Abstract: Racial Trade Barriers? Nazi Germany's International Aryanization Policies--The Danish Case

Jacob Halvas Bjerre


Aryanization is associated with Nazi Germany's policies to exclude Jews in the Germany from the economy in the pre-war years, but I will show it was a global policy from 1937. The utopian goal of international Aryanization was the total removal of Jews who traded with Germany anywhere in the world. This paper analyzes the racial policies pursued in the foreign trade and argues that we need to recognize Aryanization as a world-wide policy in order to fully understand its character and possible consequences. I focus on the pre-war period and analyze the case of Denmark from three different perspectives: perpetrators, victims and bystanders. The analysis will show that race, economy and foreign trade were combined in an attempt to raise racial trade barriers. This forced the question of German racial policies on the Danish government, Danish-Jewish businesses, and German companies involved in foreign trade. While the over-all consequences of these policies remain unknown accepting its international scope will open for research into many new areas such as how other governments reacted, but also how German companies involved in foreign trade coped with the ideological demands of the Third Reich in an international context.

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