How did the Nazis try to reduce unemployment?


Measures to reduce unemployment

Unemployment was a major problem in Germany, with at least 6 million Germans unemployed. During the 1932-33 election campaigns Hitler had promised the people Work and Bread. Hitler’s intentions:

  1. Reduce unemployment
  2. Create jobs through rearmament (avenge the Treaty of Versailles and prepare to expand Germany)
  3. Create an economically self-sufficient Germany (Autarky).

The person responsible for implementing these ideas was financial expert and President of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht.

He was sacked in 1936, and Herman Goering replaced him, with the Four Year Plan (1936-40).

The National Labour Service

The previous government had started many work schemes to reduce unemployment. One of these schemes was the Reichsarbeitsdienst (or the RAD, Reich Labour Service). In July 1935 the Reich Labour Service Act was passed, which forced every man aged between 18 and 25 to:

  • complete 6 months training at the RAD
  • wear military uniform


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