Albrecht Ritschl, 30 May 2019

Germany’s Jewish population share in 1933 was less than 1%. Nevertheless, Nazi propa­gan­da believed in the existence of fabulous riches, with some estimates rising as high as 20% of national wealth. This column uses taxation data collected for the Allied military govern­ments after 1945 to revisit these claims. Under plausible assumptions, the Jewish-owned share of Germany’s private real capital stock broadly matched the population share, with an upper-bound estimate of 1.6%. 

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