Economic Relations between the Third Reich and Yugoslavia, 1933-1941
University of Cambridge
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Hadzi-Jovancic, P. (2018). Economic Relations between the Third Reich and Yugoslavia, 1933-1941 (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18106
This thesis focuses on economic relations between the Third Reich and Yugoslavia before the German attack in April 1941. It questions the conventional wisdom, according to which economic relations served mainly as a tool of German foreign policy towards Yugoslavia. Instead, it aims to place mutual economic relations within both the broader context of the German economic and financial plans and policies in the 1930s, and within the already existing economic and trading ties between the two countries, as they had been developing since the 1920s. Before 1936, economic relations between Yugoslavia and Germany are observed from the context of the polycratic character of the Third Reich’s executive, which enabled various economic policies, pursued by different levels of authority such as the Foreign Ministry, Economic Ministry, Food and Agriculture Ministry, the Reichsbank, etc. to exist alongside each other. After 1936, Yugoslav-German economic relations increasingly functioned within the framework of the German Four-Year-Plan. Yugoslavia’s mineral riches were of importance for German rearmament and, particularly after the Anschluss and the creation of the Bohemian Protectorate, Yugoslavia found itself increasingly dependent on trade with Germany. At the same time, the German market and exports were necessary for the process of Yugoslavia’s industrialisation, which had gathered momentum since the mid-1930s. This was however in many aspects inconsistent with the German long-term imperialist ambitions in South-Eastern Europe. This dissertation concludes that German economic policy towards Yugoslavia failed. Also, that contrary to the traditional view in historiography and despite its economic dependency on Germany, Yugoslavia maintained its political agency. It was international political developments beyond Yugoslavia’s control which eventually decreased Belgrade’s political maneuverability and forced the government in Belgrade to become more receptive towards German demands, particularly after the fall of France in June 1940.
Kingdom of Yugoslavia, The Third Reich, Economy, Clearing Agreements, Milan Stojadinovic, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, Neutrality