Wirtschaftswunder primarily the rapid reconstruction and the continuous economic upswing of the Federal Republic of Germany are called after the currency reform from June 1948. Also the upswing of Austria after the Second World War is partly in such a way called, likewise the economic upswing in the German Reich between 1890/96 and 1914.

The first German Wirtschaftswunder (1890-1914)

After the won French-German war 1870/71 the again formed German Reich was in a political supremacy in Europe, which did not express itself economically however first (period of promoterism). This changed only after 1890 with the overcoming of the “large depression” (1871-1896). The eve of the First World War Germany finally had with 1948 US Dollar the world-wide highest GROS DOMESTIC PRODUCT per head (Great Britain: 1468 US Dollar) and lay with a portion of the world industrial production of 16% before Great Britain (14%). To the USA with a portion of 36 per cent Germany was thus the second largest national economy of the world. The period of 1890 to 1914 is designated therefore partly also than first German Wirtschaftswunder. This designation was hardly used however at the time at that time. The phase after the collapse of the stock market of 1873 (to at the beginning of of 1896) was felt of the contemporaries despite altogether clearly upward the arranged development even as long crisis phase relating to market conditions. At 1896 began then however a dynamic upswing, which lasted with only small fluctuations until 1914.

The “actual” (second) Wirtschaftswunder around 1955

Conditions for (second) German Wirtschaftswunder were the abolishment of the central economic control and the price administration in the course of the currency reform of 1948 and the following, consistently economiceconomics legislation. Against a wide-spread opinion the economic aid facilitated the reconstruction and concomitantly the Wirtschaftswunder by the Mars resounding plan noticeably, but does not cause by any means. This results already from the fact that others received, hardly destroyed countries of Europe per head and also absolutely far higher achievement from the Mars resounding plan, without it would have come there to a comparable restaurant bloom. Thus Great Britain received 3.6 billion, France 3.1 billion US Dollar and the Netherlands 1.0 billion US Dollar. Extremely destroyed (west) Germany received however only 1.4 billion US Dollar.

Up to the end of the 50’s the Federal Republic developed for the second-strongest restaurant nation of the world to the USA. This position had Germany already before the First World War, at that time however on one more than twice as large national territory. Ludwig Erhard, who was from 1949 to 1963 a minister of economics of the German Federal Republic, placed the political switches of the Wirtschaftswunders. In the consciousness of the population the restaurant miracle time was the end of the post-war period, because one looked now more mher into the future. That was more crucial as national contracts with “winner powers” or historically unique moments like the “miracle of Berne”

The starting situation in the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria

The Wirtschaftswunder came off despite a catastrophic initial position: Nearly 4.3 million men were in the Second World War please, been mutilating hundredthousands or blindly, to 1948/49 further hundredthousands in war shank (the latter only 1955 became to dismiss). A part of the technical and administrative elite of the country in the west due to his LV load for several years one interned. Millions young men had received due to war and shank no or only a rudimentary professional training.

Several million dwellings were totally destroyed by the anglo American or damaged, likewise the traffic infrastructure and the power supply. A quarter of the country – which for the nutrition and coal supply of important east areas – was lost by driving out, which was at most industrialized Central German area as part of the SBZ/DDR excluded from the reconstruction practically, the Saarland stood until 1957 under French administration. Germany had lost, likewise all patents and patent rights all public and a large part of the private foreign asset. A part remained industries receive were dismantled, particularly in the SBZ, in addition, in the west zones. The destroyed West Germany – was limited to starting from 1948 the Wirtschaftswunder, because the economic system of the GDR did not permit an upswing – had to take up 1945 and 1948 approximately 12 million refugees between.

In addition came crew politics of the Western powers, which did not have the rapid economic recovery of Germany until at least 1947 by any means as a goal. Thus the passenger traffic between the three west zones remained until 1948 limited, also the currency reform demanded of experts of economic politics such as Ludwig Erhard since summer 1945 first was already refused.

It is this initial position, which let the Wirtschaftswunder – also and straight in the perception of the contemporaries at home and abroad – appear

Since the realm Mark was to a large extent cancelled after the war, this was replaced on 21 June 1948 by the German Marks, in the three western zones of occupation. This currency reform created the condition for an economic consolidation and smoothed the way for the entry to the ERP, also Mars resounding plan admits “under the name “. Few days later the delivery “of the Frankfurt documents took place “. The 1. Document contained the authorization of the heads of the government to call up a meeting of the eleven federal state parliament so that an appropriate central power and fundamental rights can be prepared, in order to repair so the German unit. 2. Document contained the request to suggest changes of the frontiers within the west zones and the 3. Document contained the demand to specify fundamentals of a future crew status. This Frankfurt documents represented “the birth certificate ” then of the 1949 to formally created Federal Republic of Germany. Thus afterwards a gradual re-establishment of the economic and social order followed. 1949 became Ludwig Erhard Federal Minister for economics and brought the concept of the social free-market economy into the government.

In Austria ran the development altogether similarly as in Germany. After the realm Mark had become rather worthless, 1945 the Austrian Schilling was already introduced again and hard currency politics were operated. Thus Austria qualified itself 1947 for the Mars resounding plan and could rebuild and modernize fastened industries with US assistance faster. In the year 1952 pure hard became Kamitz Minister of Finance; he pursued a policy of the social free-market economy together with Federal Chancellor Julius Raab.