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This review is from: When Money Dies: The nightmare of the Weimar Hyper-Inflation (Paperback)
I came across this book while browsing on Amazon, purely by chance. I hadn't actual knowledge of it's existence yet I had been hoping for it's like for over sixty three years. Why? Sometime during the gloomy autumn/winter dark nights of 1947 when I was thirteen I had brought my father his late edition of the London Evening Standard - a six nights a week errand. Barely had I handed him his paper than he leapt from his bomb damaged armchair in a fit of rage the like of which was unparalleled in my youthful experience. I stood there, in the living room, astonished, stunned, terrified! What ever had I done? Fortunately, nothing. I was merely the messenger, not the culprit; a fact for which I continue to give thanks - my father had a violent temper! What ever motivated this outburst, so etched into my memory? It was that night's headline which simply conveyed to the reader the information of a one farthing(a then, 1/960Th. part of the pound, sterling) on a particular item. Had he spiralled through the ceiling, I don't believe it would have amazed me, such was the blood-vessel-bursting fury, of his tirade. Like all such rage it was spurred by very deep emotional scars from which finally, I was able to garner that his concerned was rooted in 1920s Austro/Hungarian/Germanic economic and fiscal history; by then, and in the wake of the second world war barely a scant memory, even in the minds of quite well informed mature adults. His vision on that dark night was the very real nightmare of the Weimar Hyper-Inflation as so memorably he ranted: "We'll be taking carrier-bags of money to try to buy a loaf of bread before we're finished, like they did in Germany after the first World War". I have been haunted by that night ever since, and as the money men of the world play ducks and drakes so cavalierly with billions of other people's lives my blood runs cold with the terror of that memory. 'When Money Dies' should properly belong in every responsible person's library for this 20th. Century history eloquently is the stuff of fairy tales and bogeymen in real life and only yesterday and should prudently teach us all the vital health of long term stability. But, of course, it never will for there will always be an elite that knows better and actually benefits. A couple of years ago, I learned that my Grandmother originated from Bremen and after all these years I finally understood my father's rage. He had lived through his Mother's anxiety and despair for her family in Germany through all those terrible, unimaginable years and I am convinced that humanity does forget it's grief simply because so much of it is so impersonal and does not learn from it because that, would stunt greed. I shall be grateful to the grave to Adam Fergusson for his incredible work; now, at least, I understand. Clifford. M. Gollner.