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What were Hitler's economic aims and how successful was he in achieving them?

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Introduction

What were Hitler's economic aims and how successful was he in achieving them? Hitler's economic aims were unclear at first as his economic aims were always second to his political aims so they had no coherent plan. His policies were a response to any given situation. Hitler's first economic aim was deficit financing. He wanted to spend money on public works which would in return provide jobs for people because Hitler knew that he had previously promised work to the millions of unemployed and knew that his popularity was built on this promise. His second aim was autarky which meant economic self sufficiently. This means that Germany would be free of any world trends such as the Depression of 1929 and this was also made necessary by Hitler's other economic aims which was to get the economy geared to war. In 1933 Hitler made his first four year plans with Dr Hjalmar Schacht. Schacht was the President of the Reichsbank and was later the economics minister. ...read more.

Middle

However the balance of payments deficit means that little foreign currency was allowed so the New Plan of September 1934 gave the government control of trade and currency. Priority was given to imports needed by industry from abroad. Barter agreements were encouraged to avoid spending and all buying was done with marks therefore other countries had to buy back off Germany so a common market, Grossraumwirtschaft, was created. The first four year plan was successful because production was up, trade became surplus and unemployment was down from 6 million to 1.75 million in 1935. However conscription and the rearmament means balance of payments deficit and consumer industries in competition with armament industries for cash, raw materials. Therefore Schacht wanted to slow down rearmament to make more goods to sell abroad. This made him lose influence so he resigned in 1937 and was replaced by subservient Dr Walther Funk. In 1936 Hitler worked with Herman Goering to create the second four year plan. ...read more.

Conclusion

This made basic foods more expensive as they were scarcer because people preferred the real version. The plan was also undemocratic because big businesses were squeezing out the small. Cash was raised by forced loans mainly on big businesses and workers weren't producing arms fast enough so rearmament was slow. Autarky also interfered with Hitler's other policies e.g. towards women as Hitler initially wanted them at home but later needed them in work as conscription was forcing men into the army and leaving vacancies that needed to be filled in factories and other jobs. Some recovery was also on the way anyway possibly though the policies of Hitler's predecessors such as Bruning who was chancellor in 1930. So in conclusion Hitler's economic aims were successful in the form of autarky which was successful in spite of economic expansion Germany had not increased her dependence on imports. However a lack of planning meant that Germany was not geared for total war meant that Hitler's economic aims were also unsuccessful. In the end German economy would not afford both the 'guns and butter' which meant the rearmament and higher standard of living. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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