Consolidation of Power
Hitler ensured for himself the loyalty of broad segments of the population through the reduction of mass unemployment, from which 6 million people were affected at the time he came to power. The regimentation of salaries and prices, as well as an extensive programme of state-supported building projects (motorways, housing complexes) resulted in such a strong economic recovery that the number of unemployed sunk to lees than half already in 1934.
Intending to make Germany «capable of war» again, Hitler met with the approval of many who felt the demilitarisation enforced by the Treaty of Versailles to be a humiliation.
In June 1934 Hitler consolidated his position as Fuehrer (Leader) of the National Socialists which, in the first months of his leadership, were hardly beyond dispute, by eliminating his domestic political rivals Ernst Röhm and Gregor Strasser (the «Röhm Putsch»).
Although Hitler risked confrontation with the victorious powers of the First World War through his aggressive and expansive foreign policy (withdrawal from the League of Nations, breach of the Treaty of Versailles and the Munich Agreement), these powers could not decide upon an appeasement policy. So German troops marched unhindered into Austria (1938) and Czechoslovakia (1939).