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 Starter

During the Third Reich, German scientists came up with a range of chemically produced products that replicated naturally occurring resources and commodities. They were known as Ersatz products and included the following: ‘Kriesgsrhot’ or ‘War bread’ made from a mixture of rye, wheat and potatoes; cakes made from ground up clover; Kaffe-ersatz made from coal-tar a substance normally used in soaps; when coal-tar became scarce Kaffee-ersatz-ersatz was produced made from roasted acorns (food normally fed to pigs); when acorns were difficult to come by carrots and yellow turnips were used instead; the rice lamb chop was invented, with a lump of wood to serve as the bone; shoes were made from wood instead of leather; woollen jumpers were made from nettles and coats were made from recycled paper. Adapted from The Iron Ration: Three Years in Warring Central Europe

Why did German scientists and manufacturers go to such trouble to produce Ersatz products?

were people better off under the nazis

Were people better off under the Nazis?

 Aims

To decide whether life got better or worse for most German workers and businessmen under the Nazis


A Nazi election poster from 1932, it reads ‘Work and Bread’. Who was the poster aimed at? How was it trying to appeal to them? How successful do you think it would have been in 1932?

your task
 Your task
  • Your teacher will give you a scales chart template. On one side record any evidence that life improved under the Nazis and on the other that things changed very little or even got worse.
your task1
 Your task
  • List the aims of Nazi economic policy
  • What evidence is there that Nazi economic policy to reduce unemployment was successful?
  • How did the economics minister, Schacht, help the economy?
  • What were the key features of the Four-Year Plan?
  • Table 1: What were the main aims of Nazi economic policy
  • Table 2: Who was Schacht and what was the ‘New Plan’?
  • Table 3: Who was Goering and what was the ‘Four-Year Plan’?
  • Table 4: Evaluate the sources on p.128-9
  • Table 5: What were the successes and failures of Nazi economic policy?
  • Reduce unemployment (1933, 6 million)
  • Rearmament
  • Self-sufficiency (Autarky)
  • By 1939 unemployment had fallen to less than 0.5milion
  • After 1932, reparations ended
  • Autobahns
  • Public building projects, e.g. Olympic Stadium, Berlin
  • Reich Labour Service (RAD)
  • Government investment schemes, e.g. Volkswagen
  • Conscription – 1m in army by 1939
the new plan 1934 6
The New Plan, 1934-6
  • Dr Hjalmar Schacht
  • President of Reichsbank
  • Minister of the Economy
  • Imports limited
  • Trade agreements
  • Unemployment reduced
  • Mefo bills
four year plan 1936 9
Four-Year Plan, 1936-9
  • Hermann Goering
  • WWI fighter pilot
  • Head of German airforce (Luftwaffe)
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Synthetic raw materials (ersatz)
  • Reduce imports
  • Tighten control on wages
class discussion
 Class discussion
  • Did the Nazis achieve their economic objectives?
  • Was Schacht or Goering more successful?
  • What were the potential weaknesses in the German economy?
extension activity
 Extension activity
  • In pairs take on the role of either Schacht of Goering and have a head-to-head debate to decide who made a more significant contribution to the German economy under the Nazis. Present your role plays to the class.