Confessions of "The Old Wizard"': Autobiography

By Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht; Diana Pyke | Go to book overview

XVII
APPOINTMENT AS DIRECTOR OF THE BANK

MY ACTIVITIES were not affected by Herr von Lumm' intrigue in Brussels. Immediately after my return to Berlin I resumed my work in the Dresdner Bank. My old chief, Eugen Gutmann, intimated that I would be appointed a regular member of the board at the earliest opportunity. That I had done some successful work as deputy manager in Occupied Belgium had doubtless more than a little to do with it.

At home I found my wife and the two children in none too easy circumstances. Food had grown scarcer. Milk for children was unobtainable. So I did what hundreds of thousands of Berlin working-class families had done earlier. I started a vegetable garden and acquired a nanny goat which my twelve-year-old daughter had to learn to milk. Of course there were other ways of adding to the scanty food supplies, but they were less commendable. The usual "wangling" was not in my line. I had to submit to cultural and mental interests being crowded out by the material difficulties of wartime housekeeping.

Toward the end of the year -- since my promised appointment to the board appeared to be held up -- I enquired how matters stood and Gutmann rather hesitatingly disclosed that his son Herbert, who was a member of the board, had opposed my nomination.

"The best thing you can do," he said, "is to have it out with Herbert." Which, of course, I did without delay. Herbert Gutmann was naïve enough to give me the reason for his opposition.

"If you come on the board, Dr. Schacht, I am afraid you will very soon take all the syndicate business away from me."

By syndicate business is meant the collective activities of several big banks which as a rule are too extensive for any one bank to tackle alone, or which concern clients who deal with more than one bank.

My answer to Herbert Gutmann was short and to the point. I laughed.

-128-

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Confessions of "The Old Wizard"': Autobiography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Contents xv
  • Illustrations xix
  • I - The Schacht and the Eggers Families 1
  • II - Three Towns Beginning with "H" 14
  • III - Three Emperors in One Year 26
  • IV - Cholera in Hamburg 38
  • V - A Meeting with Bismarck 47
  • VI - At the University 52
  • VII - An Unpaid Assistant on the Kleines Journal 60
  • VIII - Paris at the Turn of the Century 66
  • IX - Doctor of Philosophy 72
  • X - Commercial Treaties 80
  • XI - I Meet Some of the Big Bankers 87
  • XII - The Dresdner Bank 92
  • XIII- The Near East 101
  • XIV - My Family 107
  • XV - Germany's Turning Point 112
  • XVI - The First World War 119
  • XVII - Appointment as Director of the Bank 128
  • XVIII - The Founding of a Party 136
  • XIX - Member of the Workers' And Soldiers' Council 143
  • XX - Inflation 151
  • XXI- With the Danat Bank 156
  • XXII - The Secret of the Stabilized Mark 162
  • XXIII - President of the Reichsbank 173
  • XXIV - The Bank of England 179
  • XXV - The Center of Separatism 186
  • XXVI - Monsieur Poincaré 192
  • XXVII - A Painful Recovery 198
  • XXVIII - The Reichsbank from the Inside 206
  • XXIX - Some Economic Aftereffects 211
  • XXX - Clouds on the Horizon 217
  • XXXI - I Sign the Young Plan 224
  • XXXII - A Far-Reaching Idea 230
  • XXXIII - I Resign from the Reichsbank 237
  • XXXIV - On My Own 244
  • XXXV - The End of Reparations 250
  • XXXVI - Meeting with Hitler 256
  • XXXVII - The Bank Crisis 262
  • XXXVIII - The Harzburg Front 268
  • XXXIX - President of the Reichsbank Again 275
  • XL - A Visit to Roosevelt 281
  • XLI - Conversion Fund and "Mefo" Bills 287
  • XLII - A Stronghold of Justice 294
  • XLIII - The New Plan 301
  • XLIV - Mainly About Pictures 308
  • XLV - At Odds with the Party 313
  • XLVI - The Königsberg Speech 318
  • XLVII - The Jewish Question and The Church Question 322
  • XLVIII - Rearmament 330
  • XLIX - Hermann Goering 335
  • L - Foreign Policy 346
  • LI - I Break with Hitler 353
  • LII - From an Attempted Coup D'Etat To an Attempted Assassination 361
  • LIII - Concentration Camps 382
  • LIV - In American Hands 397
  • LV - Nuremberg Prison 402
  • LVI - The Prisoners 405
  • LVII - The Nuremberg Tribunal -- I 411
  • LVIII - The Nuremberg Tribunal -- II 425
  • LIX - The Denazification Tribunals 442
  • LX - Free Once More 449
  • LXI - Off to the Far East 453
  • LXII - Under the Garuda 459
  • LXIII - Finale 468
  • Index 473
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