German Economy on War Footing

Tuesday 13th October 1936

A speech by Rudolf Hess, the deputy Führer, brought a combination of favourable press comment and a slump on the Berlin stock exchange. Hess stridently affirmed that German national policy was to aim for the completest possible independence, in practice for autarky as set out in the four year plan with the goal of complete self-sufficiency. Implicitly the German economy was on a war footing.Wages and prices were to be controlled centrally.

The speech marked a defeat for the traditional free market views championed by Hjalmar Horace Greely Schacht, President of the Reichsbank, who would have preferred Germany to join other countries in economic collaboration. In practice this would have meant a devaluation of the Reichsmark, anathema to both Nazis and the middle classes.


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