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Germany

  • Date Submitted: 07/24/2010 09:38 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42 
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History
The economy of Germany during the Hitler era (1933 – 1945) developed a hothouse prosperity, supported with high government subsidies to those sectors that Hitler favored because they gave Nazi Germany military power and economic autarky, that is, economic independence from the global economy.
Adolf Hitler, believing that "the economy is something of secondary importance",[10] left the details of the economic National Socialist Programme out of Mein Kampf.[11] The Nazis rose to power while unemployment was very high,[12] but achieved full employment later thanks to massive rearmament.[13] Their pre-war economic policies, resembling Keynesianism, were in the beginning the brainchildren of their non-Nazi Minister of Economics, Hjalmar Schacht,[12] who was later made to focus more on war production (cf: Military Keynesianism), and was eventually replaced by a Nazi, Hermann Göring.
The trading policies of the Third Reich aimed at discouraging trade with countries outside the German sphere of influence,[14] while making southern Europe largely dependent on Germany.[15] Eventually, the Nazi party developed strong relationships with big business[16] and abolished trade unions[17] while real wages dropped by a fourth,[13] and employees could not easily change employer.[17] Taxes, though, were still low well into the war.[18] Already before the war, people undesirable to the regime were used as slave labour, and in 1944 they reached one quarter of the workers.[19]
Wirtschaftswunder of the West
Beginning with the replacement of the Reichsmark with the Deutsche Mark as legal tender, a lasting period of low inflation and rapid industrial growth was overseen by the government led by German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his minister of economics, Ludwig Erhard, raising West Germany from total wartime devastation to developed nations in modern Europe.
Contrary to popular belief, the Marshall Plan, which was extended to also include Western Germany after it was...

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