Unemployment Relief in Nazi Germany
Between 1930 and 1932 the governments of Germany had met the economic crisis with a series of emergency decrees designed primarily to keep the state solvent through deflationary measures. Wages, rents, pensions, and relief payments were drastically reduced (see document 29B, the Report of the Special Advisory Committee of the Bank for International Settlements). While it is understandable that, after the experience of 1923, the German government was concerned not to endanger the soundness of the currency by incurring large budgetary deficits, the measures taken did nothing to reduce unemployment or restore production. The National Socialist Government, which came to power early in 1933, adopted an entirely different, but now familiar, approach, expanding public expenditures to restore economic activity. The resources of the state were used to create jobs through public-works measures, subsidies, and tax concessions. The document that follows, the Law for the Reduction of Unemployment of June 1, 1933, was the first of a series of “pump-priming” measures put into effect by the Nazis.
KeywordsUnemployed Worker Finance Office International Settlement National Employment Calendar Quarter
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