"HITLER AND HIS SECRET PARTNERS: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933-1945" by James Pool

"HITLER AND HIS SECRET PARTNERS: Contributions, Loot and Rewards, 1933-1945"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sensationalizing and deeply flawed work. Pool continues a project begun in Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler's Rise to Power, 1919-1933 (1978) and comes up with with the same disappointing results. While it may be true that ""robbery was elevated to a state policy"" in Hitler's Germany, Pool is fundamentally mistaken in his central thesis: that greed often overrode ideology in the Third Reich. Nor is it true that ""the financial motives of Hitler and his partners have never been examined."" Marxist historians have been very clear on the relationship between Nazism and capitalism, while others have focused on the personal greed of Nazi henchmen like Goering. Pool argues that Joseph Kennedy, Charles Lindbergh, and the duke and duchess of Windsor, among others, influenced Nazi policy abroad; although some of these figures were sympathetic to the Nazis, it would be stretching the truth to state they had a hand in implementing Nazi foreign policy. Although there are titillating asides concerning Hitler's sex life, extravagance, and drug abuse, the most provocative of Pool's claims focus on the Holocaust. The concentration camps, Pool argues, were an integral part of the Nazi economic program crafted by Speer; the Jews were persecuted for their wealth. Other historians, however, have clearly demonstrated that the camp system was notoriously unprofitable and have established that, while Jewish wealth may have been an added incentive for annihilation, it was certainly not a moving cause. Pool's overstated thesis trivializes an important topic.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1997
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Pocket