To What Extent Was Hitler's Economic Policy Coherent?

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[Slide 1] Hitler’s economic policy is subject to a large debate in many different areas, and an important part of it was whether he had control over what happened, and similarly if it was coherent or not. Hitler ‘did’ potentially have control over the economy directly if he wanted to use it, instead he delegated the management of the important thing to subordinates of many different departments and offices, resulting in failure. Hitler did have control, but didn’t use it to his full extent, instead he gave brief outlines of what he wanted done to suit his economic policy. Likewise, his policies were nowhere near coherent if we look between 1933 and 1945, instead his economic policy fluctuated depending on international affairs.

[Slide 2] Hitler’s economy was not planned from the start and it never was. Obviously the first steps were to recover from the wall street crash of 1929, but nothing more than that. Instead, what we saw was Hitler shaping his economic policy around the basis that foreign policy drove economy policy, and it was there to satisfy his needs of what he was doing with his military. To prove that his economic policy was not coherent we can take a look at the three main changes between 1933 and 1939, i.e. the recovery period, the rearmament period and the war period. Each is so distinct and so unlike the other that historians have branded them as different eras. In this sense, his policy was not coherent. The only thing that was however, was that it was based around his needs throughout his time in power.

[Slide 3] The Schacht era begins in 1933 when Hitler comes to power. Obviously at this stage no extreme foreign ventures are occurring, and more importantly the economy is in decline, thus no need for radical changes. A safe and stable recovery program was implemented to help Germany’s strength which was extremely successful. This included…...

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