Gustav Stresemann (1878–1929) was the most successful statesman of interwar Germany. He had a career in small business and earned a doctorate before World War I (1914–1918). Afterwards, he gained renown as Germany's Chancellor (1923) and Foreign Minister (1923–1929).
In 1923, Germany suffered from severe hyperinflation. Chancellor Stresemann rescued the German economy with his capable leadership. He introduced a new currency and reduced the budget deficit. He ended the labor strike in the Ruhr and promised to pay reparations to the Allies again. His achievement was amazing because he accomplished it in a few short months.
As Foreign Minister, Stresemann spent the rest of his career and life restoring Germany's status in Europe and normalizing its foreign relations. Paying reparations to the Allies was a severe drain on the German economy, so he assiduously worked to reduce them. This was achieved with the Dawes Plan (1924) and Young Plan (1929). He got foreign troops to leave the Ruhr in 1924. Later, Germany signed the Locarno Pact and joined the League of Nations. Stresemann won the Nobel Prize for peace in 1926, along with his friend—French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand.
Stresemann died at the height of his success. Overwork was a factor in his death. He achieved a great deal, but the Germany he helped shape could not withstand the strain of the Great Depression. The Great Depression undid his economic achievements; it also opened the door for the rise of Adolph Hitler and eventual German ruin in World War II.