Currency reform 1948

Währungsreform 1948 in München, gefilmt 1948. Filmlänge 4:30. Zum Erwerb einer Lizenz für den vollständigen Beitrag wird eine Lizenzgebühr in Höhe von 9 mal 30 Sekunden berechnet. #191352


Währungsreform 1948 from Historiathek – zb Media on Vimeo.

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Currency reform 1948

Historical context Currency reform 1948

The currency reform of 1948 in Germany was a significant event that decisively changed the economic foundations of the post-war period. It took place on 20 June 1948 and marked the transition from the Reichsmark to the Deutsche Mark in the western occupation zones (American, British and French zones). This reform played a central role in Germany’s economic recovery after the Second World War.

After the Second World War, the German economy was in a desolate state. The Reichsmark was heavily inflated and confidence in the currency was severely weakened. There was also a large amount of hoarded money, which further fuelled inflation. In the years following the war, economic recovery was necessary in the western occupation zones in order to rebuild the country and improve living conditions.

Implementation of the currency reform in 1948

The currency reform was prepared in secret and implemented unexpectedly in order to prevent speculation and black market trading. The reform included the conversion of the old Reichsmark to the new Deutsche Mark (DM) at a rate of 1 DM = 10 RM. Every citizen received an initial credit of DM 40 per person, later increased to DM 60, to cover basic needs.
Effects in Munich

In the film we see Munich. Munich, as one of the major cities in the American occupation zone, was directly affected by the currency reform. The introduction of the new currency meant that many shops that had previously closed their doors due to the worthless Reichsmark reopened and offered goods. The black market, which had flourished in the immediate post-war period, was largely suppressed.

The reform led to a stabilisation of the economy, as the new currency was seen as stable and trustworthy. This created the basis for the so-called “economic miracle”, a phase of rapid economic growth in the 1950s.
Social and economic consequences

In the days following the currency reform, confidence in the economy returned. Consumption increased as people spent their hoarded savings. Manufacturing companies resumed work, which led to a revival of the labour market. In the long term, the currency reform led to a stabilisation of prices and laid the foundations for the subsequent economic recovery and growth of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In Munich, as in other parts of Germany, the reform led to a significant improvement in living conditions. The supply situation improved quickly, as the Western Allies, in particular the USA, also provided economic aid through the Marshall Plan programme.

The currency reform of 1948 was a decisive step towards Germany’s economic stabilisation and recovery after the Second World War. For cities like Munich, it signalled the end of the post-war crisis and the beginning of a phase of reconstruction and growth. The introduction of the Deutschmark laid the foundations for the subsequent economic miracle and contributed significantly to the creation of a stable and prosperous economy.

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