Sufferings of Eastern Germany


originally published in 1931, describes the plight of Germany’s eastern provinces in the Weimar period.


SC. 61pp.

What has been said presents a picture extraordinarily gloomy both in details and as a whole. It may be summed up as follows:

1. The economic distress of the German East is, in view of the fateful interrelation of economic problems, a general distress, just as the whole German East forms a united economic territory; it affects all the eastern provinces as a whole, even though in differing degree. The maintaining of the East in its full extent is a vital matter for Germany.

2. The causes of the economic distress are the same in all the eastern provinces: the cessions of territory, the senseless manner in which the frontier was drawn, with its mutilating of interdependent economic districts, the intolerable burden of the Polish Corridor, as well as the loss of further markets, and all this intensified by the distressed condition of agriculture even in the East.

3. The economic, social and cultural distress of the German East is so great that if adequate help had not come, total collapse must result with its dangers for Reich and state, and with a menacing reduction of agricultural production. This help must, however, be continued.

4. The main sufferers are the agriculturists, the backbone and main dependence of the German East. Without help for them it will hardly be possible to pay reparations. Germany’s imports of foodstuffs in 1929 exceeded exports by 3,135 million marks.

5. Self-help is no longer adequate enough to bring about a change. The Reich and the state have the duty and the responsibility of giving help in every possible way to these frontier districts, which are exposed to special dangers.

Distress in the East is German distress.