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Visions of Community in Nazi GermanySocial Engineering and Private Lives$
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Martina Steber and Bernhard Gotto

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689590.001.0001

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Greasing the Palm of the Volksgemeinschaft?

Greasing the Palm of the Volksgemeinschaft?

Consumption under National Socialism

(p.157) 11 Greasing the Palm of the Volksgemeinschaft?
Visions of Community in Nazi Germany

Birthe Kundrus

Oxford University Press

Nazi consumer policy was a crucial instrument for the Volksgemeinschaft project. It fostered the promise of future widespread affluence mainly by playing on the emotional added value of consumption. All Volksgenossen were promised improvements in living standards, though not at the same level for everyone. This created satisfaction as well as tensions and political distrust. At the local level during the Second World War Nazi bureaucrats managed the conflicts arising from the discrepancy between individual aspirations and supply by creating a smokescreen of solicitude. As the example of Separation Allowance shows, they were successful in holding off open disappointment for a long time.

Keywords:   consumption, Separation Allowance, living standard, emotional added value, National Socialism, Volksgemeinschaft

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