Ortskrankenkassen im „Dritten Reich“


  • Marc von Miquel




Deutschland, Drittes Reich, Rheinland, Westfalen, Ortskrankenkassen, Versicherung, Arbeiterbewegung, Germany, Third Reich, Rhineland, Westphalia, Insurance, Labour Movement


The German “Allgemeine Ortskrankenkassen” and their self-governing bodies founded in the course of Bismarck’s social legislation in the 1880s generated an acceptable instrument in the process of social and political emancipation of the social democratic labour movement. As institutions within the compulsory health insurance, the “Ortskrankenkassen” were confronted with sanctions and persecutions in the Third Reich that included forcible replacement of the social democratic management and administrative personnel as well as liquidation of the self-administration. So, the “Ortskrankenkassen” were exploited for the benefit of Nazi-welfare-policy. Focusing on Rhineland and Westphalia, the article analyses developments and quantitative dimensions of personnel exchange since 1933. It also illustrates ambivalent usage of the “Ortskrankenkassen” for both Nazi “Rassenhygiene” and the expansion of governmental activities in providing medical care. An outlook on denazification shows the significant impact personnel changes had on the “Ortskrankenkassen” during the first half of the 20th century.