Weimar Republic Instability 1919-1923

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Economic Weaknesses

  • After WW1 Geramny had a war debt of 144bn gold mark- couldn't afford- collapse imminent

Treaty of Versailles

  • Loss of territorties eg Alsace Lorriane to France, Saar to Belgium
  • Military setbacks- army limited to 100,000 men
  • Colonial losses- German Esast Africa now British
  • Reparations were agreed on May 1st 1921 in London by Repartions Committee
  • Had to reparations of 132bn gold marks at 20,000mn gold marks per annum
  • Germany did not pay so French invaded Ruhr with Belgian support in 1923
  • Republic used passive resistance
  • Passive resistance led to hyperinflation and unemployment which damaged economy even further
  • "Stab in the Back" myth claimed the leaders of the Republic had betrayed German army by surrendering to the Allies
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Threats: Left

The left saw the Republic as anti-democratic, anti-Marxist and very authoritarian

Kapp Putsch: March 1920

  • Led by Kapp with support from Lüttwitz: Wanted to overthrow the Republic
  • Army were not deployed due to hostile attitude towards Republic
  • Putsch was only stopped by striking workers called on by Ebert

Organisation Consul (OC)

  • Group of ex-Friekorps members
  • Carried out 354 political assassinations with only 22 on the left
  • People killed included Erzberger and Rathenau

Munich Putsch: November 1923

  • Led by Adolf Hitler of the NSDAP: Hated democracy and wanted to overthrow the Republic
  • Hitler and 600 SA burst into a Munich Beer Hall and forced von Khar to agree to their plan
  • On the way back the police killed 14 Nazis and Hitler was arrested and then imprisoned
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Threats: Right

Sparticist Uprising: January 1919

  • Led by Luxemberg and Liebkhnecht in Berlin: Wanted Revolution like in Russia
  • Rising crushed by Friekorps

Bavarian Soviet Republic Rising: March-May 1919

  • Led by USPD members: Wanted a Soviet Germany
  • Rising defeated by Friekorps

Red Rising in Ruhr: March 1920

  • Communists uprising who were angry due to poor wages and working conditions 
  • Overthrown by Army and Friekorps

German October: October 1923

  • Held in Saxony who wanted a Revolution like Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917
  • Crushed by the army
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