Chapter : 3. Nazism And The Rise Of Hitler

(D) The Years of Depression

(D) The Years of Depression:
German investments and industrial recovery were totally dependent on short term loans, largely from the USA. On one single day, 24 October, 13 million shares were sold in Wall Street Exchange. This was the start of the Great Economic Depression. The German economy was the worst hit by the economic crisis. Workers lost their jobs or were paid reduced wages. As jobs disappeared, the youth took to criminal activities and total despair became a commonplace. The economic crisis created deep anxieties and fears in people. The currency lost its value. Sections of society were filled with the fear of proletarianisation, an anxiety of being reduced to the ranks of the working class, or worse still, the unemployed. The large mass of peasantry was affected by a sharp fall in agricultural prices and women, unable to fill their children's stomachs, were filled with a sense of deep despair. Politically too the Weimer Republic was fragile. The Weimer constitution had some inherent defects, which made it unstable and vulnerable to dictatorship. Proportional, representation and Article 48 were its major shortcomings. People lost confidence in the democratic parliamentary system, which seemed to offer no solutions.

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