The Ruhr Crisis

In 1923, the German government was unable to pay the reparations required for the attrocities of World War I (required under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles). The French and Belgian governments responded to the German Government by sending in troops to the Ruhr, the main centre of Germany's coal, iron and steel production.

The Resistance Movement

The German people were outraged and many industrialists who had investments in the Ruhr, organized a passive resistance campaign. The French responded by bringing in their own workers to operate the mines and began arresting leaders of the resistance movement. The objective of the industrialists was to be released of other governments who were collapsing the German government, in result inflating German currency and making it near-useless.


The German government did not have enough money to pay for the passive resistance in the Ruhr, so it simply printed more. This caused inflation as the German government printed money that it did not have. This caused the value of money to go down and prices to go up which is a major reason the German economy went downhill even more (this had been happening since the time of the Kaiser, but in 1923 it got much worse).

This is called 'hyperinflation' which is disastrous for any country involved. People who had worked hard all their lives were turned into beggars as all their pensions and savings had lost value. Even people who were lucky enough to have jobs could not keep up with the extreme rise in prices. People did not blame the Kaiser's war government which had started the inflation by its borrowing, but instead blamed the Weimar government, which had agreed to pay reperations under the Versailles Treaty.

Stresemann's Decision

In 1923 the Chancellor, Stresemann, decided that Germany would have to give in to France. He was responsible for ending the policy of passive resistance in the Ruhr. This caused outrage throughout Germany as it showed betrayal by a government official who gave in to France's requests.