Study Notes

Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918-1939): Reducing Unemployment

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 15 Jul 2024

The Nazis had been brought to power with a promise to reduce unemployment. Hitler and the Nazis needed to prove that they could tackle the problem. The Nazis used a method of public works programmes to address the problem. The National Labour Service was essential for this.

One such was of reducing unemployment was the Autobahn project. This ambitious project planned to build a modern road network of motorways across Germany. In all there would be 7000 miles of road. Such was the importance of this project that Hitler was personally involved. Much of the network they built is still in place today, however, the Nazis only managed to construct around half of the total planned network before the Second World War broke out.

The war economy was also a method of reducing unemployment. The Nazis were open with their plans to rearm Germany in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles. This meant that the Nazis required huge numbers of people to join the armed forces and huge numbers of people to work in the factories producing the arms required. This war footing for the economy meant that large numbers of people were provided with jobs which hadn’t existed before under the Weimar Republic.

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