'Hitler just wanted to make Germany great,' Candace Owens of Trump-aligned TPUSA says in London


…is largely a myth.

a) The Nazis were crap at economics, and

b) They wasted a huge proportion of their resources building armaments.

The Nazi economy required the constant input of plunder to sustain itself.


How exactly did Hitler achieve this economic success before his party became popular?


Sure it was. Germany went from over 30% unemployment in the depression to full employment by 1938. Much of that was financed through deficit spending on rearmament, with the idea being that Germany would pay for it all through conquest and it’s new lebensraum. The populace didn’t care so much about the sustainability or morality of such a system, it seems, so long as they had jobs and Hitler was MGGA.


Nazis were also funded by capitalists to a degree that the ones that were “just” racists who wanted more power for the proletariat got removed from the party well before it came to power.


So a complete figleaf economy is “turning the economy around”. Ok…

By 1938 being the key phrase there.

Hitler seized power in 1933, with the NSDAP having had significant electoral success in 1930 (but no actual power or influence over the economy). That was followed by massive electoral success in 1932 which then lead to the appointment as Chancellor and a series of utterly illegal moves to dictatorship.

Hitler’s popularity in the economic area can at best be subscribed to a hope for jobs and prosperity rather than a response to providing any such.

Unemployment was already falling prior to Hitler coming to power and oddly enough converting your economy to a full war-time footing (and locking up anyone who can’t/won’t work) has a way of massaging the unemployment numbers beautifully.



1938 Nazi Germany, by definition, did not have full employment.

I’m sure you didn’t mean to include death camp inmates as being “employed”.



The lesson being not to let them even get a toehold.


Sure, rather like Trump’s popularity among the MAGA crowd is based on hope and his (probably empty) promises, as well as a similar xenophobia. But by the time Hitler’s popularity and personality cult reaches its zenith in the run-up to war, he has Made Germany Great Again. Followed, eventually, by its almost complete destruction. unnamed


This is one of the reasons why the appeasement of Germany in 1938, and the Munich agreement, was so big a mistake in hindsight. The Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia allowed them to temporarily stabilize their economy, which was well on the way to bankruptcy by then, letting them move onto Poland next.

(There’s also the fact that the Germans looted the exceptionally well-equipped and armed Czechoslovakian army’s materiel, as well as gained the Czechoslovakian industrial base intact – some of which was also outright looted and transferred into Germany. All in all, the delay bought at Munich helped Germans vastly more than it did the British or the French.)


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It’s fun looking at the pre-war and early war armaments and how refined many of them were - and then compare them to the late war stuff where it was like, "We need this built way cheaper and way faster.

We Czechs had some decent arms industry back then (Still do, with CZ). You can find all kinds of weird stuff from all over with Nazi proofs. They used what ever they could find and confiscate.


So again, tiresomely…

…fascism is historically not good for economies, unless you are the kind of Hitler’s Advocate monster who would define a “good economy” as slave labor death camps and confiscated homes, businesses, and industries, and a raise in GDP as “positive” even though it’s directly based on building arms, death camps, and looting neighbouring economies, all to get a few years of “good numbers”. And even then, your “good numbers” are only as good as 1927, which didn’t need Nazi atrocities to achieve.

Fascism was not actually great for economies, though it is often and loudly propagandised as being great for economies.


The point, which you seem to be missing, is that the German people didn’t care about the nitty gritty of whether their arms-and-genocide fueled econony was sustainable or moral; they cared only that they all had jobs and Germany is Great Again, and Heil Hitler! As such, it’s a worrying precedent; if the American economy continues to improve, will Americans care about the bastard propelling it, or will Trump get voted in again?


And, you are reading that chart wrong. By 1937 the gross national income (purple line) is much higher than in 1927. You are looking at the year-over-year percentage improvement.


Yes the GNP in your chart is higher overall, but that’s based on how many more war munitions they were producing. That doesn’t end up in the average German worker’s pocket as bonus take-home pay.

My point wasn’t based on your chart. The economy for Germany was about as good for the average worker in 1927 and it wasn’t an economy based on Nazi atrocities.

If you’re worried about Trump, then reducing the rise of Nazis to a some successful bump of “economic optimism” doesn’t help. People didn’t remove the Nazis from power just because they felt warm and fuzzy in their jobs. The Nazis had power before everyone had munitions factory jobs.

The lesson here isn’t “Fascist leaders were economic geniuses”, it’s “When people let themselves be convinced by racist scapegoat arguments, they’ll vote for a strong man with no demonstrated ability to avoid ruining an economy.”


Again, they jailed, murdered, or ethnically cleanse large portions of the German population and gave those jobs to ethnic germans. I also suspect they “cooked the books” on their employment numbers on top of all that violence.


How dare you! If there is one group of people we can take at their word it’s surely the Nazis.

Back in the real world, no one deserves credit for reducing poverty through their “kill the poor” strategy. People need to remember that economic metrics are metrics, that is, they are proxy measurements that give us a sense of the thing we really care about. They are not the thing we really care about. Mass murder impacts the metric, but not the underlying thing that we were hoping to improve to begin with.

But in @jonathan_colvin’s defense I think they are trying to say that if the theft and murder worked for the people who benefited from it then that’s what mattered to the Nazis to hold onto power at the time and that’s what may work for a future dictator here (wherever here is). Murdering people who weren’t going to vote for you, taking their stuff, and giving it to the people who did vote for you doesn’t really “help the economy” in normal terms, but it “helps the economy” in the terms that are important to your own supporters. And while we’d like to pretend that people would object to benefiting from such a scheme, it turned out a lot of people are willing to go along with it.


My point (and others here), though, is that it was not a solid economy for anyone. It was built on exploitation, violence, and expansion, with too much productivity going towards the armament build up. Even from the perspective of the beneficiaries, it probably became clear pretty quickly that it wasn’t really a solid economy. I suspect one of the major calculus for the invasion of Poland was to continue to cover up the real problems with the economy and find jobs for large numbers of men who would have soon had problems finding work. Just because they promoted an economic miracle doesn’t mean that it actually was. The belief that the Nazis turned the economy around pretty much comes straight out of their own propaganda, so it not be be believed in the slightest.


The point is that the rise in European fascism was directly related to the failures of capitalism to improve the lot of the average Hans. By promising to make the economy work for the common folk, while scapegoating minorities, Hitler became immensely popular, and by delivering (even if only superficially) on that promise, he secured and increased his power, eventually leading his country to ruin. The parallels to the orange-haired bastard are obvious…Trump capitalizes on the failures of globalism to improve the lot of the average Joe, scapegoats the Mexicans, his apparent economic gains are the result of deficit spending and tax cuts for the wealthy, and his toxic xenophobia hardly needs pointing out. But if the average Joe feels better off, will that matter? The Germans never did throw out Hitler…that took massive over-reach and Russian t-34s.