Germany After World War I


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Germany After World War I
Initial Problems
After the First World War Germany was left in ruins, 2 million had died and Germany's surrender did not please the German
people. There were many strikes and demonstrations and a lot of people were starving.
Ludendorff, who was the military commander fled to Sweden.
Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated. Leader of Social Party ­ Fredrick Ebert was appointed leader of the government.
11th November 1918 German armed forces surrender.
Treaty of Versailles ­ 440 clauses, most offensive was clause 231 which said that Germany must take the blame for the war and
to pay reparations for the £6600million damaged caused.
The Spartacist Rebellion
5th January 1919 ­ attempted an armed putsch in Berlin aiming to snatch power from President Ebert.
They gained control of some newspaper offices but Ebert called on the Freikorps (Fascist Soldiers) to put the revolt down.
By 13th January the Spartacist putsch had been stamped out and its two leaders ­ Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnacht has been
murdered. The putsch had demonstrated political instability and this was addressed by the new republic.
Kapp Putsch
Right wing extremists used the newly formed Freikorps to stage an armed uprising in Berlin in March 1920.
Led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp when Ebert called on the soldiers to fire on the Freikorps they refused to do it.
It was a general strike lead by workers which fizzled out after just four days ­ and Kapp and his accomplice General Von Luttwitz
fled to Sweden.
The Munich Putsch
The effects of hyperinflation aroused anger with the small extreme right winged party ­ The Nazi Party.
Founded in 1919 by Anton Drexler, Adolf Hitler soon joined and replaced Drexler as leader by 1921.
Ex Freikorps soldiers were asked to join and these men created the SA or brown shirts, led by Ernst Röhm.
On 8th November 1923 Hitler supported by 600 brown shirts burst into a public held meeting aiming to hijack the meeting and
persuade Kahr to join him.
With a gun at his head, Gustav von Kahr who was holding the meeting had to agree with Hitler's plans however informed the
police of Hitler's plans as soon as he had left.
Hitler and Ludendorff were arrested and only Hitler was found guilty.
He spend nine months of a five year prison sentence in jail where he wrote his book ­ `Mein Kampf'.
In 1921 Germany managed to make the £100million reparation, however failed the following year which made the French angry.
When they didn't get the money they went into the Ruhr (which was the largest industrial area in Germany) and this caused a
strike with the German Workers ­ which was approved by the government.
So the workers were still paid and the government printed lots of money causing hyperinflation.
Gustav Stresemann
Introduced the Rentenmark.
Negotiated the Dawes Plan with the USA in 1924 which reorganised the reparations bill to more affordable chunks.
By 1930 the USA had pumped £3000million into Germany and unemployment fell and coalmine, steel plants and factories began
to prosper again.
In 1925 Stresemann organised the withdrawal of the French and Belgium Troops from the Ruhr.
October 1925 ­ Locarno Pact with Britain, France, Belgium and Italy, which secured boundaries.
September 1926 ­ It joined the League of Nations and was given a permanent seat on the Security Council which was a great
achievement because of what happened 1914-1918.
And in 1928 signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact 60 countries which stated that they would never go to war with each other.
Nazi Status
Support for the extreme parties dwindled.
May 1924 the Nazis won 32 seats. December 1924 the Nazis won 14 seats. In 1928 the Nazis won 12 seats.
The Communists Status also diminished.
Wall Street Crash
October 1929 caused the stocks to plummet. Overnight people and banks lost millions of dollars.
The caused the USA to request the money back immediately from their loans.
This destroyed the basis of the economic recovery and send Germany into Political crisis.
By the end of 1930 the parliamentary democracy had ceased to exist in Germany.


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