“Germany financed its war almost entirely with loans. It is not surprising that even before the end of the war, inflation rose to incredible proportions. They printed about ninety billion marks, while their gold supply amounted to no more than a third. The revolutionary government of the people’s plenipotentiaries further increased the money supply, as other countries continued to accept German bank notes as payment for the transportation of food and raw materials. ”
“Inflation grew wildly every day. I had to withdraw money for a living from my account every week; by the end of the week, the fabulous sum of zeros turned into nothing. From the Black Forest, where I traveled by bike in September 1923, I wrote: “Everything is very cheap here! Accommodation is 400,000 marks a day, and dinner is 1,800,000 marks. Milk - 250,000 marks per half liter. ” Six weeks later, shortly before the cessation of inflation, the dinner at a restaurant cost from ten to twenty billion marks, and even in the student cafeteria - more than a billion. For a theater ticket, you had to pay from three hundred to four hundred million marks. ”
It was cheaper to play with money than with dice
For lack of firewood, houses were heated with bills.
"Here the swede [left] still decently ... Now, from each apartment, cooked swede smells when you climb the stairs ...".
“There was still a grocery store: sea and river shells were sold here, they were delivered in whole wagons and processed into jelly, soufflé, pies, sausages. The men of science, who discovered the nutritional properties in the bark and recommended breeding mushrooms in the gutters, declared that the shells are even more nutritious than beef. ”
“It is here, in Russia, - and only here, nowhere else, - they are trashed. They fly around with a mad geek, break glass. In Germany, this is not. Smash the store like that. A crowd of about one hundred surrounds the bakery. Leaders two or three are included. Good evening! This is by inertia. A German cannot, organically, cannot — even when it is smashing — enter a shop and not say: “Good afternoon!”. Good day. Here we are surrounded you. Give the bread. The owner, the hostess do not resist ... ".
Prices in the stores were incredibly high
For salary went with suitcases
“Most of the living Germans had to go through school of malnutrition three times: the first time in the war, the second time during a crazy inflation and the third time now, under the slogan“ guns instead of butter ”.
Sebastian Haffner on the eve of World War II
“Twice the gendarmes were taken from them at the station. For the third time, they sewed eggs into the lining of their coats, hid the potatoes in bags hung under their skirts, and put the sausage by their blouses. So they slipped. ”
Erich Maria Remarque
"For millions - one, two, three, four, five
Mom will buy the beans again.
We will try them without fat
Well, you will be the first! ”
Children's count of those years
Tickets to the circus bought in exchange for bread, sausage and fruit
Bills used as a notebook
“Berlin is starving exactly the way we starved in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1918. Remember? Remember osmushki bread, vobla, potatoes with herring and without herring, millet, lentils, hunger ... All this is exactly in Berlin now. "
“At noon, three field kitchens of the Salvation Army and two kitchens of one large newspaper smoked on Alexanderplatz. Crowds of women and men, miserable, pale, in rags, lined up in endless queues and patiently moved forward. Here you could get a plate of hot soup - a little, but at least something. ”
An ad in the doctor’s office in which patients are encouraged to bring coal to heat the room
Queue to the store
“It is often possible to observe how people consciously retreat and hide their deteriorating situation, especially if they were previously well-off.
According to the guardianship office for young people, the number of young children and children of preschool age in Berlin, who urgently need to supplement their food with lunch, already reached 74,000 in round figures in September 1922. ”