1919-1924: Hyperinflation in Germany
Children use bundles of money as building blocks.
Children cut German marks to create crafts.
Buying vegetables with baskets full of money.
The really fashion-forward create Deutsch Mark dresses.
The people of Germany were understandably angry about the state of their economy. They staged protests and some of them participated in violent riots.
"On November 5th and 6th, 1923, a mob of 30,000 people rioted in Berlin to protest the misery brought on by the hyperinflation. Many of these Germans blamed their plight on Jews who they mistakenly believed controlled the German economy and were involved in an international conspiracy to dominate the world economy." -- From Facing History
A veteran of WWI, Henry Buxbaum discovered for himself the increasingly bad opinion some of his countrymen held about Jews. He wrote:
"The train was pitch-dark. The lights were out, nothing uncommon after the war when the German railroads were in utter disrepair and very few things functioned orderly… That night, we were seven or eight people in the dark, fourth-class compartment, sitting in utter silence till one of the men started the usual refrain: 'Those [...] Jews, they are at the root of all our troubles.' Quickly, some of the others joined in. I couldn’t see them and had no idea who they were, but from their voices they sounded like younger men. They sang the same litany over and over again, blaming the Jews for everything that had gone wrong with Germany and for anything else wrong in this world. It went on and on, a cacophony of obscenities, becoming more and more vicious and at the same time more unbearable with each new sentence echoing in my ears." -- As quoted in Facing History, Holocaust and Human Behavior, pp. 126-127
In addition to blaming the Jews, many Germans also blamed the government of the Republic for their economic troubles. Although politicians did eventually get the inflation under control, it "took time and many people could not forget that the government had allowed it to happen." One German expressed their feelings when he wrote:
"Of course all the little people who had small savings were wiped out. But the big factories and banking houses and multimillionaires didn't seem to be affected at all. They went right on piling up their millions. Those big holdings were protected somehow from loss. But the mass of the people were completely broke. And we asked ourselves, 'How can that happen? How is it that the government can't control an inflation which wipes out the life savings of the mass of people but the big capitalists can come through the whole thing unscathed?' We who lived through it never got an answer that meant anything." -- As quoted in Quoted in Ralph Knight, A Very Ordinary Life, p. 64; requoted from Facing History
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