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Unemployed Man in Hamburg: I’m Looking for Work! (1934)
On February 1, 1933, in his first radio address as Reich Chancellor, Hitler declared that his most important goal was bringing widespread unemployment to a rapid end. The new government's economic and employment policy was based in part on job-creation measures that had already been initiated by Hitler's predecessors. They included, for example, road and apartment building programs and other public works projects. Government credits, subsidies, and tax breaks were supposed to stimulate private firms to hire new employees and revive the economy. These and other measures were now greatly expanded. According to some estimates, by the end of 1933 Hitler's government had made about five billion Reichsmarks available for employment programs; 3.6 billion Reichsmarks had been spent from these funds by 1936. The rapid expansion of the armaments industry created so many new jobs that in late 1934 the government decided to suspend all job-creation measures that were "not important for war." With the reintroduction of obligatory military service in May 1935, the numbers of the unemployed were further reduced, and the armaments industry began to suffer increasingly from a shortage of labor. Photo by Gerd Mingram [Germin].