The German Economic Miracle: The Results

German Economic Miracle
Figure 1.--Economists after World War looking at German cities reduced to piles of rubble thought it would take a generatiion for Germany to recover. Yet by the mid-1950s, Germans were more prosperous than ever before. The Vokwagen was the symbol of that recovery--the German Economic Miracle. Photographs like this in front of the family car were common in America before the War--but not in Germany and the rest of Europe.

The German Economic Miracle was fully underway by the 1950s. Conditions were tight, but improving rapidkly in the early-50s. One outcome of the destruction of old plants was that by the end of the decade, Germany had the most modern industrial plant in Europe. And workers were receiving higher wages than ever before. Parents at last had some disposable income in the 1950s. Most spent frugally, but at last they were able to afford the basics. Mothers could once again begin to exercize their interest in fashion. hey began spending on other items suh as fashionable clothes and treats for the children. There was a trenendous renewal of economic conditions during the 1950s. Germany by the late 50s had returned to prosperous economic condditions, at least in the west. Families were earning good incomes and expenditures for food and clothing increased substantially. And Germany was not just returning to pre-War prosperity. The Germnan people by the mid-50s were reporting incomes any one that ever experienced in Germany. We see working-class families with cars for the first time. In fact, nothig symbolized the German Economic Miricle more than the Volkwagen--the peopkle's csar first envisioned by the NAZIs before the War. Despite the fact that the German industrial plant was destroyed, the recovery in German took place faster than in Britain. It is difficult to see any major difference between the two countries beyond the Germn Christian Democratic Government which was friendly toward business and the Brirish Labour (Socialist) Government intent on government operation of major industril sectors.


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Created: 4:59 AM 9/8/2009
Last updated: 4:59 AM 9/8/2009