In 1933, the National Socialist government of the German Reich issued a collection of directives regarding the use of arbitration to resolve disputes, focused specifically on disputes between the Reich and private parties. The 1933 Directives made a number of general criticisms of the arbitral process as a means of adjudication, and relied upon these criticisms to significantly restrict the use of arbitration to resolve disputes with German state entities. The Reich Directives provide a neglected, but instructive, historical perspective on arbitration law and practice in Germany, both in the 1930s and before. At the same time, parts of the 1933 Directives also have unmistakable parallels to current debates about investor-state and commercial arbitration. Among other things, the Directives contain recommendations regarding the drafting of arbitration agreements and the conduct of arbitral proceedings which, while in some areas out-dated, could in other respects be mistaken for current discussions regarding best practices in international commercial and investment arbitration. More importantly, the Directives’ criticisms of the arbitral process, and the National Socialists’ rationales for those criticisms, have striking analogues to aspects of contemporary debates about investment arbitration and proposals to abandon or restrict investment arbitration. Those parallels raise important, if uncomfortable, questions about these contemporary critiques and proposals for reform.