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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg March 5, 2018

After the Gold Rush. Ursprünge und Wirkungen der Forschungskonjunktur «Unternehmen im Nationalsozialismus»

Tim Schanetzky

Abstract:

After the Gold Rush. Origins and Outcomes of the Research Boom «Business in the Third Reich» This article starts with a preliminary statistical reconstruction of the research boom «Business in the Third Reich». Its beginnings during the mid-90s resembled a broader change of attitudes towards the history of the Third Reich and the Holocaust in particular. While this «universalization» of Holocaust memory and the accompanying shift in U.S. foreign policy is well known, the article adds a business historian's perspective and emphasizes the changes of the corporate world of the late 90s: German big business went global and were increasingly dependent on the American market, its financial institutions and the general public of the U.S. As the origins of the research boom were mainly non-academic, the article inquires how business historians reflected on scientific autonomy and conflict of interest in a field dominated by commissioned research. Strikingly, pragmatism prevailed and academics showed little interest in the current state of research on application-oriented science. In a last step, the article discusses the scientific repercussions of the massive surge in demand for commissioned histories. Subsequently, business history tended to address the ever-same set of research questions on corporate action during the 30s and 40s, while the acquisition of corporate funding also made for a distorted choice of objects.

Published Online: 2018-3-5

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston