Poincaré's invasion of the Ruhr District in 1923 might have been driven by sincerely-held convictions, but inflicted untold damage on the political health of the fledgling German Republic. Passive resistance by the people of the Ruhr was driven by their republican convictions, but the physical and moral price they paid during this campaign was compounded by its failure. Their commitment to the republican order was further compromised by the readiness of cash-strapped industrialists to renege on their promises to Weimar. A decade later Hitler's Nazis were arguably the indirect beneficiaries of the Ruhr Crisis. Despite this bleak scenario, there were moments when key players — French and German — seemed to recognise that the futures of France and Germany were inextricably linked if Europe was ever to enjoy peace and prosperity. That realisation has finally born fruit in the aftermath of World War Two with the creation of the European Union.
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