Constantin Eckner

Why a row about the rise of Hitler has erupted in the German press

A debate is playing out in the German-speaking media about whether inflation or deflation was behind the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. Conservative economists have been arguing that public overspending and the 1923 hyperinflation destroyed the middle class and thus paved the way for the National Socialists. Most recently, Hans Werner Sinn, a well-renowned economist and former chairman of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, reiterated that argument in an interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), saying: ‘People lost their savings and life insurances which became worthless.

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