Social and Cultural Developments in germany 1924-28

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  • Social + Cultural Developments in Germany 1924-28
    • Social Welfare Reform
      • Weimar constitution gave citizens more rights - some embraced + others lamented
      • 1926 the State was supporting more than 800,000 veterans + 360,000 war widows + over 900,000 war orphans
        • After 1924 taxes were increased
          • Means tests + snoopers were used to make sure no on was cheating the system + increasing delays in payments
            • Those in need of support felt humiliated + insulted by the system
    • Living Standards and lifestyles
      • Position of Women
        • Much talk about the 'New Woman'
          • Women had voting rights + access to education + equal opportunities in civil service + right to equal pay
            • By 1925 36% of the workforce was female
              • By 1933 there were 100,000 women teachers + 3000 women doctors
        • Over 2 million young german men had been killed during the war - lees opportunity for women to marry and have kids
          • War also brought many women into employment - many young women expected different lives from theur mothers
            • Not everyone approved of the change
              • Women had voting rights + access to education + equal opportunities in civil service + right to equal pay
                • By 1925 36% of the workforce was female
                  • By 1933 there were 100,000 women teachers + 3000 women doctors
              • The most popular women's group of the 1920s was the League of german Women (BDF)
                • Promoted traditional family values - supported by Churches
              • 'Demobilization laws required women to leave their jobs so returning soldiers could find work
                • No female representatives in the Reichstag
                  • In 1930 there were an estimated 10-12,000 deaths each year from illegal abortions
      • Young People
        • Education
          • Alongside the Gymnasium schools - there were the Realschule (6 years of schools for those going into apprenticeships)
            • System divided along class + religious lines
              • Education reformers wanted to break these divides + provide one education for all
                • this was unsuccessful - but they did introduce elementary schools
                  • Those who didn't pass the gymnasium entrance exam could stay on at elementary school for another 4 years
              • Catholics + Protestants defended their rights to teach by their religions
        • Youth Groups
          • Wandervogel - nationalistic middle class boys spent time outdoors
            • Church youth groups - tasks of youths were to promote religious observance + respect for the church, family, school
              • Political Youth Groups - SPD youth movement had the most members; The Bismarck Youth of the DNVP was quite popular; Hitler Youth growth was slow
        • Concerns of young people breaking free from traditional behaviour
          • Children from working class families had to leave school at 14 + begin work
            • 1925-26 17% of the unemployed were 14-21 because there was a baby boom
              • Many young people seeking work when employers were reducing workforces
                • Day centres were established to teach the unemployed young new skills
              • Many young people joined gangs for comradeship
      • Jews
        • Politics
          • Jewish publishing firms always had powerful influence
            • Walter Rathenau was Jewish and became Foreign minister in 1922 + was a leading member of the DDP
              • Jews also supported the SPD + KPD (Rosa Luxemburg, Hugo Haase)
        • Industry + Professions
          • The Rathenau family owned the huge electrical company AEG until 1929
            • Jewish firms dominated coal-mining, steelworks + chemical industry
              • Very little influence in the Rhineland or the Ruhr
                • Jews owned about 1/2 of the firms in the cloth trade
          • Jewish mining families owned about 50% of private banks
            • In the 1920s the role of Jews in banking was declining
          • Jews were 16% of lawyers + 11% of doctors - especially high numbers in Berlin
        • Anti-Semitism
          • Many Jews wanted to assimilate + considered themselves German
            • However many Germans didn't want to stop viewing Jews as aliens
              • Jewish Bolshevism (Jews linked to Communism) was supported by nationalists + right wingers
                • During the Golden age A-S was pushed to the side
        • 1925 Barmat Scandal
          • The Barmat brothers (Julius, Salomon + henri) were jewish businessmen
            • Convicted of bribing public officials to get loans from the prussian State Bank + national Post Office
        • More than 1/2 million Jews lived in germany - 80% lived in cities + were well educated
          • Jews were only 1% of the population but had a lot of influence in politics, press, business and banking
      • 1924-28 living standards improved
        • trade unions negotiated wages
          • Business owners benefited from germany's trading position
        • Those dependent on welfare benefits were less well off
          • Farmers + those who had lost their savings suffered
    • Development of Arts and Culture in the Weimar Republic
      • 1920s was an explosion of art and creativity - cradle of modernity
      • Berlin's Nightclubs
        • Famous for their cabarets
          • The Eldorado was a 'supermarket of eroticism'
            • Gays, lesbians + transvestites could freely express their identity
        • American Jazz music featured heavily
          • Comedians attacked politicians + authoriatian attitudes
            • Traditionalists felt that order + discipline had been eroded
              • Gays, lesbians + transvestites could freely express their identity
      • Art
        • Expressionism - express emotion rather than reality
          • Kandinsky, George Grosz, Franz Marc + Ernst Ludwig
      • Music
        • Expressionsim influecned music
          • Schoenberg conveyed powerful emotions - 'atonal' music (lacked key + harsh sounds)
      • Literature
        • Expressionism - focusing on a character's inner state
          • Key theme was revolting against parental authority
            • Thomas mann won the nobel prize in 1929 - left Germany after the Nazis came to power
      • Architecture
        • Bauhaus at dessau by William Gropius in 1919
          • School of architecture, art, design + photogrpahy
            • Encouraged to use new material + break down conventions
      • Theatre
        • Expressionist ideas + used symbolism to convey a message
          • Experimental theatre attacked politicians + capitalism + nationalism + war
            • The Threepenny opera - made heros of prostitutes and criminals
      • Film
        • Developed modern techniques
          • Jews fritz lang, Billy Wilder, Josef Von Sternberg were film pioneers

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