Work donation

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As labor donation was in the era of National Socialism refers to a tax, which in 1933 under the so-called labor battle was introduced as a "voluntary donation for the promotion of national labor".

In fact, the “voluntary donation” was often withheld from the payment of wages. By the end of March 1934, when the law expired, the total volume was 149 million Reichsmarks .


Work donations could be claimed to reduce taxes. Accrued or expected future tax debts could also be settled in this way. Work donations could also be paid in anonymously - for example via a notary - in order to avoid tax evasion subject to criminal penalties.

The work donations went to a special fund of the Reich. Of this, loans were granted for public works that were selected by the Reich Ministry of Labor in agreement with the Reich Ministry of Finance .


In many cases the donation was deducted directly from the wages, salaries or salaries of the workers, employees and civil servants. Peer pressure was also high when it came to collection lists. The population did not find out what was financed with the donations. The Court of Auditors ran into difficulties when trying to follow up in 1936.

Some of the donations were at least indirectly used for armament or military purposes: 1.6 million Reichsmarks for airfield construction in East Prussia , 440,000 RM for air raid measures , 2 million RM for floating docks, approx. 10 million RM for police accommodation and even 35 million RM for the storm department (SA ) for clothing and material procurement. According to calculations by Detlev Humann, around two thirds of the special assets of RM 149 million flowed into investments that could be used both militarily and civilly.


Since the work donation only shifted purchasing power and did not create additional demand, it is questionable from an economic policy point of view. Armament created jobs, but the employment effect was delayed and diminished by the loss of purchasing power. Humann describes the work donation as "the grossest glare of all employment measures at the beginning of the 1930s."


  • Detlev Humann: "Arbeitsschlacht" - job creation and propaganda in the Nazi era 1933-1939 . Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2011 (Diss.), ISBN 978-3-8353-0838-1 , (pp. 87-95)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Law on the Reduction of Unemployment, Part III: Work Donation Act (ASG), (RGBl. I, p. 324) of June 1, 1933
  2. Cornelia Schmitz-Berning: Vocabulary of National Socialism , 2nd edition Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-11-019549-1 , p. 54.
  3. Detlev Humann: "Arbeitsschlacht" - job creation and propaganda in the Nazi era 1933-1939 . Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8353-0838-1 , p. 89.
  4. Detlev Humann: "Arbeitsschlacht" ... Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8353-0838-1 , p. 89.
  5. Detlev Humann: "Arbeitsschlacht" ... Göttingen 2011, ISBN 978-3-8353-0838-1 , p. 94f.