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Source I

Memorandum on the Four Year Plan of August 1936.
I therefore draw up the following programme for a final provision of our vital needs:

  1. Parallel with the military and political rearmament and mobilisation of our nation must go its economic rearmament and mobilisation … There is only one interest, the interest of the nation; only one view, the bringing of Germany to the point of political and economic self-sufficiency.

  2. foreign exchange must be saved in all those areas where our needs can be satisfied by German production.

  3. German fuel production must now be stepped up with the utmost speed and brought to final completion within 18 months.

  4. The mass production of synthetic rubber must also be organised and achieved with the same urgency.

(from Hitler and Nazism, Jane Jenkins, Longman, 1998)

Source J

Hjalmar Schacht, Economics Minister, on Hitler’s view of economics.
As long as I remained in office, whether at the Reichsbank or the Ministry of Economics, Hitler never interfered with my work. He never attempted to give me any instructions, but let me carry out my own ideas in my own way and without criticism … However, when he realised that the moderation of my financial policy was a stumbling block in his reckless plans (foreign policy), he began, with Goering’s connivance, to go behind my back and counter my arrangements.

(from Hitler and Nazism, Jane Jenkins, Longman, 1998)

Source K

In July 1938 an SPD analyst comments on Nazi economic policy.
Under the lash of the dictatorship, the level of economic activity has been greatly increased. The exploitation of labour has been increased; female employment has

been increased despite the totally contradictory Nazi ideal of womanhood; and a large number of Mittelstandlern (self-employed people) have been transformed into wage-labourers despite the totally contradictory Nazi ideal of their status …

(from Hitler and Nazism, Jane Jenkins, Longman, 1998)



  1. What part did legality play in the consolidation of power by the Nazis between 1933 and 1934?

  1. To what extent was the ‘leadership principle’ implemented after 1933?

  1. Was Adolf Hitler a weak dictator or master of the Third Reich?

  1. ‘The Nazis’ economic policies of 1934-1939 were the chief cause of the war that began in September 1939.’ Do you agree?

  1. To what extent did the introduction of the Four Year Plan in 1936 change the German economy?

Source-based Questions

  1. How accurate is Ludendorff’s prophecy in Source A?

  1. Why does Hitler make an ‘Appeal to the German People’ in Source B?

  1. Why did the author of Source E extol the virtues of Adolf Hitler?

  1. Was the opinion expressed in Source F on the Rohm Revolt held by the majority of the German people?

  1. What light does Source G shed on Hitler’s lifestyle?

  1. Compare Sources E, G and H about the nature of Hitler’s rule?

  1. What light do Sources I and J shed on Hitler’s economic policies?

Section Two: The Nazi Social and Racial Revolution:

Source A

The German Labour Front is set up in 1933.

The German Labour Front is the organisation for all working men, irrespective of their economic or social standing. In it the worker shall stand alongside the employer, no longer separated into groups and associations which serve to perpetuate special economic or social distinctions or interests. In the German Labour Front a person’s worth will be the deciding factor, be he worker or employer …

(The Hitler State, Martin Broszat, Longman, 1981)

Source B

Robert Ley on the Nazi work ethic in 1936.
There is one thing we must understand if we are to comprehend the greatness of this time: we are not dealing with a new state system, or a new economic system… Human being are being transformed … National Socialism has the power to free the German people, the individual German, from the injuries inflicted on him which have prevented from performing his task … Of course we do not have a comfortable life. Life on this earth is hard and must be earned through struggle, and earned every day afresh. All we can do is to give you the strength for this struggle, to make you inwardly strong. We can give the worker physical and spiritual health, healthy housing, and a proper livelihood with which to maintain himself and his children. Above all, thanks to Kraft durch Freude, we can offer him a great deal to nourish his spirit.

(Fascism, Roger Gribbon (Ed), Oxford University Press, 1995)

Source C

An interview with an unnamed member of the Nazi Party in 1936.
for five years I remained unemployed and I was broken both in body and spirit and I learned how stupid were all my dreams in those hard days at university. I was not wanted by Germany…then I was introduced to Hitler. You won’t understand and I cannot explain either because I don’t know what happened, but life for me took on a tremendous new significance … I have committed myself, body, soul and spirit, to this movement … I can only tell you that I cannot go back. I cannot question, I am pledged. I beg you not to try to set up conflict in my mind.

(from Hitler and Nazism, Jane Jenkins, Longman, 1998)
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