Nazi Steel: Freidrich Flick and German Expansion in Western Europe, 1940-1944 by Marcus O. Jones
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 centered on control of the Rombach works, a large operation established in Lorraine in the late nineteenth-century by German industrialists and expropriated by France, along with the entire region, in the aftermath of the First World War. After successful military operations against France in 1940, the Nazi regime actively sought the collusion of the German industrial community in mobilizing 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. This account of his activities, then, serves as a fine example of Nazi economic and occupation policy and its response to party, business, and bureaucratic influences.