Among the defining features of early twentieth century Europe and one of the contributing factors to World War II, was the economic maelstrom known as “hyperinflation” that ravaged Germany from 1921 until 1923. Although the short period is often overlooked in popular histories of the period, there is no denying the impacts that the process had on Germany, Europe, and the world. Because of the hyperinflation of the 1920s, the effects of the later worldwide Great Depression were accentuated in Germany, which ultimately undermined the legitimacy – at least in the eyes of the German people – of the Weimar government.
As the Weimar government attempted to fix the economy that was seemingly spiraling out of control, the German people turned to organizations on the far right and left wings of the political spectrum for answers. Despite eventually being able to end the crippling process of hyperinflation by 1923, the damage had already been done to Weimar government, which was living on borrowed time at that point.