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‘hitler’s Government Totally Mismanaged the German Economy in the Period 1939-45.’ Assess the Validity of This View.

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‘Hitler’s government totally mismanaged the German economy in the period 1939-45.’ Assess the validity of this view.

Ultimately, Hitler’s government mismanaged the German economy during the Second World War to a great extent. The late acceptance of total war in 1942 meant that German economy in the first 3 years of the war had been inefficient, trailing behind the great advances of the Allies. Instead of a collaborative support within Germany and a clear unified direction the German economy would take, there were several organisations with competing power, these including Goering’s Office of the Four Year Plan and the Economic Ministry. However, the government did not totally mismanage the German economy, especially after the acceptance of total war, this evident through the appointment of Speer in 1942 as the Minister of Armaments. Speer greatly increased Germany’s productivity, setting up a Central Planning Board to co-ordinate economic organisation and also encouraging both women and foreign labourers to work, thus increasing efficiency. However, there were limitations to even these measures, the harsh treatment and malnourishment faced by slave labourers resulting in their productivity being significantly lower than those of the German workers. The Allied mass bombing campaign, which disrupted production and transport facilities, put a greater strain on the economy, prompting a prioritisation of the diversion of resources towards civilian needs over the effective management of the economy. Despite the great area across Europe the Nazi regime had taken control of, from which resources and raw materials could be exploited, they failed to make effective use of their enormous economic assets and throughout the war, German productivity remained lower than that of the Allies.

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