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The Weimar Republic 1918-1932. Daniel W. Blackmon IB HL History Coral Gables Senior High. Max Pax: 10 / 1918. Ludendorff's demand for an immediate armistice led to the formation of a new government on Oct. 3, 1918 by Prince Max of Baden. Max Pax: 10 / 1918.

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the weimar republic 1918 1932

The Weimar Republic 1918-1932

Daniel W. Blackmon

IB HL History

Coral Gables Senior High

max pax 10 1918
Max Pax: 10 / 1918
  • Ludendorff's demand for an immediate armistice led to the formation of a new government on Oct. 3, 1918 by Prince Max of Baden.
max pax 10 19181
Max Pax: 10 / 1918
  • Max' primary task is to negotiate with Woodrow Wilson for an armistice. Labelled the Pacifist Prince by the public and the army, he is hampered by the inconsistent attitudes of Hindenburg and Ludendorff.
max pax 10 19182
Max Pax: 10 / 1918
  • Prominent in Max’ government are the Social Democrats, led by Friedrich Ebert.
the kiel mutiny 10 18
The Kiel Mutiny: 10 / 18
  • As the war ended, officers in the High Seas fleet concocted a plan to take the fleet out on a "death ride," challenge the Royal Navy, and go down in glory.
the kiel mutiny 10 181
The Kiel Mutiny: 10 / 18
  • The sailors refuse to do their duty to take the ships out. By November 3, the mutiny has spread to the city of Kiel itself, involving sailors and dockworkers.
the kiel mutiny 10 182
The Kiel Mutiny: 10 / 18
  • The port is shut down. The Social Democrats send representatives to try to head off a Bolshevik revolution and succeed. Clearly, German military units are no longer reliable.
the bavarian revolution 10 18
The Bavarian Revolution 10 / 18
  • Kurt Eisner, a Jewish Independent Socialist, deposes the Wittelsbach dynasty on November 7 and establishes and declares a republic with power held by a Council of Workers, Peasants, and Soldiers.
the bavarian revolution 10 181
The Bavarian Revolution 10 / 18
  • Eisner is not, however, a Bolshevik. Rosa Luxemburg despised him. He distrusted Lenin and Trotsky. There is no Red Terror at all.
abdication of the kaiser 11 18
Abdication of the Kaiser: 11/ 18
  • Amidst great turmoil and confusion in the country, Max tried to save the monarchy, but the Kaiser hesitated to abdicate.
abdication of the kaiser 11 181
Abdication of the Kaiser: 11 / 18
  • By Nov. 7, Ebert told Prince Max that if the Kaiser did not abdicate, a social revolution would be inevitable. He added that he did not want to see such a revolution occur.
the german republic 11 18
the German Republic 11 / 18
  • Ebert asks Max to resign and begins forming a Socialist-dominated government for the new German Republic.
the german republic 11 181
the German Republic 11 / 18
  • Ebert must negotiate the armistice, withdraw all German troops from France, arrange a nation-wide election in January to write a new constitution, keep the country from dismembering itself, and fight off an attempted Bolshevik-style coup from the radical left, the Spartacists.
the spartacists 11 18
The Spartacists 11 / 18
  • Led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the Spartacists had opposed participation in the war, and were ideologically close to the Bolsheviks.
the spartacists 11 181
The Spartacists 11 / 18
  • Lenin rejected the Social Democrats as true socialists (he regarded them as Marxist Revisionists, which they were) but accepted the Spartacists as comrades.
the spartakists
The Spartakists
  • Lenin encourages this development with money and with the despatch of Karl Radek (a close confidant of Lenin and, like Luxemburg, a Polish Jew--the two disliked each other).
the spartakists1
The Spartakists
  • Tension exists among the Spartacists since Luxemburg rejects Lenin's use of terror and suppression of other socialist parties. Neither Liebknecht nor Luxemburg are prepared to accept Lenin's primacy.
the spartacists 11 182
The Spartacists 11 / 18
  • They will eventually organize themselves as the KPD (Communist Party of Germany).
armistice november 11 1918
Armistice November 11, 1918
  • The Armistice agreement was signed in a railroad car in the Forest of Compiègne.
the freikorps
The Freikorps
  • The Freikorps were paramilitary units owing loyalty to the brigade organizer, like the condottieri of the Italian Renaissance.
the freikorps1
The Freikorps
  • The pre-War Youth Movement (the Wandervogel) is an important shaping influence. The Movement represented a revolt of discontented bourgeois youth against the world of their parents.
the freikorps2
The Freikorps
  • The Movement emphasized a restless desire for action (of any kind, action for its own sake), a mystic fellowship of the Volkwhich absorbs the individual, and a willingness to follow a Führer, a Leader.
the freikorps3
The Freikorps
  • The second determining experience of the Freikorps was, of course, the War, and especially the creation of Sturmtruppenor Stoßtruppen.
the freikorps4
The Freikorps
  • These units were self-contained, with their own organic mortars, machine guns, and flame-throwers. Individuals were issued lighter carbines instead of the heavier Mauser rifle, and were permitted to carry pistols (previously the exclusive province of the officers).
the freikorps5
The Freikorps
  • Stormtroopers were the first to adopt the steel helmet. Their preferred weapon was the hand grenade. Discipline was strict, but not the traditional discipline unto death (Kadaverdisziplin) of the Imperial Army. Enlisted men used the Familiar Singular "du" in addressing their officers.
the freikorps6
The Freikorps
  • These units also produced a very large ratio of officers to men (as high as 1:4), chiefly lieutenants and captains--all unmarried men under 25 years of age, usually from outside the ranks of the traditional officer corps
the freikorps7
The Freikorps
  • . They were made up largely of veterans, many of whom came from elite shock troop formations. Their officers were primarily from the shock troops. They are heavily armed, very skilled and professional, nihilistic, violent, viciously anti-democratic and anti-Bolshevik..
the freikorps8
The Freikorps
  • Many of them will end up in Hitler’s SA. Although they despised Ebert, they were very happy to kill Spartacists. Lenin did not have to face anything like them in Russia.
the freikorps9
The Freikorps
  • The German novelist, Ernst Jüngermay be taken as the spokesman for the Freikorps.
the freikorps10
The Freikorps
  • In 1914, this sensitive university student marched to war, writing in his diary: "Surely this day that God has given/ Was meant for better uses than to kill." (Waite 23)
the freikorps11
The Freikorps
  • By 1916, at 21 years of age, Jünger has been wounded 20 times, wears the coveted Pour le Mérite, Imperial Germany's highest decoration, and now commands a Stormbattalion. He is a hard and ruthless killer:
ernst j nger storm of steel
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • "The turmoil of our feelings was called forth by rage, alcohol and the thirst for blood. As we advanced heavily but irresistibly toward the enemy lines, I was boiling over with a fury which gripped me -- it gripped us all-- in an inexplicable way. The overpowering desire to kill gave me wings.
ernst j nger storm of steel1
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • Rage squeezed bitter tears from my eyes . . . Only the spell of primaeval instinct remained. . . . . Combat during the World War also had its great moments.
ernst j nger storm of steel2
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • Everyone knows that who has ever seen these princes of the trenches in their own realm, with their hard, set faces and blood-shot eyes; brave to the point of madness, tough, quick to leap forward or back.
ernst j nger storm of steel3
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • Trench warfare is the bloodiest, wildest, most brutal of all warfare and it produced its own type of men--men who grew into their Hour--unknown, crazy fighters.
ernst j nger storm of steel4
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • Of all the stimulating moments of war, none is so great as the meeting of two Schok Troop Leaders in the narrow confines of a trench. There is no retreat and no mercy then. Blood wrings forth from their shrill war cries which are wrenched from the heart like a nightmare. . . .
ernst j nger storm of steel5
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • This is the New Man, the storm soldier, the elite of Mitteleuropa. A completely new race, cunning, strong, and packed with purpose. What first made its appearance openly here in the War will be the axis of the future around which life will whirl faster and ever faster . . .
ernst j nger storm of steel6
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • The glimmering sunset of a declining period is, at the same time, the morning light of another day in which men are called to new and harder battles.
ernst j nger storm of steel7
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • Far behind them await the mighty cities, the hosts of machines, the nations whose iner foundations will be torn asunder by the attacks of the New Man--of the audacious. the battle-proven, the man merciless both to himself and to others.
ernst j nger storm of steel8
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • This war is not the end. It is only the call to power. It is the forge in which the world will be beaten into new shapes and new associations. New forms must be molded with blood, and power must be seized with a hard fist. . . . .
ernst j nger storm of steel9
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • War, the Father of all things, is also our father. he hammered us, chiselled us, hardened us into that which we now are. And forever, as long as the wheel of life still turns in us,
ernst j nger storm of steel10
Ernst Jünger: “Storm of Steel”
  • War will be the axis on which it revolves. He trained us for war, and warriors we will remain as long as we draw the breath of life." (Waite 23, 26, 28, 22)
the freikorps12
The Freikorps
  • The chief sources of recruits were the Stormtroop battalions from the War and idealistic university students. Units brought over from the Stormtroop battalions their Imperial insignia:
the freikorps13
The Freikorps
  • the most common were acorns and oakleaves (Germanic symbols for courage and loyalty) and the death's head (taken from Blücher's hussars in 1814 and adopted by Himmler's SS).
the freikorps14
The Freikorps
  • The colors adopted were the Imperial black-white-red rather than the black-red-gold of the Revolution of 1848 and the Weimar Republic
the freikorps15
The Freikorps
  • (note that Hitler very carefully chose black, white, and red for the Nazi flag: the black swastika on a white field to tie the Nazis to the Germanic past, the red field to symbolize revolution)
the freikorps16
The Freikorps
  • The "Ehrhardt Song" of one of the largest, most famous, and most ferocious Freikorps is illustrative:
the freikorps17
The Freikorps
  • Stolz tragen wir die Sterne
  • Und unsern Totenkopf,
  • Wikingersschiff am Ärmel,
  • Kaiserkron im Knopf.
the freikorps20
The Freikorps
  • Hakenkreuz am Stahlhelm,
  • Schwarzweissrot das Band,
  • Die Brigade Ehrhardt
  • Werden wir genannt.
Proudly we wear the stars,
  • And our death's head, too,
  • Viking ship on the sleeves,
  • Emperor's crown on the buttons.
the freikorps21
The Freikorps
  • Swastika on our steel helmets,
  • Black, white, red our ribbon
  • The Brigade of Ehrhardt
  • That is our name. (Carsten 87)
the spartacist revolt 1 6 19
The Spartacist Revolt: 1/6/19
  • The Spartacists, led by Liebknecht and Luxemburg, quite deliberately set out to destroy the government by agitation, strikes, and armed bands.
the spartacist revolt 1 6 191
The Spartacist Revolt: 1/6/19
  • When Germany was severely torn by civil war, then the Spartakists could take over. The Spartakists attempt their coup d'etat on January 6, 1919 in Berlin.
the spartakist revolt
The Spartakist Revolt
  • The beginning was a huge demonstration of workers, which was addressed by Karl Liebknecht, Georg Lebedour of the Independent Socialists, and Ernst Däumig of the Revolutionary Shop Stewards.
the spartakist revolt1
The Spartakist Revolt
  • They form a coalition and call for a general strike to overthrow Ebert's government and place Germany "in the vanguard of the international proletarian revolution." (Watt 256)
the spartakist revolt2
The Spartakist Revolt
  • The situation in Berlin appeared to be very similar to Petrograd in October 1917.
the spartakist revolt3
The Spartakist Revolt
  • Workers seize most newspapers, the train stations, place riflemen on the Brandenburger Tor and attack the Reichstag. In Bremen, a soviet republic is proclaimed. There are uprisings in Brunswick, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Nuremburg.
the spartakist revolt4
The Spartakist Revolt
  • Ebert is convinced that no reconciliation with the far left Socialists is possible. He believes that the first duty of his government was to survive. Noske escapes the city to Dahlem, where he begins collecting Freikorps. Ebert calls in the Reinhard Brigade.
the spartakist revolt5
The Spartakist Revolt
  • On January 9-10, the Freikorps begin the reconquest of Berlin at the chief Socialist newspaper.
the spartakist revolt6
The Spartakist Revolt
  • .The night before, the Freikorps commander disguised himslef and walked into the building to reconnoiter its defenses.
the spartakist revolt7
The Spartakist Revolt
  • .Using mortars, howitzers, flame throwers, machine guns and tanks the Freikorps storm (what as left of) the building. The defenders attempted to surrender.
the spartakist revolt8
The Spartakist Revolt
  • When one commander asked what he should do with the prisoners, the reply was “Have you run out of ammunition?”
  • The Freikorps shot 300 prisoners down. (Watt 262)
the spartacist revolt 1 6 192
The Spartacist Revolt: 1/6/19
  • Liebknecht and Luxemburg are captured and murdered. One legacy of the Spartacist Week is that the Socialist government is now permanently compromised in the eyes of the radical Left
the spartakist revolt9
The Spartakist Revolt
  • Noske systematically uses the Freikorps to stamp out revolution in Bremen, Hamburg, Halle, Leipzig, Thuringia, Brunswick, and the Ruhr. (Holborn 531)
the spartakist revolt10
The Spartakist Revolt
  • The seaports are particularly important to the country, sicne food shipments could enter only through them. Savage scenes on both sides occur. However, the Freikorps are much more ruthless and proficient.
the spartakist revolt11
The Spartakist Revolt
  • Heavily outnumbered by the revolutionary militias, they are nevertheless successful everywhere, and their victory is usually accompanied by a vicious White Terror.
the bavarian counterrevolution
The Bavarian Counterrevolution
  • April 1918
  • Kurt Eisner was assassinated by an extreme right wing nationalist.
the bavarian counterrevolution1
The Bavarian Counterrevolution
  • Munich dissolves in shambles. Three groups jockey for position: the Majority Socialists, led by Adolf Hoffmann, the Coffeehouse Anarchists, led by the poet Ernst Toller,
the bavarian counterrevolution2
The Bavarian Counterrevolution
  • and the Communists, led by the Russian agents Towia Axelrod, Max Levien, and Eugen Leviné, along with the German Rudolf Egelhofer, a psychotic.
the bavarian counterrevolution3
The Bavarian Counterrevolution
  • A "government" of the Coffeehouse Anarchists is established. The Coffeehouse Anarchists are eccentric, to say the least.
the bavarian counterrevolution4
The Bavarian Counterrevolution
  • Their Commissar for Foreign Affairs was a lunatic. (He complained in a wire to Lenin that his predicessor had absconded with the key to his toilet) They last 6 days..
the bavarian counterrevolution5
The Bavarian Counterrevolution
  • The Communists then take over. A Red Terror ensues. The Weimar Socialists sent in the Freikorps, who brutally crush the Communists.
the munich red terror
The Munich Red Terror
  • Axelrod, Levien, and Leviné are Russian born and Russian agents. Axelrod is a Russian diplomat. Levien quite consciously wants to copy Lenin, right down to the use of the Red Terror.
the munich red terror1
The Munich Red Terror
  • A Red Terror ensues. The Red Army organized by Egelhofer plundered the city. It is one of the best paid armies in history, not to mention free food, liquor, and prostitutes. It numbers about 20,000.
the munich red terror2
The Munich Red Terror
  • Among the nationalists whom the Red Army tries to arrest is Corporal Adolf Hitler.
  • After this was over, he certainly became an informer on his fellow soldiers. A number were executed on his testimony.
the munich white terror
The Munich White Terror
  • The Social Democrats appealed for help. They get it, in the form of some of the toughest, most ruthless of the Freikorps, including the von Epp and Ehrhardt brigades.

Red resistance quickly collapses before these professionals

the munich white terror1
The Munich White Terror
  • Egelhofer orders the execution of his hostages. Some 20 prominent Münchner citizens are brutally murdered and mutilated.
the munich white terror2
The Munich White Terror
  • The Freikorps begin "cleansing" the city
  • Egelhofer is shot on the spot.
  • Leviné is shot
the munich white terror3
The Munich White Terror

The Coffeehouse Anarchist Gustav Landauer is sadistically murdered--beaten, shot twice, and kicked to death (they quit shooting him because the bullets were ricocheting up off the cobblestones)

the munich white terror4
The Munich White Terror

30 members of the St. Joseph's Society, a Catholic religious group, were executed. The Freikorps were not too choosy about their victims.

  • Over 1,000 prsons wre executed within 6 days.
general elections january 1919
General Elections January 1919
  • There were to be 423 deputies.
  • .The Majority Socialists won 38% of the vote. This is a big victory for Ebert.
  • .The Independent Socialists received 8% of the vote.
general elections january 19191
General Elections January 1919
  • .The Communists boycotted the election.
general elections january 19192
General Elections January 1919
  • ..The Catholic Centre Party received about 20% of the vote.
    • .Its leader is Mathias Erzberger
general elections january 19193
General Elections January 1919

.The party was committed to private property, but favored large-scle social legislation and was critical of liberal capitalism. Their position was rigid on school and church questions. It is the only party to cross social class lines.

general elections january 19194
General Elections January 1919
  • .The German Democratic Party included the liberals, and won 19%
general elections january 19195
General Elections January 1919
  • .The German People's Party represented the right wing of German liberals. They would tolerate a republic but preferred a constitutional monarchy. They remianed suspicious of the Social Democrats. They are led byGustav Stresemann. They win only 4%
general elections january 19196
General Elections January 1919
  • .The German National People's Party was composed of traditional conservatives. It included the large industrialists and landowners. They wanted a restoration of the monarchy.
general elections january 19197
General Elections January 1919
  • They poll 10%. Its most important leader is Alfred Hugenberg, an extremely wealthy reactionary who will help bankroll several right wing groups, including the Nazis. (Holborn 533-39, Watt 275-77)
general elections january 19198
General Elections January 1919
  • .The results of the voting meant that no government could be formed without the Majority Socialists, but Ebert would have to form coalitions with the Catholic Centre and German People's Party. A thorough-going Socialist program is out of the question.
the weimar government
The Weimar Government
  • The new government elects Friedrich Ebert President.
  • Philipp Scheidemann becomes Chancellor with 7 Social Democrat, 4 Catholic and 4 Democratic ministers.
the weimar government1
The Weimar Government
  • The two key tasks for the new government are:
  • .writing a new constitution
  • .the peace treaty.
the weimar constitution
The Weimar Constitution
  • A strong President is created, with power to veto laws and submit them to referendum. The President also appointed and dismissed the Chancellor.
the weimar constitution1
The Weimar Constitution
  • Article 48gave the President the power to suspend some civil rights, dissolve Parliament, and govern by decree in times of national emergency.
  • The abuse of Article 48 paved the way for Hitler's seizure of power.
the treaty of versailles
The Treaty of Versailles
  • The Germans believed (with considerable justice) that the armistice had been on the basis of the Fourteen Points.
the treaty of versailles1
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Furthermore, they believed that they would have an opportunity to negotiate with the victors. To compound matters, on the issue of colonies and eastern borders, the Germans deluded themselves.
the treaty of versailles2
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Instead, they were handed a Diktat, a "Carthaginian Peace." Not only the German government but the German people felt a profound sense of outrage at the Treaty.
the treaty of versailles3
The Treaty of Versailles
  • It is my view that the Treaty of Versailles made another war inevitable. It can also be argued that forcing the Republic to sign the Treaty, the Allies gravely weakened the cause of democracy.
the treaty of versailles4
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Northern Schleswig is granted to Denmark after a plebescite.
the treaty of versailles5
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Alsace-Lorraine is given back to France (Point 8). Although 2/3s of the population was German speaking, the population clearly preferred to be French.
  • Belgium is granted the districts of Eupen and Malmedy.
the treaty of versailles6
The Treaty of Versailles
  • France is given control over the coal-rich Saar valley for 15 years, at which time a plebescite would determine if the Saar were to return to Germany, be independent, or join France.
the treaty of versailles7
The Treaty of Versailles
  • The Saar had a population of 650,000 and 25% of Germany's coal reserves (more than France). France had at first demanded outright cession of the Saar, despite the fact that historically it had always been German.
the treaty of versailles8
The Treaty of Versailles
  • France's motives were both economic and military. Under these terms, the bulk of the coal would go to France, French troops would police the district, and France hoped to manipulate the plebescite to at least gain Saar independence from Germany (as a French client state, of course)
the treaty of versailles9
The Treaty of Versailles
  • The Rhineland, with 6.5 million Germans and its heavy industry, is likewise placed under French administration for 15 years, with withdrawal contingent upon fulfillment of reparations payments, and is to be permanently demilitarized.
the treaty of versailles10
The Treaty of Versailles
  • France had originally demanded outright cession (with Alsace and the Saar, this would give them a continuous border along the Rhine River).
the treaty of versailles11
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Wilson had flatly refused to go along; French acquisition of the Rhineland would be an Alsace in reverse.
the treaty of versailles12
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Clemenceau got all that Wilson would accept, but Foch and Poincaré are outraged and plotted to seize the Rhineland anyway.
the treaty of versailles13
The Treaty of Versailles
  • An independent Poland with access to the sea (Point 13) is created. Poland is granted Upper Silesia (despite a plebescite that went German), the province of Posen,
the treaty of versailles14
The Treaty of Versailles
  • parts of East Prussia, and West Prussia, which gave it access to the sea, and separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany.
the treaty of versailles15
The Treaty of Versailles
  • The city of Danzig, which was 90% German, was made a free city under Polish administration. 2,000,000 Germans were thus incorporated in the Polish state.
the treaty of versailles16
The Treaty of Versailles
  • An Anschluß, the unification of Austria with Germany, was specifically banned. (Technically, this was part of the Treaty of Saint Germain with Austria) Germans noted (with justice) that the principle of self-determination was used only when it hurt Germany
the treaty of versailles17
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Germany gave up all colonies, which are acquired by the victors, technically under League of Nations mandate.
  • Almost the entire German merchant marine was confiscated.
the treaty of versailles18
The Treaty of Versailles
  • At the time of the signing of the treaty, the Allies had not agreed on a figure. Germany was therefore required to sign a blank check.
the treaty of versailles19
The Treaty of Versailles
  • .In 1921, the bill was assessed at 216 billion gold marks (at the 1914 exchange rate of 4.2 gold marks / dollar, or $51.42 billion, which was several times as large as Germany's total national income. (Fest 138, Flood 178, 184)
the treaty of versailles20
The Treaty of Versailles
  • John Maynard Keynes left the conference and wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace which all-too accurately predicted that attempting to make Germany pay the full cost of the war would lead to Germany's economic collapse,
the treaty of versailles21
The Treaty of Versailles
  • which in turn would lead to the collapse of the Central European economy. This in turn would damage the Allies' economy and politically destabilize Germany.
the treaty of versailles22
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Article 231 stated "the Allied Governments affirm and Germanyu accepts the responsibility of Germany and her allies for causing all the loss and damage [suffered by the Allies] as a consequence of the war imposed upon them by the aggression of Germany and its allies." (Passant 156)
the treaty of versailles23
The Treaty of Versailles
  • This is the single most hated, and most disputed part of the entire treaty.
the treaty of versailles24
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Germany's army was reduced to 100,000 men, less than the police force of Imperial Germany. The German General Staff was outlawed. Seeckt simply changed the job titles and carried on.
the treaty of versailles25
The Treaty of Versailles
  • Germany was denied an air force. Germany used civil aviation--Lufthansa-- as a basis for a future air force. Well before the Nazis, the Germans were clandestinely developing new aircraft and theories. The Nazis simply accelerated the process.
the treaty of versailles26
The Treaty of Versailles
  • The German navy is confiscated, and further construction virtually banned.
  • Germany was denied possession of heavy artillery, tanks, or submarines.
the kapp putsch may 1919
The Kapp Putsch May 1919
  • The Freikorps, under the “leadership” of a bureaucrat named Wolfgang Kapp, staged a putsch in Berlin. The Army refuses to defend the government,
the kapp putsch may 19191
The Kapp Putsch May 1919
  • so the Socialists call for a general strike, which topples Kapp in 4 days. The aftermath of the putsch involved civil war and bitter fighting around the country.
the kapp putsch
The Kapp Putsch
  • There were Communist risings in the Ruhr and in Saxony and Thuringia. The forces involved in the "Army of the Ruhr" were substantial--about 50,000 armed workers. reconquer the districts, amid atrocities on both sides.
the kapp putsch1
The Kapp Putsch
  • The uprising was aimed both at the right-wing nationalists and the Social Democrats. (Flood 125-7, Fest 131)
the kapp putsch2
The Kapp Putsch
  • (this deep ideological division within the ranks of Socialism is an important reason for the failure of the Left to prevent the Nazi seizure of power. Toeing the Bolshevik line, the KPD fought the Social Democrats ferociously;
the kapp putsch3
The Kapp Putsch
  • Stalin branded the SDP as "social fascists;" cooperation against the Nazis was precluded--indeed, at times, the KPD cooperated with the Nazis against the Republic)
the kapp putsch4
The Kapp Putsch
  • An example of the attitudes is a letter sent home(!) by a young member of the Von Epp Free Corps: ". . . we staged our first attack . . . . No pardon is given. We shoot even the wounded. . . .
the kapp putsch5
The Kapp Putsch
  • Anyone who falls into our hands first gets the rifle butt and then is finished off with a bullet. . .
the kapp putsch6
The Kapp Putsch
  • We even shot 10 Red Cross nurses on sight because they were carrying pistols. We shot those little ladies with pleasure--how they cried and pleaded with us to save their lives. Nothing doing! Anybody with a gun is our enemy . . . " (Waite 182)
hans von seeckt
Hans von Seeckt
  • Seeckt was a man of considerably broader education than most generals, and had distinguished himself in World War I. He was a dedicated monarchist who recognized that a restoration was not possible, at least in the near future; he had nothing but contempt for democracy
hans von seeckt1
Hans von Seeckt
  • His intention is to create a cadre army that would serve as the nucleus for the expanded German army which he knew would eventually be created. The preservation of the army is his first priority.
hans von seeckt2
Hans von Seeckt
  • He handpicks the 96,000 enlisted men and 4,000 officers of the new Reichswehr. He chooses them not only for intelligence and character but also for political reliability.
hans von seeckt3
Hans von Seeckt
  • Seeckt also institutes a meticulous study of why Germany lost the war. He rejects out of hand the "stab in the back" theory, as did those staff officers around him. The analysis conducted under his supervision was thorough and realistic.
hans von seeckt4
Hans von Seeckt
  • Lessons were drawn for the future, and doctrine is hammered out. Seeckt stresses fire and movement and all-arms cooperation. He sets about trying to evade the treaty ban against tanks and aircraft.
hans von seeckt5
Hans von Seeckt
  • To this end, Seeckt will conduct a foreign policy independent of (and unknown by) the government with respect to the Soviet Union.
hans von seeckt6
Hans von Seeckt
  • In 1922, Seeckt makes an agreement with the Russians whereby the Germans can build aircraft, submarines, artillery and ammunition and establish training schools for aircraft, poison gas, and tanks.
hans von seeckt7
Hans von Seeckt
  • During this time, the Germans gained hands-on experience with new equipment and techniques, and in turn, trained most of Tukhachevsky's officers. This agreement was extensive and clandestine, and benefitted the military of both countries.
hans von seeckt8
Hans von Seeckt
  • Seeckt stressed technical knowledge and systematic weapons development. He provided Heinz Guderian with an opportunity to develop his ideas of Blitzkrieg.
hans von seeckt9
Hans von Seeckt
  • He laid the foundations of the Luftwaffe, and provided an opportunity for Messerschmitt, Dornier, Heinkel and Junkers to develop new aircraft (all of this illegally).
hans von seeckt10
Hans von Seeckt
  • He began building tanks on German soil in 1928. He encouraged an atmosphere within the staff of vigorous debate on doctrine.
hans von seeckt11
Hans von Seeckt
  • Even though the General Staff was technically disbanded, it still existed. Seeckt placed the sections under various covers (such as the Interior Ministry--the Map Section became the Reich Survey Office.
hans von seeckt12
Hans von Seeckt
  • Since the Reichswehr was too small to actually defend Germany, Seeckt cooperated generally with the Freikorps. Technically, these had been disbanded. In reality, they still existed, and numbered probably as much as the Reichswehr. Seeckt expected to double the size of his army in a crisis.
hans von seeckt13
Hans von Seeckt
  • These troops were openly called the "Black Reichswehr." They were particularly important along the Polish border (there was heavy fighting in Silesia following a Polish coup just before the plebiscite).
paramilitary organizations
Paramilitary Organizations
  • The Stahlhelm, an organization of veterans is formed in 1918. It is paramilitary, but not actually terrorist. Membership was limited to soldiers who had served at the front, Hindenburg was its honorary commander,
paramilitary organizations1
Paramilitary Organizations
  • and it stressed comradeship and soldierly virtues in addition to implacable hatred of the Versailles Treaty. It reaches a peak membership of 1 million members in 1928. Intensely nationalist and right-wing, it will serve as an important vehicle for discontent against the republic.
paramilitary organizations2
Paramilitary Organizations
  • Many people will not see too much difference between the Stahlhelm and the Nazis.
paramilitary organizations3
Paramilitary Organizations
  • The Nazis create the Sturmabteilulng(the SA), the storm troopers, as the shock troops of the movement. Many Freikorps leaders and soldiers end up in the SA.
  • Others include the Communist Red Veterans’ League and the SD’s Reichsbanner
feme murders 1919 1922
Feme Murders 1919-1922
  • the Freikorps begin the Feme-murders: political assassinations. According to conservative official estimates, some 354 political murders were committed between 1919 and 1922.
feme murders 1919 19221
Feme Murders 1919-1922
  • Ernst Röhm reports in his autobiography (titled significantly History of an Archtraitor): "One day an alarmed statesman went up to the Police President and whispered in his ear, 'Herr President, political murder organizations exist in this country!' Pöhner replied, 'I know--but there are too few of them!'" (Waite 213)
feme murders 1919 19222
Feme Murders 1919-1922
  • Among those assassinated were Mathias Erzberger and Walter Rathenau (at the time, the Foreign Minister)
  • Hitler had a monument built for Rathenau’s murderers.
the treaty of rapallo 1922
The Treaty of Rapallo 1922
  • Germany and the Soviet Union gave up all economic claims against each other. This led to the covert military cooperation between them.
occupation of the ruhr jan 11 1923
Occupation of the RuhrJan. 11, 1923
  • At the end of 1922, Germany fails to deliver all of the coal and telephone poles required. France declares Germany in default of reparations payments. French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr industrial district.
occupation of the ruhr jan 11 19231
Occupation of the RuhrJan. 11, 1923
  • The Weimar government calls for passive resistence. The population responds to the call with overwhelming support. All reparations payments of any kind are stopped. The French are unable to exploit the economic assets.
hyperinflation 1921 23
Hyperinflation 1921-23
  • The Weimar government promises to support the Ruhr workers, and does so by paying their salaries. However, without access to the richest district in the country, the only way the government can do that is by printing huge quantities of money.
hyperinflation 1921 231
Hyperinflation 1921-23
  • In October 1921, the mark had stood at M 200:$1;
  • in October 1922 it was M4,500:$1;
  • In January 1923, the mark has dropped to M17,972:$1
hyperinflation 1921 232
Hyperinflation 1921-23
  • In November 1923, the mark officially stood at M 4,200,000,000,000:$1 (Flood 382, 392, Passant 192, 159);
  • Middle class savings are completely wiped out. These people are "proletarianized,"
the beer hall putsch nov 8 1923
The Beer Hall PutschNov. 8, 1923
  • Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were among a coaliton of rightest groups in Bavaria who hoped to take advantage of the confusion.
the beer hall putsch nov 8 19231
The Beer Hall PutschNov. 8, 1923
  • However, when the others failed to act, Hitler impatiently tried to force the issue and seize control of Munich by force. The police fire upon the Nazis, dispersing them.
the beer hall putsch nov 8 19232
The Beer Hall PutschNov. 8, 1923
  • Hitler is arrested, tried for treason, and given a lenient sentence at Landsberg prison, where he writes his autobiography, Mein Kampf.
currency stabilization 1924
Currency Stabilization 1924
  • Gustav Stresemann becomes Chancellor and calls an end to the passive resistance. Hjalmar Schacht then implements
the dawes plan january 1924
The Dawes PlanJanuary 1924
  • Charles G. Dawes andOwen D. Youngheaded a group that hoped to place the reparations issue on a sound economic footing. The plan scaled down payments, calculating that Germany could pay 2.5 billion marks per year
the dawes plan january 19241
The Dawes PlanJanuary 1924
  • The plan provided large loans to Germany, chiefly from the U.S., to help the German economy recover. Charles G. Dawes and Owen D. Youngheaded a group that hoped to place the reparations issue on a sound economic footing.
the dawes plan january 19242
The Dawes PlanJanuary 1924
  • .The plan scaled down payments, calculating that Germany could pay 2.5 billion marks per year.
  • .The plan provided large loans to Germany, chiefly from the U.S., to help the German economy recover.
election of hindenburg as president 1925
Election of Hindenburg as President 1925
  • Friedrich Ebert died, forcing new elections for President. Paul von Hindenburg, who is a hero to most Germans, is elected in his place.
election of hindenburg as president 19251
Election of Hindenburg as President 1925
  • He is 77 years old, a rather simple man who is still a deeply committed monarchist. He had never been an especially intelligent man, and the complexities of constitutional law, politics and economics bewildered him.
election of hindenburg as president 19252
Election of Hindenburg as President 1925
  • He was wholly reliant on the advice of others. By the 1930s, he is also quite senile, and not able to fully understand the government's policies.
locarno treaties 1925
Locarno Treaties 1925
  • Gustav Stresemann and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand try to solve their differences. Stresemann offers a German guarantee to respect the eastern borders of France and Belgium as defined by the Treaty of Versailles,
locarno treaties 19251
Locarno Treaties 1925
  • and proposed that the great powers should join in guaranteeing the inviolability of those borders. France yielded all claims to invade German soil in order to enforce treaties.
locarno treaties 19252
Locarno Treaties 1925
  • Stresemann agrees to demilitarization of the Rhineland, which is guaranteed by Britain and Italy No agreement is to take effect until Germany is admitted to the League of Nations.
locarno treaties 19253
Locarno Treaties 1925
  • The expression, "spirit of Locarno" enters popular vocabulary. Unfortunately, this is not the beginning of a new era, but a high water mark.
the young plan 1929
The Young Plan 1929
  • American banker Owen D. Young played a key role in the negotiations.The plan established a schedule of payments until 1988. Each payment averages 2.05 billion marks.
  • The French began evacuation of the Rhineland in Sept. 1929
the great depression in germany 1930
The Great Depression in Germany 1930
  • Germany was extremely dependent upon short term loans from US banks to keep its economy going. The stock market crash in the US dried up that money,
the great depression in germany 19301
The Great Depression in Germany 1930
  • The result was the failure of key German banks, which brought the Depression into central Europe. From there, it spread, since the collapse of the Central European economy dragged everyone else down with it.
the elections of 1930
The Elections of 1930
  • The elections are a disaster for Parliamentary democracy.
  • Stresemann's German People's Party goes from 78 seats to 41
  • .The National Liberals go from 45 seats to 30
the elections of 19301
The Elections of 1930
  • .The Catholic Centre go from 16 seats to 19
  • .The Left Liberals go from 25seats to 20
  • .The Social Democrats go from 153 seats to 143
the elections of 19302
The Elections of 1930
  • .The Communists gain 23 seats, from 54 to 77
  • .The National Socialists (Nazis) gain 95 seats, from 12 to 107
A Parliament that had a democratic majority is now replaced by one where the second and third largest parties are implacably opposed to parliamentary democracy.
The Chancellor, Dr. Heinrich Brüning is determined to rule by decree. Brüning's government therefore marks the end of Parliamentary democracy in Germany.
hindenburg s re election 1932
Hindenburg’s Re-election 1932
  • Hitler decided to run for President against Hindenburg, who is now senile
  • Hindenburg won 46.6% of the vote to Hitler's 30.1%,
  • .Hindenburg wins the run-off by 53% to Hitler's 36.8%
the von papen and von schleicher governments 1932
The von Papen and von Schleicher Governments 1932
  • First, Franz von Papen and then Gen. Kurt von Schleicher attempt to form aristocratic, rightist governments without Nazi participation.
the von papen and von schleicher governments 19321
The von Papen and von Schleicher Governments 1932
  • Lacking a Reichstag majority, both will have to govern by decree, using Article 48. Von Schleicher maneuvers to discredit von Papen with Hindenburg, and von Papen then returns the favor to von Schleicher.
hitler von papen government january 30 1933
Hitler-von Papen GovernmentJanuary 30, 1933
  • The industrialists and landowners who surrounded Hindenburg urged him strongly to appoint a Hitler-Papen government: a Harzburg government of all the nationalist groups. The old man finally agrees.
hitler von papen government january 30 19331
Hitler-von Papen GovernmentJanuary 30, 1933
  • The new cabinet includes only 3 Nazis, Hitler himself, Wilhelm Frick as Minister of the Interior (includes the police) and Hermann Goering as Minister Without Portfolio (also Prussian Interior Minister).
hitler von papen government january 30 19332
Hitler-von Papen GovernmentJanuary 30, 1933
  • Papen and his people believe that they can control Hitler. They are wrong; the German Faust has made its pact with Mephistopheles.