Why They Followed

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade July 2001

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Why They Followed The Treaty of Versailles deeply affected Germany. It was signed after World War I was over. It made Germans lose everything. Their economy was in the red, their national bank had only 577,089,500, and the people had nothing. The treaty destroyed their lives First of all Germany was forced to pay a large fine or reparations as they were called. At the end of the war, they set up a reparation that said Germany would have to pay 5,000,000 by May 1, 1921. That was just the start. The knock out was yet to come. In 1921 Germany had almost paid half the money of. Then the committee met again. This time they decided to add a new fine five times the size of the other. Yes they added 25,000,000,000-dollar reparation. With the other small fines added Germany owed 32,500,000,000-dollars. As stated earlier at this same time the German national bank contained 577,089,500 Where was Germany going to get this money? The nations of Britain and France, thinking only for their own good, had taken all their colonies with land good for money.

America was just bubbling on about the League of Nations. Nobody thought about where the money would come from. Germany just couldn't get it. England and France took the land. And America didn't notice. Top economists said it was inhumane before the second fine even came around.

What was Germanys solution? Print more money. If you have ever studied or heard anything about economics you might know the following. Money is worth nothing if there isn't gold backing it up. So Germany marks were everywhere. Were they worth anything? NO! There was no gold to back it up. In 1918 a US dollar equaled 7 German marks. By 1923 4,210,500,000,000 marks equaled one US dollar. There are pictures (which I have not been able to come a hold of) that show people taking wheelbarrows full of marks, just to buy a loaf of bread.

The Nazis promised grandeur, money, and to make their nation great again. The people clung to that and followed. They were gullible as little kids. They had been starved and dropped to the depths of society. They thought anything could be better than their present state. They stubbornly clung to a leader who in the end would destroy their nation again.