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Economic changes in Nazi Germany

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Presentation on theme: "Economic changes in Nazi Germany"— Presentation transcript:

1 Economic changes in Nazi Germany
Lesson aim: To know what the economic changes were and the impact they had.

2 Learning objectives: I will be able to describe Nazi attempts to reduce unemployment. (C/D) I should be able to explain Nazi economic policies. (B/C) I could also be able to evaluate if Germans were better or worse off in the Nazi state.(A/B)

3 Key words Autarky: self sufficiency Autobahns: German motorways Invisible unemployed: the unemployed not counted in official figures Real wages: wages adjusted to allow for inflation Rearmament: Building up armed forces and weapons

4 Key words ‘New Plan’: introduced by Dr Schacht, President of the Reichsbank Four Year Plan: Goring, a leading Nazi, his plan was intended to prepare Germany for war in 4 years and was linked to autarky. National Labour Service (RAD): compulsory for men aged between 18 and 25 – built autobahns etc. The Labour Front (DAF) replaced trade unions – ran the Beauty of Labour and Strength through joy schemes for workers. Strength through joy: provided workers with activities in their leisure time Beauty of Labour: main task to improve working conditions. Volkswagen: the people’s car - a savings scheme was introduced to enable people to buy the car.

5 Getting an overview The Nazis were determined to reduce unemployment and build up the German armaments industry in readiness for a future war.

6 Getting an overview 1933: job creation schemes - autobahns 1934: many women forced to give up jobs 1935: National Labour Service - compulsory 1936: Many Jews forced from jobs 1937: Rearmament programme begins 1938: More than a third of spending on rearmament 1939: German army increased to 1.4 million


8 Nazi economic policies
Schacht and the New Plan Dr Schacht was made Minister of the Economy in His aims were to: Reduce unemployment Make Germany self sufficient (autarky) He was removed from his job in 1937.


10 Nazi economic policies
Goring and the Four Year Plan Goring was a leading Nazi who took over economic policy from 1936. His four plan dealt with preparing Germany for war. The whole economy was geared towards rearmament and autarky.

11 The Four Year Plan Propaganda poster encouraging workers to help in the struggle for autarky. It says: ‘Help Hitler build. Buy German goods’.

12 How did the Nazis reduce unemployment?
Remember Hitler had promised to sort out unemployment

13 Unemployment in Germany 1933 -39

14 How did the Nazis reduce
unemployment?: Job creation schemes German autobahn built by the Nazis

15 How did the Nazis reduce unemployment?
National Labour Service (RAD) From July 1935 it was compulsory for all men to serve six months in the RAD. The men built autobahns and other large scale building projects. This removed millions from the unemployment figures. The RAD was not popular.

16 How did the Nazis reduce unemployment?
Invisible unemployment: Women and Jews were forced out of jobs Men aged had to join the RAD Opponents of the Nazis were sent to concentration camps. NONE OF THESE DID NOT COUNT IN OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES.

17 How did the Nazis reduce unemployment?
Rearmament: The four plan meant the economy was geared to preparing for war. Rearmament created many new jobs as billions were spent on making weapons. In addition the army forces were built up, this took more the a million off the official unemployment figures.

18 How did the Nazis reduce unemployment?
The DAF (German Labour Front) was a massive organization formed to control the workers. Everyone had to join. It put people to work on building the autobahns, hospitals, schools and other public buildings This poster links the German Labour Front (the DAF) to World War I. The point is that just as soldiers were comrades regardless of their standing in civil life, so too all German workers were comrades in the DAF, regardless of whether they were white or blue collar. This appeared in

19 3740 hours Dr Robert Ley Dr Robert Ley was given the task of filling German people’s spare time. He was in charge of the German Labour Front (DAF) Why do you think this was so important?

20 The standard of living of German workers
Between 1936 and 1939 wages increased because of longer working hours. So people worked longer for the same money before the Wall St Crash. Also the cost of living went up in the 1930’s. This meant real wages actually fell. There were also food shortages.

21 The standard of living of German workers
Trade unions had been banned by the Nazis. They were replaced by the German Labour Front (DAF) led by Dr Ley. It was compulsory for workers to join. The DAF ran two schemes: Beauty of Labour Strength through Joy Both were designed to keep the workers motivated and happy.

22 The standard of living of German workers The KDF – ‘Strength through joy’ kept workers happy by providing them with leisure activities. Strength through Joy Programmes included: Cheap walking and skiing holidays Outings to the opera and theatre Adult evening classes Savings schemes to help people buy a car-VW –People’s car.

23 What can you learn from this source about Dr Ley’s Strength through Joy programme?

24 The standard of living of German workers
The Beauty of Labour was another branch of the German Labour Front. It was designed to improve working conditions and provide better facilities for workers such as canteens and swimming pools. However, as workers were expected to make these improvements in their spare time the scheme became unpopular with many workers.

25 The standard of living of German workers
The Volkswagen This poster from around 1939 advertises the Volkswagen. The text: ‘Save 5 marks a week and you will drive your own car.’ By the start of the war not one car had been bought and no money was refunded.

26 How well off were other groups?
Farming communities: Farmers benefitted from a rise in food prices but suffered a shortage of labour and workers left for better jobs in the city. Small businesses: Received support from the Nazis. Curbed influence of large department stores. Big business: Really benefitted. No threat from trade unions and strikes. Rearmament meant growth and larger profits. Huge government contracts were given.

27 How successful were Nazi economic policies?
Look at pages 128 – 29 in white book In groups you will each analyse one graph and then feed back to the class your findings. Afterwards you will need to consider these findings in order to answer this question. (Try to remember previous economic events in Germany) Useful if time if not stick to work sheet 3.2a

28 How successful were Nazi economic policies?
Debt – had risen under the Nazis Investment rose to pre depression rates by 1936 Autarky – Germany still imported more than they exported. German production did increase especially heavy industries like iron and steel Jobs created by rearmament programme Unemployment dropped In 1938 wages in real terms were not much higher than in 1928 Working conditions may have improved with schemes like the Beauty of Labour and Strength Through Joy. Working hours increased from average of 40 to 60 a week between 1933 and 1944 Industrial accidents rose by 150% between 1933 and 1939 Big business no longer had to worry trade unions and strikes.

29 Were German people better or worse off under Nazi rule? (LO3)

30 Summary The Nazis were determined to make Germany self-sufficient. Schacht began a policy of autarky. This was continued with Goring’s Four Year Plan. Unemployment was removed in the years through rearmament, the Labour Service and ‘invisible unemployment’. In some respects workers were better off under the Nazis because of Beauty of Labour and Strength through Joy. In some respects they were worse off because of the banning of Trades Unions and the Volkswagen swindle.

31 Worcesterjonny clips Four year plan How Nazis reduced unemployment Were the workers better off under the Nazis?

32 Useful links
interactive diagram

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