What were the problems of the Weimar Republic?
- The people believed the Government had stabbed the army in the back to end WWI.
· Proportional Representation caused weak coalition governments.
· The country was unstable and had to deal with the Spartacist Rebellion and the Kapp Putsch.
· The Treaty of Versailles that Germany was forced to sign with the allies was very unpopular.
· Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution allowed the country to be run as a virtual dictatorship in times of crisis.
What were the terms of the Treaty of Versailles?
· Article 231 meant Germany had to take responsibility for starting WWI.
· Germany had to pay £6,600 million in reparations.
· Germany was banned from joining the League of Nations.
· Germany had 13% of its land taken away.
· Germany’s army was limited to 100,000 and they were banned from using aircraft.
What is hyperinflation?
This is when a government prints off too much money. This causes the currency to become worthless and the prices of goods rise very quickly.
What caused hyperinflation in Germany in 1923?
In 1921, Germany’s reparations bill was fixed at £6,600 million, to be repaid at a rate of £100 million per year. The German government made the first payment in 1921, but failed to make a payment the following year. The French and Belgians were angry at not receiving their money so they invaded and occupied the Ruhr, Germany’s main industrial region, in 1923. The Government called all German workers out on strike and printed off extra money to keep paying them. This led to hyperinflation.
How did the German Economy recover?
Gustav Stesemann became Chancellor in the summer of 1923.
· He introduced a new currency called the Rentenmark to replace the old worthless one.
· He signed the Dawes Plan with the USA in 1924, which made the repayments more manageable and gave Germany loans to rebuild their economy.
· He persuaded France and Belgium to leave the Ruhr.
· He signed the Young Plan with the USA in 1929. This reduced Germany’s reparations payments by ¾ and gave them an extra 59 years to pay them off.
What was the NSDAP?
- The Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party.
- Anton Drexler was the founder.
In July 1921 Hitler took control, calling himself Fuhrer.
What were their ideas?
· Hitler was a talented and persuasive public speaker.
· People were angry that the Government had stabbed the army in the back.
· People hated the Weimar Republic.
· People were angry at the Treaty of Versailles.
· People thought the Communists and the Jews were destroying Germany.
What were the causes of the Munich Putsch?
· Hitler hated the Weimar Republic.
· Germany was humiliated following the occupation of the Ruhr.
· Hitler hated the Treaty of Versailles.
· Germany had no power internationally.
· The Nazi Party had grown in size.
· Hyperinflation had crippled the country.
· The SA would be strong armed support.
· Hitler had the support of General Ludendorff, a former army leader.
· Hitler was confident that the Bavarian Minister, von Kahr and the army would support him.
What were the events of the Munich Putsch?
On November 8th, 1923, Hitler and 600 Nazis seized the Burgerbrau Keller where von Kahr and other Bavarian leaders were meeting and kidnapped them at gunpoint. Once they agreed to support Hitler, he let them go and told the authorities of Hitler’s plan to march on Berlin. Hitler continued with the march. He only had 2,000 rifles, many of which did not work properly, and the Nazis were no match for the German police force. 16 Nazis and 4 policemen were killed and Hitler was arrested.
What were the consequences of the Munich Putsch?
· Hitler was put on trial for treason. The trial made him famous across Germany. Hitler was given the minimum sentence of 5 years in prison but only served 9 months.
· In prison, Hitler wrote his autobiography, Mein Kampf, which outlined his political ideas.
· In prison, Hitler decided to gain power through elections instead of armed putsches.
Why was Hitler appointed Chancellor in 1933?
· The Nazi Part used propaganda designed by Josef Goebbels to convince people to vote for them. Their most famous slogan was “Work and Bread.”
· The Nazis did very well in elections. In 1928, they were the smallest party in the Reichstag with just 12 seats but by 1932, they were the largest party in the Reichstag with 230 seats.
· Many middle class people and wealthy business men were scared of the communists so gave the Nazi Party financial support.
· The SA intimidated people into voting Nazi and broke up opposition meetings.
· Hitler was a charismatic and skilful public speaker. People believed his promises that he could solve Germany’s economic problems.
· President Hindenberg appointed Hitler as Chancellor as he believed the experienced von Papen, whom he made Vice-Chancellor, would be able to control Hitler.
What was the significance of the Reichstag fire?
Hitler had called a General Election for March 5th,1933. On the night of February 27th, 1933, the Reichstag burned down. Historians believe the SA started the fire but Hitler blamed the communists and a young Dutch communist named Marius van der Lubbe was arrested and blamed. Hitler used the incident as evidence that the communists were planning a revolution. As a result, Hitler passed the “Decree for the Protection of the People and the State” which limited free speech, the right to assembly, freedom of the press and allowed imprisonment without trial.
Why was the Enabling Act important for Hitler?
In the General Election of March, 1933, Hitler still did not win an overall majority. He took control Germany by passing the Enabling Act on March 23rd, 1933. It was passed by 444 votes to 94 after the SA stopped many opponents from reaching the vote. It gave Hitler total control over Germany and became the corner stone of the Third Reich, allowing Hitler to create a dictatorship. The Enabling Act allowed Hitler to:
· Ban Trade Unions,
· Ban Opposition Parties,
· Stop Jews working for the Government.
What was the importance of the Night of the Long K
Also known as Operation Hummingbird, on June 30th , 1934, during the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler got rid of the opposition hat existed to his leadership from within the Nazi Party. Hitler had the SS arrest and shoot 400 leading members of the SA, including its leader, Ernst Rohm. Rohm had been beginning to threaten Hitler’s leadership. He thought Hitler’s policies were changing Germany too slowly and he wanted the SA to replace the army.
Why was support from the army important to Hitler?
Following the death of President Hindenburg on August 2nd, 1934, Hitler merged the roles of Chancellor and President into the role of Fuhrer. To help him control Germany, he forced all members of the army to swear an oath of allegiance to him personally. On August 19th, 1934, He rigged a referendum on a leadership, showing 90% of the German people supported him.