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Trends and crisis in Germany 1924-1934. Domestic economy situation and foreign indebtedness.

Resource Type
  • Ritschl, Albrecht (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    Why suffered Germany a crisis of unprecedented scale after a promising stabilization of the Mark in 1923/24 and the subsequent increase, and which factors are linked to the disaster?The study ties in with one of the most controversy in the German economic history of the last decades. In the so-called ‘Borchardt controversy’ the researcher Knut Borchardt questioned the traditional interpretation of the seriousness of the global economic crisis of 1929. The usual interpretation was that the depression and finally the following establishment of the Nazi - regime was due by unforced errors in the economic policies of the last Weimar governments, especially the ‘Brüning deflation policy’. This Keynesian-influenced interpretation was opposed by Borchardts supply side inspired view that even before the global economic crisis the German economy had been sick and that the deflation and a balanced budget policy of Bruning resulted from a dilemma. A central objection to Borchard’s interpretation was the question, why only a year after Bruning´s resignation a dramatic shift to an expansionary monetary and fiscal policies could be initiated. A new interpretation of Brünings deflationary policy is presented in shifting the focal point of criticism of the German economic policy in the period of the ‘Dawes-Plan’. This new focus of criticism leads to a new interpretation of the Borchardt-theses on German’s economic policy in recent years of the Weimar Republic. Germany’s undamped foreign indebtedness since 1924 plays a key role in explaining Germany’s crisis and economic situation between the Dawes-Plan and the transfer stop. The central thesis of the investigation is: “The interdependence between Reparation payments and Germany’s economic trend is the lack of stimulus compatibility of the different reparationregimes. There was no reparation arrangement before the Young Plan fo 1929/30, which gave the German side an incentive for a net transfer of resources. Germany underwent systematical the reparation transfer of the Dawes plan by massive foreign indebtedness. The previous impacts of the German balance of payment by foreign debt contributed causative to the heaviness of Germany’s crisis.” (see: Ritschl, A., 2002: Deutschlands Krise und Konjunktur 1924-1934. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, S. 17). In Ritschl’s opinion the reparations has not been disastrous for the German development. But fateful German attempt to deny reparation payments with maneuvers, leads to Germany’s crisis in the interwar period. Datatables in HISTAT: A-Tables: Data of the German Empire’s budget and of the public sector as a whole. B-Tables: Draft of a national accounting for the years 1925 to 1938 (social product and it’s components). C-Tables: Quarterly interpolation of further timeseries (e.g. paid employment) Topics of the Study: - The Empire’s revenues by financial years (Mio. RM) - Job creation bills of exchange and armor bills of exchange by financial years (Mio. RM) - Net borrowing of the German Empire by financial years (Mio. RM) - Interest payments on the debt of the German Empire by financial years (Mio. RM) - Expenses, revenues and deficit of the German Empire by financial years (Mio. RM) - Quarterly revenues and expenses of the German Empire. - Quarterly circulation of job creation bills of exchange. - Estimated quarterly interest and principal payment of the German Empire. - Expenses and revenues of the German Empire by calendar years. - Expenses and revenues of German states and municipalities by financial years. - Expenses and revenues of the public sector by calendar years. - National income 1913 and 1925 to 1938. - Reallocation of the national income. - Aggregated investments. - Balance of payment. - Expenditure side of the social product. - Foreign trade. - Public and privat consum. - Use of social product. - Paid employment. Territory of investigation: Germany in the borders of Weimar Republic, 1924 – 1934. Survey Method, used sources: - Unpublished archival sources (Federal Archive in Koblenz und Potsdam, Main-Archive of the German Federal Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank), Archive of the Institute for Contemporary History IfZ, Munich.) - Published sources (files of the Reich Chancellery, AdR; proceedings of the Reichstag, 5th term, vol. 448, 456; Foreign Relations of the United States, FRUS, born 1931) - Official Statistics - Other literature (selected scientific publications).
Temporal Coverage
  • 1924 / 1934
Geographic Coverage
  • German Reich (1871-1945) (DXDE)
    Weimar Republic
Collection Mode
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Text Unit
    Number of Units: 56
    Number of Variables: 318
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8152 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Ritschl, Albrecht: Deutschland Krise und Konjunktur 1924-1934. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002.
  • Erbe, R. (1958): Die nationalsozialistische Wirtschaftspolitik 1933-1939 im Lichte der modernen Theorie. Zürich: Polygraphischer Verlag, 1958. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002.
  • Hoffmann, W.G.: Das Wachstum der deutschen Wirtschaft seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1965.
  • Hoffmann, W.G. und Müller J.H.: Das deutsche Volkseinkommen 1851-1957. Tübingen: Mohr, 1959.

Update Metadata: 2017-12-29 | Issue Number: 51 | Registration Date: 2010-07-23

Ritschl, Albrecht (2002): Deutschlands Krise und Konjunktur 1924-1934. Binnenkonjunktur, Auslandsverschuldung und Reparationsproblem zwischen Dawes-Plan und Transfersperre. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.