Kaiser to Fuhrer Extra Information Notes

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Weimar Constitution

Article 144 – free schooling up to 18  yrs old – full welfare, insurance for jobless

n  need a lot of resources, can't live up to constitution; whole system in danger of losing support

n  Constitution failed because of high aims

n  High taxes – people wanted to change constitution

1932, 1933 – more support for Nazi constitution

Universal suffarge over 18

Article 48 – major weakness as would allow president to suspend the constitution and rule by decree – not a completely democratic constitution

Ebert 1919 – 1925

Hindenburg 1925 – 1934 (identifies more with Bismarck's Germany) <-- weakness as even the leaders do not support Weimar

Proportional representation

n  Proportion of members as proportion of votes

n  Expresses electorate

Difficult in delivering stable governments

n  Could blame problems on PR – first past the post would prevent small parties having a say in the Reichstag.

n  Some historians argue that NSDAP could come into power in 1930s even with first past the post

Once the Nazi party was inside the Reichstag they could be in the news

Goebbels could lie – freedom of speech

Versailles Treaty – disbelief from Germans because no allied soldiers entered their land

Germans couldn't understand why the politicians signed the treaty – stabbed in the back

-          Politicians who signed it were murdered in early Weimar years

Weimar's Problems

Ø  Ambitious constitution – pressures

Ø  Versailles – people blame the government instead of the winning powers

Ø  Hyperinflation 1918 – 1923


Wipes out savings of middle class – alienates middle class from the system

è These groups vote for Hindenburg

è These groups vote for Hitler


Versailles – taxes raised, needed to print more money to pay off debt

'politics of fulfilment' – thought inflation would make winners withhold reparations

Inflation was under control in 1924 because of Stresemann

Winners – people who had debts

Losers – people with savings

-middle class, senior

- swindled by system

è Still felt betrayed, lost social status in Germany

1929 – people not prepared to support Weimar

1923 – real year when Weimar lost people

Anton Drexler – created NSDAP in 1919, Hitler drew crowds and became the unofficial leader; important figures attracted Rohm

1923 – Munich Putsch – time of inflation (significant as tried taking down the government when it was at its weakest) – fails

Hitler was put on trial – uses as propaganda – blames trade unions, Weimar, Versailles. The judges supported him, which showed how threat to Weimar was coming from the Kaiser's people that were allowed to keep their jobs – favoured Right Wing groups, Hitler was given minimum sentence, released within 9 months.

Mein Kampf – national celebrity

Voters begin to warm to his message and hatred

1925 – NSDAP was the 2nd largest party in Reichstag

Why Germans voted for NSDAP

1.       Thrives in Great Depression…


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