Flashcards in Weimar Deck (43):
What were the basic components of the Weimar constitution?
President- elected every 7 years, appoints Chancellor and can dissolve Riechstag
Parliament- Reichstag has members elected every 4 years from official lists and Reichstat is made up of Lander representatives
Supreme Court and rights- free speech, religious freedom and no censorship
What were the potential issues with the Weimar constitution?
PR- resulted in coalitions which had to compromise and often collapse. This created instability and allowed more extreme parties.
President- potential conflict with Reichstag and control of Article 48
Article 48- suspends rights and rules by decree. Used well in 1925 but badly by Hitler
What did the USA, France and Britain want to achieve with the TOV?
USA- international disarmament, self-determination and League of Nations
France- Buffer Zone, disarmament and reparations
UK- naval supremacy, restrain communism and France
What were the terms of the TOV?
Land- resource rich Alsace-Lorraine went to France, West Prussia to Poland to form 'Polish Corridor', Saar controlled by League, colonies removed and plebiscites in areas like Silesia
War Blame cause
Disarmament- abolish conscription, 100, 000 troops, nor aircraft or subs and excluded of LON
£6600 million in reparations
Was the TOV fair?
- Extreme demands such as annexation of Saar ignored
- They just didn't want to accept blame
- Plebiscites were fair
- Prussia was mixed ethnicity anyway
- Dawes Plan and potential to fill Russian power vacuum
- not like 14 points
- couldn't accept guilt
- reparations were unreasonable
- blockade was Diktat
- excluded from league and forced into unilateral disarmament
- stab in the back and blame
What were the social effects of WWI?
- Poor living conditions meant class divisions
- Rich factory workers vs workers
- Diseases prevalent and confusion over women's role
- Stab in the back and switch to democracy was a shock
- Naval mutiny and soviets set-up
What were the economic effects of WWI?
- National income 1/3 of that in 1913
- 1/3 of budget being spent on war pensions
- 600, 000 widows and 2 million fatherless
What were the political effects of WWI?
- Nov abdication of Kaiser leads to SPD coalition
- Dangers of Civil War that could cause Civil War, disrupt demobilization, food distribution and peace talks
- Ebert-Groener, November. Army promised govt will preserve them and stop spread of communism.
- Stinnes- Legin, November. TUs promised not to interfere with private ownership in return for worker's rights and recognition.
How successful were the first 2 elections in Weimar?
1st election = 71% for democratic parties. Coalition between SPD, DDP and ZP.
But DNVP was backed by army and DVP didn't support Weimar.
1920- democratic vote drops to 40% and KPD vote increases
How many govts were there from 1919-23?
6 and longest was only 18 months
Why was there a failure to refom in Weimar?
Fear of Communism meant people stuck to old traditions
What was the Munich Putsch? What it a threat?
- 1923 Kahr, Hitler and Lassow plan march on Berlin
- Kahr backs out so Hitler interrupts him in beer Hall and forces him to help
- easily crushed by Bavarian police and army supports them
- Hitler is only sentenced for 9 months but decides to write Mien Kemf and use political intrigue for power
What was the Kapp Putsch? Was is a threat?
- Friekrops take over Berlin unopposed after threats to reduce their size
- Govt flees but general strike makes rebellion fail
- Exposes failure to reform army as they refuse to help
- Leads to Skeet as head of army and its expansion
What was the invasion of the Ruhr? Was it a threat?
- 1922 French and Belgian troops occupy Ruhr when Germany faults on payments and take goods
- Passive resistance of Ruhr workers is encouraged but govt has to continue to pay them
- Cannot collect taxes there and so they print more money
- Leads to hyperinflation
What were the 2 communist uprisings?
Red Bavaria 1919:
- collapse of Bavarian govt leads to Soviet Republic with 'Red Army' being set-up
- Friekorps attacks them in 'white terror' and results in shift to right
German October 1925:
- KPD and SPD regional coalitions
- army crushes plans for revolution and removes communists
Were the communists a threat?
- Lacked good leadership after Luxemberg died
- Poor co-ordination eg 1923
- divisions in left-wingers
- govt response to plans
- KPD had 15% of vote
What were the causes of hyperinflation?
War- 84% of war money borrowed. Lack of consumer goods creates inflation. War bonds.
TOV and inflation- inflation allowed to increase as part of economic policy and fear that cuts and tax rise would alienate people. Reparations paid in hard currency.
What were the negative/positives of hyperinflation?
- pay of mortgages and debt
- businessmen eg Stinnes could invest cheaply
- shop-owners could exploit prices
- govt pay back loans cheaply
- War bonds worthless
- fixed income and pensioners suffer
- TUs fail to negotiate wages and 4.1% unemployment
- more crime and less faith in Weimar
What improvements did Stresesman make in foreign policy?
1924 Dawes Pact secured loans from USA improved relations with France
1925 Lacarno Pact accepted Franco-Belgian borders, demilitarized Rhine zone limiting French influence here
1926 joins League of Nations
1928 Kellog Briand Pact
1929- Reparations reduced and Rhineland evacuated
What were the limitations to Streseman's foreign policy?
There was opposition to the Young Plan
Dependent on USA
Didn't not restore Germany to 'former glory'
What improvements were made to culture by Streseman?
Art and design- became more political and 'avant gard'
Literature- pacifist such as All Quiet on the Western Front
Film- most advanced in Europe
1923 German Radio Company and 1 in 4 own a set
Cabaret and homosexuality
What limitations were there to Streseman's cultural improvements?
Culture clash between new and old
Many still looked back to glory of war days
Hugenburg ran film industry
What economical improvements did Streseman bring?
- 1924 Dawes Plan
- Introduction of Rentenmark
- Money invested in houses, hospitals and schools
- 1922 Youth Welfare Law
- Tax increase to 60%
- 48 hour working week
- 40% rise in exports due to more efficient production methods
- Foreign investment in factories
What limitations were there to Stresman's economical developments?
- 1.3 million unemployed
- Loss agricultural income
- Depedant on foreign investment and loans
- high spending on Welfare State
- 1925 govt still in debt
What political improvements did Streseman make?
- 1928 forms Grand coalition and extreme parties get less than 30% of the vote
- SPD refuses to join coalitions until 1928, DVP internal divisions and ZP move to right
- Parties look to own self-interests and are irresponsible
- DNVP extreme right and help Hitler
- Longest govt 21 mths and leads to extremism
When was the Reichstag Fire? What was it?
- Blamed on Communists which allowed the 'Decree for the Protection of People and State'
- Suspended civil and political liberties and strengthened central govt
When was the Enabling Law? What was it?
- removed democracy and and power to Hitler
- is passed as communists are refused entry to Reichtag and ZP are promised Catholic Church would be protected
- rule by decree
When were the 1933 elections? What was the outcome?
- lots of terror and violence used to break opposition meetings
- propaganda used to blame Communists and democracy
- Nazis obly get 42% of vote which is not a majority
What was the Knight of the Long Knives? What was the impact?
- 1934 sees Rohm and 200 SA killed with weapons supplied by army
- manifestation of army and SA's conflict which Hitler failed to resolve
- Results in neutralizing on NAzi radical left and pleases army who take Oath to him
- Hitler becomes Fuher in 1933 after |Hindenburg dies
- SS's role begins to devlop
How did Hitler control federal states?
- Reich governors are appointed
- regional govts abolished in 1934 and subordinated to Ministry of Interior
How did Hitler control political parties?
- Communists outlawed by Reichstag fire
- SPD banned and assets seized
- other parties dissolve themselves
How did Hitler control TUs?
- premises are occupied, funds taken and leaders sent to camps
- DAF is created with no negotiating powers
What was the Economic impact of the Great Depression?
- 1929 Wall Street Crash leads to recalling of USA loans
- 1932 1/3 of workers unemployed and govt struggles to pay their benefits
- demands for German goods fell and production cut
What were the political effects of the Great Depression?
- People joined SA to give themselves a sense of purpose
- Great Coalition weakened and divisions form over cuts and welfare state
- Bruning comes to power who rules by decree and calls elections
- Nazis gain in 1930 elections as people view democracy as unable to deal with the problems
What was the July 1931 Banking Crisis?
- Kreditanstalt crashed and others had to close down as people began to take out their money
- Leads to France blocking emergency loans to Germany
- But sees 1932 committee decide to cancel reparations and Burning dismissed
How did Nazi violence lead to a rise in support?
- SA under Rohm provides employment and violence against Communist
- 1932 riots left 10 dead
- Strong Nazi leadership seen as essential to create control
- Steine's revolt 1931 results in small purge of SA as they fail to limit their violence
How did Nazi's use propaganda to increase support?
- 1930 Goebbels made head of propaganda
- Mass rallies and technology like loud-speakers and radios
- Unifying themes of Furher Cult, Volksgemeinchaft, nationalism
- Scapegoats of November Criminals, KPD and communists and Jews blamed for depression
How did Nazis use promises to ensure support?
- promise to increase agricultural prices
- unemployed promised 'work and bread'
- Mittelsand promised control of department stores
- They play down the fear on industrialists
Who did the Nazis appeal to?
- Appeal to Protestant, middle class and farmers
- resisted by Catholics and socialists
How did Hitler secure his position through intrigue?
PAPEN: fails to get majority in 1932 election as Hitler wants position of Chancellor so Schliecer convinces Hindenburgh to make him Chancellor.
SCHLEICER: alienates TUs and landowners. Fails to get Strasser as vice-chancellor as he resigns from party.
HITLER: Jan 1933 meets Papen to create Nazi-nationalist coalition. Gain support of landowners, army and industrial leaders who fear Schliecer.
When was Hitler made Chancellor?
Why did Muller's govt fail?
National Opposition oppose Young Plan
Fails to tackle financial problems
Burning calls elections in 1930 and Nazis get 107 seats