This 100 Mark bill was printed in 1920 – inflation is just getting started.
The front and back of a 5,000 Mark bill in 1922. The back (bottom) states that falsifying money will get you at least two years in a labor camp.
This one was printed at the height of the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic in Germany 1923: 100,000,000 – one hundred million Marks. The inflation was caused due to Germany financing the costs of World War I by borrowing needed funds and exacerbated later on by having to pay large sums of money for reparations. A massive deflation and depression years later is believed to have paved the way for national socialism. (More about the collapse of the currency here.)
When my grandma (dad’s side) was still alive I’d ask her about the two world wars in Germany. She had lots of stories to tell, but she would eventually always add these words “war is nothing but hunger, fear and death. I lost my husband (my grandpa I never met), my brother, my neighbors, my friends. Nobody’s life was worth a dime.” And she would always tell me “girl, pray that you will never have to experience a war. It’s hell on earth.” She had gone through two world wars, she knew what she was talking about. Actually my mom would say the same thing, she remembers not having enough food and having to run and hide from the bombs – she had nightmares about that even decades later. Thinking of it, my dad said the same thing too, he had witnessed an execution as a child when he was only five years old that has been cause for distress his whole life.
My grandma was a war widow, raising a child and taking care of her mom. She had to be self sufficient and creative to make it through: she knew how to fix just about everything, build a house (she built her own house, brick by brick), heal just about every ailment with herbs and minerals and techniques she had learned from her mother.
My grandma on my mom’s side was probably the most frugal person I knew. She would save a tiny leftover piece of tomato and cook something with the end slice of a loaf of bread. Talking about being creative! She also lived through two world wars and had five (!) kids through World War II for a total of seven children! My mom would often talk about the proverbial cabbage water they had to subsist on. My grandpa was a phone tech and didn’t have to go to the front because he was needed at home. I remember him as having a wicked sense of humor 😉
Needless to say maybe, but I learned a lot from my grandparents!
The advice I got from them and my parents: live in the moment and don’t keep all your money in savings. Words to live by!