Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Surányi-Unger, Theo, 1898-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Economics


Germany--Economic policy--1933-1945; Europe--Economic policy


An attempt is made to find the connection between German economic nationalism and the trade offensive in Southeastern Europe during the period 1933.39. Further, it is desired to know whether or not economic nationalism was the primary rationale for the trade offensive. The ideologies of economic nationalism, geopolitics, and romanticism and nationalism are discussed in the attempt to find what relation each had to German aggression, and particularly to German territorial aims in Southeastern Europe. The pure theory of economic nationalism sought complete isolation, where geopolitics and romanticism and nationalism held the potential for aggressive expansion. Other important factors such as the Treaty of Versailles, access to strategic raw materials, the depression of the 1930's, and German exchange control are also discussed as considerations which further directed Germany toward economic and political Intervention in the Balkan and Danubian area. The Treaty of Versailles mad# Germany relinquish vast domestic and overseas territories, which also reduced her raw material stock. The depression made German foreign debt and reparation payments increasingly difficult due to capital flight and depletion of foreign exchange reserves. The institution of exchange control eliminated the need for foreign exchange through clearing agreements, where accounts replaced exchange, and bilateral treaties, where imports were paid for with exports. Such methods were used in Southeastern Europe to facilitate access to the areas' raw material and foodstuffs. In response to national Socialist policies a series of treaties were concluded la the Balkans in attempts to unify the area against such outside intervention as that of Germany. Two such treaties were the Little Entente of 1933, and the Protocols of 1934 calling for economic and political cooperation. However, European unification was thwarted when the area, dependent on Germany economically, had to remain silent when Germany repudiated the armament clause of the Versailles Treaty. The trade offensive constantly sought increasing Imports of raw materials and foodstuffs from Southeastern Europe. Clearing balances accumulated and political and military pressures intensified making extrication from German influence and control difficult or impossible. The offensive was concluded by 1940 when treaties were signed in which countries were to align their economy with the needs of Germany. The New Order indicated control by Germany with de-industrialization and reduced living standards for the conquered areas. Such concepts of territorial expansion and repudiation of autarky as wore not consistent with economic nationalist ideology were attributable to a larger Weltanschauung including geopolitics, nationalism, romanticism, and others, or were influenced by considerations of the needs of the period. Also, since Germany did not follow the aims of economic nationalism but merely some of the means of it, this ideology was not the determining rationale of the trade offensive in Southeastern Europe. These constitute the major findings of the study.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 102 pages




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