Saturday, August 17, 2019

How successful was the Nazi’ Economic Policy between 1933 and 1939

In 1932, 5. 6 million people were unemployed. Hitler aimed to massively decrease unemployment in Germany and this was one of the most attractive aims, from the voters' point of view, on the economic policy. High employment would mean a boost in the economy. He also aimed to remove Jews from the economy, thus creating jobs for Aryans as well as excluding the ‘aliens'. After World War 1, the Treaty of Versailles demanded that Germany pay reparations of 6600 million to the victorious nations. This was an enormous figure and because the treaty also removed Germany's most productive industrial areas from her, such as the Ruhr, she struggled to pay them. This was one element that caused Germany's economy to collapse; because she was unable to gain sufficiently from industry. Hitler therefore aimed to end the reparation payments, thus giving Germany a greater chance of recovering a successful economy because she would have more funds available to develop industry. The level of industrial production in Germany was very low compared to the glorious days of the Kaiser. Hitler planned to increase it in order to give Germany a chance in boosting her economy. If Germany could boost her levels of industry; she would gain more money and, therefore, have more money available to further develop industry, thus creating an exponential rise in production. Hitler believed that the Jews were responsible for the downfall of the great nation of Germany. He blamed them for the loss of World War 1 and believed they were taking part in a conspiracy to completely destroy the country. Therefore, he aimed to remove Jews from the economy to maintain a secure Germany. Jews also dominated many successful businesses and Hitler disliked this because it disagreed with his ideas about Aryans being the master race. Therefore, he aimed to remove them to give Aryans job opportunities and exclude Jews from Germany. The Treaty of Versailles had limited Germany's armies and called for disarmament. This meant Germany had no means of protecting herself and was powerless and weak in the eyes of other nations. Hitler was a great believer in the use of weapons and the need for powerful armies. Therefore, he aimed to devote time and money to develop the army once again and make a visual impression of a more powerful Germany. Hitler's eventual aim was to make Germany a self-sufficient Country. This meant that he wanted Germany to be completely independent and manufacture everything she needed within her borders, not relying on foreign imports for any material at all. This was a very high aim indeed because she had lost her colonies as a result of the Treaty of Versailles and had limited access to many vital raw materials unless she imported them. The Nazi's ambitious yet promising Economic Policy was very appealing to the desperate German citizens at the time and perhaps it was one of the main reasons people voted Nazi; they simply wanted to see their country and themselves thrive. However, I must now look at the degree of success and whether the citizens got what they were promised. During the Weimar Republic Streseman managed to join Germany to the League of Nations. He then began to reverse reparation payments implemented by the Treaty of Versailles in order to relieve some of the stress the nation was burdened with. Before Hitler came to power in 1933, Heinrich Bruning, former chancellor, had already managed to cancel out the remaining reparations through negotiation. Therefore, when Hitler was made chancellor, the aim of ending reparations had already been achieved; therefore, he could not take credit for this. However, he benefited from this because Germany was no longer under the influence of the Allies. The German citizens associated Hitler with independence and hope because The Treaty of Versailles was no longer such a prominent reminder of the disasters of World War 1. They believed Hitler could make Germany powerful once again. Hitler tackled unemployment by creating vast numbers of jobs. He set up programs to build many autobahns (motorways) across Germany. The workers were forced to build the roads manually, using old technology, in a similar style to that of the Romans, so that the job would take much longer and insure they remained employed for a greater time period. In just one year since Hitler became chancellor (1934), one million people were employed building these roads. The building of high rise flats also created further job vacancies. The remaining unemployed citizens were sent to the SA, SS, other Nazi organisations, Gestapo, Army, Navy or shipbuilding. This helped to reduce unemployment to just one million by 1936, and to negligible levels by 1938. Aryanisation of the economy was also achieved in 1938, when all Jews were removed from the economy and this helped additionally to increase Aryan employment. Hitler was very successful in reducing unemployment. The whole of Germany being employed meant that the economy could grow because people had money to spend on luxury items. This in turn meant that industrial production could be boosted and the economy improved. Hitler also created his own added advantages to high levels of employment because of the fields in which he created jobs. He managed to build roads which would be useful for transporting armies, and also increase the size of Nazi organisations, secret services, and the army. Many of the unemployed people would have been the working class and by giving them jobs in the Nazi party they would have been forced to work for Hitler and, therefore, give him support; thus making the Nazis even more powerful. I was unemployed for many years. I'd have made a pact with the devil to get work. Hitler came along and got me work so I followed him. ‘ A German worker. Employment greatly reduced the risk of an attempted revolution because people were happy when they had jobs and money. In 1930, the size of the German army was 100,000 compared to the pre-Word War 1 figure of 2,200,000. The Treaty of Versailles had put limits on the German army in order to prevent them from becoming powerful again, but by 1933 Hitler was sufficiently confident the League of Nations had little influence and would not intervene. He increased the army to 800,050 in 1933 and allowed four billion Reichmarks for expenditure. In 1938, 26 billion reichmarks were allowed. Half of the over all budget was spent on the air force or Luftwaffe and this paid off well in the bombing campaigns of World War 2. When the army was finally used for the war, it was sufficiently developed to last for six years without lacking efficiency. Therefore, Hitler was successful in rearming Germany because his military campaigns had some success. In rearming Germany he was also successful in emitting a powerful image to other nations and restoring the German' citizens confidence. When the people were aware of the large strong armies, they became proud and gave Hitler more support because he had made Germany powerful once more. Developing the army also made sure he was prepared for military campaigns in expanding Germany's influence. After unemployment decreased, industrial production increased and the economy thrived. The demand for millions of Heil Hitler uniforms meant a boom in the textiles industry as factories strived to produce enough. The building of new houses and flats meant a demand for household goods and people buying these items with their wages put money into the economy. The rearmament of the army also meant that the demand for weapons and equipment set the steel mills, coal- mines and factories back into production (also increasing long term employment). This boosted industrial production and, therefore, boosted the economy. Gross National Production increased by 68% between 1933 and 1938; this was more than a doubling. ‘Recovery did occur at a faster rate until at a higher level than almost anywhere in Europe' Richard Overy. Therefore, Hitler was successful in increasing industrial activity in Germany. This meant confidence in the Nazi party grew because citizens were aware of the economic boom. Germany began to thrive and become rich from industry and this meant Hitler could spend more money on developing the armies and making his country powerful. Between 1933 and 1936, Jews remained in the economy. This was because Jewish businesses were too valuable to the German economy to be destroyed. Hitler waited until the economy was stabilised and thriving until he began to exclude Jews. The Berlin Olympics further delayed this aim because Hitler didn't want other nations to witness his blatant anti-Semitic actions. However, by 1938 Aryanisation of the economy had been achieved and all Jewish businesses removed. The unemployed Jews were not counted in unemployment figures because they were not considered citizens after the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. Hitler was, therefore, successful in this aim because no Jew had a job in Germany and this created more jobs for Aryans and forced Jews into submission. After 1939, synthetic rubber or bung (very important in industry) could be produced enough in Germany so that her demands were met import more. However, prior to 1939, it could not. Also, Only half of German oil requirements were met by domestic oil fields or ersatz, the remaining requirements had to be imported in order to continue hydrocarbon-related production. Between 1939 and 1945 Germany was totally dependant on Sweden for imports of iron ore to manufacture war materials and such like. Therefore, Hitler was not very successful in making Germany an Autarkic country because Germany was not 100% self sufficient and relied on other countries to continue successful industrial production, There was no overall increase in agricultural production during Hitler's time in power. Although wheat and vegetable oil manufacture increased, this was at the expense of the prosperity of meat production. Even with the increased amounts of home produced vegetable oil, its high demand as a lubricant for factory machinery meant that more had to be imported in order to keep industry running. Germany also imported much of her food. Therefore, Hitler did not succeed in making Germany self-sufficient because she relied on other countries in order to keep running efficiently. Without imports, her industry would have collapsed and the economic policy would have lacked success. In conclusion, most of the Nazi aims in the Economic Policy were successful. Hitler managed to raise employment levels to almost 100%; more than double industrial production, exclude Jews; rearm and develop an army powerful enough to fight a war with much success for six years; and, therefore, greatly boost Germany's economy and the public's spirits. He did not, however, create and Autarkic country. This was a long-term aim and if he had been successful in World War 2 he would have achieved this.

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