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Weimar and Nazi Germany

The Weimar Constitution

The impact of the Treaty of Versailles

1919 -1923: years of crisis?

The Munich Putsch

The Origins of the Nazi Party

1924 - 1929: A Golden era?

Gustav Stresemann

German Foreign Policy 1919 to 1933

Germany in the Depression

The Rise of the Nazi party

From Chancellor to Fuhrer

The failures of Weimar

Creating a totalitarian state

Nazi methods of control

Opposition to the Nazi's


The Economy under the Nazi's

Nazi Foreign Policy

Education in Nazi Germany

The Holocaust



Nazi Economic Policy

Please note: this is very a basic overview.

Aims of Nazi economic policy:

There were several overriding aims of economic policy. These were: to reduce unemployment, increase productivity and to ensure that the currency was safe. More specific Nazi aims include, but are not restricted to:

• To enable Germany to be ready to go to war
• Reduce to a minimum the amount of goods needing to be imported.
• Maintain a reasonable standard of living and rate of pay for Germans.

Policy in practice:

• Increased the size of the armed forces.
• Began rearmament programme (air force, naval constructions and investment in weapons such as Panzer tanks).
• Continuation and expansion of the autobahn (motorway) building programme.
• Forced focus on manufactured goods.
• Selective importation policy. Buy from cheap, third world countries and pay ‘in kind’.

Other policies that have economic implications:

• Lebensraum (living space) and the (re)-creation of a greater Germany.

The Ruhr valley and the Rhineland were reoccupied by German troops. This meant that industry was once more under German (Nazi0 control. Anschluss (merger with Austria) leads to greater availability of raw materials. Cessation (taking) of parts of Czechoslovakia provides further raw materials. Later the invasion of Poland would provide cheap labour, raw materials and space in which to expand the economic markets.

• Anti-Semitism (anti-jewish policies). Resulted in large amounts of revenue and resources being reassigned to the state. Also unemployed Jews would no longer be classed as being ‘unemployed’.

Tackling unemployment: some methods

• Armed forces expanded.
• Militarisation programme leads to jobs in manufacturing.
• Public works such as the Autobahns required lots of workers.

Was Hitler successful?

• Unemployment fell to approximately half a million by the outbreak of war.
• Currency was stable and investment rose.
• Infra structure was in place to enable economic expansion.
• Manufacturing base was established and functioning relatively effectively.


• Rates of pay were no higher in 1939 than they had been in 1928. (Remember that they had slumped though)
• Hours worked rose and workers rights were diminished.
• Few luxury items available, consumer goods also a rarity.

Other factors

• Payment of reparations ended, this enabled investment in Germany.
• German recovery from the wall street crash is comparable to that of other countries, the world wide economy improved at a similar rate to that of Germany: so outside factors may have influenced growth.

Things to revise and remember:

1933. Initial policy. Cautious moves towards rearmament
1934. Four Year Plan
Investment in military increases 1936-1939.
Anti-Semitism, Jewish property confiscated and redistributed following Kristallnacht.


In this unit:

Essential Revision

Key Issues:

  1. How far did Germany recover under Stresemann?
  2. How did the Nazi party develop, upto 1929?
  3. How did Hitler become Chancellor?
  4. Howdid Hitler create a dictatorship?
  5. What were the main features of Totalitarian rule?
  6. What were the benefits of Nazi rule?

Full Germany revision section

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 highly recommends these sites: - new site aiming to provide an accessible narrative for GCSE History pupils. - fantastic range of interactive games, revision materials and links. - outstanding use of ICT to engage pupils. - a brilliant range of learning activities from Ian Dawson - simply the best for Modern World GCSE students - make your lessons 'real' with artefacts and living history provided by experts - same author as this site, just put together in a slightly different way! - all new resources for teachers and pupils of the SHP Medicine course - A new site providing resources for teachers and pupils of the Crime and Punishment unit Militaria - a range of interesting pieces of militaria is available via tihs site
The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye, Oakworth - great historical public house with loads of great beer and a lovely atmosphere