Columbia University

New insight into pre-Nazi Germany

I recently received an email from Felix de Taillez, a German scholar of European history.

My connection with Felix de Taillez started when he contacted the Gazette, saying that, on the Internet, he found some of my columns describing the relationship between Fritz Thyssen, the head of Germany's giant United Steelworks that controlled more than 75% of Germany's iron ore reserves and Emery Reves. He asked the editor of the Gazette to put him in touch with me.

Fritz Thyssen gained notoriety as the major financial supporter of the fledgling Nazi Party, and was instrumental in persuading Germany's President Paul von Hindenburg, to appoint Hitler chancellor in 1932. But once the...