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A Moral History of the Inflation (PDF)

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A Moral History of the Inflation

by Hans Ostwald

ISBN 9781777499532 (e-book edition)

350 page PDF file

113 black and white illustrations

Includes an index


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Journalist Hans Ostwald (1873–1940) describes life in Germany during the early 1920s, a period when money lost its value so quickly that people used eggs rather than cash as units of exchange.

Rich in anecdotes and contemporary reports, the book discusses both the social and psychological effects of the hyperinflation: grinding poverty, an increase in crime, a decline in moral standards, and a frenzied desire to make the most of the present, since no one could be certain of what the future might hold.

“It was a time of significant revaluation — in material as well as in spiritual things. He who had been rich and able to indulge in every worldly pleasure soon counted himself lucky if some well-meaning people offered him a bowl of warm soup. Lowly clerks became bank directors overnight, with seemingly inexhaustible funds at their command. In those days, foreigners who lived on small pensions at home could come to Germany and live like kings. Everything seemed to have been turned upside down.”

Although Ostwald’s moral history has often been cited in works dealing with the Weimar Republic, this is the first complete English translation. It contains more than a hundred photographs and illustrations.

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