A Faustian Bargain: Denmark's Precarious Deal with the German War Economy

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    There were no German plans for the economic exploitation of Denmark when the Wehrmacht attacked its defenseless neighbour on April 9 1940. Denmark was occupied for purely military reasons, and the Danish government accepted the German offer to stay in power if it could guarantee the safety of the Wehrmacht. Although the Wehrmacht’s economic department had pointed to a few Danish industrial plants that might be of military interest, Berlin’s expectations of Denmark’s industrial capacity were limited. The situation changed as the Wehrwirtschaftsstab Dänemark (the Danish office of the Economic branch of the Wehrmacht) began to disclose the potentials, and in summer 1941, German authorities and the Danish government reached an agreement on the “Extraordinary Industrial Deliveries,” according to which Danish industrial enterprises were to supply Germany with a wide range of manufactured products. Yet in the plans of the Auswärtiges Amt (Foreign Ministry) and the Four-Year Plan which followed the Blitzkrieg victories of 1940, Denmark was primarily to be regarded as a producer and exporter of agricultural goods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIndustrial Collaboration in Nazi-Occupied Europe : Norway in Context
    Editors Hans Otto Frøland, Mats Ingulstad, Jonas Scherner
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Publication date2016
    ISBN (Print)9781137534224
    ISBN (Electronic)9781137534231
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    SeriesPalgrave Studies in Economic History

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