1932 Poster: Work and Food

Nazi Economic Policy 1933-39

Nazi Economy, Nazi Germany

 The Nazi Economy is an important part of many courses at GCSE and A-Level. Different specifications have different time scales attached to the economy. Some stop, as this post does, at 1939 whilst others include the War Economy – which will be covered in a separate post. 

This post is essentially a compilation of online materials about the Nazi Economy in the period 1933 – 1939. It has been put together as the result of a request from a teacher who is looking for additional resources to use when teaching the OCR GCSE controlled assessment on the Nazi Economy. We intend to add posts and additional resources about specific elements of the Nazi Economy over the next few weeks.

Please share your resources or links by adding a comment at the bottom of the page.


1932 Poster: Work and Food
A Nazi Poster from 1932. Entitled Work and Food.

Background and Narrative Materials:

SFA History provide a really useful overview of the way that Life in Nazi Germany changed. This helps pupils to understand the context in which the Economic changes and policies were being introduced.

Wikipedia have an article dedicated to the Economy under the Nazi Regime. As usual, there are hyperlinks included to relevant people, departments and political ideas and pieces of legislation.

History Learning Site provides an excellent overview of the way in which the German Economy was managed by the Nazi Regime. As the site is written by an experienced teacher, it tackles key issues that are on the curriculum.

Women in the Nazi Ideology and Nazi Economy. A detailed article about the role of women in the Nazi Economy.

Revision Aids:

BBC Bitsesize. 5 pages from the BBC on the issue of the nazi Economy and the way it changed life for those living in Nazi Germany. Based on the WJEC syllabus.

Another BBC Bitsesize entry about the Nazi Economy. This time, not board specific.

Interactive Diagram on the Nazi Economy

1935 Poster: Hitler is Building so help by buying German goods
1935 Poster: Hitler is Building so help by buying German goods

Audio Visual Resources:

How the Nazi’s reduced Unemployment. Teacher created. 8 minutes.

The Nazi Economic Miracle. Uploaded by R Tarr.

The Four Year Plan. Teacher created. 5 minutes.

How Hitler tackled Unemployment and revived Germany’s economy. 49 minutes.

Bread and Work. 3 minute long clip from the fabulous History File: Nazi Germany

The Nazi Economy. A pupil created video. Quite different in it’s method of presenting the facts – but something that many pupils will find engaging and accessible.

The Nazi Economy 1933-1939. Aimed at A-Level, lecture with visual aids. 21 minutes.

A short Go Animate cartoon involving, erm, Schacht and Goerring discussing their policies. Midly amusing and does provide a succinct overview of the main points.


1936: Germans buy German Goods
1936 Poster: Germans buy German Goods

Teaching Resources:

Nazi Economy. Powerpoint Presentation uploaded to TES Resources

The Education Forum. Notes and tasks in a pdf document.

Lesson plan and resources on the Nazi Economy. This makes use of Paul Ginnis’ Quick on the Draw technique and is adaptable for purposes of differentiation, or to suit different lengths of lesson.

Did the Nazi’s perform an Economic Miracle by the outbreak of the Second World War? A resource sheet to help pupils write a good essay length answer to the question.

German Workers in Nazi Germany. Writing frame and peer assessment activity.

Were Germans better off under the Nazi’s? Powerpoint and a selection of worksheets.

How did Hitler deal with Unemployment and the workforce? Notes.

Hitler’s Economic Policies. Lesson plan and resources.


Quizlet flashcards on the Nazi Economy. Aimed at AS Level pupils but useful for many GCSE classes. Ideal for use on an IWB as a recap, revision or plenary activity.

Another Quizlet about terms relating to the Nazi Economy.

Word searches and Quizzes

Did Life Improve in Nazi Germany? Wordsearch on TES Resources.

Powerpoint based quiz on the Nazi Economy.

BBC Bitesize quiz on the Nazi Economy.

Quizblo quiz on the Nazi Economy.

1938 Poster relating to the Work Programme
1938 Poster relating to the Work Programme


Hjalmar Schacht and the Reich’s economy

Hjalmar Schacht – from the Spartacus Encyclopedia

Schacht’s involvement with the Nazi Government – from Wikipedia

Herman Goering and the 4 Year Plan: 1936-40 – from GCSEhistory.org.uk



Articles and opinion:

WWII Myths – The German war economy was mismanaged. 

Marxist Update: Political economy of Germany: 1933-1945

Source material:

The Nazi party did not adopt work creation as a key part of its programme until the late spring of 1932, and it retained that status for only eighteen months, until December 1933, when civilian work creation spending was formally removed from the priority list of Hitler’s government … [Work creation] was in sharp contrast to the three issues that truly united the nationalist right . . . the triple priority of rearmament, repudiating Germany’s foreign debts and saving German agriculture … It was Hitler’s action on these three issues not work creation that truly marked the dividing line between the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. (Adam Tooze, The Wages of Destruction, Viking, 2006, pp. 24–5)

On 18 October [1936] Goering was given Hitler’s formal authorization as general plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan. On the following days he presented decrees empowering him to take responsibility for virtually every aspect of economic policy, including control of the business media. (Tooze, pp. 223–24.)

 This office (theReichswirtschaftsministerium in Nazi Germany) tells the shop managers what and how to produce, at what prices and from whom to buy, at what prices and to whom to sell. It assigns every worker to his job and fixes his wages. It decrees to whom and on what terms the capitalists must entrust their funds. Market exchange is merely a sham. Source Mises.org

External link – Hitler’s secret memo on Autarky (PDF File), August 1936.