Political & Economic Policies in Nazi Germany:
The main reason people will vote for or join a political party is because they believe that party will increase their wealth and well being. The Nazi Party gained support because of the economic chaos in Germany following the Wall St Crash. Hitler realised that if was to gain support from the German people, he would have to tackle the following issues:
- Unemployment: This had risen to over 6 million by 1932
- Hyperinflation: This followed the Wall St Crash. America needed the reparation money Germany owed them (Treaty of Versailles) because of their current economy. Eventually, in Germany, $1 = 4,200,000,000,000 marks.
- Self sufficiency (Autarky): Germany relied heavily on oversea trade for raw material and food supplies, one reason they lost WW1 was because they hadn't been able to maintain this trade. Hitler thought Germany needed to be independent.
Nazi economic policies:
- In May 1933, Hitler ordered Trade Union leaders to be arrested. Robert Ley (a member of the Nazi party) then formed the Labour Front (DAF) which was then the only trade union to exist in Germany.
- Labour-free machinery was banned - meaning more jobs for workers.
- Nazis focused on rearming - more jobs in factories making weapons.
- Conscription - compulsory time in the military - reduced unemployment again.
- Women were dismissed from jobs such as doctors or in the civil service while other married women were paid 1000 marks to stay at home. (children, kitchen, church)
- Strength Through Joy
Schacht's kickstart to the German economy (1933-36):
- Schacht believed that increased spending would follow with increased employment.
- In 1933, it's estimated that 6 million German people were unemployed.
- So, Schacht's idea was to create government jobs.
- For example, employing people to help build new motorways, hospitals, etc.
Autarky and the conflict that emerged from it (1936-39):
- Goring's idea was Autary.
- He believed that people should rely on Germany and Germany alone and that money should be used for rearmament. The weapons should be make in Germany and not else where thus making it a self efficient country.
- This cause a massive debate known as "guns vs butter."
- Many people doubted Goring's system and argued that too much money was being spent on weapons ("guns") and not enough money was being spend on other necessities ("butter")
Strength Through Joy:
- This was an organisation set up to encourage Germans to work as hard as they could for the Nazis.
- They were offered cheap holidays and a car. Also, they were allowed to go to special leisure centres, they were paid for to go to trips to the theater and other activities.
- However, the German worker was the one to actually pay for it because there were deductions…