Ambassador Frederic Sackett and the collapse of the Weimar Republic, 1930–1933
The United States and Hitler's rise to power
By Bernard V. Burke
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 1995
Online Publication Date:September 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511572340.013
From the time he arrived in Berlin to the date of his departure from Germany, Ambassador Sackett expressed his concern that the Weimar Republic was in danger. Very early in his mission he detected a problem in American policy. It was the intention of the United States to support political stability and economic prosperity in Europe. The means adopted to achieve that goal was to support republican government in Germany with a policy of loans and investments. Committed to the Weimar Republic, the United States relied on the private sector to achieve its goal. Although he was without experience in diplomacy, Sackett was a seasoned veteran in business and finance, which enabled him quickly to understand that American loan policy to Germany was a source of potential trouble for both nations. Sackett was confronted with the loan issue soon after he arrived in Berlin when he learned that American bankers were organizing a major loan to the German government. Without hesitation, Sackett criticized the loan as unnecessary and undesirable. He opposed the loan and informed the U.S. government that the Germans should be forced to deal with their domestic fiscal problems with their own resources; such loans only helped to postpone the consequences of German failure to address their pressing domestic financial problems. It was that inability to put their financial house in order that Sackett saw as the fundamental problem faced by the Germans.