The Weimar Republic 1919
- In 1919 Germany was run by The Weimar Republic (The name given to the German government after WW1, they were the first democratic government in germany)
- At Versaille in Paris the treaty of versaille was signed (this was a peace settlement between germany and the othert allies)
- The effects of the treaty on Germany:
- Land- 13% land lost
- Army- 100,000 troops lost
- Money- Had to pay reperations
- Blame- had to take the blame for the war
In January 1919 there was an uprising known as the sparacist revolt they were supporters of communsiom and were led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. The reason this happened was because in 1918 Germany signed an armistice (this was an agreement to stop fighting) this made people angry as it made Germany look weak, the people who signed the armisice where known as the "november criminals".
The uprising failed as the government used the Freikorps (ex soldiers) to deal with them.
In March 1920 the Kapp Putsch took place (a Putsch is a small revolt against a government) it was lead by Wolfgang Kapp along with the Freikorps they were attempting to over throw the government. They were extreme right wing group and unhappy with the way the government was run. The only reason they helped
them get rid of the sparticists was because they were a right wing group and the sparticists were a left wing group (communists). They diliked them and enjoyed stopping there revolts.
So when the kapp putsch came along they refused to help the government this time. The only reason the kapp putsch failed was because the government appealed to workers of Berlin (who were left wing) they went on strike which put it to a stop.
1923: In 1923 Geramny missed a reperation payment so the French invaded the Ruhr (Germanys industrial heartland) and took what they wanted.
- Workers were on strike and the government gave them strike pay which they couldnt afford.
- So they printed off more money which became worthless.
- This led to hyperinflation, all peoples savings were worth nothing for example a loaf of bread would have cost 2000000 marks.
- People werent happy so it led to lost of uprising to try and take power fromt the Weimar Republic.
- It seemed like the perfect time for Hitler to seize power
- He had 55,000 members in his Nazi Party
- The weimar Republic was about to collapse, he had a huge army or Storm Troopers (protected Nazi meetings and disrupted apponants meetings/ gatherings)
The Munich Putsch/ Beer Hall Putsch 1923
In 1923 he gathered the SA and plotted with two nationalist poloticians Kahr and Lossow to take over Munich.
- On 4th October 1923 Kahr and Lossow called off the rebellion.
- On 8th November 1923 Hitler and 600 hundred storm troopers burst into a meeting that Kahr and Lossow were holding at a beer hall (this is where the name beer hall putsch comes from). He forced them to agree to rebel.
- The next day 9th November 1923 Hitler and the Nazis went into munich to try and take over, but Kahr called the police and army reinforcements 16 Nazis were killed, Hitler fled and was arrested he was tricked.
The Munich Putsch was a failure Hitler went to prison and and after that he decided not to use violent means to get into power again. In prison he wrote a book called "Mein Kampf" which contained his first main ideas.
The golden years 1924-29
In 1924 a man named Gustav Stresseman became foreign minister (dealt with policies to do with other countries)
He sorted Germany out-
- He ended hyperinflation by burning all the old worthless bank notes and replaced it with a new currency.
- He improved relations with other countries inparticular Britain, France and the USA.
- In 1924 the USA leant money to help pay back the reperations this was known as the Dawes plan.
- French troops were gradually with drawn from the ruhr, and German industries began to recover.
- He signed the Locarno packed in 1925 (this was a group of treaties the idea was to tidy up arguments from WW1)
- In 1926 Germany also joined the league of nations (an organisation to promote peace and co-operations among nations).
Things were looking up for Germany when Hitler came out of prison in 1924 people werent interested in his extremist ideas. So he waited, he continued to speak out against the treaty of versaille and built up his SA brownshirts.
Then Stressemann died in 1929
The Wall street Crash
The wall street crash happened in october 1929 . THis was were the USA's econamy was hit. The impact of the WSC was not only on the USA but it quickly spread and Germany was particularly hard hit because its econamy relied on loans from USA.
The great depression was a consequence of the WSC. Many people were unemployed, and the support for the weimar republic weakened. So more support for extremist parties like communists and nazis grew. This was good for Hitler as people were taking an interest, his waiting paid off.
In 1930 Chancellor Brunig cut government expenditure wages and unemployment pay. The worst thing to do in the depression. He could not get the Reichtag to agree to his actions so president Hindenburg used article 48 to pass measures by decree (desision).
Hitler took advantage of this and held rallies touring Germany promising to restore the economy.
By 1932 the Nazis had 230 seats at the Reichstag and were the largest party.
The government was in chaos Hindenburg dismmised Brunig in 1932. Replaced with Von Papen, he was then replaced by Von Schleicher he only lasted 2 months so Hindenburg had to use article 48 to pass almost every law.
In January 1933 Hindenburg and Papen came up with an idea to get the Nazis on their side by offering to make Hitler Vice Chancellor. He refuced and demanded to be made chancellor. They agreed thinking they could control him.
Hitlers Rise to Power
- On 30th January 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg. But Hitler wanted to free himself from all controls as soon as possible and create a dictatorship. These were the methods Hitler used in rise to power:
- The reichstag fire: 27th February 1933 the Reichstag was set on fire. At the time the nazis blamed a dutch communist. But many Germans back then and people nowadays think that the Nazis started the fire as they had been telling people for ages that Communists were trying to seize power in Germany and he said that the fire was evidence that they were dangerous.
- So he asked Presidant Hindenburg for emergency powers under Article 48 of the weimar constitution.(These powes allowed Hitler to order the arrest of thousands of Socialists and Communists and other opponenets of the Nazi party. Hence less oposition.
- The Election: Hitler held an election in March 1933 to try and increase the Nazis share of votes. He won the election as the Nazis won 44% of the wotes which gave hom 288 seats. They were now the largest part in the Reichstag.
- But however he needed the help of other parties to create a dictatorship, as he would need two thrids of the seats to be able to do this.
- The Enabling Law: On the 24th March 1933 the Reichstag met to discuss the enabaling law, Hitler wanted this because it would place all power in his hands. For this to happen he would need the reischtag to give up their power and hand it over to him!
- How did he manage this? He got the Catholic part on his side by promosing to defend the church. He used emergency powers to ban communists from voting. The only people who voted against it was the social democrats. So the enabaling law was passed with 444 votes to 94.
Germany was now a Dictatorship, and all the important decisions were made by Hitler.
- Trade Unions taken over: On the 2nd of May trade union offices were taken over and the leaders arrested. They were all merge into one organisation, the new German labour front (DAF). The DAF was controlled by the Nazis.
- All political parites banned: In july a new law was intoduced that stopped other political parties forming. Also already the social democrats and communist parties had been banned. Many current parties had broken up and this new law meant there were no other parties to challenge the Nazis because there werent any.
- 1934: Night of the long knives: On the 29-30th of June SA leaders were dragged from their beds and took to the Nazi headquaters and shot dead. This was a warning to the rest of Germany about how ruthless Hitler was in his persuit to power.
- The reason he did this was because Hitler was concerned about the increasing power of the SA, it had 3 million members and wanted to take control over the army.