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Lessons for America from Germany's Hyperinflation -Part 1-

Written By: Jim Powell  |  Posted: Monday, September 13th, 2010

Many Americans may be inclined to assume that Germans were barbaric because they supported Hitler, and whatever happened there couldn't possibly apply to the United States. But the Germans have had much more in common with Americans than we might realize.

Germans were educated and industrious. Germany had world-class universities. Germans long led the world in scientific achievement. Many German companies were highly efficient producers. German immigrants contributed a great deal to American cultural life, including kindergartens, gymnasiums, picnics, hamburgers, hot dogs, and Christmas trees. The long list of notable Germans or persons of German descent in America includes historian Hannah Arendt, astronaut Neil Armstrong, dancer Fred Astaire, Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, landscape painter Albert Bierstadt, brewer Adolphus Busch, actor Tom Cruise, singer John Denver, entertainment entrepreneur Walt Disney, movie reviewer Roger Ebert, Life magazine photographer Albert Eisenstadt, physicist Albert Einstein, New York Yankee legend Lou Gehrig, condiment king Henry J. Heinz, hotelier Conrad Hilton, comedian David Letterman, novelist Thomas Mann, dishwasher entrepreneur Frederick Maytag, journalist H.L. Mencken, movie director Mike Nichols, political cartoonist Thomas Nast, New York Times publisher Adolph Ochs, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Charles Pfizer, pioneering modern architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, slugger Babe Ruth, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, novelist John Steinbeck, piano maker Henry E. Steinway, blue jeans peddler Levi Strauss, real-estate wheeler-dealer Donald Trump, and electrical industry pioneer George Westinghouse. Despite hideous things that happened in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, we are part of a common civilization and should recognize that what happened there could happen here.

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