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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
equipment.
- 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
tradition
Burdened with heavy war reparation
payments to the Allies, Germany just
printed more moneycausing
inflation!

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."