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Many businesses could no longer operate in this fashion and likely closed their doors leading to a rise in unemployment. This is an example of the rule that Hitler had on the Pre-World War II German economy. The people of the nation were completely subject to his policies and because the economy was in such a vulnerable position as a result of the First World War, that Hitler's policies were looked upon as providing assistance to the nation. The research indicates that Hitler's rule over Germany managed to counter the rise in unemployment with institution of the German Labor Service and other workforce and labor programs.
Pre-World War II Unemployment in Germany
Between January 1933 and July 1935 the number of employed Germans rose by a half, from 11.7 million to 16.9 million.
. Under the rule of Hitler, more than 5 million new jobs paying living wages were created.
The Great Depression of 1932, even though it occurred in the United States negatively influenced the German unemployment rate such that the Great Depression soon became a worldwide phenomena. Germany and other eastern European economies had been weakened by the First World War and Germany was bound by an obligation to pay reparations to the victors of the War. The Depression hit hardest those nations that were most deeply indebted to the United States, i.e., Germany and Great Britain. As a result of this, in Germany, unemployment rose sharply beginning in late 1929, and by early 1932 it had reached 6 million workers, or 25% of the workforce.
. The following table illustrates the Pre-World War II unemployment rates in Germany from the years of 1933 through 1939.
. These numbers are approximate because there has been debate regarding whether the actual numbers of unemployment were reported accurately during the period of the Nazi ruling.
Unemployment in Germany from 1933 to 1939
Year of data
The United States as the primary victor of World War I and before the Great Depression had the financial power to maintain a certain stream of investments in European countries like Germany. However, when the Great Depression hit, the U.S. could no longer afford to maintain the financial relationship that it had maintained with Germany in the past. As a result, the German economy slumped along with the American economy and unemployment rates rose.
The German Labor Service
At the time of the high unemployment rate in Pre-World War II Germany, Hitler created the German Labor Service. The German Labor Service required all men under aged 25 and most women to work for the government for at least six months. While the German Labor Service, through its requirement of labor, did alleviate the unemployment rate, it also continued to concentrate the power in Hitler's regime thus making the nation more vulnerable to the oppression of Hitler. The mission of the German Labor Service was to enable Germany to produce its own food.
. As a result, the German labor force was able to produce its own food sources thus relying less on other countries for importation of its food supply. Moving into World War II, the nation of Germany was creating a vast majority of its own food supply.
Work Creation Program of 1933-1936
The Work Creation Programs of 1993-1936 were instituted by Hitler as a way to rebuild the financial and economic structure of Germany. It was in essence and economic recovery program.
. Programs such as this were founded on the creation of credit by the government-based private sector funding. The government's role in the creation of these programs was limited to soliciting investments from members of the private sector.
. In order to solicit private sector support for the work creation programs, the government provided incentives in terms of work creation vouchers to credit institutions.
The significance of the credit vouchers was controversial. There were some contractors or suppliers who required cash in order to participate in the work creation programs. These businesses extended a type of credit to the agency ordering the work or the appropriate credit institutions. These institutions assumed responsibility for the payment of these credit accounts based on the work creation bills that they had been granted by the government. These bills of credit, as part of the scheme, could be discounted by any bank that had joined the network. These banks, along with government banks, in re-discounting the bills, created the money it needed to pay the contractors who performed the work. This process of creating, redeeming, and rediscounting work creation bills has been viewed as a financial practical joke on the government at that time.
. However, to an ailing economy, the work creation program was far from a scheme. The government's work creation programs in 1933-1934, were financed by these work creation bills and this was the most risk free, responsible way to provide work incentives to the nearly 6 million unemployed people at that time. The Work Creation Plan, along with the other pro-economy actions taken by Hitler, appeared to work in favor of the German economy at that time, by creating jobs for the nation. However, the final result was ultimately a further weakening of the economy such that it could not rebound from the Second World War without a complete economic reform.
Hitler's plan to strategically prepare his regime for rule over Germany continued with his institution of price controls. Such price controls on good were imposed by Hitler in 1936 to enable his people to buy war materials for artificially low prices.
. As a result, the scenario that was created as a result of fictitious banks was continued. Businesses were not receiving what their goods were worth and they suffered economically. As a result many of these businesses would inevitably close their doors. Following Hitler's initiation of price controls, a member of his regime as in 1939, one of Hitler's top Nazi deputies, Hermann Goering, imposed rationing.
. Rationing was a system adopted that protected Germany against food shortages during the War.
Even though the economy was suffering, a rise in agriculture was taking place due to the government's overtaking and subsequent financial support for agricultural as well as the creation of the German Labor Service whose mission was to farm to create its own food supplies.
. Prior to World War II, Germany produced 83% of its own food resources. This act of producing its own food, along with the fact that Germany took food from regions it had conquered, ensured that Germany would not suffer a food shortage during the War.
As was the case with food, Germany also had an abundance of other natural resources such as coal. it, in turn, found a way to subsequently utilize its coal to its benefit and in preparation for the pending War. The coal was converted into synthetic rubber and petroleum. This greatly reduced the oil and petroleum shortage during the War for Germany and this abundance of oil did not begin to dissipate until the adversaries began to bomb the nation's oil and petroleum factories during the War.
Population of Germany Prior to World War II
As the nation of Germany entered World War I in 1914, the population of was approximately 68 million.
World War I, as one of the bloodiest wars in the world's history, claimed 2.8 million lives and caused a steep decline in the birth rate. In addition, to the death toll of the War, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles contributed to the continued decline in the German population. The Treaty, upon the ending of the War, awarded German territories -- containing approximately seven million German inhabitants -- to the victors of the War and to newly independent or reconstituted countries in Eastern Europe.
. The Treaty of Versailles and its economic consequences on Pre-World War II Germany will be discussed further in a subsequent section of this paper.
The population of Germany during World War II the population of Germany had increased by approximately 79.7 million people after World War I.
. Contributing to this increase in the population was the concurrent annexation of Austria in 1938 and Sudetenland Czechoslovakia in 1939 to the Republic of Germany, as well as constant flow of migrants into Germany following World War I.
World War II proved to be a more deadly War than World War I. The losses to the population from the war alone was estimated at approximately seven million, and about half of these individuals died in battle.
. In 1945, post World War II, the population of Germany was approximately the same as it was in 1910 or 64.6 million.
. However, the numbers did not remain low for long. Immediately following the post war period, more than 12 million people migrated to Germany either in route to other destinations…[continue]
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