Economics and Family History
This year I learned many things about economics, by learning the basics and by studying the "Great Depression".
My great-great-grandfather was a horse trader and used to be the richest man in his village Süddendorf (Germany). He had eleven children (3 x twins among them). After the great depression with the galloping inflation started, he lost all of his wealth. People would get their job payments and would hasten to the stores, because hours later, the money was worth nothing any more. Everyone was a millionaire, but nobody could buy anything with the money.
My great-great-grandfather's daughters, my grandmother among them had to go to work (mind you, his daughters had to work!) in the Netherlands as housemaids. The Netherlands did not have hyperinflation, because, they had retained the goldstandard.
My great-grandfather, a Dutch boy on the Dutch side of the border, remembered, that he would take a quarter (25 cents) and go over to Germany and buy two entire cakes at the bakery. After he left the store, the women who was behind the counter still came running after him, wanting to give him his change. People were extremely happy to have at least some money that was worth anything.
My grandfather used to see a beautiful girl with long red hair behind the counter of a bakery where he lived. He was only 14 and never dared talking to her, until one day she was gone.
My great-grandfather was best of his class in ground school and the son of the "headmaster" (director) of the school was second best. Only one boy in the class would be going to the "Ambachtsschool" to learn more. The headmaster was the one who had to make the decision who would go.
Do you know who he chose? This man of integrity chose my great-grandfather instead of his own son.
While working as a building contractor, great-grandfather looked into a neighbouring garden and saw....
A beautiful woman with red hair. His building business with 6 man who worked for him, only earned enough to feed him and his elderly mother (after paying the workers), so he decided to apply for a position as a policeman in Amsterdam. 400 (!) applicants were tested and only 2 got a job. Those 2 were my great-grandfather and his dear friend Piet Elias. This proved to be an important occurrence as you can read in the history section.