When a persistent economic crisis is not limited to one country, but affects a number of important economic powers, one speaks very generally of a “worldwide economic crisis”. A crisis like this can mean, for example, that there is high unemployment
in these countries, that the people don’t have any money to buy things anymore and that nothing more can be produced. In the language of economics, one would say that the cycle of production and consumption has been disrupted, creating a crisis.
If people in Germany talk about the worldwide economic crisis, they mostly mean the period between 1929 and 1933. On so-
called “Black Friday”, 25 October 1929, the value of shares worldwide took a sudden nosedive and there was a stock market collapse. The money that many people had invested in shares and securities
suddenly lost its value. The crisis spread rapidly throughout the world, particularly affecting the USA and Germany. At its climax, around 30 million people were made unemployed. Numerous companies went bankrupt and difficulties and many people lost their property and their jobs. And at the same time, the Nazis won more and more support among the people, who hoped they would provide a way out of the chaos and the unemployment.
Gerd Schneider/ Christiane Toyka-Seid