Booked Up with Jen Taub
NAZI BILLIONAIRES by David de Jong
June 4, 2023
In This Episode:
Jen’s guest is David de Jong, the author of a mindblowing new narrative nonfiction book called Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties. Before he began researching for this book, David covered banking, finance, and hidden wealth for Bloomberg News.
This book puts the lie to the often-heard claims by descendants and apologists for the industrialists who collaborated for profit with Hilter. You’ve heard them too. That these business leaders did not know what was going on at the concentration and extermination camps, that they were helping Jews by buying businesses on the cheap, that they had not sought out to be members of the Nazi party but were forced to to stay in business. Piece by piece, David offers the proof that these are not just lies but that the truth is more horrific than any of us can imagine.
The glowing reviews have rolled in. Bradley Hope, author of the fabulous book Billionaire Dollary Whale (about the Malaysian wealth fund) had this to say:
“David de Jong’s explosive debut of narrative nonfiction is as riveting as it is disturbing. At times, it felt like reading the anti–Schindler’s List: instead of secretly helping the Jews, Germany’s most powerful tycoons brutally exploited their suffering for personal profit. The fact that some of Germany’s greatest fortunes are deeply intertwined with the ignominies of the Third Reich should be much better known.”
Yale Law Professor Samuel Moyn’s says, “David de Jong’s sleuthing has uncovered a remarkable and upsetting web of connections between the signature evil of the twentieth century and fabulous riches today. With its finely wrought stories of German individuals and families—including Jews who were expropriated—Nazi Billionaires suggests that even today amends have not yet been made for the profits that some reaped in an era of horror.”
Why so much kvelling? It’s well-deserved. How David did this and the toll it took on him is at the top of my mind. Can’t wait to speak with him. So, with no further delays. Let’s dive in.
Contact Booked Up
You can email Jen & the Booked Up team at: BOOKEDUP@POLITICON.COM or by writing to: BOOKED UP, P.O. BOX 147, NORTHAMPTON, MA 01061
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