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IPFS News Link • Inflation

Ernest Hemingway Had a Few Thoughts on Hyperinflation

• Organic Prepper - Aden Tate

I'm not a big fan of Ernest Hemingway. Never have been. I enjoyed his The Old Man and the Sea, but I just found everything else that he ever wrote to be depressing and without any sense of closure. A Farewell to Arms? Bleh. For Whom the Bell Tolls? Bleck.

Give me Mark Twain any day. You can have the Hemingway.

But a friend of mine likes Hemingway, and after talking with him a bit, I decided to give ol' Ernie another go. I picked up a copy of By-Line: Ernest Hemingway by William White, and there are actually a number of things that Hemingway had to say about life in post-World War 1 Germany that I thought may be of interest to the reader of Organic Prepper.

While I knew Hemingway as a novelist, I wasn't familiar with the fact that he was a war correspondent for some time – spending years of his life traveling across the globe covering various current events.

German inflation from a street-level view 

Ernest Hemingway

German children playing with the mark, 1923. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In September 1922, Hemingway related the story to the Toronto Star of an old man in Kehl, Germany, who likely had his life savings wiped out by the rampant inflation of the German mark. As a result, the man wasn't even able to afford to buy an apple.

He also told the tale of a bakery in Kehl that was constantly swamped with Frenchmen. The French would travel across the border to take advantage of the incredibly low prices they would find in German restaurants due to German hyperinflation. The baker and his workers were sullen. Why? Because though they baked as fast as they could, their ovens were still unable to beat inflation.

It didn't matter what they did – they were going to be screwed, and they knew it. And the end result would be their becoming men unable to afford a single apple. (One questions their wisdom by continuing to bake.)

Anarchapulco 2023