"The mark cannot come back to normal value for generations", said Mr. John Mez, correspondent of the Frankfurter Zeitung at the Washington Conference on Armament and a member of the faculty at the University of Heidelberg, when interviewed recently on the economic condition of Germany by a CRIMSON reporter. "The paper mark is held at its present value only by the deposit of one billion gold marks in the Reichsbank. If Germany should have to pay that out, the paper mark would indeed become worthless, like a Russian ruble. If this gold backing is kept in the bank, the mark will not depreciate much more, but it may never come up to normal again. Such a process may even require centuries".
When questioned as to the actual condition of the people, Dr. Mez vigorously refuted the newspaper statements claiming that the severity of the economic situation was being exaggerated in order to arouse pity for Germany in the Ruhr question.
"It cannot be exaggerated", he asserted. "It is really terrible. The very few rich people live almost as before the war, and may even be able to enjoy themselves. But the population as a whole, the people of the nation, can hardly make a living. All their time must be taken in securing necessities. The German people have no opportunity to enjoy the higher life, churches, schools and art, as the Americans can. And", he added, "a millionaire before the war cannot even live comfortably now. The rich people have gained their wealth since 1918".
In conclusion, speaking about the stability of the government, Dr. Mez said, "The present government seems well-established but it is never safe. It is always afraid of the Communists. There is danger of a revolution at any time".
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