By Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich
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Additional info for An Economic and Social History of Europe from 1939 to the Present
The extermination of the Jews continued, as did the relocation and employment of foreign labour under conditions ensuring low productivity and high mortality. These appalling human disasters interfered with the prosecution of the war, diverted and destroyed incalculable resources, and actually created resistance movements in important sections of western Russia. Speer's attempts to redirect resources into industry and armaments were resisted by Nazi party leaders at every level, sometimes effectively.
The first labour governments had already served in Britain, France, Spain and Scandinavia; throughout Europe indeed even the most extreme right-wing movements had claimed to represent the true interests of the working class . The postwar vogue of economic planning also rested on prewar developments. Theoretically, the writings of Keynes in the west and the experience of Soviet Marxism in the east promised more effective approaches to economic management. Practically, all governments had intervened extensively in their domestic economies during the 1930s, and the League of Nations and a large number of more limited agreements 50 AN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF EUROPE foreshadowed postwar international political and economic cooperation as well.
During the next three years employment increased by nineteen million, while average plant utilisation rose from 40 to 90 hours per week between 1939 and 1944. Output per hour of labour - already double German levels and five times that of Japan - rose further. Entering the war 40 AN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL HISTORY OF EUROPE late and remaining secure from attack, the United States could afford the luxury of relatively extensive planning of increases in military output, and as in Britain the government could rely on a large measure of voluntary sacrifice.
An Economic and Social History of Europe from 1939 to the Present by Frank B. Tipton, Robert Aldrich