My First Seventy-Six Years: Autobiography

By Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE
I Resign from the Reichsbank

EVER since 1926, when I resigned from the Democratic Party, the leftist Press had adopted an unfriendly attitude towards me. It was not merely the fact that, in contrast to a certain section of the Party, I stood firmly by the invulnerability of private property. I was persona non grata in Liberalistic circles by reason of events such as that "Black Friday" which showed that I was not disposed to allow speculation to flourish unchecked. In addition, my pronounced German and social attitude on the question of reparations was something which got on the nerves of the opportunist politicians. And finally, my persistent warning against the luxury spending of public money, notably by municipal authorities, did not tend to increase the number of my friends. Even in 1930 when the impending financial catastrophe was already clearly recognizable I was openly attacked by left-wing politicians for my denunciation of the way in which municipal authorities continued to incur debts abroad. As a responsible banker I was opposed to anything that looked like a gamble.

Their hostility reached its climax when I found myself compelled to take a stand against the German Government's treatment of the Young Plan.

As in the case of the Dawes Plan six years previously, the Young Plan contained a clause to the effect that the Plan must be accepted or rejected in its entirety. Under no circumstances whatever could this or that point be excluded. The experts of all the Governments concerned had insisted on this clause. So that when--after the experts had subscribed to the Plan--several foreign Governments began to make changes and to modify individual points in the Plan, it would have been the simplest thing in the world for Germany to refuse to have anything to do with such proceedings. All the experts would have been obliged to support her and it would have been difficult for individual Governments to raise any objection.

Instead, the German Government actually entered into negotiations with the Governments of Poland and some other countries over some very important changes in the Young Plan. The fact that the German experts--including of course myself--were not

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