Ruhr occupation or the Ruhr fight designates the high point of a political-military conflict, which took place 1923 in the Ruhr district between the German Reich and the Belgian-French occupation troops. It was one of the large problems in this crisis year of the Weimar Republic.
Germany was forced due to the Versailler of contract of 1919 to pay reparations to the allied ones of the First World War. After the failure to deliver the French government under in the reparation commission renewed its demand after control of the Ruhr district. To 8. March 1921 let it engage French and Belgian troops into the cities Duisburg and Duesseldorf in the demilitarized zone. With the occupation of the and Duisburger of area France secured itself regarding the remaining, still vacant Ruhr district a key position. From there out the Frenchmen exercised control of the most important commercial centres at Rhine and Ruhr. With the monitoring of the Duisburg Ruhrorter the exact registration of the entire export of coal, steel and finished products of the Ruhr district was possible. Since Duisburg and Duesseldorf were ideal bridgeheads, from which outgoing the entire Ruhr district could be taken, threatened one in the further process of the controversy with the occupation of the whole Ruhr district. Because of large economic problems of the German Reich the allied ones did 1922 without reparation payments in the form of money and called in instead of its contributions of equipment (steel, wood, coal). On 26 December the allied Reparationskonferenz determined unanimously that Germany with the Reparationslieferungen was in arrears.
When on 9 January the reparation commission maintained 1923, Germany would hold intentionally supplies back (among other things 30,000 telegraph bars), on 11 January 1923 the entire Ruhr district, on the basis of the and Duisburger area already occupied by French and Belgian troops at the beginning of 60.000, later for 100,000 men was also occupied. A goal was to drive the reparation payments direct in coal (politics of the "productive The Ruhr district was at this time the center of the German heavy industry. An occupation of the Ruhr district met also with interests of France in the linksrheinischen areas. This was rather sceptically regarded by England and the USA fait accompli.
Occupation released a proclamation of national indignation in the German Reich. The realm government under non-party chancellor Wilhelm Cuno called the population to the "passive resistance": No more reparations were paid, industry, administration and traffic were partly paralyzed with general strikes. Enterprises and authorities partly did not respond to the arrangements of the Besatzer. France reacted to it with 150.000 imposed punishments, which went every now and then up to classifications out of the occupied area. In the meantime former free corps members and also communist committed acts of sabotage and notices against the occupation troops. And demanded 137 dead ones escalated the again reacted with and death sentences, the situation. Persons, who were condemned like Albert Leo Schlageter to death, were explained in the German public as martyrs. Beside the economical produced by passive resistance also a linguistic pressure was developed: Up to then in German common leaning words were replaced by German terms, like e.g. casino by work hotel, telephone by telephone, Billet by ticket, Trottoir by sidewalk or automatically through automatically.
During the passive resistance the wages were taken over by approximately 2 million workers of the Ruhr district by the state, printed for this purpose more moneys. This procedure was not portable on long time, since the economic crisis strengthened and inflation and production and shortfalls in revenue loaded the German household.
New realm chancellor Gustav Stresemann saw himself finally forced on 26 September 1923 to announce the abort of the passive resistance. The end of the Ruhr fight supplied a pretext to anti-republican, reactionary forces with in Bavaria for the establishment of a dictatorship. The economical total damage of Ruhr occupation amounted to 3,5 to 4 billion Goldmark. The end of the Ruhr fight made a currency reform possible, which was the condition for a renegotiation of the reparations.
On pressure of the USA and Great Britain France in the autumn gave in 1923 by conclusion of the MICUM agreements and a new Reparationsplan, which became Dawes plan, 1924 developed. The crew of the Ruhr district ended to discharged Dawes plan in accordance with that 1924 in July/August 1925.
See also: Rheini separatism
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