The Holocaust and Political Corruption

  • Frank Bajohr


Political corruption, which is generally defined as misuse of authority for private purposes, was one of the central structural problems during National Socialist rule. The main reason for its wide distribution was that the National Socialists had eliminated almost all potential supervisory structures. After 1933 a critical, independent press was no longer in existence and with the disposal of Parliament, the possibility of parliamentary subcommittees was likewise eliminated. Furthermore, the NS dictatorship politicized and controlled the judicial system and drastically limited the powers of traditional supervisory institutions such as auditing offices. In addition, the structure of the National Socialist movement encouraged the increase of corruption, since the movement had become an agglomeration of cliques and comradeships which were not subject to any control and had no obligation to provide justifications for their actions. The patronage style of National Socialist politics had its roots here. It was supported by the fact that many National Socialists regarded themselves as ‘victims’ of a ‘Weimar system’ personified by Jews and democrats and after 1933 vehemently staked their claims for ‘reparation’. From a social-psychological point of view, one could describe the NSDAP as the party of organized self-pity. Systematic nepotism in favour of the party members, in particular of the ‘old fighters’, was one of the central features of political corruption in the Third Reich.


Jewish Community Personal Gain Party Member Head Office Special Account 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Frank Bajohr

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