(2) Who benefited under the Third Reich?

Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers over 6 years ago


Who benefited from the Reich

Resource summary

(2) Who benefited under the Third Reich?
  1. Peasants and Small Farmers
    1. The farming community had been attracted to the Nazis by the promise of financial aid since it had suffered from a series of economic problems from the mid-1920's. Peasants also felt they were losing out to the growing urban society of industrial Germany
      1. Successes with Peasants
        1. Farm debts and mortgages were written off and small farmers were given low interest rates and a range of tax allowances.
          1. The Government maintained extensive tariffs to reduce imports
            1. The Reich Entailed Farm Law of 1933 – gave security of tenure to occupiers of medium sized farms between 7.5 and 125 hectares and forbade the division of farms to promote efficient agriculture.
              1. The Reich Food Estate, est 1933 supervised every aspect of agricultural production and distribution, especially food prices and working wages
                1. All farmers benefitted from increase in prices between 1933 and 1936 so farmers’ incomes improved markedly .
                2. Failures/limitations with Peasants
                  1. Farmers’ incomes only returned to 1928 levels in 1938.
                    1. The Reich Food Estate was incredibly bureaucratic, meddling became the focus of resentment when, for example, it stipulates that each hen lay 65 eggs per year.
                      1. By 1936-7 benefits were giving way to disillusionment – agricultural production increased by 20% from 1928-38 but a significant drift of people to the towns continued, 3% of the population. Wages were higher there and agriculture just couldn’t compete.
                        1. The Reich Entailed Farm Law caused resentment and family discontent – in trying to solve the problem of excessive subdivision by passing on farms to just one child, farmers faced the very real dilemma of not being able to provide a future for their remaining children.
                          1. With the onset of war in 1939, pressures increased, men were conscripted to the military so labour was in short supply and cheap labour was imported from eastern Europe (so not actually racially acceptable)
                        2. Educating the Youth
                          1. Education used to indoctrinate Nazi principles
                            1. Schools
                              1. Jewish teachers were banned
                                1. Women encouraged not to go in to teaching- go back to the kitchen ( not very nice)
                                  1. National socialist teachers league- 97% of teachers were members
                                    1. emphasis on physical education, as well as biology and history
                                      1. Nazi's founded- 10 Adolf Hitler schools, 3 Ordensburgen college
                                      2. Hitler Youth
                                        1. membership increased throughout the period 200,000 in 1932 to 7.1 million in 1938
                                          1. It became compulsory in 1939
                                            1. Lot of dissolusion in the youth over the military- Edelweiss pirates
                                              1. Very militaristic style promoting fighty stuff
                                                1. The youth supportive as had greater opportiutiy for trips, sport
                                              2. Landowners
                                                1. had initially been suspicious of policy and social change and feared redistribution of their larger estates. But before 1939 their economic interest wasn’t really threatened and the victories early on in the war offered cheaper land. The real blow came in 1945 when the occupation of Eastern Germany by the USSE resulted in the nationalisation of land – the traditional supremacy of the German landowners was broken.
                                                2. Mittelstand
                                                  1. Successes with Mittelstand
                                                    1. They had suffered from the decline of commerce in Germany since WW1 and struggled to compete with big business. The Middle Class had voted in greater proportion for the Nazis than the rest of German society. They benefitted from this:
                                                      1. Money from the confiscation of Jewish businesses was used to offer low interest rate loans.
                                                        1. The Law to Protect Retail Trade (1933) banned the opening of new department stores and taxed the existing ones – many owned by Jews.
                                                          1. Many new trading regulations were imposed to protect small craftsmen
                                                        2. Failures/limitations with Mittelstand
                                                          1. Despite Nazi’s promises before 1933, the decline of the Mittelstand continued.
                                                            1. The cost of small businesses meant that they could not compete with the lower costs of the larger dept stores, this was exacerbated by the Nazi’s need for big businesses to bring about rearmament.
                                                              1. The Mittelstand was aging, in 1933 20% of owners of small businesses were under 30 yrs old and 14% over 60. By 1939 10% were under 30 and 19% over 60.
                                                                1. Between 1936-9 the number of skilled craftsmen decline by 10%.
                                                                  1. The Middle Class was being squeezed out.
                                                                2. Big Business
                                                                  1. Generally benefitted from the Nazis’ economic programme. Despite an increasing range of Government controls, the financial gains were impressive. The value of German industry steadily increased from the share price index (41 points in 1932 to 106 in 1940) and the improvement of salaries (RM3700 in 1934 to RM5420 in 1938) and management,. From 1938 the annexations and the conquests of war provided opportunity for taking over foreign land/companies/property.
                                                                  2. proletariat
                                                                    1. Largest social group in Germany (46.3% of society in 1933)
                                                                      1. Under Weimar most workers had belonged to independent Trade Unions (TUs) and have generally votes for SPD and Communists
                                                                        1. To establish its authority, the Nazi regime closed down all established TUs (think about the power they had shown, general strike had defeated the Kapp putsch – but organised Labour was hostile to Nazism)
                                                                          1. The German Labour Front (DAF, Deutsche Arbeitsfront) was established under Robert Ley as the largest Nazi organisation in the Third Reich with 5million members in 1933 increasing to 22 million in 1939.
                                                                            1. The DAF was responsible for working hours and wages, dealing with disobedience and striking, running training schemes, setting stable rents for housing.
                                                                              1. The DAF also had two important subgroups;
                                                                                1. The Beauty of Labour (SdA, Schonheit der Arbeit) which supervised working conditions providing cleaning, meals, exercise etc.
                                                                                  1. Strength Through Joy (KdF, Kraft durch Freude) this provided opportunities to millions of works, cultural visits, education, sports, holidays, travel. By 1939 it had over 7000 paid employees and 135,000 voluntary workers organised in every factory and workshop employing more that 20 people. Official statistics showed number of people on KdF holidays grew from 2.3mil in 1934 to 10.3 mil in 1938.
                                                                                  2. It is difficult to assess the material effects of the Nazi regime on workers because of all of the variables such as age, occupation, location.
                                                                                    1. Successes with workers
                                                                                      1. By the late 1930s, Germany had achieved full employment and there was a growing shortage of workers.
                                                                                        1. The most significant benefit was the creation of employment – from the registered peak of 6 mil unemployed in Jan 1932, the official figure of 1936 shows a decline to 2.1 mil. Work opportunities included reforestation, land reclamation, motorisation ( development of vehicle industry and building of roads) and building, especially the housing sector and public buildings)
                                                                                        2. Failures/limitations with workers
                                                                                          1. Real wages only rose above 1929 levels in 1938.
                                                                                            1. Workers were forced to pay extensive contributions for DAF and insurance/tax
                                                                                              1. The biggest gains were made by workers associated with the boom in rearmament industries whereas those in consumer goods struggled to maintain their real incomes.
                                                                                                1. Working hours increased over time, the average working week was officially increased from 43 hours in 1933 to 47 hours in 1939. As military demands grew there was an increasing pressure on workers to do overtime.
                                                                                                  1. The fall in unemployment figures from the statistics owed much to the removal of women and Jews and the introduction of male conscription to the army and labour services
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