Hyperinflation, Hitler's Putsch, and Democracy in Crisis
From a New York Times best-selling historian comes a gripping account of the crisis that threatened to unravel the Weimar Republic
The great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig confided in his autobiography: “I have a pretty thorough knowledge of history, but never, to my recollection, has it produced such madness in such gigantic proportions.” He was referring to Germany in 1923, a “year of lunacy,” defined by hyperinflation, violence, a political system on the verge of collapse, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party and separatist movements threatening to rip apart the German nation. Most observers found it miraculous that the Weimar Republic—the first German democracy—was able to survive, though some of the more astute realised that the feral undercurrents unleashed that year could lead to much worse. Now, a century later, best-selling author Volker Ullrich draws on letters, memoirs, newspaper articles and other sources to present a riveting chronicle of one of the most difficult years any modern democracy has ever faced—one with haunting parallels to our own political moment.