To what extent did the German people benefit from Nazi rule in the 1930s?

AQA Modern World History GCSE Revision notes based on the syllabus.

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German growth under the Nazis

  • People were encouraged to work be rewards.
  • All men aged between 18 and 25 could be recruited into the National Labour Service and given jobs.
  • Hitler started a huge public work programme, which gave jobs to 6 million unemployed. From 1933, huge motorways were started, and the Nazis had big plans for many public buildings, including the stadium which would hold the 1936 Olympics.
  • Instead of Trade Unions, workers joined the labour Front, where they wouldn't be allowed to go on strike, but had higher wages than before.
  • The Nazis introduced 'Strength through Joy' idea - good workers were awarded prizes, like holidays and cars.
  • Output increased in Germany and unemployment was almost ended completely.
  • The Nazis introduced the Volkswagen (the people's car) as an ambition to aim for.
  • Another way of creating work was to build up the armed forces.
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  • Hitler began to build up Germany's armed forces because: he wanted to reduce unemployment, he promised to make Germany strong again and he wanted to challenge the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Rearmament began in secret as it would have caused alarm in other countries. In 1936, he introduced conscription to the army.
  • Britain sympathised with the German rearmament as they thought the limitations put on by the Treaty of Versailles were too tight. Britain also made a naval agreement with Hitler.
  • Rearmament helped to fulfill Hitler's foreign policy aims because it allowed Germany to increase its navy to up to 35% of the size of the British navy.
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