Occupation - Passive resistance - Hyperinflation

22.07.2023, 18:30 – 20:00, Industrial monument

We cordially invite you to a lecture by former District Administrator Axel Redmer on Saturday, 22 July 2023 at 6:30 pm in the Jakob Bengel Industrial Monument.

Please register in advance.

Informed for four years by propaganda only about their own successes and the alleged inferiority of their opponents, the defeat in the First World War caught the people of the Upper Nahe completely unprepared. In view of the revolution and the attempted establishment of a parliamentary democracy, there was no time for a factual explanation of the causes of the defeat and a critical examination of the imperial era. The old elites were quickly back in charge. The clumsy occupation policy of the French fuelled the racism that had grown during the colonial period. As there was also a lack of willingness to put themselves in the position of the states on whose territory German soldiers had fought and left behind enormous damage, the population felt victimised and punished by the victorious powers.

Too few politicians such as Friedrich Ebert, Walter Rathenau and Gustav Stresemann endeavoured to consolidate democracy and de-escalate the international situation. In this explosive situation, the French head of government Raymond Poincaré took advantage of Germany's delay in paying reparations under the Treaty of Versailles to invade the Ruhr. The German government responded with passive resistance by civil servants, which brought rail transport to a virtual standstill. As a result, the economy lost supply chains and sales opportunities dried up. Inflation, which had been growing at a dangerous rate since 1914, escalated at a dizzying speed into hyperinflation. This plunged large sections of the population into poverty and brought enormous increases in wealth to a small class. In view of this situation, political adventurers saw the separation of the left bank of the Rhine from the German Reich and the creation of a Rhineland buffer state - which the French hoped for - as the only salvation. This led to bloody clashes between separatists and the population of Idar.


Axel Redmer