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War and Economy in the Third Reich$
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R. J. Overy

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202905.001.0001

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Unemployment in the Third Reich

Unemployment in the Third Reich

(p.36) (p.37) 1 Unemployment in the Third Reich
War and Economy in the Third Reich

R. J. Overy

Oxford University Press

It was against a background of rapidly rising unemployment that the Nazi Party became a major electoral force. Though it was by no means clear quite how a National Socialist government would tackle unemployment when it came to power in January 1933, there was no doubt in the minds of Germany's new leaders that their own political survival was bound up with the success or otherwise of the ‘Battle for Work’. From 1930 Nazi leaders saw unemployment as a key political issue, to be solved by ‘general labour service’ and ‘general conscription’ or by public works; and they feared the effects on Nazi electoral prospects if unemployment was to be solved by the other parties. The crisis of unemployment was a key plank in the Nazis' growing attacks on the Weimar governments in 1931 and 1932.

Keywords:   Germany, unemployment, Nazi Party, Battle for Work, general labour service, general conscription, Weimar

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