D O C U M E N T 1 7 6 D E C E M B E R 1 9 2 3 2 8 5
On Mark and his request for funding, see Doc. 165.
Carel J. de Ridder and Tatiana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa. The bestseller “Kimono” by the British
diplomat Frank T. A. Ashton-Gwatkin (written under the pen name John Paris; Paris 1922) recounts
the marriage between an English officer and a Europeanized Japanese woman who is favorably con-
trasted with the women and culture of her home country.
Ehrenfest had left Leyden for the United States on 3 December 1923 (see Doc. 165).
The German government had adjusted the salaries of civil servants, calculated in gold marks
(i.e., prewar marks that had been pegged to gold), to half of the level of wages before the outbreak of
World War I; this was reported by, e.g., the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (8 December 1923, ME)
and Algemeen Handelsblad (8 December 1923, ME).
In an attempt to halt the disastrous hyperinflation and stabilize the German currency, the govern-
ment established the new Rentenbank. On 15 November, it had started circulating the new Renten-
mark, which was backed by land and industrial mortgages. Five days later, the Rentenbank and
Reichsbank set the official exchange rate of the paper mark at 4.2 trillion to 1 U.S. dollar. The gold
mark had always been considered equal to 10/42 of the dollar, so equating one Rentenmark to one
trillion paper marks would reintroduce prewar rates, with the Rentenmark equal to the gold mark. On
foreign exchanges, the paper mark traded as low as 6.7 trillion on 1 December, but settled at 4.2 tril-
lion by 3 December (Feldman 1997, pp. 794–795).