Germany 1918-1939 notes

Freikorps affect
o Freikorps groups were voluntary military units formed into independent military groups, therefore not contribution to the economy, numbering an estimated 150,000 men
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Treaty of Versailles Clause reparation
o Apart of the Treaty of Versailles was Clause 231, reparations. Germany had to pay back: ♣ 132000 million gold marks ♣ (US$ 32 Billion)
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Who was in charge of the policy of fulfilment, and who supported it?
♣ Wirth, the Chancellor and Rathenau, the foreign minister became the architects of the police of fulfilment ♣ Believing that fulfilment of part of the reparations would lead to possible negotiations under article 234, the policy went ahead.
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What lead to the Ruht crisis
• The economy was failing after the first instalment in 1921 • In 1922, Germany declared it would not be able to meet the next payment • In 1923, 60,000 French troops crossed the border and occupied the Ruhr, the most important industrial area of Ger
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Result of Ruhr Crisis
o By 1923, the policy of passie resistance led to the the government costs going up 700%. ♣ In Novemeber, the height of inflation, one us dollar was worth 4200 000 000 000 marks
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What does an historian say on hyper inflation?
• As noted by Allan Bullock, “the result of hyper inflation was to undermine the foundations of German society in a way the war, nor the revolution of Novemeber 1918, nor the treaty of Versailles had ever done.
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How was inflation overturned?
o Under Stresseman and a banker known as Hjalmar Schacht, the Rentemark was put into circulation o Controlled at a rate of 4.2 US dollars, the Rentemark allowed Germany to return to a period of stability
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Foreign investment
• stimulating economy o The prosperity of 1924-29 allowed for a period of stability to occur. o Between thouse years, Germany secured, mainly from the US 2900 million in loans
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Lessening of reparations
• Reparations scaled down o The dawes plan created an element of stability ♣ Limited reperation payments to Germany’s capacity to pay • 1000 million marks a year
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Political issues
• Lack of democratic • Opposition from conservative elites o Concerned with communist revolution of late 1918, the constervite elite and big business made the Stinnes-Legien agreements o Allowed collective bargaining with employers
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Weimar constitution
♣ Incredibly democratic, “it was one of the most democratic documents in the world” ♣ Quote Friedrick Ebert “The German people is free, will remain free, and will in future rule itself”
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Quote on constitution
♣ “It was doubtful weather such a democratic constitution could wok in the hands of a people that was neither psychologically or historically prepared for self government”
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Political violence
o The Sparticas uprising 1919, Kapp putsch 1920, Beerhaul Putsch
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• Growth of parties on the extremes
o Some success of extremist parties, each attempting a overhaul of the Republic “Weimar was weak in political legitimacy from the start” Richard Evans
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How political difficulties were overcome
• Extremist parties had some success, but were losing support o Although extremist parties still had sway, they were losing support by late 1928 o The may 28 election show the control of extremist left and right only makes 25%
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Unemployment stat
o Despite this, the unemployment by 1926 was as high as 10%, though by 28 had dropped to 6.3.
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• Proportionate representation
o The new constitution provided for the election of members of the Reichstag by a system of proportional representation. Under the system, people voted for the party and not the individual, and every 60,000 votes accounted for a place in the Reichsta
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What did proportionate representation allow?
o This system of voting allowed even small parties to gain seats such as the communists and Nazis and some historians have argued that this was what lead to instability in the government o Every one of the 21 Weimar governments was a coalition
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Article 48
♣ Article 48 was the decree allowing presidential powers ♣ Elected every 7 years, the president under article 48 acted as an ersatz Kaiser ♣ Article 48 of the constitution gave the president emergency powers
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Use of article 48, issue?
♣ Included the right to intervene with the use of the armed forces to restore order ♣ Suspend the constitution ♣ Issue laws by decree, regardless of the elected parliament, though was later used to pass bills, essentially removing parliamentary power
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• Governments operating strongly
o Despite the disenfranchised political state, all were mostly cooperating towards the republic ♣ In the three elections between 24 and 28, the communists received an average of 10.7% of the vote, and the Nazi’s 3.6%
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Quote by who on the stability of political role in Republic
• the fact of the matter was that the centre party and DNVP had fallen under leaders opposed to democracy o “The brutal fact was that, even in 1928, the Republic was as far away from achieving stability and legitimacy as ever” Richard Evans
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Burden of defeat
o Article 231 lays the entirety of the blame of war on Germany o The TOV was hated by German’s, noted by Hitler in his Mein Kampf as “the instrument of boundless repression”
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Military tradition
• Strong military tradition, removed under treaty of Versailles o The German army under the treaty of Versailles was reduced to 100,000, the General staff removed and all technological advances made such as gas, shells and tanks were prohibited
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Quote by who on TOV
o Chancellor Scheidemann announced “what hand would not wither that binds itself and us to these chains”
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Impact of hyperinflation of low class
♣ Starvation a reality ♣ Many unemployed, had nothing. ♣ Those who did work only had worthless pieces of paper
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Impact of hyperinflation of middle class
♣ Comprising of slef-employed or fixed income earners, they lost life savings and “would never forgive the republic for their shortcomings” (Richard Evans’ ♣ Began to see Naziism as a way out of troubles
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Effect of these factors
• Although political parties were tending to more and more support the republic, traumas still remained in the German psyche
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What was it developing in to?
• Developing into a dynamic, modern, forward thinking nation o With the expressionist movement, places became increasingly liberal o Further, under the constitution, women were given increased rights, prompting them to partake in some 35% of the work
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Quote by who on lliveral nature of Weimar
o Policies democratic and socialist, and suggested by historian Pual Johnson that this sudden outpouring of cultural expression had been building up since the nineteenth century o Model of social progress
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Foreign investment
o 23 Billon marks was invested in Germany between 24 and 29 from Germany alone o In 1928, there was a decline of foreign investment int eh German economy
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o At the beginning of 1929, there were 500,000 people unemployed. By the end of the year there were cose to 3 million.
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o Hard won prosperity of the 20’s was gone and Government took on policy of deflation o Result of deflation was great depression was far worse o By January 1933, unemployment was at 6 million
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Growth of Nazi electoral support
o Following the growth of unemployment, and difficulty of the great depression, the Nazi electoral support was growing o In May 28, they had under 10%, September 1930, over 20% and by July 1932, over 40%
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How Hitler gained votes?
o In hundreds of rallies and political meetings across the country, Hitler and the other Nazi leaders attacked the weakness and inefficiency of the parliamentary system o As part of perpetual campaigning, Hitler made an attempt to gain power in 32
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Result of failure of 32
o So popular were the Nazi party, yet still without a majority, they contested the seat of President, coming just short with Hindenburg winning with a 53% majority.
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Bruning's success
o Could only be passed through presidential rule, article 48 o It can be argued that from 1930, Germany was not operating as a democracy
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Effect of political intrigue
o Schliechler began moves to rig Brüning from office o Convinced Hindenburg that Brüning was no longer acceptable, and not trusted by the army from the banning of the SA and the ** o Hindenburg removes Bruning in 1932
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View of Hindenburg on Hitler
o Despite Hitler having the largest vote in the Reichstag in the August 1932 elections, he was not appointed by Hindenburg o Hindenburg personally did not like Hitler, referring to him as “that Bohemian corporal”
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What was Hitler offered
o Hitler was given option as vice-chancellor but turned it down, demanding another election for November 1932 o Dropping 5% from their previous vote, many believe that it was only due to the effect of political intrigue that Hitler came to powerMore
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More political intrgue
o an act of vegence, Von Papen set it his goal to remove von Scleicher from power, and striking a deal on the 4 of January 1933, Hitler and Papen set a plan to gain power, needing to convince the president, done so with the help of his son.
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Cabinet stat
o though significantly holding only 3 of the 14 strong cabinet could be Nazi’s
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Papen's beleif
o “we have hired him for our act”
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Card 2


Treaty of Versailles Clause reparation


o Apart of the Treaty of Versailles was Clause 231, reparations. Germany had to pay back: ♣ 132000 million gold marks ♣ (US$ 32 Billion)

Card 3


Who was in charge of the policy of fulfilment, and who supported it?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What lead to the Ruht crisis


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Result of Ruhr Crisis


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