The 1930s refers to the period from 1930 to 1939. The decade was marked by famines, the deepening of the economic crisis triggered by the 1929 stock market crash, the rise of extremism, wars and international tensions, and the outbreak of the Second World War.
1927: construction of the liner Ile-de-France by the Penhoêt shipyard in Saint-Nazaire for the General Transatlantic company. Between 1931 and 1933, famine caused almost 11 million deaths in the USSR and China.
In 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. In Russia, Stalin eliminated all his opponents. Franco seized power in Spain.
1936: paid holidays made their first appearance in France, influencing the lifestyle of people seeking more relaxed clothing to enjoy their newfound free time.
1937: Picasso painted Guernica at the request of the Spanish Government.
Many classic films were released during the 1930s, including Gone With The Wind, by Victor Fleming in 1939, King Kong by Merian C. Cooper, Modern Times with Charlie Chaplin in 1936 and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – the first feature-length work by the Disney studio.
Cultural life in the 1930s was affected by the economic crisis and the rise of totalitarian regimes. Popular culture crossed straight over from the USA, bringing Hollywood glamour musical comedies, jazz and swing. There was a need for light-hearted escapism both in cities and on transatlantic cruises.