Economic changes in Nazi Germany. Lesson aim: To know what the economic changes were and the impact they had. 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)
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To know what the economic changes were and the impact they had.
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
‘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.
The Nazis were determined to reduce unemployment and build up the German armaments industry in readiness for a future war.
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
Schacht and the New Plan
Dr Schacht was made Minister of the Economy in 1934. His aims were to:
He was removed from his job in 1937.
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.
Propaganda poster encouraging workers to help in the struggle for autarky.
‘Help Hitler build. Buy German goods’.
Remember Hitler had
promised to sort out unemployment
Job creation schemes
German autobahn built by the Nazis
National Labour Service (RAD)
From July 1935 it was compulsory for all men 18-25 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.
Women and Jews were forced out of jobs
Men aged 18-25 had to join the RAD
Opponents of the Nazis were sent to concentration camps.
NONE OF THESE DID NOT COUNT IN OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES.
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.
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 1933..
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?
Dr Robert Ley3740 hours
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.
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:
Both were designed to keep the workers motivated and happy.
The standard of living of German workers people’s spare time.The KDF – ‘Strength through joy’ keptworkers happy by providing them with leisure activities.Strength through Joy
What can you learn from this source about Dr Ley’s Strength through Joy programme?
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.
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.
Farmers benefitted from a rise in food prices but suffered a shortage of labour and workers left for better jobs in the city.
Received support from the Nazis. Curbed influence of large department stores.
Really benefitted. No threat from trade unions and strikes. Rearmament meant growth and larger profits. Huge government contracts were given.
Can you add to the table?