My mom was born in Germany, shortly after the Weimar Republic collapsed. Her grandfather was a wealthy landowner who was convinced to sell most of his gold for Deutsche Marks, and he lost nearly everything. My mom told me a story of her as a child, peering through the window, watching her grandfather empty his last small change purse of gold coins onto his bed, and count them back into his purse. He'd then dump it out and do it again. He was catatonic. The hyper-inflation destroyed him. Body and mind.
Born in 1930, my mom's childhood consisted mainly of growing up under the Nazis. Near the end of the war she was kicked out of the Hitler Youth for insubordination. In the waning days of WWII, as the Russians were rolling across East Pomerania, where my mom's family lived, the name of the game was to surrender to Western Allies like the Americans, the Brits or the Canadians. No matter what: do not get captured by the Russians (my mother's step-grandmother even gave them cyanide capsules to take should that happen. She would have been 14 at that point).
Her entire village fled, her best friend, cousin Ulla and her family heading out a day before her own - in the same direction, using the same methods as everybody would go - West. By motor-car, open railcars even some horse drawn carts
However, one key difference meant that Ulla's family would never make it to the West, as they were never able to get across the Oder River, and ultimately, they were trapped behind Russian lines. My mom's family, her mother, sister and younger brother - (her father had been sent to the front), made it across.
Germany was carved up as East and West. The East became a communist gulag, while in time, the West became the economic powerhouse of free Europe