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Hungry boys eating a school lunch in Weimar-era Germany during its

years of hyper-inflation and malnutrition (1921).

-Germany emerged from World War Iwith huge

debts from financing a costly war for almost 5
yrs. The treasury was empty, the currency was
losing value, & Germany needed to pay its war
debts & the huge reparations bill imposed on it
by the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty also
deprived Germany of territory, natural
resources, & even ships, trains, & factory
- Her population was undernourished &
contained many poor widows, orphans, &
disabled veterans. The new German
government struggled to deal with these crises,
which had produced a serious hyperinflation.

Women and children wait in line in Berlin, in hopes of buying substandard meat during a period of hyper-inflation in Weimar Germany

Government was weak Why?

Germany lacked a strong democratic
Burdened with heavy war reparation
payments to the Allies, Germany just
printed more moneycausing

By 1924, after years of crisis management, the

economy was stabilized with American loans.
-Dawes Plan a $200 million loan from USA
By 1929, German factories were producing as
much as they had before the war.
(However in 1929, the U.S. stock market crashed & led
to a recall of U.S. loans to Germany.)

Mass unemployment & suffering followed.

Many Germans became increasingly
disillusioned with the Weimar Republic &
began to turn toward radical anti-democratic
parties whose representatives promised to
relieve their economic hardships.

Weimar Germany during the Great Depression: "When night comes! Picture
taken in the municipal refuge for the homeless. View of one of the
dormitories which can house up to 100 people."