The introduction of Fascism brought major changes the German economy. First, the free market system was replaced by a system of government intervention. Second, the political democracy, which was the previous system for governmental control of the economy, was replaced by the ruthless dictatorship of Adolf Hitler. And third, labor organizations, such as unions, were abolished. Essentially, Hitler was priming Germany for a wartime economy.
The new economic policies’ effects on the common German citizen were quickly felt, as public works (i.e. the autobahn) and military rearmament employed millions. In fact, the German unemployment rate declined the fastest of any country during the Great Depression. The Nazi Finance Ministry created programs that aimed to make Germany self-sufficient to fight a war, such as programs to construct rubber, steel and textile plants. Under Finance Minister Hermann Goering imports were severely limited, wages and prices were controlled and industrial dividends were restricted. The German people were satisfied with Nazi economic policies, as they had ended the Great Depression, however, these policies actually weakened the German economy’s ability to support the military later on, contributing to the Nazis’ eventual defeat.
DeLong, J. Bradford. “Slouching Towards Utopia?: The Economic History of the Twentieth Century. XV. Nazis and Soviets” 1997. University of California at Berkeley. Sept. 21, 2009. http://econ161.berkeley.edu/TCEH/Slouch_Purge15.html
Nathan, Otto. The Nazi Economic System: Germany’s Mobilization for War. Duke University Press. 1944.