2 Unemployment in Germany/Total January millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary ,000Is this evidence for an economic miracle?
3 “History will judge us according to whether we have succeeded in providing work.” Hitler
4 Aims: Understand Nazi economic policies Make historical judgement regarding success of policiesSituation in 1933UnemploymentAutarkyNational Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD)German Labour Front / Robert LeyStrength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude /KdF)Hjalmar SchachtConclusion: was there an economic miracle?
5 Situation in 1933Recap: discuss in pairs for 2 minutes what the situation was in 1933 (you’ve already covered it!)
6 Situation in 1933: crisisUnemployment peaked at 6 million during the final days of the Weimar Republic – near enough 50% of the nation’s working populationGovernment unable to resolve problemsGreat Depression sparked by Wall Street CrashHitler had promised to get German’s working again - propaganda played on fear of no hopeThis was his economic priority:drive for full employment: aim of first 4 year plan (1932-6)
7 Economic policy?Before coming into power rhetoric had been socialist e.g. control of big businessThis did not survive into practiceEconomic discussion in party forbidden“Let them own land or factories as much as they please” state is supreme over owners and workers - HitlerSo economics was subordinate to politics
8 Unemployment in Germany/Total January millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary millionJanuary ,000Reminder of figures
9 Methods used to decrease unemployment Aim of first 4 year plan (1932-6)Public works schemes (started by Von Papen and Bruning) extended:Arbeitdienst - afforestation & water conservation schemesAlso building barracks & motorways (Autobahnen) 7000kmRegulations: labour not machines
10 Unemployment did decrease But: how much of this was propaganda?Women no longer included in the statistics so any women who remained out of work under the Nazi’s rule did not exist as far as the statistics were concerned.The unemployed were given a very simple choice: do whatever work is given to you by the government or be classed as "work-shy" and put in a concentration camp.Jews lost their citizenship in 1935 and as a result were not included in unemployment figures even though many lost their employment at the start of Hitler’s time in power.Many young men were taken off of the unemployment figure when conscription was brought in (1935) and men had to do their time in the army etc. By 1939, the army was 1.4 million strong. To equip these men with weapons etc., factories were built and this took even more off of the unemployment figure.
11 Autarky (self-sufficiency) Think: what were the possible aims for autarky? Why was it needed?
12 Autarky (self-sufficiency) Second aim of 4 year planGoering in overall charge / Hjalmar Schacht - Reichsbank president also influential (later Minister of Economics)Independent of world economic trendsNecessary because of boycotts & possible warBilateral agreements with Balkan countriesLess successful than hoped: by 1939 oil production 40% of what hoped & 30% raw materials imported
13 Schacht and Big Business Larger enterprises supported - needed for rearmament and self sufficiencyPaid off foreign debts in ReichmarksTrade agreementsFinancial orthodoxy - reluctant to spend more than income nearly stopped rearmamentShowpiece successes
15 The PeasantsProtected from rising industrial prices and falling income from goodsDebts suspended for Mar-Oct 1933Imported goods = higher tarriffsOnly Aryan farmersLaw went against larger farming units & modern methods - didn’t help search for autarky
17 National Labour Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD) Public worksWore a military style uniform, lived in camps near to where they were working and received only what we would term pocket moneyCompared to the lack of success of the Weimar government and the chronic misery of 1931 to 1932, felt at least the Nazi government was making the effort to improve their lot
18 German Labour Front Set up by Robert Ley Equivalent of banned trades unionsWorkers could not be sacked on the spot - had to have government permission to leave jobsGovernment labour exchanges organised jobsHours 60 to 72 per weekStrikes banned
19 Kraft durch Freude (KdF) Strength Through JoyOrganised workers’ leisure timeSubsidised activities and holidaysVolkswagens - hire purchase
20 Conclusion Production had increased Unemployment had decreased Workers lost freedomsWages never rose above levelsWere they better off? KdFEconomy ‘chaotic’: low foreign currency reserves; deficitConfiscation of Jewish property & Austrian assets after AnschlussStill impressive resultsFOR STATS SEE PAGE 316
21 InterpretationsMarxists: Nazi regime front for capitalist aims (Trade unions / big business)Cf. T. W. Mason - ‘primacy of politics’ (co-operation until 1936)How far did economic recovery depend on war preparation?Some debate over this: Klein (didn’t want tough measure to alienate) denied success related to war preparation - strong economic activityvs Milward (more prepared for war)Both interpretations subsequently challengedKarl Bracher: ‘ruination’ of economy through exploitation - aiming for rearmament
22 The Bigger PictureGerman (and other countries) already beginning to recover by 1933Recovery depended on heavy state controlUnsound basis: no overseas investment so many loans (often forced) = heavy deficitNot geared up for total war from the startOnce Nazis put on total war economy in 1943 increases remarkable but too late
23 An economic miracle?In pairs draw up a list of factors pro and con the existence of an economic miracle
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