nazis attempted to allay business fears that they would radically reform the economy. Instead, the Nazis clarified that their priority was to achieve economic stability. Their first steps were to outlaw trade unions and freeze workers’ wages. These actions benefited business interests greatly because they could no longer be lobbied for better working conditions or have to compete with others’ salaries.

On March 17, 1933, the Nazis appeased the business community even further by appointing respected banker Hjalmar Schacht as President of the Reichsbank. Schacht had previously assisted in bringing Germany out of a state of emergency in 1923. Schacht was also appointed Minister of Economics in 1934. 

The appointment of a banker and economist who had previously succeeded in reviving Germany following the 1923 crisis helped to create a sense of continuity and reassure the business community that no drastic changes were on the horizon. (Source: The Holocaust Explained)

What is Hjalmar Schacht’s Autarky Plan? 

In September 1934, Schacht unveiled his New Plan for economic stability. This strategy favored autarky. Autarky is the concept of economic self-sufficiency and eliminating reliance on foreign investment, imports, and trade. It entails being able to produce everything you require within your own country.

The idea was that by achieving economic self-sufficiency, Germany would be less vulnerable to fluctuations in the global economy and better able to sustain a long war. During World War I, Germany experienced various shortages due to the Allies’ blockade of the country’s supply lines. Achieving autarky would mean avoiding this situation. (Source: The Holocaust Explained)

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