Upper-Middle-Class Complicity in the National Socialist Phenomenon in Germany
White, David Robert
The original research element of this thesis consists of the study of an emerging· professional association of senior managerial employees in business and industry in Weimar Germany. This association which went by the name of VELA, Vereinigung der leitenden Angestellten, or the Organisation of Leading Salaried Employees, was founded in December 1918, and continued in existence until December 1934. Utilising a complete collection of VELA's bi-monthly members' periodical, the development of a coherent ideology of elitism is traced from 1919 to 1933, with the emphasis upon the crystallisation of a world-view compatible and congruent with that of National Socialism by 1924/25. Political convergence with, and support for, the Nazi Party then followed some time after the onset of the Great Depression. A detailed study of the process of Gleichschaltung, or co-ordination, in the spring and summer of 1933 is used to illustrate how easily, readily and enthusiastically VELA embraced the coining of a New Order in the Third Reich.