What was the impact of the Weimar period on the ri
- The end of WWI, 1918: Germany surrenders and signs an Armistice (An agreement that ended the ended the fighting in WWI). Germany became a Republic with no Kaiser (King).
- Ther Germans were forced to accept the Treaty of Versailles, 1919.
- Many Germans felt the Weimar politicians were to blame for the problems.
- Right after the war, there was hyperinflation (The price of goods shot up) and armed uprisings (The Munich Putsch, 1923).
- The Wall Street Crash of 1929 caused huge problems and within four years, the Nazis were in control of Germany.
The Treaty of Versailles 1919: The Allied powers imposed the peace treaty on Germany, forcing them to accept responsibility for war along with punishments.
- Germany lost land (13%) all over Europe. East Prussia became separated from the rest of Germany. They lost 12% of their population.
- Germany's army was reduced to only 100,000 men with no airforce and no large battleships or submarines for the Navy.
- No german forces allowed in Rhineland (next to French/Belgian borders).
- Pay reparations to Allies for damage and destruction (6,600 million).
The Wall Street Crash 1929: The most devastating stock market crash in the USA of all time, also affecting Western countries and marking the beginning of the 12 year Great Depression. Germany lost money within loans given to the US.
What were the problems of the Weimar Republic?
- The stab in the back theory: The idea that the German army had not actually been defeated but forced to surrender by Weimar Politicians.
- From the start many Germans therefore hated new Weimar Republic due to Treaty of Versailles, mainly army leaders, judges and civil servants.
- Everyone over 20 could vote - This was the first time Germany had been a democracy. Everyone could vote for the President
- The President in an emergency could make laws using article 48 without parliament voting.
- They had proportional representation – which meant a large number of parties and not one party won a majority. Therefore there would have to be a coalition government.
- 1918 – 1923 there was a lot of unrest in Germany including the Spartacist uprising, the Kapp Putsch and the Munich Putsch.
The Spartacist Uprising: Extreme Left-Wing (social change for an equal society) views which had split from the SPD (Social Democratic Party) due to frustration with their government role, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht. They wanted to achieve Socialism. On January 1st 1919, members rose in an attempted revolution which was opposed by the leaders. The government reacted quickly and order was restored to the streets of Berlin by 13th. Leaders killed in custody.
The Kapp Putsch: The first major Right-Wing crisis, March 1920, a direct threat to the new Weimar government. A Freikorps (A German volunteering Military/Paramilitary unit) Brigade rebelled against the Treaty led by Wolfgang Kapp, taking over Berlin and attempted to bring back the Kaiser.
- They had Right-Wing & Socialist views.
- The SA (Sturmabteilung) was formed and led by Ernst Rohm in 1921, also known as Brown shirts & disrupted Communist and Socialist party meetings, with around 55,000 members by November 1923.
- Hitler's speeches had main themes: The Germans were 'stabbed in the back', the hatred of the Weimar government and November criminals (signers of Versailles Treaty) , disgust of Treaty of Versailles, hatred of Jews who were to blame for all issues & Communists.
- When hyperinflation hit Germany 1923, Hitler decided the Nazi party was strong enough to overthrow the Regional government: Munich Putsch.
How did the Nazi party develop between 1920 and 19
The Munich Putsch: Right-Wing (Traditional hierarchies) movement which grew out of Hitler's attempt to exploit the Crisis of 1923. He had prepared his Stormtroopers for a Bavarian rebellion. On the night of 8th November 1923, he took over the Beer Hall and forced the Bavarian leaders (Kahr, Lossow, Seisser) to promise to support him. The police easily dispersed the Nazis. Although it failed, it turned Hitler into a national hero.
Reasons for Munich Putsch:
- Nazi party membership had grown.
- Hitler hated the Weimar Republic, felt others did too & would support him.
- He blames the Weimar for the economic problems (e.g. Hyperinflation).
- Wanted to remove the Treaty of Versailles.
- The SA could be used as armed support.
Consequences of Munich Putsch:
- Hitler was put on trial for treason, which gave him nationwide publicity.
- He became famous due to media and long public speeches.
- He was sentenced to 5 years in prison but only served 9 months.