Monday 25 February 2013

2000 Marks for a Loaf of Bread

When I looked up This Day in History, I discovered the headline "A loaf of bread 2000 marks".  Such was the case in Germany's Weimar Republic in 1923 when the country was experiencing hyperinflation.  After World War I, the German government was forced to pay reparations to the Allies.  They went into serious debt and started making more paper money which soon became worthless.  Here are ten facts about the time period.

1.  Germans used the devalued marks as fuel to heat their homes.

2.  German children played with paper money in the streets.

3.  German workers brought suitcases to work to collect their pay.  One individual left his money-laden suitcase unattended; a thief grabbed the suitcase but left the money.

4.  Restaurants did not print menus because in the time it took for food to be cooked and reach the table, the price had gone up.

5.  Shoppers brought wheelbarrows full of money to the store.

6.  Long lines formed outside soup kitchens.

7.  Germans used the devalued marks to wallpaper their walls.

8.  Bartering became commonplace; for instance, a cinema ticket could be purchased for a lump of coal or a bottle of paraffin for a silk shirt.

9.  Thousands of people waited outside banks.

10.  Stores were often empty because storekeepers could not obtain goods to sell.

Another example of how worthless the Mark had become under the Weimar Republic, here children can be seen playing with stacks of the German currency.

No comments:

Post a Comment