50 Million Marks, hardly enough to buy a stampBud's Big Blue
Stories about hyperinflation pass from generation to generation. “It took a wheelbarrow full of marks to buy a loaf of bread.” “When I got paid, I ran to market to buy anything I could -- car tires, vats of cooking oil, anything -- because tomorrow the money would be worthless.” “It was cheaper to burn money than buy firewood.”
Because hyperinflation used stamps have higher CVs than the mint, I try to keep one of each, with legible canceled examples being preferred. (Sorry. These don’t always show in the scans.) Perhaps the mint stamps survived in greater numbers because used examples were burned, along with their envelopes, for warmth.
While Hitler youth and swastikas abound in the Nazi era stamps (late 1930s), Hitler himself appears on no pre-WWII regular issues, but only on semi-postals.
Census: see comment for Germany 1872-1919.
After WWI, a national constitutional assembly met in Weimar in 1919 to establish a federal republic and a parliamentary representative democracy (Reichstag). During the fourteen years of its existence, the Weimar Republic,as it now called, was faced with considerable challenges.
The Treaty of Versailles demanded large reparation payments to the victorious allies. The Germans had little experience with "democracy" with its more attended chaos. Both the political right and the left were enemies of the republic, and the moderates were discouraged.
The French and Belgians occupied the Ruhr region, damaging the economy. Hyperinflation set in. In 1919, a bread loaf costs one Mark; in 1923 100 billion Marks.
The worldwide economy and Germany took a significant blow with the onset of the Great Depression in 1929.
The rise of the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazi Party), and Adolf Hitler, a charismatic orator who promoted Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anticommunism, spelled the end of the Weimar Republic (and literally President Paul von Hindenburg who died in 1934).
When Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, he brought a totalitarian single party dictatorship espousing the Nazi ideology, and with the goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the German people.
This most troublesome time filled with turmoil is clearly reflected in the Deutsches Reich (Weimar Republic) and the Third Reich (Nazi) era stamps between 1919 and 1940.
Lets take a look at Bud's Big Blue....
Germany 1919-1940 Blog Post & BB Checklist