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The Myth of Hitler as Monetary Reformer

September 16, 2013

hitlerwithoutmoustache.jpg(Left: The Emperor has no mustache......)

The widespread notion that Hitler created debt-free credit is erroneous.

The German taxpayer continued to pay interest on the substantial

national debt and commercial banking largely financed the war at interest. 

"Schacht's policies did absolutely nothing to limit massive war profiteering by the financial and industrial classes that brought Hitler to power."

By Anthony Migchels

(This article abridged by

Despite his pledges, Hitler did not implement any serious monetary reform after he came to power. He did make finance completely subservient to the State and, more specifically, rearmament. But he did not nationalize any banks. The Reichsbank was already nationalized by the Weimar Republic. He did not end interest payments to 'the issuing houses', who must have made a fortune throughout the war. He did nothing to decouple the Stock Exchange from the economy.

Hjalmar Schacht became Reichsbank President in August 1934. Schacht's policies allowed full control of the economy to maximize production for war. But it did absolutely nothing to limit massive war profiteering by the financial and industrial classes that brought Hitler to power. Hitler used the monetary system that he inherited from the Weimar Republic. The Reichsmark, like any other banking unit, was lent into circulation.


Schacht was born in 1877, the son of an aristocratic family. He joined Dresdner Bank in 1903 and by 1905 was meeting people like JP Morgan and Theodore Roosevelt.  He studied Hebrew to advance his career. In 1908 he joined Freemasonry. He oversaw the financing of Belgian/German trade during WW1 and used his former employer Dresdner Bank for this. This blatant conflict of interest led to his dismissal, but he was taken back by Dresdner Bank after this.

In 1923 he joined the Reichsbank and played a key role in ending the hyperinflation of the day. A little later he was made President of the Reichsbank and remained in this post until 1930. Since at least 1923 he actively resisted the war reparations that were destroying the German economy and called for resurrection of German power. In 1926 he became involved with the NSDAP and supported their rise to power, although he never became a member.

He oversaw the formation of I.G. Farben in the twenties.

Schacht was a member of the Keppler Circle, a small group of businessmen that were at the heart of the Nazi movement and which financed Hitler's rise to power. Wall Street was very influential in this group and contrary to what many Hitler apologists claim, played a heavy role both in financing him and in war profiteering.

Shortly after Hitler came to power, he was reinstated as President of the Reichsbank and basically gained full control over the economy. This lasted until he was fired in 1939, when the German economy was overheating and Schacht wanted to limit spending on rearmament and was accused of 'mutiny' by Hitler.


Schacht created a special purpose vehicle (SPV, a dummy corporation) called MEtallurgische FOrschungsgesellschaft (MEFO), which was used to accept bills of exchange drawn by German weapons manufacturers and received by all German banks for possible re-discounting by the Reichsbank. The bills were guaranteed by the Reich for five years and were thus (indirectly) convertible to Reichsmark.

While they solved the depression and allowed for the Nazi war machine, they also created fairly serious inflationary pressures. And while this kind of construct may sound 'innovative' to the uninitiated, they would have been a no brainer for an experienced banker like Schacht. As said, they were based on certificates (called Oeffa) that the Weimar Republic was already circulating and national treasuries had been circulating their own certificates routinely, when pressing political issues forced them to increase their financial clout. The US Treasury had its Treasury notes before the Civil War. The UK printed 'Bradbury Pounds' (debt free notes) to finance WW1. The Canadian Treasury printed its own debt free money as of 1935 and during the twenties and thirties advanced monetary reform programs were widely discussed throughout the West.


There was no usury-free economy. The common man or small business actually would have next to no access to credit at all. Even manufacturers were forced to become self financing, so the State could monopolize borrowing on the capital markets. The stock market boomed like never before.

Instead, all policies were directed at securing sufficient funds for rearmament, not at minimizing financial exploitation by the parasitical class that Hitler so vehemently attacked with his rhetoric. Finance was a matter of volume, not cost.

Schacht's MEFO bills have been wrongly jumped upon to claim Hitler was an anti banker man, while Schacht himself has the typical bio of a high level Money Power operative. He was a life long friend of BoE chief Montague Norman and was acquitted at Neurenberg, where the Soviets wanted a conviction while the British made sure he was released.

The myth of Nazi anti-Usury activism is damaging, not only because of its mythological character, but because it allows the Money Power to defame anti-Usury activism through 'guilt by association'. In fact, many Austrians and Mainstreamers, call usury-free monetary reform programs 'fascist'. Fascism itself is being rehabilitated because of its supposed stance against finance capitalism. But as we have learned from Bolton's 'The Banking Swindle', the twenties and thirties saw many monetary reform programs throughout the West, far from all associated with fascism. After the war they were relegated to a memory hole because of this false association with fascism.

War profiteering by the industrial and financial class was in no way restricted. As a result, they profited immensely from the war. This was indeed the main reason for them to enable Hitler's rise to power and their loyal support of his policies during the rearmament and the war. Even today, the main culprits like the Thyssen family, Krupp and the Goebbels step-children owning BMW are among the richest people in Germany. The same banks that financed the Reich's war are now among the biggest in the world.

(with special thanks to Niels Verduijn and Ad Broere)

Anthony Migchels is an Interest-Free Currency activist and founder of the Gelre, the first Regional Currency in the Netherlands. You can read all of his articles on his blog Real Currencies


Hitler and the Banksters, by Ingrid Rimland

Nazi War Financing and Banking, by Otto Nathan

Ziopedia on MEFO's

Jewish Virtual Library on Schacht

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, by Antony Sutton


BIS Financed Hitler

Lincoln was indeed a Money Power Agent

Book review: The Banking Swindle



As I prepare your article I am troubled by this statement from Rakovsky in the Red Symphony

Unfortunately for the bankers, Hitler also proved intractable. He started to print his own money!

"He took over for himself the privilege of manufacturing money and not only physical moneys, but also financial ones; he took over the untouched machinery of falsification and put it to work for the benefit of the state... Are you capable of imagining what would have come ...if it had infected a number of other states and brought about the creation of a period of autarchy [absolute rule, replacing that of the bankers]. If you can, then imagine its counterrevolutionary functions..." (263)

Anthony replies:

"Yes, very much on my mind too. What does my article mean for Rashkovsky's credibility? I actually wanted to put this in the article, but chose not to.

But as you can see, my article is based on pretty much undisputed sources. I also think that the fact that the banks and industrialists that operated in the Reich are still pretty much in control of present day Germany is pretty self-explanatory.

There is a clear strand of neo-nazism in the Alternative Media that is based on the idea of Hitler being against the banks. Where does this come from? Just apologists that want to believe in him? Or is there something more nefarious happening? As we know neo-nazism is heavily infiltrated.

The fact that the Reichsmark remained after Hitler took over is very telling. As is his non-nationalization of banking. In fact: many commentators have wondered why Hitler did not nationalize the banks and indeed industry too, if he was such a 'socialist'.

The article is very provocative and goes straight against what is considered common knowledge in the Alternative Media.

Ultimately I don't know either. I'm reporting on the facts as I see them, I think, at the very least, it's useful to have a good debate on this. It is this that in the end will be crucial to the evaluation of Hitler."


re. German Banks, Antony adds:

Yes Henry, the banks must have been in the hands of the Jews. The whole Weimar Republic was run them, after all. I don't have any really hard data, but there are clues.

Name789 ( left this comment at my site:

AFTER THE war Winston Churchill wished to quote from a letter written to him by Chancellor Heinrich Brüning, then residing at Oxford, England, on August 28. 1937, about the big industrialists who had supported the Nazis before and after their accession to power.

Brüning was reluctant to provide any ammunition that might be used against his fellow Germans in "the so-called war crimes trials." He felt [he wrote] that Friedrich Flick and the IG Farben company were blameless, having been forced to make their contributions after the Nazis came to power; and added, "I did not and do not even today, for understandable reasons, wish to reveal that from October 1928 the two largest regular contributors to the Nazi Party were the general managers of two of the largest Berlin banks, both of Jewish faith, and one of them the leader of Zionism in Germany."

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "The Myth of Hitler as Monetary Reformer "

Dick P said (September 17, 2013):

Anthony Migchels has once again published historically inaccurate information in "The Myth of Hitler as Monetary Reformer". The Reichsmark was still the exchange medium, however, Hjalmar Schact joined Hitler's programs when he saw the results of the reforms from Fritz Reinhardt. The Monetary reforms were in the programs initiated by Hitler and Reinhardt to rescue the country from international finance capitalism. Germany had to be about Germans, for Germans and run by Germans. High National Socialist ideals that should be looked at and possibly implemented today. The gold standard was abandoned in favor of barter. Interference by anyone was not tolerated in order to allow the reforms to work. Hitler and Reinhardt did reform how money was used in the Reich. Hitler had to reform how money was used. It is not a myth, it's historical fact.

Mr. Migchels is reckless and misinformed about historical accuracy and should check his facts before publishing anything.

---Anthony replies:

Dick P must be disappointed about his hero. He offers nothing but his disapproval + two verifiable claims that are both incorrect: the Germans left the Gold standard in 1931 and Schacht became Reichsbank president on March 17th 1933, so at the very beginning of the Nazi era.

Tony B said (September 16, 2013):

Henry, here is a comment of Rev. Denis Fahey made when Hitler was in power in Germany on German banking at the time.


“In The Rulers of Russia, I quoted an author to the effect that the German monetary system was a reaction against the fallacy of making the volume of a country’s money or exchange-medium depend on the amount of gold the government of the country could control (3rd Edition Revised and Enlarged, November 1939, p. 74.) It is quite true that the volume of money or exchange-medium ought to be proportioned to the development of a country’s capacity for production, not to the amount of gold that may happen to be in its Central Bank. But the German financial system, as a whole, is far from being in harmony with the principles of St. Thomas; in conjunction with the racial theory it will tend to the treatment of the human person as a mere individual.

The German Government controls the creation of bank credit by the Reichsbank, and allows this new bank credit to reach the channels of trade by granting loans of it to whatever businesses it favours. Now, when the Government takes over exclusive control and management of the lending business, we have, in practice, Socialism or Communism. For a Government to create bank credit and lend it to whom it chooses is even more vicious than for private banks to create money as loans. In the case of private banks, arbitrary discrimination is not the primary motive in denying loans. The German Government determines what businesses may or may not borrow and thus exercises the power of life and death over them. This power tends to reinforce the treatment of subjects as mere individuals not as persons.”

No bank should be allowed to create and circulate money which is the first responsibility of government in proper order, and no government should be allowed to bank, which is also proper order. Fahey makes the reasons obvious.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at