First Thoughts:


Rathenau, his assassination and the selective enforcement of the law. [Ch 6]

Inflation and Cultural Disintegration [Ch 7]

On Inflation and its effect on public and private morality in Berlin in the early 1920s. As one economist noted: "Originally, in 1922, the German Central Bank and the German Treasury took an inevitable step in a process which had begun with their previous effort to 'jump start' a stagnant economy. Many months earlier they had decided that what was needed was easier money. Their initial efforts brought little response. So, using the governmental "more is better" theory they simply created more and more money. But economic stagnation continued and so did the money growth. They kept making money more available. No reaction. Then, suddenly prices began to explode unbelievably but, perversely, not business activity."

Social criticism in the arts:

The myth of degeneracy;


Discussion: Consider:


If we have time: Classroom Discussion: Hmm...this is not an easy one. Civil war / disorder in the streets, fiscal chaos, secret deals being made between army and Russian soviets and concurrently executing domestic soviets, political assassinations, degeneracy, and the destruction of middle class and its wealth. And yet many found Berlin to be liberating (ok, so far they have been psychiatrists, Russian emigrés and women, not exactly the most stable group, nevertheless...).

Given what you wrote in your classroom report on Florence, do we have the conditions for a Golden Age of Cultural Achievement? How do you think Brucker and Thornton would interpret these characteristic features of Berlin life in the very early 1920s?


Four Great Economists who lived through the crises and changed the discipline: