Hjalmar Schacht

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Hjalmar Schacht
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Full Name: Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht
Origin: Tinglev, Province of Schleswig-Holstein, German Empire
Occupation: Currency Commissioner and President of the Reichsbank
Crimes: War crimes
Type of Villain: Politician


Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht (January 22nd, 1877 – June 3rd, 1970) was a German economist, banker, liberal politician, and co-founder in 1918 of the German Democratic Party. He served as the Currency Commissioner and President of the Reichsbank under the Weimar Republic. He was a fierce critic of his country's post-World War I reparation obligations.

He became a supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and served in Hitler's government as President of the Reichsbank (1933–1939) and Minister of Economics (August 1934 – November 1937). As such, Schacht played a key role in implementing the policies attributed to Hitler.

Since he had concerns about the policy of German re-armament and its effect upon the German economy, he clashed with Hitler and most notably with Hermann Göring, and was dismissed as President of the Reichsbank in January 1939. He remained as a minister without portfolio, and received the same salary, until he was fully dismissed from the government in January 1943. In 1944, was arrested and thrown into a concentration camp after Hitler believed he was part of the July 20th plot. After the war, he was tried at Nuremberg but acquitted.

In 1953, he founded a private banking house in Düsseldorf. He also advised developing countries on economic development. Indirectly resulting from his founding of the bank, Schacht was the plaintiff in a foundational case in German law on the "general right of personality". A magazine published an article criticizing Schacht, containing several incorrect statements. Schacht first requested that the magazine publish a correction, and when the magazine refused, sued the publisher for violation of his personality rights. The district court found the publisher both civilly and criminally liable; on appeal, the appellate court reversed the criminal conviction, but found that the publisher had violated Schacht's general right of personality.

Schacht died in Munich, Germany, on 3 June 1970.