HomeEuropean Central Banking and German Occupation in World War II

HomeEuropean Central Banking and German Occupation in World War II

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Published on Thursday, March 10, 2022

Abstract

With the occupation of ever larger parts of Europe, National Socialist Germany extended its system of monetary policy and currency control to a growing number of countries. The occupied countries were forced to finance their own exploitation for the benefit of the National Socialist war economy with the aim to support the German war effort and to mitigate the consequences of war on German society. This conference aims at discussing the state of research and its prospects regarding the actors, objectives, and methods of Reichsbank monetary policy control in occupied Europe, the limits of this policy, the role of the central banks in the occupied countries, and the resistance to this form of monetary and fiscal occupation. Only a comparative view allows for a better understanding of the Nazi exploitation strategies in Europe.

Announcement

Argument

With the occupation of ever larger parts of Europe, National Socialist Germany extended its system of monetary policy and currency control to a growing number of countries. The occupied countries and even Germany’s allies were economically exploited to support the German war effort and to mitigate the consequences of war on German society. Since 1940, the Reichsbank established an international clearing system that included up to 30 countries routing their international payments through Reichsbank institutions while Germany’s outstanding payments were piling up in this clearing system. In addition, the occupied countries had to pay high tributes for their occupation, so that they were forced to finance their own exploitation for the benefit of the National Socialist war economy. So far, relatively little is known about the ways in which the Reichsbank intervened in the internal monetary management of the occupied countries, often with different consequences, such as contained inflation in France and open hyperinflation in Greece. Also, the actors, objectives, and methods of monetary policy control in the occupied countries are hitherto known only in outline. The same is true for the limits of this policy, the role of the central banks in the occupied countries, and the resistance to this form of monetary and fiscal occupation. Comparative studies are also a desideratum.

This conference therefore aims at discussing the state of research and its prospects. The starting point is a research project funded by the Deutsche Bundesbank and conducted by the London School of Economics and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin on the history of the Reichsbank. The analysis of the international interdependences of monetary policy under the conditions of the occupation regimes in France, Belgium, Poland, and Greece is an integral part of this project. After all, only a comparative view allows for a better understanding of the Nazi exploitation strategies in Europe.

Program

Thursday, 17th March 2022

13.00: Meet & greet

  • 30: Welcome note: Thomas MAISSEN (Institut historique allemand)
  • Introduction: Marcel BOLDORF (université Lumière Lyon 2), Magnus BRECHTKEN (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin)

14.00: German Expansion and the European Financial System

Chair: Jürgen FINGER (Institut historique)

  • Albrecht RITSCHL (London School of Economics): The Reichsbank and Nazi Financial and Currency Policy
  • Marc BUGGELN (Helmut-Schmidt-Universität, Hamburg): The Organization of the Greater Economic Sphere (Großraumwirtschaft) in World War II
  • Marcel BOLDORF (université Lumière Lyon 2): Attempts of European Monetary Governance by the Reichsbank

Discussant: Stefanie MIDDENDORF (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena)

15.30: Coffee break

16.00 : Central Banking Under German Occupation I

Chair: Arnaud MANAS (Banque de France/ Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne – IDHES)

  • Ingo LOOSE (Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin): Central Banking Activities in Occupied Poland
  • Christopher KOPPER (Universität Bielefeld): The German Occupation, the German and the Greek Central Bank
  • Harald ESPELI (Norwegian Business School): The Norges Bank Under German Occupation

Discussant: Pamfili ANITPA (Banque de France/Sciences Po)

18.00: Roundtable

From Financial Conflict to Cooperation: France and Germany Across Two World Wars

Participants :

  • Vincent BIGNON (Banque de France/Aix-Marseille School of Economics),
  • Marcel BOLDORF (université Lumière Lyon 2),
  • Pierre-Cyrille HAUTCOEUR – tbc (Paris School of Economics/EHESS),
  • Éric MONNET (Paris School of Economics/EHESS),
  • Albrecht RITSCHL (London School of Economics, moderator)

Friday, 18th March 2022

9.00: Central Banking Under German Occupation II

Chair: Hervé JOLY (CNRS/laboratoire Triangle/Université de Lyon)

  • Kim OOSTERLINCK (Université libre de Bruxelles/SBS-EM): The Banque nationale de Belgique and the Banque d’émission Under German Rule
  • Michel MARGAIRAZ (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne – IDHES): Monetary Policy Under Occupation: Banque de France and Ministry of Finance
  • Patrice BAUBEAU (Université Paris-Nanterre): A Very French “Situation”: German Inspiration and Credit Policy at the Banque de France, 1940–1959

Discussant: Laure QUENNOUELLE-CORRE (CNRS/Centre de recherches historiques)

10.30: Coffee break

11.00: Central Banking in the Postwar Period: Structural and Personnel Continuities

Chair: Sabine EFFOSSE (université Paris-Nanterre – IDHES)

  • Vincent BIGNON (Banque de France/Aix-Marseille School of Economics): Reorganisation of Central Banks After World War II. Between Inflation and High Public Debt, 1945–1952
  • Éric MONNET (Paris School of Economics/EHESS): World War and the longue durée: The Banque de France
  • Boris GEHLEN (Universität Stuttgart), Rouven JANNECK, Christian MARX (both Institut für Zeitgeschichte München-Berlin): Personal and Structural Continuities: From Reichsbank to Bundesbank

Discussant: Olivier FEIERTAG (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Closing discussion

Practical informations

  • Guests who would like to attend the conference on site, please register at the following address: event@dhi-paris.fr

For participation on site a valid pass sanitaire is required.

Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris / Institut historique allemand, Hôtel Duret-de-Chevry, 8 rue du Parc-Royal, 75003 Paris

Tél. +33 (0)1 44 54 23 80

Fax +33 (0)1 42 71 56 43

event@dhi-paris.fr

www.dhi-paris.fr

www.facebook.com/dhi.paris

www.twitter.com/dhiparis

  • If you would like to participate online, please register on Zoom:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpf-qrpzkoG9NJG6ylX3b7_gjJ3yVH8xlr

Places

  • Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris/Institut historique allemand à Paris - 8 rue de Parc-Royal
    Paris, France (75003)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Thursday, March 17, 2022
  • Friday, March 18, 2022

Keywords

  • Central banks, Reichsbank, Second World War, War Economy, Occupation, Nazi Germany

Contact(s)

  • Jürgen Finger
    courriel : presse [at] dhi-paris [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Jürgen Finger
    courriel : presse [at] dhi-paris [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« European Central Banking and German Occupation in World War II », Study days, Calenda, Published on Thursday, March 10, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/18gu

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