This article analyzes the ordoliberal discourse in the early postwar period (1946–50) and the way it gained traction on the political stage. My contention is that the ordoliberals sought to establish a continuity between the economic order of the Nazis and the administration of the Western Allies, and thereby confronted political authorities with the fact that proper denazification could succeed only if Nazi planning methods were rejected. This argument has been constructed around various kinds of documentation, including advisory reports, newspaper/magazine articles, and academic publications. The paper contributes both to a better definition of ordoliberal ideas (especially of their critical scope) and to a better knowledge of competing ideologies in the early Cold War context.

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