Montag, 24. Juni 2019, 18:30 - 19:30 iCal

From Key Actors to Small-Time Merchants:

Greek Businessmen in the German Tobacco Industry (1880-1938)

Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik der Universität Wien
Postgasse 7/1/3, 1010 Wien


Greek Ottoman trading firms largely dominated tobacco trade between the eastern Mediterranean and Germany until World War I. They played a crucial role in the rise of Dresden as the center of the German cigarette industry from the late 19th century until the 1910s. The disruption caused by the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and World War I, as well as the establishment of a state-led war economy in Germany undermined the capacity of the Greek Ottoman merchants to conduct business. In the interwar period, the redrawing of state borders, the backwards integration of a larger, more consolidated German cigarette industry, and economic étatism limited the opportunities available to the independent (no longer Ottoman) Greek merchants. By the end of the 1930s, one single German cigarette manufacturer, Reemtsma, had become the largest buyer of Greek tobacco. The German cigarette industry was able to influence the regulatory framework around Greece’s tobacco sector, as well as the geographic distribution of different economic activities (agricultural production, leaf processing, shipping). The history of how the structure of Greek-German tobacco trade changed in the interwar period allows us to better understand the concrete social and political effects of the insertion of the Greek economy into a trading bloc centered around Germany in the interwar period.

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Österreichische Gesellschaft für Neugriechische Studien, Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik der Universität Wien


Petra Greger
Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik
Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
4277 41001