Confessions of "The Old Wizard"': Autobiography

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

XXX
CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON

THE PURCHASE of Gühlen soon proved itself to have been a wise and far-sighted move. A man in my precarious, semi-economic, semi- political position needed a home outside the capital; a fortress to which he could retire if the number of his enemies should become too great.

During the years following the inflation my part as president of the Reichsbank appears to me to have been first and foremost that of watchdog, keeping a sharp eye on our currency and seeing that there was no drop in market quotations. I took careful note of every slightest shift in the money market, every striking quotation below par of the new German mark. Any multiplication of danger signals meant prompt intervention on my part. Today it seems to me only natural that I did not always resort to gentle methods and that my opponents in the open market -- who thought only of their personal advantage and never of the general welfare -- should avoid me. No one defending a cause in which he believes will be able invariably to confine himself to soft words and kindly warnings.

In order to ensure that Germany intended to pay her reparations the Dawes Committee had installed reliable confidential agents in the Reichsbank and other German business establishments. These men, working under Parker Gilbert, the Agent for Reparations, practically controlled Germany's ability to pay. It was their job to see that the reparations instalments were punctually remitted.

But were we actually in a position to remit payments on reparations -- to transmit over two billion German marks annually in foreign currency? We were not. Nevertheless we did it. And we did it by first borrowing from abroad the monies which we later paid out abroad.

Other nations lent us money -- but through whom? The politicians? Certainly not. The politicians were engaged in vote-catching in their own countries, by promising their electors that Germany

-217-

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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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