How did the Nazis attempt economic recovery?
The Nazis promised economic recovery. They didn't face reparations, they wouldn't have paid if they had to, as in 1932 a conference in Lausanne say reparations stoped. However, they still had to pay gov debt and when they fell behind in 1934 trade with the USA collapsed. This didn't matter to the Nazis as they didn't want trade with other countries, but wanted to make Germany self sufficient.
Creating employment- Depression had hit its low point and had turned around so business were employing again. Furthermore, the definition of 'work force' changed dramatically as Jews and married women who left work didn't count and women were discouraged from working. But, the Nazis did create work and encouraged businesses to do the same with temp work. The Reich Labour Service (RAD) provided manual work at low pay with basic food and accommodation in labour camps. Their road-schemes were a huge part of propergana and the Nazis wanted to create a huge network of roads to move goods easier and later to move army forces.
Key word- autarky. Economic self-sufficiency without the need to rely on imports in any area of life, from food to petrol to electricity.Managing agriculture- agriculture was important for autarky, so it was part of the first 4-year plan. Alfred Hugenburg (minister of agriculture) increased import tariffs on agricultural produce, banned banks from repossessing farms and made margarine companies put German butter in their margarine. Hugenburg resigned in May 1933 and his replacement, Richard Darre, set up the Reich Food Estate (RNS) to regulate food production and distribution and to set prices and wages. People could be fined 100,000 marks for not conforming. Work creations schemes sent workers, mainly women, to farms. However, not all farmers like being told what they could and couldn't do. But, in 1928 68% of produce used was German and this went up to 80% in 1934.
RAD workers on the autobahns and other building projects did manual labour and were deliberately provided with the minimum of equipment to toughen them up and make the work last longer. This photo was one of many in a book published in several languages intended as a souvenir of the Olympic Games in 1936
Managing business and the workers- big businesses such as iron and steel industries supported the Nazis, but those who depended on exports were less happy. Some departments stores lost 80% of sales in 1934 due to the 1933 Law for the Protection of Retail Trade. Nazi propergander was against departments stores because they had been backed by small bussnesses. Unions had caused many problems for the Weimar Republic casing millions of days to be lost each year (1,222 million in 1926 to 36,198 million in 1924). Many bussnesses backed Hitler hopping he would remove trade unions, but workers had backed Hitler hopping for a better deal. 1st May was declared a traditional socialist workers festival in 1933 and all trade unions were merged into one, the Deutschland Ardeitsfront (German Labour Front, DAF). Joining was 'voluntary', but it became harder to get a job without joining. The crisis of 1935-36- a shift of trade to south east Europe using goods initially increased trade.However countries began to demand cash for goods, but Germany wasn't yet self-sufficient and needed to keeping importing raw materials and produce. In 1935 they had to choose between food and raw-material imports and the only option they had was to cut consumption without introduction rationing. this formed the basics of the second four year plan.
Creating a command economy, 1936-39
A command economy is one wher the state exited how much to produce. The Nazis wanted this from th beginning. The first four year plan ran fo only three years, until 1936, whe the state ran into huge foreign debts backseat of ra material imports for rearmament and work creation.
The second four year plan- had a tight focus on autarky and war preparations. Goering was in charge of it and his Office of the Four Year Plan had 6 departments: distribution, labour, aw materials, agricureal productions, prices and foreign exchange matters. The raw materials germany could've produce were replaced with synthetic versions high meant creation more factories and slowing down production.
Guns or butter?- Germany constantly had the problem of balancing the needs for rearmament and the needs of the people. Hitler constantly said that rearmament was the priority, but he also said that they needed to keep the public happy by not introduction rationing because it brought back memories of the war and the republic. Instead they tried to 'teach' people to eat less especially meat and fat. Propogander tried to make people think hat eating less was patriotic. The situation in 1939- The Nazis had tight control on the economy and were working towards a command economy. Germany was stil importing 17% of agricultural needs, but they ha persuaded many people to eat fish instead of meat and jam on bread nstead of sausages. There country wasn't as ready for wa as the Nazis had hoped for, but rearmament had been significant and had been achieved withou pushing up prices or wages.
Changing living standards, 1933-39
The standard of icing durin this time became sharply divided between 'pure Germans' and 'undesirables'. 18 August 1939 doctors, nurses and midwives had to report and child under the age of 3 with a disability. Parents wee then offered to send these children to 'specialist clinics' where they were killed. This was called the T4 program. It was then extended to include al children under 17. From January 1940 T4 was extended to include other hospitals ad institutions for the old, mentally it's or chronically sick. Over 70,000 people died under he T4 program. Also, between 1936 and 1940 people who were 'asocial' (failed to pay rent, keep a job or were alcoholic) were sent to Hashude to be 're-educated' for about a year. This included leacures and classes, a strict schedular and visits and any hour by officials.
the ordinary worker- For conformists, living conditions drastically improved, unemployment dropped and Nazi statistics showed the real wage rose. However, wages were regulated, so people didn't have too much extra spending money. Also the 'streangth through joy' program provided too many extras and some were never possible, suc as th chance to save up for a Volswagen. Social welfair- Nazis wanted a society where socia welfair wasn't needed, but they quickly realised that wasn't possible. In 1933 they set up the National Socialist People's Welfair (NSV) which decided the needy into those who 'deserved' help and whose who didn't. They ran the Mother and Child programs, the crèches and kinder gardens. Also, they were responsible for housing. By 1939 they had over a million voluntary workers and 500,000 block wardens. From 1933 it ran a yearly Winter aid program with Hiteler announcing it by urging people to donate. By the next day 2 million marks had been donated. It was hard to refuse to donate when block wardens went round asking for donations.
What was the impact of wa on Nazi economic policies, 1939-45?
In 1939, Germany was more prepared for war than Britain or France. But, no by as muc as hopped. War didn't change economic policies as they had been reared towards war. The Office of the Four Year Plan wasn't running things well and there were several organisations organising war production and Goering was in rage of both the Office for the Four Year Plan and the air force so he favoured the air force. People who understood engineering and production were ignored. On 26 Febuary 1940 hitler made Todt minister of armaments and munitions with the task of organising industry. However, othe ministers, especially Goering, refused to accept that he ha power ove them. On 3 December 1941 a memorandum by Hitler called for a policy of rationing needs from the forces. However, it didn't force the adoption of Todt's plans. On 8 Febuary 1942 Todt died in a plane crash.
The new system- Speer convinced Hitler that the armaments minister needed full power. The decree of 22 april 1942 set p the Central Planning Board to distribute materials, what to do with factories and organise transportation. It had committes made up of specialists and engineers each with a responsibility for a type of armament. Hitler said he was the onlyone who could override the board. They closed small factories and standardised machine equipment. Production became more mechanised as thousands of skilled workers were conscripted and replaced with less-skilled women and foreign workers. Production by 1944 was three times that of 1940. As the war dragged on different equipment was needed. This meant changing factory production that the new system made easier, but there were still delays.
An overstretched economy- in 1945 the economy was overstretched and war production had been affected by: allied bombing of factories and towns, loss of land that had provided raw materials, damage to electricity gas and water supplies and sabotage by foreign workers. Food production had also be affected by loss of farm workers on the front and people were starving. The black market was taking over and the army fell back or deserted.