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Did German People Benefit From The Nazi Rule History Essay

The National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) ruled Germany between 1933 and the end of World War 2 in 1945. Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi party and imposed many new laws in Germany during this period. The impact of the Great Depression was still present in Germany at this time, and the German people were still being humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler was willing to provide Germany with a new beginning. The unemployment rate in Germany decreased significantly during the Nazi Rule and Germans finally felt as if they lived in a stable society. However, these advantages to the German people came at a high cost. The Jewish race was discriminated, imprisoned, tortured and killed, woman lost their jobs, any opponents of the Nazi’s were persecuted, and the people of Germany were under complete control by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

The effect of the Great Depression and the Treaty of Versailles left German’s economy in grave danger of bankruptcy. Prior to the Nazi Party becoming elected in 1933, the number of unemployed German people had reached 6 million. [1] However, uring the years of the Nazi rule, and by January 1939, the unemployment in Germany went down to only 302,000 [2] . This was a result of Hitler’s plans to recreate Germany into an autarky and self-sufficient nation [3] , where Germany would no longer depend on other nations to aid in the re-building of the German economy. The National Labour Service sent men on public work projects to build motorways and autobahns. On the 9th June 1933 Hitler introduced an Employment Law [4] that would focus on a major program of public works to create further jobs for the German men. An example of this was the recreation of the railways in Germany. Also, one of Hitler’s most sought after plan for Germany was rearmament. Hitler introduced a rearmament programme and commissioned the building of the first autobahns (motorways). In 1935 Hitler introduced conscription into Germany [5] . This further reduced unemployment and opened up additional work opportunities. Due to the need for weapons, equipment and uniforms, more jobs were created. Also, when Hitler decreed that Germany would have a world-class air force (Luftwaffe), engineers and designers gained new job opportunities. Although living standards were still low, the German population was grateful of the new job opportunities that the Nazi Party had created in Germany.

As well as bringing employment and economic recovery to Germany, these benefits of the Nazi rule boosted Hitler’s popularity because they encouraged national pride. The German people began to feel that their country was finally emerging from the humiliation of World War 1 and the Treaty of Versailles, and putting itself on an equal footing with the other great countries. To gain further popularity in the Germany economy Hitler arranged for many German families to go on cheap holidays. He wanted to be seen as rewarding those who worked hard. The German historian, Albin Gladen wrote in his book Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutshland…

“Hitler’s accession to power improved the psychological climate incredibly, exerting beneficial influences on the propensities to consume and invest” [6] 

Gladen’s

By 1939 the German people had benefitted from the reduction of unemployment; however it came at great consequences. Trade unions throughout Germany were banned, as well as the right to strike. By 1938 unemployment was almost vanished from Germany, but workers no longer had the right to quit. Labour books were introduced in 1935 and only allowed men to be hired by a new employer if their previous employer approved. [7] The working men of Germany benefitted from the new job opportunities that the Nazi party had provided, because it led to a higher income, and gave hope to Germany. However the consequence was their right of freedom being taken away.

Although many German people advantaged greatly from the rapid decrease of unemployment, not all Germans benefitted. Woman and Jews were put out of work. One of the most respected principals of the Nazi regime was to return German woman to their proper place in society. This was associated with the famous three Ks: Kinder, Küche, Kirche.(Children, Cooker, Church). [8] In 1933 woman were forced out of their careers, some of whom were professionals, such as lawyers or doctors. For women, the Nazi rule in Germany didn’t benefit the needs of the women. Through the Nazi Party’s plan to build a greater Aryan Germany, German woman were demoted to the kitchen, going to church, and producing blonde, blue-eyed Aryan German babies to “spread the glory of the 1000-year Reich” [9] . As an incentive, if women were to produce eight children, they received a gold medal of honour from the Nazi party [10] . During the Nazi rule in Germany throughout the 1930s, the woman benefitted in that they were able to be ‘stay-at-home’ mothers and look after the family home. However, for the women that previously had prestigious careers, they did not benefit from the Nazi reign as it took away their freedom and rights. Although the women were harshly prejudiced against, the Jewish Germans were widely discriminated against throughout the entire Nazi rule.

Throughout the Nazi rule of Germany, the Jewish race was a group of people that had no benefit of the Nazi control. In 1925 Adolf Hitler wrote his well-known book Mein Kampf. In this novel Hitler spoke about how Germany should be one Aryan race, and that the Jews were trying to take over Germany with any means possible. He wrote:

"Was there any form of filth or crime...without at least one Jew involved in it. If you cut even cautiously into such a sore, you find like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light - a Jew." [11] 

As written throughout Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler blamed the Jews for all the misfortunes that Germany had suffered through. Hitler believed that Germany’s loss in World War 1 was because of a Jewish conspiracy, the Treaty of Versailles was a conspiracy set by the Jews to bring Germany to its knees, and the hyperinflation in 1923 was a result of the international Jewish race attempting to destroy Germany [12] . During the Nazi Rule Hitler began to gain the public’s agreement with his hatred towards Jews. Hitler ideologies that the Jews were to blame for Germany’s economic problems spread throughout Germany and Jews began to become isolated from the rest of Germany. At first the Nazi’s destroyed Jewish owned shops, but leading up to 1939 the Jewish persecutions became more violent. On April 1st 1933 [13] members of the Nazi party stopped Germans shopping in Jewish shops, and by 1934 all Jewish shops were marked with a yellow Star of David to indicate which shops were part of the ‘Jewish conspiracy’ [14] . These small, but significant steps taken by the Nazi Party discontinued the economic flow of the Jewish people, as they were forced out of their jobs and lost all income. The hatred inflicted onto the Jewish race continued in school, and the Jewish children were no longer able to receive the same education that the German children were. Jewish children were ridiculed by teachers and beaten by other students and anti-Semitic ideas were taught to all school children [15] . These measures against the Jewish race significantly disadvantaged the German Jews and continued to lead them towards total isolation.

On September 15th 1935 the Nazi party enforced the Nuremberg Law which legally isolated the Jews from the rest of Germany, and deprived them of their German citizenship [16] . The Nuremberg Law did not benefit the German Jews as it allowed Hitler to completely remove all Jewish rights of freedom. The night of the 9th of November 1938 (known as “Kristallnacht” or the "Night of Broken Glass”) started the destruction of Jewish shops, homes, cemeteries, schools and hospitals [17] .

“In two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by.” [18] 

This began the violent behavior of the Nazi party against the Jewish population in Europe. The outbreak of World War 2 in 1939 allowed Hitler the freedom of bringing death and annihilation to all Jewish communities throughout Europe. Over the period of the Nazi rule in Germany, just under 6 million Jews were murdered. [19] 

Under the Nazi rule the unemployment was significantly decreased and the economy was stabilized, but it was at a cost to minority German groups. Many German people did benefit from the Nazi rule and preferred the stability offered by the Nazi rule compared to the instability of the Weimar Republic [20] . The Nazi party fixed the economic problems that Germany had encountered through the Treaty of Versailles and the Great Depression. Hitler was responsible for decreasing the unemployment rate from 6 million to only 300,000. However, the Nazi rule involved much persecution and rule through state terror and the loss of personal freedom. The woman, Jews and many other minority groups suffered throughout the reign of the Nazi’s. The positive achievements that Hitler and the Nazi party produced in Germany between 1933 and 1945 were a great accomplishment and benefit for the German people, however the terror, persecution, murder and deaths that were accounted at the Nazi’s hand outweighed the success of economic growth. When comparing these factors, the German people did not benefit from the Nazi rule to quite a significant extent.

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