Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Statistik und Organisation der NS-Kriegswirtschaft und der DDR-Planwirtschaft 1933-1949/50

Fremdling, Rainer (2018): Statistik und Organisation der NS-Kriegswirtschaft und der DDR-Planwirtschaft 1933-1949/50.


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Abstract: NS-War Economy 1933-1945 and Abstract: The Emergence of the Planned Economy in East-Germany 1945-1949/50 The major part deals with economic statistics as an instrument for warfare and war preparation. Firstly, the involvement of German Statistical Office (Statistisches Reichsamt) is described and analyzed: as soon as in 1934, plans emerged in the Office to conduct periodical industrial censuses as a means of a statistical information system to meet the demands of a planned or commanded economy for warfare. The comprehensive industrial census of 1936 became the main source for this purpose. Secondly, the statistical information is put forward. It was increasingly provided by mandatory reporting of private industrial firms and their organizations, which became instrumental in steering the German economy. Officially and privately organized economic statistics finally merged: during the war, the Ministry of Economics set up a statistical information system based on the collaboration between the German Statistical Office and the German Institute for Economic Research (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung). In 1943, the responsible department of the Ministry of Economics was incorporated into the Planning Office (Planungsamt) of Speer´s Ministry for Armament. Within this centre of economic command economic statistics became an essential tool for running the German economy during the last years of the war. In a separate chapter, plans of the Ministry of Economics during the last months of the war are highlighted which aimed at designing an institutional framework for centralizing and centrally steering German empirical economic research and economic statistics after the war. Finally, the use of the NS-statistics after the war is touched upon, thus forming a bridging chapter to East-Germany setting up its planned economy. A separate case study deals with a report of the Statistical Office asked for by the Ministry of Economics in 1936 to estimate the assets of German Jews.

Immediately after the war, the commands of Soviet Military Administration for Germany (SMAD) endeavoured to re-establish and increase production in the Soviet Zone of Occupation (SBZ). For short term economic planning, they required regular statistical reports from business firms. Not before 1948, however, did the Central Statistical Office (StZA) founded in the fall of 1945 succeed in standardizing and centralizing the statistics reported by business firms. The federal structure of the SBZ with its strong position of the independent statistical offices of the individual states was to blame for the delay. It was finally overcome when the StZA became a major department of the newly created German Economic Commission (DWK), the centralized governmental body of the SBZ. Right from the beginning, the StZA drew on economic statistics of NS-Germany to obtain a basis for steering and planning the East German economy. Above all in 1947/48, the original files of the Industrial Census of 1936 were rearranged and evaluated for the Two-Years-Plan of 1949/50, the first elaborate planning scheme of the GDR. Until then the insufficient statistical reporting system of East Germany had not allowed such a planning.

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