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In short, the predominant and carefully nurtured picture of Raiffeisen undergoes a critical appraisal. All of the statements in the book are supported with substantial material which includes the comprehensive secondary literature from the period prior to 1933. Based on these sources, Kaltenborn sees the end of the Raiffeisen Organisation as occurring in 1930. Shortly before, it had suffered a crisis due to horrendous mismanagement which threatened its very existence. It was only as a result of massive state aid that disaster could be averted. In addition, it had come under the control of right-wing extremists. The Organisation took refuge under the wing of an all-encompassing Federation (its members only made up one-fifth of rural cooperatives) and had to abandon its specific traditional principles.
That which goes today under Raiffeisen,s name, according to Kaltenborn, has nothing more to do with Raiffeisen the person, his work and his aims. After reading his anti-Semitic statements, this is no cause for regret. Furthermore, the author concludes, Wilhelm Haas deserves more recognition. He created an organisation of agricultural cooperatives that was four times as large, spoke out against ,attacks on Jews, and vigorously represented the democratic nature of cooperatives.
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