Nazi Economy

Everything you need to know about the Nazi economy in a simple and concise way to get you through the Edexcel AS History exam on Nazi Germany!

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Nazi Economy
In the 1930s, there were 2 types of economy in Europe:
Socialistprotecting workers (Russia), nationalized business, aim for equal
distribution of wealth
Capitalist private business, hierarchy of wealth, about "controlling" the workers
Nazi Germany was a "HYBRID" economy (Franz Newmann) It had:
Private business (capitalist)
Government increasingly starts to control industry what to make etc,
especially during the run up to the war (socialist)
Mixture of controlling the workers and "Strength through joy"
campaignleisure activities and holidays and discounted/free for workers (socialist)
"carrot and stick"
Volkesgemeinshaft class equality (social harmony) but still hierachical (racialie.
For Hitler, economics was "a means to an end" for him. It was the "primacy of
politics" (politics more important than economics). This means that he can change and
adapt and contradict his own economic policy.
Germany's Economic Problems
Unemploymentofficially 6 million (in reality over 8 million) shows output is not at
its optimum
Overreliance on foreign business and investment "Wall Street Crash" (1929)
caused Germany's economy to fall apart. Some evidence to suggest that the depression
had bottomed out by January 1933. The recession of 192932 made Germany so poor
that it could not afford imports.
German currency(Mark) very weak so foreign trade was undesirable
Other Problems in Germany
FoodGerman farmers were not efficient enough to feed the nation
Raw materials like copper, aluminium and rubber and oil products like petrol were
not available in Germany.
This meant that Germany had to import a lot (more than it exported) leading to mounting
national debt.
Ways the Nazis reduced unemployment
Conscription (1935) 2 year compulsory conscription for 1825 year old men
Women and Jews not allowed to work after 1933. They also didn't qualify for
RAD (youth service) Comes in on 1934 6 months' labour work for German
governmentfactory work, making motorways (autobahnen), 400,000 youths off register
in 1934
Rearmament meant that more factories opened up creating more jobs
Subsidies for businesses to employ more people
Overall Nazi aims
More Lebensraum(living space) Hitler wanted to conquer the Ukraine and use this to
make Germany self sufficient in food and most raw materials. The Nazis hoped to pull
the small nations of Eastern Europe into a kind of common market centred on. Germany.
This was called "Mitteleuropa"
Autarky(self sufficiency). Ideologically and politically attractive economic policy as it
would ease Germany's balance of payments situation. However, would cause higher
food pricessimilarly many industrialists disliked the obligation to develop expensive
German raw materials rather than maximize their profits using cheap imports. Also
accelerated the development of synthetic (ertsatz) materials like buna (synthetic
rubber) thus accelerating the growth of Germany's chemical firms such as Bayer and

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IG Farben.
Recoveryfollowing the Wall Street Crash, it was key that Germany tried to return to
normality as soon as possible in order to piece back the economy and to gain
CONTRADICTION! Factories needed to produce armaments to conquer new territories
which were the same ones necessary to increase the production of other goods.…read more

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Allies of World War I at the Treaty of Versailles, which stated:
The German army was to be restricted to 100,000 men, there was to be no conscription, no
tanks or heavy artillery and no general staff. The German navy was restricted to 15,000 men
and no submarines while the fleet was limited to six battleships (of less than 10,000 tonnes), six
cruisers and 12 destroyers. Germany was not permitted an air force.…read more

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Winter help programme offered food and support to the old and poor in winter
The DAF Hitler wanted a disciplined workforce which would not challenge his
dictatorship or threaten his plans for rearmament with excessive wage demands. On the
day after the May Day holiday in 1933, the offices of the trade unions
were ransacked. Independent unions were abolished to be replaced on the 10th May
1933 with the DAF, led by Robert Ley.…read more

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Benefited from the return of business confidence after 1933
Status was not significantly raised as Hitler's first priority was the creation of jobs and
the maintenance of low prices, which were more effectively provided by larger firms
Small traders continued to be out priced by department stores and were squeezed
between the Reich food estate which controlled agricultural prices, and price freezes
in shops
By 1943 0.…read more

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