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Economic Germany Essay

917 words - 4 pages


 At the end of the war the German economy as a whole was geared towards war production. The labour force had been completely devoted to supplying the military as it solved the unemployment woes of the 1920s and early 1930s. The interwar unemployment levels were very concerning and the Nazis set the task of tackling this problem , and in 1938 unemployment was nearly eradicated. Hitler and the Nazis were completely focused on constructing a war economy and used the entire population to achieve that goal. Following the War, Allied occupation forced these war-directed sectors to shut down, causing negative economic progress. Ultimately, the economy needed to be entirely restructured and ...view middle of the document...

There were a number of significant plans to encourage economic development, yet they all required a strong workforce - something which West Germany lacked.
 With the intent of stopping the spread of Soviet Communism the United States heavily focused on the reconstruction of Europe and its economies shortly after the war. The famous Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program) was established shortly after the war. Its purpose was to modernize and restructure the destroyed economies and make them a coordinated and highly-competitive region. The economic support came in different forms, such as fuel, food, and construction materials, and was joined with goal of bolstering integration between Western European countries. West Germany received an immense portion of the aid from this plan, amounting to billions in US funds. Unlike the funds supplied to other countries, West German aid was to be directed towards suppressing the economy to remove any chance that the country would return as a threat. Despite the general effort towards reviving the European economic sphere, West Germany was causing setbacks because of these numerous restraints on growth. It was not until 1949 when Chancellor Konrad Adenauer insisted upon the reconstruction of industries rather than their destruction that the progress flourished. In 1947 West Germany only achieved 68% of its prewar economic capacity, but after 1949 the Marshall Plan and Adenauer’s request had succeeded in raising its capacity to nearly 90% of the prewar level. This extreme improvement over such a short period of time shows just how intense the United States feared Soviet Communism in that they were willing to commit to such a strenuous process of prosperity. The drive and plan for economic success was fully realized by both West Germany and the Western Allies, yet the...

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