Crisis and insecurity

The experiences during, between and after the two world wars continue to exert great influence on German thinking. During both wars the economy was geared fully towards producing armaments. There was little material, money and manpower to supply everyday consumer goods.

The years between the wars were filled with civil war type unrest, weak governments, and several phases of inflation including a dramatic hyper-inflation. The years after the Second World War were marked by hunger, lack of housing, severe winters, high unemployment and a fear of what the future would bring.

The entire West German economy had to be rebuilt. This was achieved surprisingly fast due to the generous and far-sighted help of the Western allies and on the production of high-quality technical products. After nearly thirty years of instability, unpredictability and hardship, there was a strong demand among the German people for reliable, durable, high quality products. The Germans wanted security and predictability.

The German product philosophy has not changed, even though there are few alive who experienced the war years. The experiences were so dramatic that they have been passed on to the younger generations. German products which carry the name Bosch, Siemens or Volkswagen speak to the experiences of both earlier and current generations.