Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How Hitler Got His Foot in the Door

Nadene Goldfoot

                                                                                  Archduke Franz Ferdinand
Some historians see the decline of the Ottoman Empire starting in 1683.  We know it was doomed by going into WWI with Germany.  The Ottoman Caliphate needed the acquisition of new wealth and saw the agriculture, manufacturing and commerce of the European countries as a way to get this.  They had the Balkans of SE Europe and the Near East since the 14th Century which included Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and  Montenegro.  The Ottomans didn't have their own financial system.  They had to borrow money which started at a decent 4%-5% but must have risen.  On top of it they ran up huge debts.  Sound familiar?  A war they thought would be short and lots of debt spelled their doom.

Germany in 1913 was part of  an era of arranged marriages in Europe.    This country had a "solid, prosperous, advanced culture and population".  Most of Europe, including Germany was ruled by a monarchy.  Germany was under the Kaiser Wilhelm.  Then on the 28th of June  the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife, Sophie  in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovenia were assassinated.    They had been shot by Garrilo Princip, one of 6 Bosnian-Serb assassins.  Bosnia was then a part of the Ottoman Empire.  Austria-Hungary had the mandate to occupy and administer Bosnia, but the Ottoman Empire had, since an 1878 treaty of Berlin, sovereignty.  Germany decided to fight over territory in the Balkans.  Austria-Hungary was in competition with Serbia and Russia over the same territory.  By July 28, 1914 most of the world was involved in World War I.  The Germans thought for sure that they would have a short war that they would win over this and that they could finance it with post war reparations.     From a position that both thought the other wouldn't fight over it, they created the "Great War."  It is figured that about 9 million soldiers died in this war. It was the end of the German, Russian, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires.

In Germany a month before the war started in June 1914 a 1 lb loaf of bread cost 13 cents.
                                         WWI started July 28, 1914.
1916    it cost 19 cents
1918   it cost  22 cents.     WWI ended November 11, 1918 and Germany lost  WWI.
1919   it cost  26 cents  
1920  it cost $1.20
1921  it cost $1.35
1922  it cost $3.50
1923 it cost $700 in about January
1923 it cost $1,200 in about May, 5 months later
1923 it cost $2,000,000 September
1923 it cost $670,000,000 October: Finally wide-spread riots broke out.
1923 it cost $3,000,000,000 (that's billions) November
1923 it cost $100,000,000,000,000 middle of November  (trillions)  This was the financial end for Germany

What had happened?  On October 11, 1922, the German Central Bank and the German Treasury decided to "jump start" a stagnant economy.  Earlier they knew they needed easier money, so using the idea of more is better, they created more and more money.  The economy was still at a standstill so they kept on making money more available.  Nothing happened for the best.  Then prices exploded but the shoppers were staying home.  So they devalued the mark.  They made 2 billion marks to a dollar.

In the beginning in 1913,  4.2 marks equaled $1.   By November 1923 you needed 4.2 trillion marks to get $1.  This is what is called-hyper-inflation and it destroyed their country and almost the whole world.  The middle-class was destroyed.  Few people owned their own homes. Almost everyone rented, so thousands became homeless.  Savings were worthless.  Pensions were meaningless.  People demanded pay twice a day to fight the inflation.  They heated their homes by burning paper money.  They shopped with a wheel-barrel full of worthless paper money.  They could not pay a dowry for their daughters, so there went marriages.  Social morality died.  The roar of the roaring 20's began to rumble. Sin was in.

Adolf Hitler began a ten year effort to power by working on all the unhappy people living under this chaos and street rioting who saw no way out and needed somebody to blame.  Thus Germany's Jews, the ultimate scapegoat,  were gassed and we lost 6 million from all over Europe.  He was born in Austria and was a German politician and became the leader of the Nazi Party.    He came into power in 1933 and remained till the end of the WWII in 1945.    He started his life by being a German soldier in WWI as a Corporal.  It was in July 1919 that he infiltrated the German Workers Party and started his evil intentions.  

We Americans need to take a lesson from this history.  Evidently creating more money as we have recently done is not the best method.  We have had unemployment for 4 years and are not recovering as quickly as our government expected.  It leads to unhappy people who start the blame game.  We don't want it to lead to a Hitler-type situation.  Already I see Israel, a Jewish state, being blamed by Europe through the decisions in the UN.  They say in song that "money makes the world go round."  We need to take better care with ours.  We don't want to turn into the Ottoman Empire as we owe so much money to China already.                                          

Resource; market Commentary by Art Cashin, October 11, 2012 from UBS financial Services, Inc.
End of the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires

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