Unemployed Men Standing in Front of the Berlin Employment Office (June 22, 1933)
The persistent worldwide depression and the mass unemployment associated with it were among the main catalysts for the general radicalization of the political climate in Germany – a process from which the NSDAP benefited more than any other party. In 1932, when the crisis reached its peak, about 6 million people were registered as unemployed in Germany. Together with their families, they constituted at least one-fifth of the population, and the true number of those affected was probably higher. Women, for instance, often failed to register with the authorities when they were dismissed from positions. Furthermore, millions of workers who kept their jobs often had to accept drastic decreases in their salaries and hours. No sector of the economy and no stratum of the population was spared, but industry was hit particularly hard. Between 1928 and 1932, the number of unemployed in Berlin (then Germany's largest industrial center) rose from 133,000 to 600,000; in Hamburg, from 32,000 to 135,000; and in Dortmund from 12,000 to 65,000. Photo by Hans Schaller.