Germany After WWI

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A look at Germany after WWI and how someone like Hitler could convince a nation to vote for him

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Germany After WWI

  1. 1. Germany After WWI
  2. 2. Why Is This Important?   To analyse how Hitler came to power and why World War II broke out, it helps to understand the conditions in Germany between 1918 and 1932 There are FOUR major reasons why conditions were perfect for a man like Adolph Hitler to take power
  3. 3. 1. Economic Problems: Inflation      Instead of taxing people to fund WWI the German Gov’t borrowed money As a result the country was left with a huge debt To pay off the debt the Germans printed more money which caused inflation The government had 300 paper mills working 24 hours a day to make more money The country was not generating any real wealth so prices of goods and services rose astronomically
  4. 4. Inflation  A brief explanation
  5. 5. 1. Economic Problems: Inflation  Inflation example:      In spring 1922, 300 marks would buy an American dollar By early 1923 it took 50,000 marks to buy an American dollar Soon it took billions of marks to buy a stamp A shopping bag full to pay a streetcar fare People carried wheelbarrows full of money
  6. 6. Cost of bread in Berlin
  7. 7. 1923:Selling money by weight at the height of hyper-inflation.
  8. 8. A German young lady using worthless paper money to heat her home in 1923.
  9. 9. Children playing with stacks of worthless currency, Germany 1923
  10. 10. German Marks
  11. 11. 1. Economic Problems: Inflation      A lifetime’s savings could become valueless in a matter of weeks People started to barter or trade goods rather than use money People would spend their money they earned daily so it wouldn’t devalue over night Some jobs paid 2 times a day to accommodate inflation When the new currency, the Rentenmark, replaced the worthless Reichsbank marks on November 16, 1923 and 12 zeros were cut from prices, prices in the new currency remained stable
  12. 12. 2. Political Instability    After WWI, Germany had more than 12 political parties None was strong enough to take control and help the country There were three groups: Communists, Social Democrats, and National Socialists (Nazis)
  13. 13. Communists      Gov’t run by councils of workers Industries owned by the gov’t Military reduced Workers protected Supporters: factory and agricultural workers, some teachers and professors, pacifists
  14. 14. Social Democrats (Liberals)       Gov’t should be run by elected officials of all parties A few key industries should be run by the gov’t Some terms of Versailles should be honoured Rights for workers Freedom of religion and press Supporters: some workers and professionals, Christians
  15. 15. National Socialists (Nazis)       Gov’t should be run by the army and wealthy Industry should be privately owned Power of the military increased No democratic government Activities of Jews and foreigners should be restricted because they are responsible for problems Supporters: army, unemployed, big business, land owners, aristocrats
  16. 16. 3. Treaty of Versailles   People of Germany were humiliated and felt it was unjust (War Guilt) Hitler promised to:       Rearm Germany Get revenge on enemies Cancel the treaty Expand the army Restore German honour Win back by force German territory
  17. 17. Question  Who is Hitler appealing to when he’s promising these things?      Military? Big Business Owners? Middle Class? Working People? Nationalists?
  18. 18. 4. Depression and Unemployment      Americans didn’t buy German manufactured goods, banks didn’t lend to Germany to rebuild after WWI France and Britain put large tariffs on German goods Many people became unemployed Workers saw their wages decrease Germany was hurt by Stock Market Crash
  19. 19. Depression and Unemployment      People lived in forests, farmers used weapons to protect crops Starving people came to the city to try to find food One news item reported 30% of Germany was unemployed People were deliberately getting arrested to get food Hitler used this to blame the gov’t and encourage people that they wanted a dictatorship
  20. 20. Germany was in a desperate state and Hitler took advantage of it to further his dream

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