Even the strongest critic of the new Germany had to acknowledge that by the end of 1936, Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist government had lifted the state from economic distress and near collapse to one of full employment and fi nancial growth. The introduction of the fi rst Four Year Plan, combined with a variety of social and political measures, had proven so successful that the German recovery was being hailed abroad as a model of planned economy. A favorable public image of Adolf Hitler, both at home and abroad, had grown with each government program, and the earlier negative views of National Socialism were fading into the background. If there were some doubters, their criticisms were drowned out by the masses of the German public who reveled in the spectacular rise of power and prestige now enjoyed by Germany in the international arena. Hitler’s policies had weakened the League of Nations, his troops had reoccupied the Rhineland, a Rome-Berlin axis had been formed with the powerful fascist leader Benito Mussolini, German forces were assisting Francisco Franco in his war against the Spanish Republic, and Berlin was chosen as the site for the Olympic Games of 1936!