How Far Was the Nazi Economic Policy Dominated by the Drive to Rearm Germany?

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By 1936, the German economy had recovered to the extent that Hitler’s main long term aim of creating an economy which could support sustained rearmament was possible. Throughout the period of 1933-36, this was the recovery period for Germany in order to make a more stable Germany and resolve economic problems and unemployment. Unemployment was a very big concern in Germany. When Hitler went into power in 1933, 5 million people were unemployed. Hitler had introduced many different schemes in order to decrease unemployment such as Battle for Work which was set up to help unemployed people find work. Hitler had also stopped paying reparations in order to invest the money into German companies. Rearmament had created jobs in the armament industry and their use of the ‘mefo bills’ meant that they were out of sight from the British and French. Also the construction of the Autobahnen (roads) and this helped a lot of men gain jobs. Women and Jews, although sadly for them, were sacked from their jobs and these were given to German men. All these schemes that took place had given many Germans jobs and contributed to the reduction of unemployment. Now that Germany had more men helping to rearm through the large companies, it meant that rearmament could take place quicker and now that unemployment had decreased massively till 1939, that was one less problem that Nazi Germany had to worry about. The ‘Battle for Work’ scheme that was set up to reduce unemployment was successful in ways that it fell from 25.9% in 1933 to 7.4% in 1936. This was great for Germans however it did create some issues as Germany’s ‘secret rearmament’ scheme was bringing in too much imported raw materials into Germany whilst exporters were struggling due to taxes on imports and this left Germany with a big trade deficit. Schacht, who was Minister of Economics, had created the New Plan in which no one
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