The Seeds of Evil: The Rise of Hitler

The Seeds of Evil: Germany 1919 - 1933.

Economic Consequences of the War

The economic consequences of the war were dire for Germany. This diagram illustrates the cost of the war for each of the major participants:

The cost during the war was bordering on $40 Billion. Consider the fact that there has been 85 years of inflation since this expenditure, in modern terms this figure would be closer to $1100 Billion (Source: http://eh.net/hmit/ppowerbp/pound_question.php).

The German economy had suffered terribly during the war. Industrial output fell by over 40% between 1914 and 1918. Machinery was, at the end of the war, obsolete in many cases, run by ill trained people - remember that millions of working men had been killed in the war. The workforce was not physically fit enough to work as hard as required as food shortages had been so bad that, "Germans ate dogs, crows, zoo animals and rodents, and even the front-line troops were reduced to meager portions of horse-meat." Estimates suggest that up to 35% of all trade was organised illegally on the Black market. The economy also suffered from shortages of raw materials. From 1915 until the end of the war, Germans were forbidden to drive a car. The situation hardy improved as a result of the Armistice, the Germans hadn't the means to purchase fuel on a large scale and found it difficult to purchase raw materials in any case as the international community shunned them as a consequence of the war.

The Second Reich
The Founding of the Weimar Republic
The Impact of War
The Treaty of Versailles
Germany 1919 - 1923
Germany - Economic Recovery
The Early days of the Nazi Party 1919 - 1924
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Text © Schoolshistory.org.uk

Unit last updated 4th June 2004

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