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View Diary: 100 years ago: A wrong turn to dystopia (141 comments)

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  •  Pure BS (1+ / 0-)
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    After the Franco-Prussian War the victorious and exultant Germans imposed reparations far more onerous than those the Allies imposed on defeated Germany following WW1.  The French paid off those reparations in under ten years and went on with life.  That was during the period of the late 1800s when the world was watching a global deflation until the mineral resources in South Africa started to come on stream to fund the global gold standard.  

    The Germans had expected to impose even more onerous reparations following WW1 if they had won than they had following the Franco-Prussian War.  So any claims that Germany's financial woes were due to the reparations is just so much bunk.  The Germans could have made do, but chose poorly.

    What hurt the average German was that they believed their government and put their savings in German war bonds, expecting to get paid out of those juicy war reparations they expected to receive.  They saw what happened in the 1870s and anticipated a rerun of the show.  Of course, German lost and no reparations came and the average German Burgher lost all their savings.  They chose poorly.  

    That would have happened even if Germany wasn't required to pay reparations.  Because, to get rid of their internal war debt the Reichsbank inflated the currency to the moon, beggaring those Burghers in the process.  That was their own government doing it, not the Allies.  

    "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

    by PrahaPartizan on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 09:39:02 PM PDT

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    •  was 5 billion gold francs (1+ / 0-)
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      really worth more than 132 billion gold marks?

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sat Jun 28, 2014 at 10:40:10 PM PDT

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    •  Lots of Differences (2+ / 0-)
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      limpidglass, PrahaPartizan

      The Franco-Prussian War went really badly for France, yes, but France's economy was no where nearly as bad off in the aftermath as Germany's was.  World War I was a war unlike any seen before it in scale and devastation.  Germany was utterly wrecked economically, psychically, and politically.  The onerous reparation and disarmament demands really added insult to injury.  Hitler was able to build on the disillusionment in Germany.

      France's position after the Franco-Prussian war just not that bad.  German militarism may have also played a role in the different reactions to defeat.

    •  That's more like the history I learned when I (7+ / 0-)

      was in school in France.

      The bonds were payable in marks. The same quantity would be paid but the devalued currency would be worth much less after it was converted by the French and Belgians into their own money.

      How it backfired isn't so hard to understand. Think of the Republicans playing games with capping the debt limit for politics. They could bring on an economic catastrophe and blame it on the banks just like they did in Germany,

      They teach history a little different in the US.

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