Confessions of "The Old Wizard"': Autobiography

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

XXII
THE SECRET OF THE STABILIZED MARK

IN THE SUMMER of 1923 the inflation misery in Germany reached its climax. Five years after the end of World War I found Germany in the grip of a fever that threatened to undermine her last vestige of strength. In Saxony, Thuringia and Bavaria riots broke out everywhere. Hitler was tub-thumping in the South. The Communist- Social-Democratic Zeigner Government in Saxony gave the Red Terror a free hand. In Hamburg street riots raged all day and fifteen policemen and sixty-five civilians were killed. The danger of a Communist upheaval was imminent.

I felt it my duty to evacuate my family from this hell's kitchen and pack them off to Switzerland so that I myself might not be hindered by personal considerations were I to be drawn into the whirlpool. So I offered my two children the chance of perfecting their knowledge of French. My thirteen-year-old boy was sent to school in Lausanne and my twenty-year-old daughter interrupted her studies in Heidelberg to attend Lausanne University.

Everyone was agreed that the Communist peril could be averted provided the fight against the French Occupation of the Ruhr were ended (this being the principal cause of the rapid inflationary progress) and a stabilized currency established. For three years the most widely different plans for stabilization had been under discussion without coming to any definite decision. The Stresemann cabinet finally resolved to put an end to the Ruhr dispute and concentrate on an attempt to stabilize the national currency.

Stresemann's political merit in this late summer of 1923 cannot be overestimated. He wasted no time on theoretical propositions. His aim was to create such a position in internal affairs as would ensure a sufficient majority in favor of stabilization. Furthermore he succeeded in enlisting Allied interest and co-operation to establish order in German financial and economic affairs. This co-operation led to the convening of the group of international experts which

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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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