Vogler, Albert

(1877-1945)
   industrialist; a leading champion of hori-zontal industrial concentration. He was born near Essen in Borbeck; his father advanced in the coal industry from miner to production manager. After an ap-prenticeship, Vogler took a doctorate in engineering. He joined the Union AG fur Eisen- und Stahlindustrie in 1902 as a metallurgical engineer and was pro-moted to company director in 1912. Hugo Stinnes* made him Generaldirektor of his Deutsch-Luxemburgische Bergwerks- und Hutten-AG in 1915. In Decem-ber 1918 he helped organize the DVP. He was elected to the National Assem-bly* and served in the Reichstag* until May 1924. After Stinnes's death in 1924 he was the DVP s principal heavy industrialist.
   Vogler was a talented, if conservative, businessman with ample technical skill. He and Stinnes differed on the wisdom of vertical concentration (combination of diverse industries). After Stinnes died, Vogler and Fritz Thyssen* launched talks that led in 1926 to creation of the United Steel Works or Vestag (Vereinigte Stahlwerke), a massive cartel comprised of four giant firms (Rhein-Elbe-Union, Thyssen, Phoenix, and Rheinische Stahlwerke). Vogler served as the trust's Ge-neraldirektor. In 1927 he helped organize an antilabor offensive aimed at frustrating compulsory arbitration; in 1928 he joined the Ruhrlade, a secret in-dustrial clique founded by Paul Reusch.* He also helped found DINTA (German Institute for Technical Education and Training), for which he was also Gener-aldirektor. Aiming to counter the overly theoretical work carried out by the Kaiser Wilhelm Society,* DINTA used job-training centers and publications to divert workers from "materialism"—that is, from wage and class struggle. By 1933 its programs, sponsored by Alfred Hugenberg,* were located at many of Germany's largest firms. Vogler shares with Reusch a reputation as Weimar's most politically reactionary industrialist. Yet his politics were murky. Some believe that he masked his radicalism. He was certainly on the Right of the DVP and, fearing socialism, lobbied for cooperation with the DNVP. His stance on foreign policy vacillated. An early opponent of the fulfillment policy* (and thus of DVP leader Gustav Stresemann*), he acknowledged that negotiations with France were requisite in 1923 to end the Ruhr occupation.* But in May 1929, as an expert at the Young Plan* deliberations, he abruptly resigned his position, claiming that the plan would increase foreign ventures in German industry; his action made him an instant hero with nationalists. He professed to regret the collapse of Hermann Muller's* cabinet in 1930 and generally supported that of Heinrich Brüning,* who offered him the Economics Ministry. But his link with DNVP leader Hu-genberg is most revealing. He belonged to Hugenberg's Wirtschaftsvereinigung, a group that funneled political subsidies from the coaling community; he was fond of saying that the DVP and the DNVP marched separately but worked for the same goals. Ever closer to the DNVP, he claimed in 1930 that it was the bastion of social and fiscal responsibility in the national opposition. Cognizant of the NSDAP s burgeoning power, he began advising Hugenberg to work with Hitler* in early 1932. But while he approved a Hitler-led regime, he was an elitist who hoped to reconcile Nazi ambitions with traditional conservatism.
   Vogler joined the NSDAP in 1933. Heavily involved in armaments production and associated after 1942 with Albert Speer, he was facing arrest by American soldiers in April 1945 when he committed suicide.
   REFERENCES:Brady, Rationalization Movement; Feldman, Great Disorder; Leopold, Alfred Hugenberg; Struve, Elites against Democracy; Turner, German Big Business.

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

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