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Nazi economic policy

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Nazi economic policy

  1. 1. WHAT WERE HITLER’S ECONOMIC AIMS AND PRIORITIES? WHAT WERE THE TWO STAGES OF NAZI ECONOMIC POLICY AND WHAT WERE THEIR AIMS? TO WHAT EXTENT DID HITLER ACHIEVE HIS ECONOMIC AIMS?
  2. 2. THE NATIONAL SOCIALIST GERMAN WORKERS PARTY➤ Economic policy prior to 1933 was confused ➤ 25 Point Plan had socialist elements (limit big business, support small traders and farmers) ➤ But during the 1933 campaign Hitler promised not the threaten the interests of big industrialists ➤ After coming to power, leading Nazis sought a “third way” between socialism and capitalism where the state would retain some control of the economy but still allowing free enterprise
  3. 3. HITLER’S AIMS ➤ To drag Germany out of recession ➤ To increase employment ➤ To make Germany an autarky ➤ To get rid of Jewish industrialists ➤ To transform the economy to focus on rearmament
  4. 4. THE NEW PLAN ➤ Introduced by Hjalmar Schact, President of the Reichsbank and Economic Minister ➤ Included ➤ Interest frozen on payments of foreign debts ➤ Reduced and regulated imports including trading manufactured goods for cheap raw materials ➤ New bilateral trade agreements which saw imports from Eastern Europe and South America ➤ Moved German economy from consumer to military production
  5. 5. NEW PLAN SUCCESS➤ 1933 Farm Law ➤ Farmers subsidised but food prices kept at 1928 level ➤ Unemployment fell from 6 million in January 1933 to 1 million in January 1938 ➤ Public works schemes like the autobahns (7000 km of motorway) - Schacht heavily influenced by Keynes and the New Deal economic policies of the USA ➤ Despite Schact’s reservations, spending on rearmament boosted employment and industrial output ➤ Built two battleships, several submarines and many aircraft ➤ Plenty of work for industrial workers and big business
  6. 6. NEW PLAN CONTROLS ➤ Farmers collectivised and centralised under the Reich Food Estate which set strict standards (e.g. chickens expected to lay 65 eggs per year) ➤ German Labour Front (RAD)collectivised and controlled all workers on public works projects ➤ Run by Dr Robert Ley ➤ All German males had to serve 6 months then had to join the Wehrmacht ➤ Workers could not be sacked on the spot or leave job without government permission ➤ Weekly working hours increased from 60 to 72 ➤ Strikes outlawed ➤ Spending on rearmament deceived the population ➤ Volkswagen Beetle designed in 1938 as the “people’s car” ➤ Government hire/buy scheme introduced where workers paid 5 marks a week into an account and when he account reached 750 marks they would get a car ordered for them ➤ No-one ever received a car - all money redirected into arms factories ➤ People too scared of Gestapo by this point to complain
  7. 7. THE SHIFT IN 1936 ➤ August 1936, Hitler dictated a secret memorandum: There is only one interest - the interest of the nation, only one view, the bringing of Germany to the point of political and economic self- sufficiency . . . I therefore set the following tasks. German armed forces must be operational within four years. The German economy must be fit for war within four years ➤ In 1936 the New Plan was abandoned in favour of the Four- Year Plan to achieve autarky or economic self-sufficiency in food and raw materials
  8. 8. THE FOUR YEAR PLAN➤ Coordinated by Goring ➤ Four priorities: 1. Increase agricultural production 2. Retrain key sectors of the workforce in military or agricultural sectors 3. Government regulation of imports and exports 4. Achieve self-sufficiency in producing raw materials ➤ New powers given to Goring to carry this out included - ➤ Acquiring business and property ➤ Direct industry ➤ Re-channel financing ➤ Direct policy on the economy
  9. 9. FOUR YEAR PLAN STRATEGIES ➤ Produce synthetic rubber and textiles to reduce reliance on imports ➤ Iron and steel industry expanded ➤ Hermann Goring Steelworks (state owned) built in 1937 - largest industrial complex in the world by 1940, employing over 600 000 people ➤ Companies in the Ruhr directed to stockpile coal and coke for fuel ➤ Oil and petrol produced in huge quantities and stockpiled
  10. 10. FAILURE OF THE FOUR YEAR PLAN➤ Agriculture suffered due to workers being moved to industry - in 1939 Germany still importing 33% of its raw materials ➤ While they could supply themselves with enough coal, they still needed to import ore to make steel ➤ The ore they produced was of low quality ➤ According to Richard Overy, the Nazis only met 6 of their 26 self-sufficiency targets outlined in the Four-Year Plan ➤ So much focus on militarisation that consumer goods were in short supply - “guns or butter”?
  11. 11. THE BIG QUESTION ➤ Did Nazi economic policy succeed or fail? ➤ Consider their aims - employment, rearmament, autarky ➤ Why did it succeed/fail? ➤ Consider leadership, land, popular support ➤ What happens next?

HSC Modern History

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