- Co-founder of the DDP
- President of the Reichsbank from 1923 to 1930 and from 1933 to 1939
Schacht was the son of a salesman and studied economics. He already made it to the top of Dresdner Bank during the Kaiserreich. He then transferred to the private National Bank for Germany, also serving as CEO there. He helped found the left-wing, liberal DDP in November 1918. In 1922, he became the director of Danat Bank, the result of a merger. During the hyperinflation of 1923, the Stresemann administration first appointed him Currency Commissioner and then President of the Reichsbank. In these roles, he succeeded in stopping the inflation. He took part in the Dawes Plan negotiations in 1924 as Germany’s delegate. From the mid-1920s on, Schacht’s political views shifted further and further to the right; in 1926, he left the DDP. In 1929, he again took part in reparations negotiations. After these talks, he took a public stance against the Young Plan’s conditions and against accepting it. When the Treaty was ratified by the Reichstag in the end, Schacht left his post as President of the Reichsbank in 1930. Towards the end of the Weimar Republic, he joined the right-wing radicals of the Harzburg Front, supported Hitler’s ambitions to take power, and facilitated contact among industrial players, the Nazi party, and Hindenburg. Under Hitler, Schacht was reappointed President of the Reichsbank in 1933. He was named Minister of Economic Affairs in 1934.