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Financial Markets and National Socialism

by Stephan Kaufmann and Susanne Hahn Saturday, Jul. 11, 2020 at 1:22 PM

Joseph Goebbels was appointed "Reich Minister for National Enlightenment and Propaganda "7 on March 15, 1933.: "The people should begin to think and react in a unified way. [...]" They should stand behind the actions of the government with full sympathy and support.

"To the Next Generation”

by Bertold Brecht


Really, I live in dark times!

The unsuspecting world is foolish. A smooth forehead

Indicates insensitivity. The laughing man

Has the terrible news

Just not received yet.

What are these times

Talking about trees is almost a crime

Because it includes a silence about so many crimes!

Who crosses the street quietly there

Probably no longer available to his friends

Who are in need?

It's true: I still earn my keep.

But believe me, it's just a coincidence. Nothing

What I do entitles me to eat my fill.

I happen to be spared. (If my luck runs out

I'm lost.)

They tell me you eat and drink. Be glad you did!

But how can I eat and drink

I take what I eat from the hungry, and

My glass of water missing a thirsty person?

And yet I eat and drink.

I wish I were wise too

The old books say what is wise:

To stay out of the quarrels of the world and let the short time

Spend without fear

Getting along without violence

repay evil with good

Not fulfilling his wishes, but forgetting them

Applies to wise.

I can't do all that:

Really, I live in dark times!


I came to the cities at the time of disorder

When there was hunger.

I came among the people at the time of the upheaval

And I rebelled with them.

So my time passed

That was given to me on earth.

I ate my food between battles.

I went to sleep among the murderers

Love was something I was careless of

And nature I saw without patience.

So my time passed

That was given to me on earth.

The roads in that swamp in my day

The language betrayed me to the butcher

I could do very little. But the rulers...

Sitting safer without me, I hoped.

So my time passed...

That was given to me on earth.

The forces were small. The goal

distant camp

It was clearly visible, although for me

Hard to reach.

So my time passed

Which was given on earth.


You who will emerge from the flood

The one we went down in

Commemorative kit

When you speak of our weaknesses

Even in the darkest of times

The one you escaped.

We did, more often than the shoes crossed countries

Through the wars of classes, desperate

If there was only injustice and not indignation.

And we know:

...that even hatred for the lowly...

Distorts the trains.

Even the anger about injustice

Makes the voice hoarse. Oh, we

Who we wanted to prepare the ground for kindness

Couldn't be friendly themselves.

But you, when the time comes.

That man is a helper to man

Remember our time

With indulgence.

Financial markets The economy is groaning under the effects of the Corona pandemic, and stock market prices are rising. Why?

by Stephan Kaufmann

[This article published in July 2020 is translated from the German on the Internet,]

They pump again

Inflate, heat up, lift off: This is the dream of the capitalist

The stock market seems to have once again broken away from the bottom of economic reality. Although the corona recession is still in full swing, the second quarter is likely to be catastrophic. Nevertheless, share prices have been on the rise for some time. The stock market indices are no longer far below their past record highs. This is often explained by the fact that the markets see an economic recovery coming. But this assumes a simplified relationship between the so-called real economy and the financial sphere and thus a rationality that the stock markets do not have.

Since their crash in March, the stock indices of the USA and Europe have risen again by about 40 percent. At the same time, economic output is still going downhill. Although the lockdown measures are being gradually withdrawn, the economy is reviving. However, these successes are relative: in the USA, the unemployment rate fell recently, but only from 14.7 percent to 13.3 percent. In France, the INSEE statistics office sees a "recovery in May", but this only leads to a 17 percent fall in GDP in the second quarter instead of the 20 percent previously expected. Allianz estimates that nine million people in Europe could lose their jobs if short-time work schemes and other government support schemes expire.

Why are share prices still rising? First of all: Stock markets do not reflect the economic outlook. For stock traders, the economy is merely the foundation on which their speculation is built. Those who speculate on the stock market usually form an opinion about the economic situation. However, his business is less dependent on his own expectations than on the expectations of all other stock market traders. Because only when the view prevails among them that the stock markets will rise despite the corona pandemic will higher prices be paid for shares on the market. Only then is an investment worthwhile. The stockbroker must, therefore, read from the economic data how the majority of other stockbrokers will interpret this data. In this operation, all market participants are facing each other and are watching each other.

The economist John Maynard Keynes has compared this to a beauty contest, where it's not about "choosing those who are really the prettiest in your own opinion, or even those who the average opinion really considers being the prettiest. We have reached the third degree, where we dedicate our intelligence to anticipating what the average opinion expects as the result of the average opinion. And in this business, it's important for every single investor to be the first to bet on the coming trend. "Fear of missing out (FOMO), i.e. the fear of missing out on price gains, is therefore a key driver of the current bull market, which is being created simply because market participants are betting on it.

Speculation, therefore, does not need recovery, but only indications that the markets will pick up. And there are: the corona contagion figures are declining, the economy is tentatively recovering. Above all, however, the countries of the world have offered eleven trillion dollars to support their economies, with another five trillion to follow. On top of this come the central banks' purchases of securities, which are pumping trillions of liquidity into the markets.

Young greedy men

Admittedly, these measures actually have a negative starting point: Governments are not feeding a boom with their aid money, but are merely compensating for lost demand from the private sector. Nevertheless, government intervention is seen as forward momentum, as is the flood of liquidity from central banks, which in fact merely prevents a general bankruptcy. While zero interest rates make equities more attractive compared to bonds, which is what drives share prices, the low-interest rates are only a reaction to the fact that business is going so badly.

So what drives the stock market is merely a reaction by governments to an existing crisis.

These reactions are prompting players on the financial markets to bet on rising prices. There is not much else they can do: In the financial sector, there is a permanent surplus of investment capital that is looking for returns and has to find them.

Bubbles are being pumped up again on the stock markets, writes US economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times, "and the bubbles are getting stupider and stupider. Internet speculation at the turn of the millennium, as crazy as it was, was at least based on new technology, Krugman says. Even the bubble in US mortgage securities that led to the 2008 crisis still seems reasonable compared to what has happened since May. "The conventions of stock market reporting impose a rationality on investors, so stock movements are attributed to optimism about economic recovery," Krugman said. In reality, however, it is currently "simply a bunch of young men" who are buying stocks "because they have made money doing so".

Stephan Kaufmann has just published the book Crash Kurs Krise with Antonella Muzzupappa. How the financial markets work, published by Bertz und Fischer


The use of language under National Socialism

Seminar Paper, 2011

15 pages, grades: 1.3

by Susanne Hahn (Author)

[This 2011 reading sample is translated from the German on the Internet,]

1. introduction

We humans are very similar to the apes. There are few differences that set us apart and make us Homo Sapiens. Probably the most important characteristic is our complex language, which developed several hundred thousand years ago. The American linguist Edward Sapir1 said about this: Language is an exclusively human method, not rooted in instinct, for transmitting thoughts, feelings and desires by means of a system of freely created symbols "2.

However, spoken and written language also serves as a medium for our thoughts: we write diaries, e-mails or use other tools such as telephones and computers to share our thoughts with others. But like any medal, the spreading of thoughts and feelings has its negative side: Our language has an enormous power with which one can make a positive, but also very n

other tools such as telephones and computers to share our thoughts with others. But like any medal, the spreading of thoughts and feelings has its negative side: Our language has an enormous power with which one can make a positive, but also very negative impact. With words and gestures you can praise a child and encourage him to develop his abilities, but you can also make use of the power and use language to humiliate, suppress and psychologically terrorize the child.

Language possesses enormous power, which can be used for good, but also for bad. It can be used to convey information, to build interpersonal relationships, to create awareness and, in particular, to create violence and feelings. Probably the worst abuse of language in the course of human history was during the National Socialist era. Under National Socialism, discriminatory speeches were made, a new language was developed to differentiate certain groups of people, and through the language in people's minds a common hatred of Jews was planted. How the language was changed, why it was used, will now be worked out in the following paper. Which violence is caused by the specific use of language and how did it manifest itself in National Socialism? Is there even a 'separate' language in the Third Reich?

2. the use of language under National Socialism

Language promotes a society with all its rules and norms and at the same time disseminates those rules and norms within the community. It follows that everyone automatically and unconsciously adopts the teachings and ideas of society and integrates them into his or her own worldview.3

In order to be able to exploit this power that language possesses, language moves to the center of political strategies, for example to spread the teachings of ideologies in a society. Language serves here as an instrument for exercising power. How language was used in National Socialism can be examined from various points of departure. At this point, political speeches, neologisms and propaganda will be the main focus.

2.1 Special features and use of language

Although the mood of the German population sank to a low point in 1943 due to the ongoing British bombing raids and the defeat of the German army, the power of the written and spoken language, in particular the propaganda speech in February 1943 in the Berlin Sports Palace by Goebbels' orator, caused the people to tank up on energy and courage and let Goebbels' demands be carried away.4 But also in addition to Goebbels' well-known speech in the Sports Palace, there were a multitude of other speeches and writings which influenced people through the conscious use of language.

In order to underpin the unity of the Germans, on the one hand the National Socialist ideology and terminology were taught in schools and on the other hand a uniform party language was spread throughout the country:5

Ä Party organizational names were to be made known and - as an ideological goal - fixed interpretations, definitions and evaluations were to be enforced in the public language and finally in the general language in general. "6

This goal was pursued by Joseph Goebbels, who was appointed "Reich Minister for National Enlightenment and Propaganda "7 on March 15, 1933, and was expressed in the presence of the public press as follows: "The people should begin to think and react in a unified way. [...]" There is more behind his statement than you might think. He does not only want the people to become united, he wants the people to no longer be left to themselves and to stand behind the government and thus behind the actions of the government with full sympathy and support.

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