Weimar Germany: Political Uprisings Edexcel History 2A


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Key Words/Points

  • Right wing revolt
  • Dr Wolfgang Kapp
  • Socialist
  • Rosa Luxemburg
  • Freikorps
  • Karl Liebnecht
  • Communist
  • Left wing
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Kapp Putsch

Key features

  • Occured in 1920
  • Led by Dr Wolfgang Kapp
  • 500 supporters marched on Berlin to overthrow the Weimar Republic and bring back the Kaiser.
  • For a while, the rebels successfully managed to control the city.
  • The government fled to dresden and urged people not to co-operate and to go on strike.
  • Most people obliged, because they had no desire to see the Kaiser return, due to their socialist learnings.


  • Kapp realised that he could not govern and so fled.
  • He was caught, imprisoned and then died.
  • The essential services (gas, electricity, water and transport) stopped.
  • Berlin ground to a halt.
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Sparticist Uprising

Key Features

  • 6 Jan 1919, inspired by Sparticists, 100,000 communists demonstrated in Berlin, taking over key buildings (e.g.: newspaper offices).
  • Chancellor Ebert and his defence minister Gustav Noske, needed to put down the rebels.
  • Led by Karl Liebnecht and Rosa Luxemburg.
  • The regular army-the Reschwehr, was in no shape to put down the revolt, so the chancellor turned to the Freikorps-the demobilised soldiers from WWI refusing to give back their arms (the anti-communists worked with the proper army). They were huge, numbering 250,000 in March 1919.


  • With the help of the Freikorps, Weimar put down the uprisings in early 1919.
  • Several thousand communist supporters were arrested or killed, mostly in Berlin.
  • Rosa & Karl arrsted 15th January and killed by Freikorps-Karl shot, Rosa shot in the head and then thrown into a canal.
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