>> der Danziger Inflationsjahre 1923
In early 1923, reparations payments were held up and this gave France a reason to dispatch troops into the Ruhr and force delivery of coal and coke. Workers refused to enter the mines, discontinuing deliveries and producing a heritage of bitterness. In order for the 5 million persons in the Ruhr to be fed and supported, the government issued more worthless marks. Gustave Stresemann finally proclaimed a policy of conciliation. Coal was mined in November 1923 and all French troops left the Ruhr by the summer of 1925.
The Nazi election poster of 1930, shown on the left, attempted to focus attention and emotion against inter national high finance as the “enemy of the world. Vote National Socialist: (Hitler Movement)”. Although our topic is the 1923 high inflation, we should recognize that a succession of German governments attempted to meet some of the reparations obligations, and part of this aggravated the slump of 1930- 1932 with its massive deflation and unemployment. These factors were a major cause of the growth of the extremist nationalistic parties which blamed the foreigner for German troubles and gained popularity by promising to repudiate these obligations. Although these actions were physically remote from Danzig, its inflation problems paralleled those of Germany. In case you have wondered how the value of 5 Millionen Mk. of Michel #180 suddenly drops to 5 Pfg. on #181, here is the conclusion of the inflation story:
In November 1923, Gustave Stresemann (Chancellor only from August to November stabilized the Mark through issuance of the Rentenmark, which had little intrinsic value but was supported by public confidence. (In November 1924 it was supplanted by the Standard Reichmark which was put on a gold basis.) The rate became one Rentenmark for a trillion old paper ..marks. As the old marks disappeared from circulation, economic activities finally became normalized.
As early as the 1919 German cartoon shown at the right, betrayal of Germany was portrayed, with the Allied leaders - Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Wilson - preparing to behead their helpless victim.
Danzig Report Nr. 21 - November - December - 1978, Page 3.
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