From Mining to Arms Production.
Prospects for the Upper Harz Region in the First Half of the 20th Century
In the 19th century, the formerly famous mining in the Upper Harz region had passed its zenith. Towards the end of the century, continuation of the mining operations was repeatedly called into question. Finally, after the turn of the century, one mine after another closed down. There were no alternative sources of income in the region once dominated by mining. This was particularly felt during the economic crisis in the 1930s. The Nazis knew how to capitalise on the bleak prospects for the region's inhabitants. Only a few years earlier most of the electorate had voted in favour of the Social Democrats, but now the votes polled by the Nazis were above the national average. Once they seized power, the Nazis created new jobs with their armaments industry. However, this production for destructive purposes did not bring about any lasting structural change in the Harz region. After the war, the inhabitants faced the same situation as in the early 1930s.