The Nazi propaganda machine made much about the country’s economic growth between 1913 and 1937, the result of a “successful” Four Year Plan that was managed by Hermann Goering. However, when the figures for economic growth are actually compared with others countries – both in Europe and elsewhere – they show that Nazi Germany trailed behind many other nations. If 1913 is taken as a baseline and is shown as 100, by 1937, many other countries had outstripped Nazi Germany. In 1913 Germany was seen as a threatening industrial powerhouse by some other European states in the lead up to World War One, so the 1937 figure could be seen as being slanted when compared to 1913. However the Nazi government had been in power since January 1933 and thus had a good four years to push forward their economy and their economic growth to attain what Hitler wanted – autarky – self-sufficiency. If 1913 is used as a baseline figure, then only France out of the major industrial powers of Western Europe was below Nazi Germany in terms of economic growth. America was nearly 40 points higher.  


1913 = 100 baseline figure


USA = 172


Sweden = 174


Italy = 154


UK = 146


Germany = 136


France = 121


June 2012