Explain what the Nazis tried to achieve in their economic policy between 1933 and 1939.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Germany and the rest of the world were still suffering the effects of the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. When the American businessmen who had invested money into the German industries sought the return of it, Germany suffered immensely. Because these loans had to be repaid, shops closed to do so. Trade slumped and unemployment swelled and many were made homeless. Many people starved and, in desperation, looked towards the Nazis to bring them out of this desolation. .
The Nazis reassured the German people by reducing unemployment, rearming the country and aiming to make Germany self-sufficient.
From 1934 to 1937 Dr Schacht was the Minister of the Economy in Germany and he reduced unemployment in number of ways. He introduced the National Labour Service, creating thousands of jobs for young men, aged 18-25. They completed various tasks, such as digging ditches and planting forests. These men lived together in a camp and wore uniforms, and received pocket money rather than wages.
The National Labour Service soon organised public works to further reduce the rate of unemployment. New motorways (autobahns) were constructed, as were hospitals, schools, sports stadium and public buildings. However the greatest decrease in unemployment was brought about by rearmament.
In 1935, Hitler ignored the ruling of the Treaty of Versailles and began to rearm Germany. He introduced conscription (compulsory military service). The Army increased by over one million in 3 years. To support this an armaments industry was quickly established to produce the weapons and equipment needed, employing thousands of men.
But he also reduced unemployment by dismissing Jews from their positions in the workplace and did not record them as unemployed (They were not regarded as German citizens).