How did German life change under the Nazi Regime?


In 1932, there were 12.6 million employed people in Germany, down from 18 million before the Great Depression. From 1932 to 1933, the number of those employed in Germany had increased by 0.5 million to 13.1, but somehow, other statistics show that the number of unemployed had decreased by 1.9 million from 5.6 to 3.7 from 1932 to 1933. This is because the Nazis removed certain groups of people from the unemployment rate, such as minorities. No doubt, the Nazis used this specific figure as propaganda.

Income & Wages

Although wages increased from 87.7 in 1933 to 108.5 in 1938 (according to the Money wages index), German people still suffered.

This is linked to certain areas of industry and the economy benefitting from Nazi policies more than others. 

While the increase in income from 1933 to 1938 for big businesses was 116%, one out of five small businesses actually closed down, as a result of government investment in monopolies. Meanwhile, the income of farmers increased by 41% and for industrial workers, they had an increase of just 25% from 1933 to 1938, while they also faced an increase in their average working week hours before overtime, increasing from 43 hours in 1933 to 47 hours in 1939. 

Autarky and Food Consumption

Germany had failed to achieve autarky, and agricultural prices rose by 20%.

Although they had achieved self-sufficiency in bread grains, potatoes and sugar, they were unable to achieve it in other important foodstuffs, such as vegetables, meat, eggs and fats. 

In fact, food consumption in working-class families decreased significantly. Some key figures include that, from 1927 to 1937, consumption of beef decreased by 58.7%, consumption of eggs by 41.3%, wheat bread by 44.2%, tropical fruits by 37.1% and meat products by 18.3%. 

Public Welfare

However, the Nazi Government did significantly enhance the quality of Public Welfare. From 1932 to 1938, the public expenditure increased from 17.1 billion marks to 37.1 billion marks. This demonstrates a drastic increase in public welfare as the government spent more money on the public. Therefore, public welfare improved significantly as the quality of transportation and quantity of construction increased (60,000 new homes built), providing more facilities to the public and improving infrastructure.