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Secret Reports on Nazi GermanyThe Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort$
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Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, Otto Kirchheimer, and Raffaele Laudani

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134130

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134130.001.0001

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German Social Stratification

German Social Stratification

(November 26, 1943)

(p.74) 6 German Social Stratification
Secret Reports on Nazi Germany

Herbert Marcuse

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses social stratification in Nazi Germany. Since the abolition of all popular representation, the political decisions in Germany were reached by compromises between the leadership of the Nazi Party, the Army, the ministerial bureaucracy, and the representatives of certain powerful business groups. The economic groups usually kept in the background, although their voice in the fundamental decisions of policy-making was just as strong as, and perhaps even stronger than, that of the government (state and Party). The chapter provides an overview of five ruling groups in Nazi Germany: the leadership of the Nazi Party and affiliated organizations; the top strata of the governmental and political bureaucracy; the High Command of the Armed Forces and its representatives; the leadership of big business; and the landed aristocracy. It also looks at the ruled social groups, which include artisans, civil servants, and peasants.

Keywords:   social stratification, Nazi Germany, Nazi Party, bureaucracy, Armed Forces, big business, landed aristocracy, social groups, ruling groups, civil servants

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