Unit 1- The Weimar Republic

A summary of Unit 1 of Nazi Germany- The Weimar Republic

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  • Created by: Henry
  • Created on: 17-06-12 14:59

The impacts of the Treaty of Versailles

•Many soldiers returned to Germany and could not find work

•Germany lost key agricultural land and therefore could not produce as much food

•The German people did not accept the blame for starting the war – this made them angry at the Government.

•Germany lost a major source of coal when the Saar was given to France.

•Germany could not rebuild its economy or country as it was paying reparations

•Germany became even less powerful as Britain and France took over its oversees colonies.

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The Spartacists Uprising

•In Jan 1919, 50,000 Spartacists rebelled in Berlin, led by the Communists Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Leibknecht.

•In 1919, communist workers' councils seized power all over Germany, and a Communist People's Government took power in Bavaria.

•It was important because –The government alone could not stop them. –It happened just two years after communism had taken over Russia.

Ebert had to turn to Right-Wing extremists to put it down in the form of the Freikorps

Luxemburg and Liebknecht were both murdered by the Freikorps along with oher communists - This helped Hitler gain power as his political opponents were being excueted.

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On the night of 8 November 1923, Hitler and 600 storm troopers burst into a meeting that Kahr and Lossow were holding at the local Beer Hall. Hitler forced them to agree to rebel - and then let them go home.

The SA took over the army headquarters and the offices of the local newspaper. The next day, 9 November 1923, Hitler and his Nazis went into Munich on what they thought would be a triumphal march to take power. 

However, Kahr had called in police and army reinforcements. There was a short scuffle in which the police killed 16 Nazis. Hitler fled, but was arrested two days later.

-The Army had to use force to put the rebellion down. -Hitler gained a lot of fame from the event -In his trial the judge was lenient and only gave him a short sentence Hitler went to prison, where he wrote 'Mein Kampf'. Millions of Germans read it, and Hitler's ideas became very well-known

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End Passive Resistance/ Rentenmark

1923 – While France had occupied the Ruhr (Grrr!) the German workers went on strike

   The government printed money to pay the strikers – causing hyperinflation

    Stresemann ended the passive resistance (strike) so that Germany would stop printing money


Nov 1923 – Stresemann introduced a new currency called the rentenmark to replace the mark

Hyperinflation was brought under control by the new temporary currency

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1924 – Borrowed money from USA to reduce reparations

Germany was able to invest more money into increasing jobs i.e by building factories

Reorganised reparation payments and reduced them. The plan included France withdrawing from the Ruhr and the US making loans to Germany, however this made Germany dependent on the US economy.


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1929 – The Young Plan further reduced reparation payments to 2,000,000 marks a year, extending the payback time to 58 years. Also the Frecnh agreed to withdraw from the Rhineland 5 years before they were due to.  Unemployment fell even more,  3 million homes were built.

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League of Nations/ Gustav Stresemann

In 1926 Germany joined the League of Nations. Stresemann asked for help with the economy and paying reparations. Negotiations lead to two plans being produced the Young Plan (1929) and the Dawes plan (1924).

                             Gustav Stresemann

Stresemann was a key figure in the Weimar Republics recovery after 1924. He introduced a new currency the rentenmark to stop Hyperinflation.

The Locarno Treaties

1925 – Germany signed the Locarno Treaties

France, Britain and Belgium all agreed not to invade Germany

Support began to move away from extremist groups

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What was the most important reason why the Nazis g

Organisation of the Party

- Many Nazi’s had been soldiers in the first world war. They brought to the party work the same obedience and teamwork which they had needed in the trenches.

Use of Propaganda

-         They used every trick in the book to get their message home. They knew their anti-Communist stance was popular so they whipped up more hatred of Communism.

Weakness of the Communists

-   Many middle class distrusted the communists after the revolution in Russia had taken much wealth from the middle classes. The communists needed to work with the Social Democrats but after the treatment of the Spartacists they did not do this.

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What was the most important reason why the Nazis g

Support from the Industrialists

-   Big Business was very scared of Communism which would give their companies to the people. The strongest opponent to Communism appeared to be the Nazis therefore they invested lots of money in their campaigns.

Promises to Voters

-  Every section of German society heard something it wanted to hear. Workers were promised jobs, employers promised profits; farmers higher prices; shopkeepers protection against competition.

Weakness of the Government

-    The government were the first people blamed when the depression hit Germany’s economy. Also the Social Democrat government believed they could easily keep control and did not consider the Nazis as a serious threat. They should have worked with the Communists to stop the Nazis.

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