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Crisis in Germany
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Crisis in Germany

Unemployed people standing in line in front of an employment office in Hanover in 1930. Germany had lost the First World War, and had to pay large reparations to Britain and France. Parts of Germany were occupied by the victorious countries’ armies. People felt humiliated.


A large part of the German population became unemployed and poor after the stock market crash in 1929. There was a great deal of crime and anger in German living rooms and in the streets. Millions were unsure about their future and that of their children. Many people no longer trusted politicians who promised a lot, but failed to improve the situation of the masses. A once powerful and proud nation was reduced to a state of despair.

Unemployment in Germany

In 1932 almost one in three Germans were unemployed:

19291,9 million (9,6 %)
19303,1 million (15,7 %)
19314,5 million (23,9 %)
19325,6 million (30,8 %)

No money for food

In the book The Nazis: a warning from history (Laurence Rees, 1997), eyewitness Bruno Hähnel remembers:

"In those days there were long lines of unemployed people every Friday in front of the employment offices, where they would be given five Marks at the counter. This was a new and totally different situation. Many people simply didn’t have any money to buy food."
Copyright photo: akg-images, Berlin
Anne Frank Guide
This day in history
Today: 15 November 2018
Then: 16 November 1942

Fritz Pfeffer (Albert Dussel) goes into hiding in the secret annex.

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