1 February 2012

Weimar Wednesday: No. 4

I am in the midst of translating Hans Ostwald's Sittengeschichte der Inflation (Berlin: Neufeld & Henius, 1931). The book is frequently cited in works dealing with the Weimar hyperinflation (where it is usually referred to as A Moral History of the Inflation, or Tales of the Inflation), but up until now it has not been published in English. In these times of quantitative ease, I thought it might be amusing to post something from it each week.

Today's lesson: Should your country experience hyperinflation, think twice before ordering the roast beef...
When gourmets tucked into pot roasts in the hotels and small restaurants where "everything was on offer", their consciences were not troubled by the fact it all came from the black market. 
Mind you, what they took for roast beef was often a piece of some old cart horse. If they were lucky, it was a race horse. In 1923, when the sale of horse flesh was permitted but there was still a lack of meat, many thoroughbred horses were stolen and sold off to slaughter. Animals that were worth several thousand marks in peace time were sold for just a few marks and delivered to the horse butcher.