The Weimar Republic
- 9th November 1918 - the Kaiser abducates and flees to the Netherlands
- Germany becomes a republic
- 11th November - armistice signed to bring Germany's fighting to an end in WWII
- Many Germans saw the ending of the war as a betrayal of the German army (Reichswehr)
- The army had been stabbed in the back (dolchoss) by the November Criminals.
- Many Germans were appauled by the new republic
- Berlin faced political unrest from both left and right wing parties
- The newly elected Constituent Assembly met for the first time in Weimar, South Germany in January 1919. They then became the Weimar Republic.
- It lasted from 1919 - 1933.
- During that time, it was ruled by presidents Ebert (1918-25) and Hindenburg (1925-34)
The Treaty of Versailles
- The Weimar Government had no choice but to sign the Treaty of Versailles on 28th June 1919
- Formally punished Germany for its involvement in WWI
- Many Germans were horrified - it was seen as a humiliation
- It contained 440 clauses, including:
Territorial terms - Germany lost 13% of its land, 6 million citiczens and all her collonial possessions; Germany was forebidden to unite with Austria; Alsace-Lorraine was given to France.
Military terms - German army limited to 100,000 men; forebidden to possess any tanks, heavy guns, aircraft or submarines; the navy was limited to ships of less than 10,000 tonnes
Financial terms - Germany had to agree to pay £6600 million in reparations (the figure was fixed in 1921)
Political terms - under 'Clause 231' (War Guilt) Germanu had to accept full responsibility for having caused the war
Exam tip - Remember the acronym LAMB for the key points of the treaty.
LAND ARMY MONEY BLAME
The Nazi Party
- Founded in 1919 by Drexler (known as DAP)
- Stressed the idea of a pure, German people
- Adolf Hitler attends a meeting in 1919. Likes what he hears and is invited to join
- 1920 - Hitler is incharge of the propaganda machine
- 1920 - Drexler and Hitler write the 'Twenty-Five Point Programme' (the Party's manifesto)
- 1921 - Hitler replaces Drexler as leader (Führer) and devolps the swastika and raised arm salute.
June 1919 - 1100 members → November 1923 - 55,000 members
- Hitler establishes the SA led by Ernst Rohm
Political atmosphere in the early Weimar was one of chaos and distruption.
- 1919 - attempted Communist revolution (the Spartacist Rising) in Berlin
- 1920 - attempted right-wing takeover (the Kapp Putsch)
- November 1923 - Germany plagued by hyperinflation
The Munich Putsch
- The Nazi Party
- Hitler tries to seize power from the Weimar Government
- 8th-9th November 1923
- Hitler led a 2000 strong force to the centre of Munich but were met by police resistance.
- 16 Nazis killed
Hitler was put on trial and the Nazi Party was banned.
The Weimar Governments (1930-1933)
Henrich Brüning (March 1930-May1932) (CENTRE PARTY)
- Unpopular, didn't seem to achieve much
- Had to use Article 48 to rule
- Persuaded to be fired by General Schleicher
Karl von Papen (May-December 1932) (CENTRE PARTY)
- Had only 68 supporters in the Reichstag
- Arranged a new election but still didn't achieve a majority. Voting on whether they had confidence in him - 32 said yes but 513 said no
- Also had to use Article 48
Kurt von Schleicher (December 1932-January 1933) (MINISTER OF DEFENCE)
- Also had to use Article 48.
Hitler becomes Chancellor on 30th January 1933. Hindenburg has no choice but to appoint him as the role as he is the leader of the largest party in the Reichstag. Von Papen helped convince Hindenburg. Papen believed he could control Hitler as vice-chancellor.