Berlin's Black Market: 1939-1950

Berlin's Black Market: 1939-1950

by Malte Zierenberg

Hardcover(1st ed. 2015)

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This book puts the illegal economy of the German capital during and after World War II into context and provides a new interpretation of Germany's postwar history. The black market, it argues, served as a reference point for the beginnings of the two new German states.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137017741
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 09/29/2015
Series: Worlds of Consumption , #14382
Edition description: 1st ed. 2015
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.03(d)

About the Author

Malte Zierenberg is an Assistant Professor of twentieth-century European History at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. He specializes in Urban, Economic, and Transnational Media History.

Table of Contents

1. Prologues
2. The Wartime Networks: The Martha Rebbien Case
3. Destruction, Disorientation and New Patterns of Order: Changes in the Black Market Landscape during the Transition from War to Postwar
4. Black Markets from the End of the War to the Currency Reform
5. Stories of a New Beginning: The Economy of the Streets between the Currency Reform and the 'Economic Miracle'
Conclusion: Black Market Trading as a Radical Experience of a Free Market

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“This is a work of scholarly elegance and sprawling erudition. It offers a striking vision of a war-torn Berlin remarkably different from traditional histories, leading us through the corridors of Nazi power and then down winding neighborhoods and into cafes, restaurants, homes, and even brothels to the black markets that flourished under and after Nazi rule. Along the way, Malte Zierenberg, who is a remarkably surefooted guide through a most chaotic period, provides insightful explanations of the economic forces motivating illicit trade, draws attention to the new social relations that sprang up around it, and provides astute interpretations of the symbolic meanings Germans attached to their experiences of dictatorship, war, occupation, and national division.” (Jonathan Zatlin, Professor at Boston University, USA)

“This is a wonderful book. It presents an ethnography of Berlin’s black market from 1939 to 1950. It shows how a massive illicit trade in goods and services developed according to its own rules and rituals, which adjusted with agility and ingenuity to the changing political and economic circumstances of dictatorship, war, occupation, and the city’s division. In attending to the connotations that the black market acquired in the eyes of opponents as well as participants, the book offers as well a fascinating cultural analysis of daily life in the big city during these turbulent times.” (Roger Chickering, Professor Emeritus of History, Georgetown University, USA)

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