|Intro||German economist and politician|
|Was||Economist Politician Professor Educator Engineer Urban planner|
|Field||Academia Engineering Finance Social science Politics|
|Birth||27 January 1883, Würzburg, Germany|
|Death||24 September 1941, Murnau am Staffelsee, Germany (aged 58 years)|
|Politics||German Workers' Party, Nazi Party, National Socialist Freedom Movement|
Gottfried Feder (27 January 1883 – 24 September 1941) was a German civil engineer, a self-taught economist and one of the early key members of the Nazi Party. He was their economic theoretician. It was one of his lectures, delivered in 1919, that drew Hitler into the party.
Feder was born in Würzburg, Germany on 27 January 1883 as the son of civil servant Hanse Feder and Mathilde Feder (née Luz). After studying in classical Gymnasiums in Ansbach and Munich, he studied engineering in Berlin and Zürich (Switzerland). He then founded a construction company in 1908 that became particularly active in Bulgaria where it built a number of official buildings.
From 1917 on, Feder studied financial politics and economics on his own. He developed a hostility towards wealthy bankers during World War I and wrote a "manifesto on breaking the shackles of interest" ("Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft") in 1919. This was soon followed by the founding of a "task force" dedicated to those goals that demanded a nationalisation of all banks and an abolition of interest.
That year, Feder, together with Anton Drexler, Dietrich Eckart and Karl Harrer, were involved in the founding of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers' Party-DAP). Adolf Hitler met him in the summer of 1919 while he was in an anti-Bolshevik training course at Munich university—funded by the army and organized by Major Karl Mayr—and Feder became his mentor in finance and economics. He helped to inspire Hitler's opposition to "Jewish finance capitalism." Delivering political courses alongside Feder was Karl Alexander von Müller (son of Bavaria's Culture Minister) who spotted Hitler's oratorical ability and forwarded his name as a political instructor for the army—an important step in Hitler's career.
In February 1920, together with Adolf Hitler and Anton Drexler, Feder drafted the "25 points" which summed up the party's views and introduced his own anti-capitalist views into the program. When the paper was announced on 24 February 1920, more than 2,000 people attended the rally. In an attempt to make the party more broadly appealing to larger segments of the population, the DAP was renamed in February 1920 to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party, NSDAP), more commonly known as the Nazi Party.
Feder took part in the party's Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. After Hitler's arrest, he remained one of the leaders of the party and was elected to the Reichstag in 1924, where he stayed until 1936 and demanded the freezing of interest rates and dispossession of Jewish citizens. He remained one of the leaders of the anti-capitalistic wing of the NSDAP, and published several papers, including "National and social bases of the German state" (1920), "Das Programm der NSDAP und seine weltanschaulichen Grundlagen" ("The programme of the NSDAP and its ideological foundations” 1927) and "Was will Adolf Hitler?" ("What does Adolf Hitler want?", 1931).
Feder briefly dominated the Nazi Party's official views on financial politics, but after he became chairman of the party's economic council in 1931, his anti-capitalist views led to a great decline in financial support from Germany's major industrialists. Following pressure from Walther Funk, Albert Voegler, Gustav Krupp, Friedrich Flick, Fritz Thyssen, Hjalmar Schacht and Emil Kirdorf, Hitler decided to move the party away from Feder's economic views. When Hitler became Reichskanzler in 1933, he appointed Feder as under-secretary at the ministry of economics in July, which appointment disappointed Feder, who had hoped for a much higher position.
Feder continued to write papers, putting out "Kampf gegen die Hochfinanz" ("The Fight against high finance", 1933) and the anti-semitic "Die Juden" ("The Jews," 1933); in 1934, he became Reichskommissar (Reich commissioner).
In 1939 he wrote Die Neue Stadt (the New City). This can be considered an attempt at Garden City building through the use of Nazi architecture. Here he proposed creating agricultural cities of 20,000 people divided into nine autonomous units and surrounded by agricultural areas. Each city was to be fully autonomous and self-sufficient, with detailed plans for daily living and urban amenities provided. Unlike other garden city theorists, he believed that urban areas could be reformed by subdividing the existing built environment into self-sufficient neighborhoods. This idea of creating clusters of self-contained neighbourhoods forming a mid-sized city was popularised by Uzō Nishiyama in Japan. It would later be applied in the era of Japanese New Town construction.
However, despite its consistency with the blood and soil ideology of the Nazis, his concept of decentralized factories was successfully opposed by both generals and Junkers. Generals objected because it interfered with rearmament, and Junkers because it would prevent their exploiting their estates for the international market.
After the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934, where SA leaders like Ernst Röhm and left-leaning party officials like Gregor Strasser were murdered, Feder lost favor with Hitler and began to withdraw from the government, finally becoming Professor for Settlement Policy at the Technische Hochschule Berlin in December 1936, where he stayed until his death in Murnau, Bavaria, on 24 September 1941.
- "Das Manifest zur Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft des Geldes" in Kritische Rundschau (1919) (The Manifesto for Breaking the Interest Bondage of Money in Critical Review).
- Expanded New Edition in An Alle, Alle! Number 1 (1919).
- "Der Staatsbankrott die Rettung" in An Alle, Alle! Number 2 (1919) ("The State Bankruptcy the Rescue").
- Das Programm der N.S.D.A.P. und seine weltanschaulichen Grundgedanken (The program of the NSDAP and its ideological principles).
- Die Wohnungsnot und die soziale Bau- und Wirtschaftsbank als Retterin aus Wohnungselend, Wirtschaftskrise und Erwerbselend (The housing shortage and the social construction and business bank as a rescuer from the misery of the home, the economic crisis and the economic crisis).
- Der Deutsche Staat auf nationaler und sozialer Grundlage (1923) (The German state on a national and social basis).
- Was will Adolf Hitler? (1931) (What does Adolf Hitler want?).
- Kampf gegen die Hochfinanz (1933) (Fight against high finance).
- Die organische Volkswirtschaft (1934) (The organic economy).
- Der ständische Gedanke im Nationalsozialismus (The concept of class in National Socialism).
- Grundriß einer nationalsozialistischen Volkswirtschaftstheorie (Floor plan of a National Socialist economic theory).
- with Ferdinand Werner (Politiker)Ernst Graf zu Reventlow and others: Das neue Deutschland und die Judenfrage. Diskussionsbeitrag (The new Germany and the Jewish question. Discussion contribution). Rüdiger (C. E. Krug), Leipzig 1933 (original title: Der Jud ist schuld (The Jew is to blame)). ,
- Die Juden (The Jews). Central Publisher of the NSDAP, Frz. Rather Nachf., Munich 1933.
- Die neue Stadt. Versuch der Begründung einer neuen Stadtplanungskunst aus der sozialen Struktur der Bevölkerung (The new city. Attempt to establish a new urban planning art from the social structure of the population). Published by Julius Springer, Berlin 1939.