Röpke on the German Question

Thanks to Jeff Tucker for making available Wilhelm Röpke’s 1945 book, The German Question, an impassioned plea for a comprehensive postwar liberalization of German economy and society. As Jeff points out, Röpke’s book ranks with Mises’s Omnipotent Government and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom, both published in 1944, among the great liberal treatises of this period.

It is a call for wholesale moral, political, and economic reform, for in [Röpke’s] view it was not enough to get rid of corrupt leadership, but to completely purge the principle that the central state is in charge of the whole of society. A thorough de-Hitlerization would require dismantling the central state and restoring the old city states, completely ending the monopoly on industry and education and medical care, and a restoration of sound money, not to mention free trade with the world.

Peter G. Klein is a Research Fellow, Associate Editor of The Independent Review, and Member of the Board of Advisors of the Center on Culture and Civil Society at the Independent Institute.
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