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Richard Evans on Chancellor Bruening in 1931

In my email inbox, about Berlin, Summer 1931:

Fatally, however, [conservative German Chancellor] Brüning refused to [expand the currency supply], because he was nervous that printing money that was not tied to the value of gold would cause inflation. Of all the long-term effects of the German inflation, this was probably the most disastrous. But it was not the only reason why Brüning persisted with his deflationary policies long after feasible alternatives had become available. For, crucially, he also hoped to use the continuing high unemployment rate to complete his dismantling of the Weimar welfare state, reduce the influence of labour and thus weaken the opposition…. The bank crisis put into Brüning's hands another card that he was unwilling to use… [but] he did nothing, even though the means of escape were now there and voices were already being raised in public in favour of stimulating demand through government-funded job-creation schemes.

Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich, pp. 253-254

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