Strength of the Weimar Republic

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
Strength of the Republic
Political Violence
Left Wing
The Spartacist Revolt
The German Communist Party (KPD) was set up as a result of the German Workers' and
German Soldiers' Councils' decision to hand over power to an elected parliament without
carrying out the socialisation of industry or the creation of a workers' militia first.
On 5th January 1919, the Communists attempted to seize power in Berlin but were brutally
crushed by the military and the Freikorps.
o The KPD's leaders, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were murdered on the 15th.
A series of riots broke out over the coming months in major German cities but they were
repressed by the Freikorps and the army.
o This led to an increasingly polarised German society.
o The unrest confirmed the Right's fears that the KPD were planning a revolution.
o It also confirmed the Left's suspicions that the army was an undemocratic force.
The Ruhr Uprising ­ 1920
After the Kapp Putsch, the trade unions hoped that the government would purge the right
wing elements of the army and administration, and start setting up workers' councils and
nationalising heavy industry.
The KPD had drawn up their own Red Army and had seized the Ruhr area while the Putsch
broke out.
o They were crushed however by the army and Freikorps. It also fragmented the
hopes of the trade unions.
Right Wing
Völkisch and extreme right groups sprang up in Bavaria.
The `stab in the back' myth was brought about by Hindenburg during the Commission of
Enquiry. This phrase was seized by nationalistic groups who also targeted the `November
The Kapp Putsch
Wolfgang Kapp led the National Association to take over Berlin. They took advantage of
resentment from the recently disbanded Freikorps.
The Reichswehr refused to crush the Putsch so Kapp briefly succeeded.
The Putsch was stopped when the trade unions called a general strike which paralysed
Kapp's new government.
o A strong right-wing power base remained in Bavaria however.
Munich Putsch
Bavaria was led by Catholic conservative, Gustav von Kahr who wanted to restore Germany
to its pre-war values. He found support in Adolf Hitler.
o Hitler had transformed the German Workers' Party into the NSDAP which was
strengthened by the paramilitary SA.

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Harry Jordan 12RO History
The Putsch was planned by the Kampfbund which used the SA and Hitler's political leadership
to generate support.
o He needed the support of von Kahr, the State Commissioner, von Seisser, the head
of the police and von Lossow, the state commander of the Reichswehr.
Seisser began to have doubts however after failing to secure support from the army. This led
Hitler, who wanted to seize the moment, to initiate the Putsch by force.…read more

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