How successful were Nazi economic policies in the years 1933-45?

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How successful were Nazi economic policies in the years 1933-45? (30 Mark)

Nazi economic policies were extremely successful, this can be argued from the viewpoint of many reasons.

One reason why the Nazis were successful with their economic policies was due to Dr Hjalmar Schacht. Schacht directed the German economy from 1933 – 36, the first three years of Hitler’s reign as chancellor. He believed in a steady growth/currency. The things he did got industry going again. He ignored the Treaty of Versailles ban and restrictions on the German military and had built tanks, planes and ships in the process of Rearmament. This got people working again and Schacht had infrastructure assembled, the Autobahn was originally built by the Nazis to better aid troop movement. Once the basics were functioning again, the whole thing snowballed and the entire economy recovered quickly. He also stopped making the huge reparation payments that the Versailles Treaty stipulated, and instead directed all that money back into Germany. Schacht employed specific strategies which would successively improve the German economy. Schacht took control of state finances within the economy, set low interest rates to inspire investor confidence, rescheduled local authority debts and set about forming a public sector investor programme, i.e. housing and jobs. These targets were on the whole achieved successfully. Lower taxes brought prosperity to farmers in particular, who were the hardest hit by the ‘economic slump’. Grants were provided for homes, repairs and the rehiring of domestic service. Schacht saw to it that State invested projects such as public works programmes; rearmament, reforestation and a state labour service were the created as the steps to solving Germany’s social disharmony. Certainly in this period, historians agree the reconstruction, stabilisation and harmonisation of the German economy show that policy was successful.

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Success in the Nazi economic policies from between these years is also shown with how the reduction of unemployment. Unemployment in Germany in 1933 stood at well over 6 million, Hitler had gained votes and confidence by the German people to significantly lower this number. The number of unemployed dropped significantly and rapidly, only 3.8 million by January 1934 and a minimal 0.4 million by 1938, this is referred to as an ‘Economic miracle’ and was due to a variety of reasons. Reasons such as expansion of production caused by natural economic recovery, rearmament, agriculture and an increase in the ...

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