This study explores an exemplary instance of the close interaction between private and official interests in planning and executing the programs of the Nazi government, namely the acquisition in 1941 of the Rombach steel works by the German industrialist Friedrich Flick.
The industrial concern headed by Flick was among the largest and most influential steel producers and manufacturers of war material in the German economy during World War II. Its activities in the occupied territories of western Europe centred on control of the Rombach works, a large operation established in Lorraine in the late 19th century by German industrialists and expropriated by France, along with the entire region, in the aftermath of World War I. After successful military operations against France in 1940, the Nazi regime actively sought the collusion of the German industrial community in mobilising the productive capacity of occupied territories for the war effort, and numerous private German businessmen advanced claims on the lucrative assets in Lorraine and adjacent regions. In his bid to gain control of the Rombach works, Flick was successful for reasons specific to his position within the Nazi German economic system and the character of his interests.
About the Author
Marcus Orin Jones is a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses. He lives with his family in Cape St. Claire, Annapolis, Maryland.