starter activity German worker, speaking in 1985, explaining why he joined the Nazis in the 1930s. What does this tell us about the economy & the reasons why people supported the Nazi regime? I was unemployed for many years. I’d have made a pact with the devil to get work. Hitler came along and got me work, so I followed him.
Key points: 1.How successful was Nazi economic policy? 2. How were major areas of the economy organised during the Third Reich?
Agriculture <ul><li>Government measures to reduce high food prices & debts </li></ul><ul><li>Production from agriculture overall fell as Nazis concentrated on industry. </li></ul>
Industry <ul><li>Industry brought under state supervision (Reichsgruppe for Industry) </li></ul><ul><li>State controlled resources, but industry remained largely privately owned </li></ul><ul><li>300,000 small businesses went bankrupt 1933-1945 </li></ul><ul><li>Nazis used industry for war aims and for providing jobs. </li></ul>
Transport <ul><li>Massive investment (3.8 billion Reichsmark per year by 1938) </li></ul><ul><li>Created huge amount of jobs by upgrading German transport network-often even when it didn’t require it! </li></ul><ul><li>Built the impressive Autobahns (huge highways that stretched across Germany) </li></ul>
Foreign trade <ul><li>Trade with other countries was minimal-Hitler and Nazis focused on autarky (self-sufficiency). They produced a lot of ersatz materials (coffee, bread etc) </li></ul>
Was Nazi Economic policy a success? <ul><li>Unemployment dropped quickly 4.8 million in 1933 to 0.5 million in 1938-BUT results were spun to look good (unemployed Jews, foreigners and women were nto included in Nazi stats as they were not considered real , potential workers) </li></ul><ul><li>Wages rose slightly but were still lower in 1938 than they had been in 1928 </li></ul><ul><li>Working hours went up to 49 hours per week in 1939 – 52 hours in 1943 to over 60 hours per week by 1945 </li></ul><ul><li>There were fewer consumer goods (personal and household goods) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade unions were replaced by Nazis organisations, “Beauty of Labour” and strength Through Joy” who organised better conditions and leisure activities </li></ul>
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