Germany in Travail

Germany in Travail

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Germany in Travail

Germany in Travail

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In the summer of 1920 Amherst College granted me a leave of absence until January, 1921, to go to Germany and attempt to analyse the state of mind in which the Germans were facing the conditions and problems resulting from defeat and the revolution.

As chance would have it, the summer and fall of 1920 were unusually opportune for such a study. The logic of events culminating in the conference at Spa had finally made the Germans begin to realize the extent of their defeat and of their obligations. An ever greater number were beginning to see the futility of wilful blindness or resentment, and coming to the conclusion that it was better to face conditions and seek a way of meeting them. Also the mere economic situation did not seem as hopeless to the Germans as it does today. Work was beginning to be generally resumed. The mark had depreciated until its value was about two cents, but compensation for most grades of work and returns on most varieties of investments had risen in proportion to the mark's fall. The purchasing value of the mark within Germany was then only a shade above its actual value on the world market. The entire social fabric seemed to be organizing itself upon a basis approximating the actual economic condition of the country.

Everything below the surface, to be sure, politics and the whole spiritual life of the country, was as chaotic as it is today. But the momentary physical and economic relief gave some real impetus toward an attempt at broad reconstruction, and made it possible for an observer to get an idea of the direction the reconstruction will ultimately take, the principles that have a chance to survive through the process, and the . . .

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