The Respectable Career of Fritz K.

The Making and Remaking of a Provincial Nazi Leader

Studies in German History Band 18

Hartmut Berghoff, Cornelia Rauh

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Entrepreneur and Nazi functionary Fritz Kiehn lived through almost 100 years of German history, from the Bismarck era to the late Bonn Republic. A successful manufacturer, Kiehn joined the Nazi Party in 1930 and obtained a number of influential posts after 1933, making him one of the most powerful Nazi functionaries in southern Germany. These posts allowed him ample opportunity to profit from "Aryanizations" and state contracts. After 1945, he restored his reputation, was close to Adenauer's CDU during Germany's economic miracle, and was a respected and honored citizen in Trossingen. Kiehn's biography provides a key to understanding the political upheavals of the twentieth century, especially the workings of the corrupt Nazi system as well as the "coming to terms" with National Socialism in the Federal Republic.

Cornelia Rauh holds the Contemporary History Chair at the University of Hanover. She is the author of Katholisches Milieu und Kleinstadtgesellschaft (Thorbecke, 1991) and Suisse Aluminium for Hitler's War? The History of Alusuisse from 1918 to 1950 (Beck, 2009), which won the Gesellschaft für Unternehmensgeschichte (GUG) prize. She has also published biographies of entrepreneurs and other books on twentieth-century German and French history. Recently she has been researching the Nazi business of the Guelphs, an important family of the German high nobility.


Einband Taschenbuch
Erscheinungsdatum 07.12.2020
Verlag Berghahn Books
Seitenzahl 376
Maße (L/B/H) 15.2/22.7/3.3 cm
Gewicht 518 g
Reihe Studies in German History
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-78920-846-7

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  • Table of Contents

    List of Figures


    Chapter 1. Kiehn's Rise to the Middle Class: A Traveling Salesman Becomes a Factory Owner
    Chapter 2. Rapid Ascent through the Nazi Ranks: From Local Party Leader to Reichstag Delegate
    Chapter 3. Fritz Kiehn, "Leader of the Württemberg Economy"
    Chapter 4. Riding Nazi Party Coattails: Kiehn's Industrial Ambitions
    Chapter 5. Between Corruption and Camaraderie: The National Socialist Campaign to Curb Abuses
    Chapter 6. Kiehn and Gustav Schickedanz in the Race for Aryanization
    Chapter 7. Wartime Deals and "Marriage Politics"
    Chapter 8. "The King of Trossingen": Fritz Kiehn as a Local Grandee in the Third Reich
    Chapter 9. From "War Criminal No. 1" to Sought-After Employer
    Chapter 10. "Scot-free, by the skin of their teeth"-Denazification and Compensation
    Chapter 11. "Ripe for Satire": Entering the Social Market Economy with Public Loans
    Chapter 12. "Kiehn left no one behind"? The "Factory Community" as a Network of "Old Comrades"
    Chapter 13. Honorable Citizen Again: Kiehn and the "Economic Miracle"  
    Chapter 14. The Twilight Years of an Honored West German
    Chapter 15. Coming to Terms with the Past in the 21st Century

    Conclusion: The (A)Typical Life of an Industrialist?