Schacht, Hjalmar Horace Greeley

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Schacht, Hjalmar Horace Greeley

(yäl`mär shäkht), 1877–1970, German financier. He held executive positions in several major German banks before becoming (1923) commissioner of currency. Inflation had reached its height and the paper mark had become worthless. Schacht substituted the rentenmark, in theory secured by a mortgage on all land and industry. By various stringent deflationary measures the rentenmark was stabilized and the budget balanced. In 1924, Germany obtained a foreign loan under the Dawes Plan, and in 1925 the rentenmark was replaced by the reichsmark, based on a gold standard. Appointed president of the Reichsbank in Dec., 1923, Schacht resigned in 1930 because of his opposition to continued German reparations payments. A nationalist and representative of conservative capitalism, Schacht after 1931 supported the National Socialist (Nazi) party. He was appointed president of the Reichsbank (1933) and minister of economy (1934) and was given wide powers. Through bartering agreements with Balkan and Middle Eastern countries, he enabled Germany to secure raw materials for its rearmament and developed German trade. Conflict with Hermann GoeringGoering or Göring, Hermann Wilhelm
, 1893–1946, German National Socialist leader. In World War I he was a hero of the German air force.
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, who had been made virtual economic dictator, led to Schacht's resignation from the ministry in 1937. Schacht continued as president of the Reichsbank until 1939, when he was dismissed for opposing the huge armament program, which he felt would cause inflation. He remained minister without portfolio until 1943. In 1944 he was placed in a concentration camp for his alleged part in the plot against Hitler's life. Acquitted (1946) by the war-crimes tribunal at Nuremberg, he twice won (1948, 1950) appeal from a German "denazification" court's sentence. In 1953 he established a private bank in Düsseldorf.

Bibliography

See his autobiography, Confessions of the Old Wizard (1953, tr. 1956); A. E. Simpson, Hjalmar Schacht in Perspective (1969).

References in periodicals archive ?
Co-operation in the 1920's was both novel and fragile, based as it was on the friendship between Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman and Benjamin Strong, Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and, to a lesser degree, their ties with the president of Germany's Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht.
Even US President Franklin Roosevelt jovially slapped his thigh when Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht told him that Nazi Germany would default on its external loans, including those owed to American banks, exclaiming, "Serves the Wall Street bankers right
These four men--Benjamin Strong, head of the New York Federal Reserve; Montagu ("Monty") Norman, governor of the Bank of England; Emile Moreau of the Banque de France; and Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank--quietly helped to engineer the post-World War I economic boom in the 1920s, and then (except for Strong, who died in 1928) presided over the utter ruin of the early thirties.
Ahamed, a professional investment manager who advises several hedge fund groups and who has worked at the World Bank, tells the stories of the men in charge of the four principal central banks of the world after World War I, Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, Emile Moreau of the Banque de France, Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank in Germany, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who attempted to reconstruct international finance after World War I and return to the gold standard.
Ahamed hitches his story around four men who ran the central banks of the United States, Britain, France, and Germany in the wake of World War I: the arrogant but sickly Benjamin Strong at the Federal Reserve; the charming and neurotic Montagu Norman at the Bank of England; the bitter, provincial Emile Moreau in Paris; and the haughty, brilliant Hjalmar Schacht in Berlin.
Yet on many occasions he described them with irony and amused contempt, as the following examples clearly show: Of Hjalmar Schacht, president of the Reichsbank until 1939, Goldensohn wrote: "It becomes obvious in talking to Schacht that he is attempting to devise two distinctly paradoxical pictures of himself; the one, that he was a harmless old man who had been inactive since 1939; the other, a picture of a great national German patriot who worked ceaselessly for Hitler's downfall and frustration, and was actively a participant in the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944" (p.
The Basel exhibition includes a historic photo showing tour leading central bankers meeting in New York prior to the establishment of the BIS in July 1927: Hjalmar Schacht (Germany), Benjamin Strong (United States), Montagu Norman (United Kingdom) and Charles Rist (France).
He had several talks with German finance wizard Hjalmar Schacht, but it was, he realised, too late to save the situation.
Their German subsidiaries and/or partner firms, such as Coca-Cola's bottling plant in Essen, General Motors' Opel automobile factory in Russelsheim near Mainz, Ford's Fordwerke in Cologne, IBM's facility in Berlin, or Standard Oil's infamous German partner, IG Farben, flourished under a Hitler regime that had swept away the unions, whose rearmament program caused a flood of orders, and with whom all sorts of highly profitable deals could be concluded thanks to the services of corrupt Nazi bigwigs such as Herman Goring, unscrupulous bankers such as the notorious Hjalmar Schacht, and financial institutions in Germany itself or in Switzerland.
Hitler was intent on rearmament and autarky, but the arrival of the National Socialists to power in 1933 signaled in the economic sphere the reemergence of Hjalmar Schacht, the financial wizard of the early Weimar Republic and a man who did not quite fit doctrinally into the Nazi fold.
Ironically, Jackson's approach resulted in the acquittal of three defendants, including Hjalmar Schacht and Franz yon Papen, whose acquittals upset Jackson greatly.
Hitler appointed Hermann Goring (who knew less about economics than Hitler) to mediate between Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht, who wanted to purchase raw materials for armaments, and Agriculture Minister Walther Darre, who wanted food to cover up his failed policies.