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WHEN THE Deutsche Reich (German Empire) was created at Versailles near Paris, France, in 1871, a period of economic boom followed, which was called Gruenderjahre (founding years). Although business scandals riddled this period, business crime as a major public issue arose only during World War I, when Kriegsgewinnler (profiteers of war) became an issue.

The rise of Nazism was closely linked to business interests by great landowners and big business alike. Whereas the agrarian lobby searched for public funds to pay for their immense debts, German industrialists, especially from the heavy-industry Ruhr area supported Adolf Hitler financially to get rid of socialists, unionists, and communists. This alliance formed in the late 1920s and1930s led to an organized circle of the industrial friends of the SS secret ...

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