The Weimar Republic
After Germany lost the First World War, the Kaiser fled and a new government of Germany was declared in February 1919 at the same town of Weimar. It was too dangerous to make a declaration at Berlin where there had just been revolt by a Communist group called the Spartacists. The weimar Republic was a genuine attempt to create a perfect democracy.
The Weimar Republic looked like the perfect democracy, but it had two great weaknesses - proportional and Article 48.
The Munich Putsch
In November 1923, Hitler tried to take advantage of the crisis facing the Weimar government by instigating a revolution in Munich. It seemed like the perfect opportunity, but poor planning and misjudgement resulted in failure and the subsequent imprisonment of Adolf Hitler.
How did the Weimar republic survive?
In 1923, the Weimar Republic was on the verge of collapse, but, surprisingly, the crisis was the start of a period of stability and success. The period 1923- 1929 was a time when the economy boomed and cultural life flourished in Germany. This was because Gustav Stresesmann organised the Great Coalition of pro-democracy parties. Charles Dawes also contributed to the Weimar republic surviving by reforming the German Reichsbank, eliminating hyperinflating by burning all the old money.
How Hitler consolidate power
In Junuary 1933 Hitler became chancellor of Germany and by August 1924, he had declared himself Fuhrer. This happened because of the following events:
- The Reichtag Fire
- The General Election
- The Enabling Act
- Local government is re-organised
- Trade Unions are abolished
- Hitler makes an agreement with the Pope to destroy communism
- Political parties are banned (except Nazis)
- Night of the long Knives
Women in the Nazi state
Hitler had very clear ideas about the woman's role in the Nazi state- she was the centre of family life, a housewife and mother . Hitler even introduced medals for women who had eight or more children!
Opposition to Hitler
Those who spoke out against Hitler and his policies faced intimidation and threats from the Gestapo, or imprisonment and in some cases execution. Some Catholic priests opposed Hitler, also the White Rose group opposed Hitler and the Reichbanner were a Social Democratic Party who acted as spies. Other people who opposed Hitler were; swing groups, Edelweiss Pirates, Protestant pastors and a group of army officers called the Kreisau Circle.
- Black people
- Mentally disabled people
- Mentally ill patients
- Physically disabled people with hereditary diseases
- Deaf people
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- Beggars, Hooligans and Criminals
Economic Policies and benefits
Many German people had suffered during the First World War and the depression, so welcomed Hitler's economic policies with open arms. There was full employment, new public works and ordinary workers even had the opportunity to purchase a car to drive on the new autobahns.