Germany 1918 - 1945

All you need to know about Germany between 1918 and 1945

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The Weimar Republic

After WW1 Kaiser fled Germany.

Democratic government introduced.

Revolt in Berlin by Sparticists: communist group.

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Positives of Weimar Republic

Bill of Rights: every German citizen freedom of speech, religion and equality.

All men and women over 20 allowed to vote.

Elected President and Elected Reichstag.

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Negatives of Weimar Republic

Proportional representations: Germans vote for a party.
                                          Each party allocated seats for the number of votes they got.

                                          Result - lots of tiny parties, no party getting the majority.

                                          No government get laws passed, they all wanted differnent                                             things.

Article 48: In emergency only

                President pass laws without the Reichstag.

                Problem - did not say what problem was, Hitler used to take power legally.  

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Key Problems 1919 - 1923

Weimar Republic created time of chaos and confusion after WW1.

Treaty of Versailles unfair. Did not like government for signing it.

Weimar government faced violent uprisings from various groups.

Economic problems.

1918 - 1919: People were starving,

                       Kaiser fled,

                       Hate government for signing Armistice, November 1918,

                       Freikorps refused to stop, formed private armies.

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Violence and Unrest

March 1920, Kapp Putsch, want the Kaiser back.

Nationalist terror groups assassinated 356 government politicians.

Many people in Germany were communists.

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Main Crisis- 1923

Germans failed to pay reparations on time this triggered...

  • French invade the Ruhr.
  • General strike.
  • Hyperinflation
  • Communists rebel.
  • Munich Putsch (Nazi attempt a rebellion in Munich.)
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Violence in the Weimar Republic.

January 1919 - 50,000 Spartacists rebel in Berlin.

                           Led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl                            Leibknecht.

March 1920 - Right-wing nationalist Dr Wolfgang Kapp took                         over Berlin.

                        Army refuse to attack him.

                        Defeated when workers went on                           strike.

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Germany missed reparaptions payment -> French invade the Ruhr -> German workers went on strike -> Government print off more money -> Hyperinflation.

Sudden flood of money, on top of general strike, meant no goods being produced, so more money chasing fewer goods, combined with weak economy (ruined by war), resulted in Hyperinflation.

A loaf of bread cost 250 marks in January 1923, risen to 200,000 million marks in November 1923.

Germany's currency = WORTHLESS!

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Good and Bad points on Hyperinflation


Some people made fortunes: People on wages were safe because they renegotiated their wages every day.


Pensioners on fixed incomed and people with   savings were the most badly hit.

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The Nazis

1919 - Adolf Hitler joined small right-winged group, German             Workers' Party.

          He took over, became leader and changed the name           to National Socialists (Nazis).

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The Nazi Ideology

Lebensraum - German nation to expand

A strong Germany - Treaty of Versailles abolished

                                   All German-speaking people in one                                    country.

Fuhrer - Single leader with complete power

Social Darwinism - Aryan race good

                                Jews bad

Germany was in danger -  from Communists and Jews had

                                             to be destroyed.

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really helpful - thanks a lot!

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