Friends of the Reichsführer SS

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The Freundeskreis Reichsführer SS , also: Freundeskreis Reichsführer-SS and Freundeskreis Himmler , formerly known as the Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft at Reichsführer SS Himmler , Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft or Keppler-Kreis , was a group of German industrialists with the aim of influencing the economic policy of the " Third Reich ”.

The Keppler Circle

The Circle of Friends emerged in 1933 from the "Study Group for Economic Issues" founded by Wilhelm Keppler , a member of the NSDAP since 1927, at Hitler's instigation in the spring of 1932. In June 1932, Keppler introduced about 20 members of the loose circle to Hitler. The group's secretary was Fritz Kranefuß (1900–1945), a former employee of Keppler. The Keppler-Kreis was concerned with the creation of an economic and financial program for the NSDAP. A large number of memoranda were drafted in three sub-committees (finance, industry and general economic issues). According to the historian Dirk Stegmann, the nucleus for important fundamental decisions of the later economic policy of the Nazi regime is to be found in the Keppler circle. The initiative for the industrialists' submission also came from the Keppler Circle (a letter dated November 19, 1932 appealed to Reich President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Adolf Hitler as Reich Chancellor).

The members are considered to later benefit from the Aryanization . The historian Hans-Ulrich Thamer ruled in 1994 that these industrial circles , which were close to National Socialism, with a few exceptions until 1933 "only included business representatives from the second and third members of the iron and steel industry".

Members of the Keppler Circle

According to Emil Helfferich, the original Keppler Circle had the following members:

  1. Wilhelm Keppler
  2. Hjalmar shaft
  3. Albert Vögler
  4. Friedrich Reinhart
  5. Ewald Hecker
  6. August Rosterg
  7. Kurt Freiherr von Schröder
  8. Emil Heinrich Meyer (Member of the Board of Management of Dresdner Bank )
  9. Franz Heinrich Witthoefft
  10. Emil Helfferich
  11. Leopold Plaichinger (employee of Wilhelm Keppler from the Odin works)
  12. Max Luyken
  13. Gottfried von Bismarck-Schönhausen

The historian Henry Ashby Turner also mentions:

  1. Otto Steinbrinck (leading manager in the Flick Group )

The Friends of the Reichsführer SS

After the transfer of power, the Keppler Circle was transformed into the Reichsführer SS Friends Group. From 1935 to 1944 the members donated around 1 million Reichsmarks annually to Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler . For this purpose, the “Special Account S” was set up at J. H. Stein Bank in Cologne , as can be seen in the letter of February 25, 1936 from Otto Steinbrinck and Kurt Freiherr von Schröder to Emil Heinrich Meyer , member of the Dresdner Bank Management Board . Kurt Freiherr von Schröder was a partner and administrator of the account. Of the 32 members who were not members of the SS at the time, Heinrich Himmler raised 15 to the rank of SS honorary leaders .

Wilhelm Keppler was later interrogated as part of the Nuremberg Trials . He named a number of members from memory who are said to have belonged to the Circle of Friends at least temporarily. Other documents prove active participation based on the donation lists.

Members of the Freundeskreis

The members are sorted alphabetically; the naming of the functions is not exhaustive.

  1. Hermann Behrends , SS-Gruppenführer and Lieutenant General of the Police and SS-Sturmbannführer of the Reserve of the Waffen-SS, Higher SS and Police Leader in Serbia and Montenegro and Staff Leader of the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle
  2. Rudolf Bingel , Siemens-Halske
  3. Gottfried von Bismarck-Schönhausen , district president in Stettin and later in Potsdam
  4. Karl Blessing , Unilever, later head of the Bundesbank
  5. Wilhelm Börger , Ministry of Labor
  6. Heinrich Bütefisch , IG Farben
  7. Kurt Dellmann , SS-Obersturmführer
  8. Friedrich Karl Dermietzel , deputy of the Reichsarzt SS and police , SS brigade leader
  9. Hans Fischböck , Reich Commissioner in the four-year plan
  10. Friedrich Flick , Central German Steel Works
  11. Rudolph Firle , North German Lloyd
  12. Herbert Göring , Ministry of Economic Affairs, cousin of Hermann Göring
  13. Karl Ritter von Halt , Deutsche Bank
  14. Franz Hayler , State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs
  15. Ewald Hecker , Ilseder Hut
  16. Emil Helfferich , Chairman of the Hapag Supervisory Board , Director of DAPG
  17. Otto Heuer , General Director of Schütte AG
  18. Erich Hilgenfeldt , head of the National Socialist People's Welfare
  19. Richard Kaselowsky , Dr. August Oetker KG , Bielefeld
  20. Hans Kehrl , SS-Oberführer
  21. Wilhelm Keppler , State Secretary in the Foreign Ministry from 1938
  22. Fritz Kiehn , paper manufacturer and SS-Obersturmbannführer
  23. Wilhelm Kleinmann , State Secretary in the Reich Ministry of Transport
  24. Friedrich Carl Arthur Kranefuß , BRABAG , Himmler's adjutant
  25. Carl Vincent Krogmann , First Mayor of Hamburg
  26. Karl Lindemann , Director of Dresdner Bank , Deutsche Reichsbank , DAPG Norddeutscher Lloyd , Melchers & Co. , Bremen
  27. Baron von Lüdinghausen
  28. Emil Heinrich Meyer , board member of Dresdner Bank
  29. Werner Naumann , State Secretary in the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
  30. Otto Ohlendorf , State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs
  31. Alfred Olscher , Reichs-Kredit-Gesellschaft
  32. Oswald Pohl , head of the SS Economic Office
  33. Karl Rasche , member of the Board of Management of Dresdner Bank
  34. Herbert Reichenberger , SS-Untersturmführer
  35. Friedrich Reinhart , Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank
  36. Hellmut Röhnert , Rheinmetall -Borsig
  37. Erwin Rösener , SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen-SS, member of the Reichstag
  38. August Rosterg , potash group Wintershall AG
  39. Hjalmar Schacht , President of the Reichsbank
  40. Ernst Schäfer , SS-Sturmbannführer of the SS Office Ahnenerbe
  41. Walther Schieber , head of the armaments delivery office in the armaments ministry
  42. Heinrich Schmidt, Wintershall Potash Group
  43. Kurt Schmitt , former Minister of Economic Affairs, Chairman of the Board. of Allianz AG
  44. Kurt Freiherr von Schröder , banker, JH Stein Bank
  45. Wolfram Sievers , Head of the Ahnenerbe Office
  46. Otto Steinbrinck , Prussian Union
  47. Albert Vögler , Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG - his membership is doubted for important reasons.
  48. Wilhelm Voss , Reichswerke Hermann Göring
  49. Hermann Waldhecker , director of the Reichsbank
  50. Hans Walz , Bosch works
  51. Franz Heinrich Witthoefft , Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Commerz- und Privatbank
  52. Karl Wolff , Himmler's personal adjutant
  53. Walther Wüst , professor for Indo-European studies, SS-Oberführer, head of the SS research and teaching institute "Das Ahnenerbe "


  • Reinhard Vogelsang: The Himmler Circle of Friends . Musterschmidt. Göttingen / Zurich / Frankfurt (Main) 1982, ISBN 978-3-7881-1666-8 .

Web links


  1. Hans-Ulrich Thamer : Seduction and violence. Germany 1933–1945 . Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 978-3-442-75528-8 , p. 211.
  2. Dirk Stegmann: On the relationship between large-scale industry and National Socialism 1930–1933 . In: Archive for Social History , XIII, Bonn-Bad Godesberg 1973, p. 427 f.
  3. Henry Ashby Turner : The Big Entrepreneurs and the Rise of Hitler . Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1985, p. 299 f.
  4. Heinz Höhne: The order under the skull. The history of the SS . Weltbild Verlag, 1992, ISBN 3-89350-549-0 , p. 132.
  5. ^ For example, the letter from the banker Kurt Freiherr von Schröder to Heinrich Himmler of September 21, 1943 contains a list of contributions (total amount 1,100,000 RM) for the year 1943; as evidence in the Nuremberg IG Farben trial it has the numbers US-322 and EC-453.
  6. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al list according to a statement by Wilhelm Keppler, Nürnberg Military Tribunal, Volume VI, Page 287 ( online ).
  7. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar Friedemann Bedürftig, Christian Zentner : The great lexicon of the Third Reich. ; 1992; ISBN 3-89350-563-6 .
  8. Tobias Bütow, Franka Bindernagel: A concentration camp in the neighborhood. The Magdeburg satellite camp of Brabag and the "Freundeskreis Himmler" . Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-412-09303-3 , p. 48. Note: The typographical error in the name “Behrens” results from the information in the Allied documents.
  9. a b c d Karl-Heinz Thieleke (Ed.): Case 5. Prosecution, selected documents, judgment of the Flick trial, with a study on the "Aryanizations" of the Flick group. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1965, p. 301.
  10. a b c d e Hartmut Rübner: Concentration and Crisis of the German Shipping. Maritime economy and politics in the German Empire, in the Weimar Republic and in National Socialism . Bremen 2005, ISBN 3-89757-238-9 .
  11. ^ A b Antony C. Sutton: Wall Street and the rise of Hitler. 1976, ISBN 978-0-89245-004-6 , Chapter 4 ( online ).
  12. Statistical-Scientific Institute of the Reichsführer-SS . ( Memento of the original from September 27, 2007 in the web archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Federal Archives .  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. Hartmut Berghoff, Cornelia Rauh-Kühne: Fritz K. - A German Life in the 20th Century. Stuttgart and Munich (Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt), 2000, ISBN 3-421-05339-1 , ( Info ( Memento from February 17, 2001 in the Internet Archive )).
  14. A program of events for a conference on December 12, 1943 and an invitation list have been published, i.e. no participant list with signatures. A Freiherr von Lüdinghausen without SS rank, title or job title appears under No. 35 . It is not possible to draw any conclusions about a specific person.
  15. Horst Bartel et al. a. (Ed.): Subject dictionary of the history of Germany and the German workers' movement. , Volume 1, Dietz Verlag, Berlin, 1969, p. 639.
  16. a b Hermann Weiß : Personen Lexikon 1933–1945 , Vienna 2003.
  17. ^ Ernst Klee : The dictionary of persons on the Third Reich . Who was what before and after 1945 . Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, second updated edition, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-596-16048-8 , p. 522.
  18. ^ Ernst Klee : Das Personenlexikon zum Third Reich , 2003, ISBN 3-10-039309-0 , p. 105. Note: The incorrect spelling "Fritz Dermitzel" can be traced back to Allied documents.
  19. Erich Stockhorst : 5000 heads. Who was what in the 3rd Reich . 2nd Edition. Arndt, Kiel 2000, ISBN 3-88741-116-1 (Note: The name “Rösener” is incorrectly given in the literature as “Roesener”).