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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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Cars, Roads, and Economic Recovery in Germany, 1932–1938

Cars, Roads, and Economic Recovery in Germany, 1932–1938

(p.68) 2 Cars, Roads, and Economic Recovery in Germany, 1932–1938
War and Economy in the Third Reich

R. J. Overy

Oxford University Press

Economist Paul Einzig wrote, ‘It is an exaggeration to attribute the trade revival in Germany exclusively to rearmament. War is not the ultimate weapon in the struggle against the depression’. This was written in 1934. Since then the remarkable scope and strength of the revival in Germany has, despite Einzig, been uncritically attributed to the effects of rearmament at the expense of any real debate on the nature of the recovery. However, there were a great many other factors at work in the early 1930s which help to explain the character of the revival, not least the accelerated ‘motorisation’ of Germany after several decades of comparatively slow growth. This chapter examines the economic effects of motorisation in order to demonstrate that the motor-road and the motor vehicle played a significant part alongside rearmament in initiating and sustaining the upswing between 1932 and 1938.

Keywords:   Paul Einzig, trade, Germany, rearmament, war, motorisation, motor-road, motor vehicle

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