Publication Date

January 1981

Journal or Book Title

Journal of the American Planning Association


This paper is a review and analysis of the influence of the national government upon local city planning during the pre-war years of National Socialism (1933-1939). The paper begins with a brief overview of the critical aspects of city planning during both the Wilhelmian years (1871-1918) and the Weimar era (1918-1932). These aspects are reviewed in the context of their contributions to the city planning profession in general and to the German experience in particular. The paper then reviews the influence of ideology on city planning activities and follows with an explanation of the "state of the city" at the time the NSDAP came to power. The section on ideology precedes the "state of the city" section because most of the National Socialist (NSDAP) ideological stances were developed before the government came to power. A description and analysis of the bureaucratic framework and the city planning aspects of both the Recovery Years (1933-1936) and the NSDAP First Four Year Plan (1936-1939) is then presented. Finally, the paper concludes with an analysis and summary of the impact over time of the NSDAP supported city planning experience.


This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Journal of the American Planning Association c2006 Copyright American Planning Association; Journal of the American Planning Association is available online at