Great Depression: US and Germany

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by Venassina
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies

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Great Depression: US and Germany

Because Germany was dependant on the United States with regards to war reparations, the American Depression greatly affected the already feeble German economy. Investors in Germany had a similar initial response to the news of the crash as in the United States, which was to rush to the banks to withdraw their money, as depicted in the picture below. Unemployment was even a greater problem in Germany making panhandling and homelessness a widespread phenomenon of German streets. Churches and private sectors represented the main form of aid to civilians as the Heinrich Brüning Administration failed to respond effectively taking action only towards minimizing spending, which further damaged the economy and gave way to the rise of Hitler and spread of communism.

On October 29, 1929, the Wall Street Market crashes, creating an unprecedented economic disaster. Investors panic and run to the bank to withdraw what was left of their savings, which was not much. A general state of panic dominates society. Unemplyment caused workers to demand relief efforts from the government, but until their needs are met, some resorted to other forms of income as depicted in the picture below.

The Great Depression


This is a satiristic song from the movie "Gold Diggers of 1933" by Joan BlondellThe song sarcastically shows the daily struggles of the average individuals during the Great Depression.

United States


Comparison of U.S.'s and Germany's reaction to latter part of Great Depression: After the initial response to the Great Depression, both Franklin D. Roosevelt of the U.S. and Adolf Hitler of Germany, took tremendous action toward rebuilding their countries. Roosevelt enacted the New Deal with a series of programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps, Farm Security Administration, and the Work Progress Administration to provide jobs for the unemployed, in building public works to improve the fallen nation. Hitler responded to the Great Depression with similar actions by building the autobahns, the highways system, providing jobs for the unemployed in Germany. He also created a sense of Nationalism within the country with his Four Year Plan and propaganda (Strength Through Joy and buying only German goods) hoping to create a more stable and self-reliant Germany. Comparatively, Roosevelt and Hitler both took extreme measures to alleviate their countries, gaining much opposition in the process, but in the long run, they succeeded in their initial goal, which was to take their countries out of the Great Depression.

These two articles are examples of the the misleading American press that depicted a false state of Germany's depression (1930).





LEFT: "A typical campaign scene with Nazi posters on display next to the Center Party, Communists, Socialists and others."RIGHT: "May Day 1930 brings a huge turn-out of pro-communist Berliners expressing admiration of Soviet Russia, and thus, Hitler."

RIGHT: "Unemployed queing at an employment office in Hanover in 1930."

LEFT: "Charity supply of poor people by the Protestant church in Berlin in 1931"

ABOVE: Hitler at the opening of the Autobahn, the new highway system in Germany.

ABOVE: "A rally on Wall street, because they refused to buy tickets to aid the unemployed."

“Germans buy German goods/ German Week/German Goods/German Labor.”


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