Germany – The Weimar Republic - WW1


The First World War affected Germany socially, economically, and politically. German society expected a quick victory and the war had lasted longer than expected. By 1918, German society was exhausted. The war caused many deaths and crippled the German economy, making it difficult to recover. 


War deaths 

  • During the war, 2 million troops died from fighting and 4 million were wounded. 

    • This left 600,000 women as widows (women who have lost their husbands). 

  • The home front was also affected by the war. 763,000 civilians died from starvation and a further 150,000 died from the flu pandemic (country-wide disease). 



Crippled economy 

  • The war crippled the German economy. 

    • By 1918, industrial production was only 2/3 of what it had been in 1913. 

    • Germany’s debt had increased over World War One from 50 billion marks in 1914 to 150 billion marks in 1918. 




  • Germany printed more money to fund the war effort. 

    • This meant that the value of the German mark fell, leading to inflation (increases in prices). 


Uneven distribution of wealth 

  • Wealth became distributed more unevenly over the First World War. 

    • The average wage for a worker in 1918 was only 60% of what they earned in 1913. 

    • But big armament (military weapons) business owners made lots of money from the war. 

  • This caused social problems as workers resented


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