Stauss, Emil Georg von

(1877-1942)
   banker; among the earliest-business leaders drawn to the NSDAP. Born in the Saar* town of Friedrichsthal, he was already publishing picture books when he began a banking apprentice-ship. Exploiting a break opened by his marriage to the daughter of Admiral Richard von Müller, he moved to Berlin* as secretary to Georg von Siemens, founder of the Deutsche Bank. Siemens eventually made him manager of a petroleum trust. A budding expert on the Balkans and the Middle East, he ad-ministered the Deutsche Bank s Anatolian Railway Company during World War I, devoting himself to construction of the Baghdad Railway. In 1915 he suc-ceeded Karl Helfferich* on the bank s managing board. He claimed that the king of Württemberg ennobled him in 1918 for his wartime achievements (a topic of dispute).
   After the war, as supervisory board chairman of both Lufthansa and BMW, Stauss helped reconstruct the depressed aircraft and aircraft-engine industries. Following protracted mediation, he convinced the capital-strapped companies of Benz and Daimler to reorganize in 1926 and then joined the new firm as su-pervisory board chairman; the company s miraculous recovery was largely his accomplishment. But while both BMW and Daimler-Benz were governed by Deutsche Bank, Stauss failed in an effort to form an automobile trust—an IG Auto—under the bank's control. In 1932, three years after the merger of Deutsche Bank and the Disconto-Gesellschaft ("DeDi-Bank ), he transferred to the bank s less conspicuous supervisory board.
   Stauss contributed generously to the DVP, which he joined in the 1920s, but soon after the September 1930 Reichstag* elections, which saw his own election, he became enamored of Hitler* and the NSDAP. Fast friends with Hermann Goring,* he arranged Hjalmar Schacht's* first meeting with the flying ace in December 1930. Although he retained his DVP membership until 1933, he qui-etly channeled funds to the NSDAP. In 1931 he helped launch the new National-Zeitung, a Nazi daily in Essen, by holding out the prospect of a sizable loan for the newspaper.* Although a Nazi press attack in mid-1932 briefly cooled his ardor, he became an honorary member of Hitler s rubber-stamp Reichstag in November 1933, a position he retained until his death in 1942. He never joined the NSDAP.
   REFERENCES:Bellon, Mercedes; Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Seidenzahl, 100 Jahre Deutsche Bank; Turner, German Big Business.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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