• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Irony of Germania

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, stated that "Germany has been the winner in the globalization process" because it "has an innovative industrial sector whose high quality products are very much in demand in emerging economies."

Ah, the ironies!

In 1943, SS Brigadefuhrer, Otto Ohlendorf wrote a memorandum concerning the global economy in the post war era. Ohlendorf was interested in the analyses of Ludwig Erhard, a civilian German economist, who had written a lengthy but secret manuscript examining the transition to a post-war economy after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Ohlendorf was opposed to the American-style, mass-production techniques introduced into Germany by Reichminister Albert Speer. In Ohlendorf's view Chaplinesque assembly-line bolt-torquing was incompatible with the uplifting role expected of labour in Aryan society. It was a Meistersinger kind of thingie.

Besides, on the field of mass-production, there was no way Germany could compete with Japan and the United States. Let those countries take care of producing mass-consumer crap, Ohlendorf wrote. To Germany, the niche economy of high-quality crafted goods (think Leica) that only German skill could produce.

And so it was. German industry rose phoenix like from the ashes It's no longer called Germania but Europa.

Ohlendorf was hanged upon conviction of mass-murder in the Ukraine; Ludwig Erhard went on to be come Chancellor of Germany.