Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht (1877-1970)

German economics minister under Adolf Hitler. Born at Tinglev, in present-day Denmark, Schacht spent his childhood in the United States, but moved to Germany in 1889 and became one of the country’s leading bankers and financiers. As special currency commissioner (1923), he helped curb a disastrous inflationary spiral in the Weimar Republic. In 1931 he aided the formation of the so-called Harzburg Front between the Nazis and the German Nationalist party that prepared the way for Hitler’s rise to power. As minister of economic affairs (1934-37) and president of the Reichsbank (1933-39) under the Nazi regime, Schacht revived the German economy after the depression and facilitated German rearmament before World War II. His relationship with Hitler deteriorated during the war years, and in 1944 he was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the plot to assassinate the Nazi leader. Acquitted of war crimes by the Allies at Nuremberg in 1946, he was later briefly imprisoned by a German denazification court. In the 1950s he resumed his banking career, becoming an economic adviser to the governments of Egypt, Iran, and Indonesia.