Weimar 1918


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Weimar Germany 1918

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Weimar 1918

  1. 1. The Weimar Republic • The impact of WWI devastated Germany • The punitive nature of the Treaty of Versailles made it worse • The Weimar Republic veered from crisis to crisis from 1918-1924 • By 1933, the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis) emerged victorious
  2. 2. Effects of WWI 1914 • Germany was an industrial and economic powerhouse • Militaristic, nationalistic, imperialistic • Went into WWI with a high sense of optimism and confidence
  3. 3. Impact of WWI 1918 • Germany defeated - In August Hindenburg reveals that victory is not possible • People surviving on turnips and sawdust bread • Flu epidemic spreads through Germany • Strikes and mutinies are rife - German society is in chaos
  4. 4. Effects of WWI German women search through garbage for something to eat in Berlin • Germany is virtually bankrupt • National income 30% of 1914 levels • Industrial production 70% that of 1914
  5. 5. Social divisions • Huge gap between rich and poor • Workers pay restricted but not industrialists’ profits • Female participation in workforce seen as “un-German” • German is faced with the task of demobilisation of 2 million + men
  6. 6. Revolution 1918 Revolution and mutinies force abdication of Kaiser Socialists form government Many despise new government and do not warm to the unfamiliar notion of “democracy”
  7. 7. November Criminals Many Germans also believed that the “glorious” Germany army and nation had not lost the war but had been betrayed by Jews, Socialists and Communists at home. The “Stab in the Back” theory is born
  8. 8. (Dolchstoßlegende literally quot;Dagger stab legendquot;) The Dolchstoß was a central image in propaganda produced by the many right-wing and traditionally conservative political parties that sprang up in the early days of the Weimar Republic, including Hitler's NSDAP. In Mein Kampf he described a vision at this time which drove him to enter politics. Throughout his career he railed against the quot;November criminalsquot; of 1918, who had stabbed the German Army in the back. Even provisional President Friedrich Ebert contributed to the myth when he saluted returning veterans with the oration that quot;they returned undefeated from the battlefield (sie sind vom Schlachtfeld unbesiegt zurückgekehrt).quot; It was meant as a tribute to the German soldier, but it contributed to the prevailing feeling.
  9. 9. The distrust of the general populace, combined with the threat of Bolshevism, left the Weimar Government in a vulnerable position - What happens next? The danger of Bolshevism, Germany, 1919. Artist: Rudi Feld. Hoover Institution Archives Poster Collection