Were the Nazi's aiming to prepare germany for war in the year 1933-39?

Essay by jimmyb0123 February 2005

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This is an important question to historians for many reasons. It helps us to discover whether Hitler genuinely had the welfare and wellbeing of Germans at heart when he created his policies or whether he knew that war was inevitable and he set about preparing for this.

The key economic reform takes place in the form of Hitler's secret memo, which was also known as the 4 year plan. This was a document produced in 1936 which highlighted what Hitler hoped and intended to achieve. The first idea was that of autarky. This was the intention to make Germany completely self sufficient. Hitler said that trade with foreign countries should be stopped if the good could be supplied from within Germany by saying "foreign exchange must be saved in all those areas where our needs can be satisfied by German production". The synthetic rubber industry also had to be seriously improved.

This was a crucial commodity for Germany, as they did not posses much real rubber and this could be used for so many things including military parts etc. One third of the raw materials Germany demanded had to be imported and these imports constituted mainly iron ore and rubber. In the secret memo Hitler states that there must be no more excuses and even goes as far as to make a threat to the private industries saying; "either we posses today a private industry, in which case its job is to rack its brains about methods of production, or we believe that it is the governments job...in that case we have no further need of private industry." This basically says that if private industries cannot create ways of producing this valuable synthetic rubber, al private enterprise will be banned and the government will take on the task of...