Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ten Billion To Mail a Letter

An article about the German economy in a recent issue of The Economist starts off with, "A stamp collection in Berlin’s German Historical Museum sums up what, to many Germans, is the price of economic recklessness. A Weimar-era postage stamp worth five pfennigs in 1920 doubled in price the following year, then jumped to ten marks in 1922. It cost 30 marks in January 1923, 1,000 marks in May and 800,000 marks in October. By the end of 1923, sending a letter took ten billion marks. Next to this 'document of an insane era', the museum shows how worthless banknotes were defaced by Nazis with caricatures of Jewish speculators. It was at the height of hyperinflation, explains the display, that Hitler staged his failed Munich beer-hall putsch."

For more on hyperinflation and the Weimar Republic postage stamps, click here.

Click here for additional photos and information.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM