To what extent was Nazi Germany's economic development form 1933 onward "unsustainable"? And what effect did it have, if any, on their decision to go to war when they did? (self.AskHistorians)
16 ups - 1 downs = 15 votes
Forgive me, I searched the FAQs and found questions relating to the idea of the German economic miracle in general, but I couldn't find any threads dealing with this specific question. Also, if this is too much of a "what if" type of question, I apologize and can take it to a different subreddit.
I just happened after random Wikipedia browsing to end up reading a lot about the lead-up to WWII, and I'm wondering what the historical consensus is regarding Germany's economic development after the Nazis came into power.
Did their use of the state to basically direct the development of Germany's industries for the purpose of preparing for war have the inadvertent effect of making their economy unstable such that eventually they would have had to start a war over economic concerns? I know that Hitler had always had the goal of starting a war of expansion eventually, but is it possible the economic instability forced the regime's hand and made them pursue that war earlier? In the absence of the German initiation of WWII, what would have continued to happen to their economy, given the policies they were pursuing?
I'm not a historian by any means, but I took a bunch of history classes in college, and I recall in a Western Civ course that my professor said that in his opinion, the Nazi economy's outer appearance was a flimsy facade, and that the only way it functioned as long as it did was because the Nazis looted the treasuries of the countries they conquered in order to sustain the homeland's economy a bit longer.
9 comments submitted at 17:40:51 on May 9, 2013 by Jazz-Cigarettes