"The foundation of Hitler's success in the first years rested not only on his triumphs in foreign affairs, which brought so many bloodless conquests, but on Germany's economic recovery, which in party circles and even among some economists abroad was hailed as a miracle."
"Unemployment, the curse of the Twenties and early Thirties, was reduced, as we have seen, from six million in 1932 to less that a million four years later."
"All of Schacht's admitted wizardry in finance was put to work to pay for getting the Third Reich ready for war. Printing banknotes was mearly one of his devices. He manipulated the currency with such legerdemain that at one time it was estimated by foreign economists to have 237 different values. He negotiated amazingly profitable(for Germany) barter deals with dozens of countries and to the astonishment of orthodox economists successfully demonstrated that the more you owed a country the more business you did with it. His creation of credit in a country that had little liquid capital and almost no financial reserves was the work of genius, or--as some said--of a master manipulator. His invention of the so-called "Mefo" bills was a good example. These were simply bills created by the Reichsbank and guaranteed by the state and used to pay armament manufacturers. The bills were accepted by all German banks and ultimately discounted by the Reichsbank. Since they appeared neither in the published statements of the national bank nor in the government's budget they helped maintain secrecy as to the extent of Germany's rearmament. From 1935 to 1938 they were used exclusively to finance rearmament and amounted to a total of twelve billion marks. In explaining them once to Hitler, Count Schwerin von Krosigk, the harassed Minister of Finance, remarked that they were mearly a way of "printing money.""
"In September of 1936, with the inauguration of the Four-Year Plan under the iron control of Goering, who replaced Schacht as economic dictator though he was almost as ignorant of business as was Hitler, Germany went over to a total war economy. The purpose of the plan was to make Germany self-sufficient in four years, so that a wartime blockade would not stifle it. Imports were reduced to the bare minimum, severe price and wage controls were introduced, dividends restricted to 6 per cent, great factories set up to make synthetic rubber, textiles, fuel and other products from Germany's own sources of raw materials, and a giant Hermann Goering Works established to make steel out of the local low-grade ore."
"Buried under mountains of red tape, directed by the State as to what they could produce, how much and at what price, burdened by increasing taxation and milked by steep and never ending "special contributions" to the party, the businessmen, who had welcomed Hitler's regime so enthusiastically because they expected it to destroy organized labor and allow an entrepreneur to practice untrammeled free enterprise, became greatly disillusioned."
"Laws decreed in Oct. 1937 simply dissolved all corporations with a capital under $40,000 and forbade the establishment of new ones with a capital less than $200,000."
The purpose for this post is to point out that Germany had a booming economy based on a wartime philosophy. The money made and the employment gained at this time made it very easy for the Nazi government to gain total economic control over the people. Those who had been struggling now had jobs and those who were running the big business received large amounts of profit from all of the new business. When people make money, they do not complain. Money cannot buy happiness? Well...true....but it sure can make the days and nights easier to deal with and a lot more comfortable.
We here in America do not realize that our economy is a war based system. The entire structure of our country is based on war time efforts and when not at war...getting ready for the next war. The nations largest companies realized this in the early years of the 20th century. Look at our war history since then:
Bay of Pigs 1961
Perisan Gulf 1990-1991
That is twelve military involvements in 94 years, consisting of 50 years of actual war. That leaves only 44 years of peace.
Anyone still believe that America does not run off of a wartime economy? The most lucrative time in American business was at the height of WWII. Look at the largest companies in America today.
1. Wal-Mart Stores
2. Exxon Mobil
4. General Motors
6. General Electric
7. Ford Motor
9. Bank of America
Now do a little research into what companies are subsidiaries of these large corporations. You will find mostly all of the large military defence contractors listed here.
Just think of what we could achieve if half of the Iraqi war budget had gone to alternative fuel research? Or cancer research?
Technical Communication in Chillicothe Ohio
3 years ago