Key Terms Linked to Economic Policies
Public Work Schemes
The government employed men to do manual work such as building a network of motorways, new houses and railway extensions.
Hitler reintroduced conscription to the army ready for war.
Removing women and other groups like Jews from employment and then not counting them amoung unemployment statistics.
Autarky & the Four Year Plan
- In WW1 Germany was crippled by the British Naval Blockade.
- Hitler was determined not to let it happen again.
- Autarky means economic self-sufficency.
- Which means Germany would produce enough goods so imports aren't needed.
- Hitler didn't want Germany to be dependent on imports if war came.
- New plan of 1934 stopped imports.
- Production rose.
- In 1934 Goering was put in charge.
- 4 year plan meant army and industry were ready for war in 4 years.
- Employers were happy.
- Businesses were strictly controlled.
German Labour Front
- Hitler banned all Trade Unions on 2 May 1933.
- Their offices were closed, their money confiscated, and their leaders put in prison.
- Robert Ley was a WW1 pilot who spent 2 years as a prisoner of war in France.
- Chemist after WW1 sacked because of drink problem.
- Joined the NSDAP in 1925.
- 1933 German Labour Front replaced outlawed trade unions.
- Confiscated union funds to pay for 'Strength Through Joy' programme.
- Charged with car crimes and hanged himself in cell 25 October 1945.
- Labour Front set up to 'protect' those in work.
- Contracts drawn under Weimar were ripped and rewrote.
- Employers could demand more of workers.
- Workers had increased security at work and benefits.
- Membership was voluntary, but it was hard to find a job if you weren't in it.
- In bid for full employment, government spending rose in 1932-38 from 5 billion to 30 billion marks.
- Strikes outlawed.
- Average factory workers earned 10 times more than those on dole, but few complained.
- Complaining put you at risk.
Strength Through Joy
- A large state controlled leisure organisation in Nazi Germany.
- Wages decided by the German Labour Front.
- Compulsary deductions for tax and strength through joy programme.
- Aimed to provide affordable concerts, plays, libraries, day trips, holidays to masses.
- Aimed to make middle-class activities affordable to masses.
- In 1938 approximately 180,000 people on cruises to places like Maderia and Norwegian fjords.
- Others given free holidays in Germany.
- 1934 over 2 million Germans participated on a KdF trip.
- By 1939 the numbers lay around 25 million people.
- Sports stadiums, holiday complexes (e.g. Prora), cruise liners and voltswagons were built.
How Workers Benefitted
Full employment (work programmes/strength through joy) gave prosperity and financial security - many observers stated that there seemed to be no poverty in Germany.
Law and order (few people locked their doors)
Frequent ceremonies, rallies, colour and excitement.
Nazi propaganda gave hope.
Nazi racial philosophy gave self-belief.
Trust in Adolf Hitler gave sense of security (one woman said 'He is my mother and my father. He keeps me safe from all harm')
How Workers Suffered
Wages fell, strikers could be shot and trade unions were banned - Nazis worked with businessmen to keep workforce controlled.
Loss of personal freedoms.
All culture had to be German, e.g. actors, music and books.