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Panel Discussion: Negotiating the Nazi Model: The Internationalization of Nazi Labour and Social Policy and the Role of the Reichsarbeitsministerium, 1933-1945

4th June 2015, 6 pm

Chair: Elizabeth Harvey, University of Nottingham
Participants: Jane Caplan, University of Oxford; Andreas Gestrich, GHIL; Matthew Jones, London School of Economics (LSE); Sandrine Kott, University of Geneva; Kiran Klaus Patel, Maastricht University/GHIL/LSE

Venue: German Historical Institute London

Since the late 19th century, German officials and experts had heralded their models of labor and social policies internationally. During the Weimar Republic, the newly established Reichsarbeitsministerium turned into the guardian and international promoter of German social policies and expertise. 1933 was no turning point in this respect: German actors remained part of international expert discourses, and while the Nazis assessed new schemes in Fascist Italy and elsewhere, they were also eager to promote their own programs abroad. This did not come to an end with the advent of World War Two either: instead, the war provided new opportunities and rationales to experiment with policies elsewhere, and to project Nazi labor and social policy ideas on other societies. Which of their ideas and schemes did the Nazis promote internationally? In how far did such policies continue earlier practices from the Weimar Republic or even the Kaiserreich? What was the role of racism and violence in this context? How did non-Germans react, and what was their room for manoeuvre?