Challenges from left and right



New Weimar Repbublic gov. faced opposition from:

  • groups inside the Reichstag 
  • Groups outside the Reichstag 
  • From both the left and right wings 
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The Spartacists

  • Left-wing 
  • from the Independent Social Party
  • Had soviet backing 
  • Led by Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht 
  • based in Berlin 
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The Freikorps

  • Right-wing
  • Made up of ex-soldiers who kept their weapons
  • By March 1919 had 250,00 men 
  • Organised by regular army 
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Challenge from the left: the Spartacist Revolt

  • In January 1919, Spartacists took over the gov. newspaper & telegraph bureau 
  • They tried to organise a general strike in Berlin 
  • Weimar gov. sent Friekorps units to put down Revolt 
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Challenge from the Right: the Kapp Putsch

  • March 1920, Fearing unemployment, Freikorps troops decided to march on Berlin 
  • President Ebert asked the head of army to resist Freikorps but he refused 
  • Nationalist Politician, Dr Wolfgang Kapp, put in charge by Rebels 
  • Weimar Gov. fled to Berlin for safety 
  • To put down the rebels/Kapp Putsch, gov. organised the trade unions to go on strike 
  • The natioanl strike caused such chaos that Kapp couldn't rule Germany, and was forced to leave 
  • Weimar Ministers returned 
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Political attacks on the Weimar Republic

  • Right-wing parties in the Reichstag 
  • Left-wing parties in the Reichstag 
  • The Spartacist Revolt 
  • Left-wing and right-wing political armies 
  • The Kapp Putsch 
  • Political assasinations 
  • Right-wing bias in the courts 
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Political assassinations

  • From 1919-23 politicians in the Weimar Repub were worried about assassinations 
  • In early years of Republic, 376 political assassinations took place
  • Some right-wing extremists used the murders to weaken new repub 
  • Conservative judges sympathetic to conservative cause and gave them light punishments 
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