The politicians, who signed the peace treaty on behalf of Germany, were named and shamed as ‘stabbing Germany in the back’. This notion was emphasised by opposing political parties who were egger to take any opportunity to make these politicians look bad to the people of Germany. Germany was a militaristic state which and the republic was not going to succeed with so many opposing forces such as ex-soldiers who were willing to fight any rivals. The treaty of Versailles caused a profound sense of injustice and resentment amongst the German people therefore this translated into hatred of democracy. The treaty was not the only reason for the failure of the Weimar Republic, issues such as the period time and the great depression contributed to this also.
Later in 1919 the Weimar government signed the treaty of Versailles. The treaty had some appalling things in it such as the war guilt Claus, which meant that Germany had to accept that the war was all their fault and huge reparations also had to be paid. The German people hated the Weimar Republic even more after this because they were disgusted that their government accepted the awful terms of the treaty. They especially did not like the bit that said
Two years later France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr and the hyperinflation was now out of control. The NSDAP, led by Adolf Hitler and General Ludendorff, tried to take over the government at this time. This bad start had three main causes. The First reason why the Weimar Republic started badly was that there were political problems. Some people were very upset that the Kaiser had been forced to leave.
Hitler even being allowed to come into power is a scary thought itself. The situations that facilitated Hitler's rise to power were the Germans' unhappiness with the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Totalitarian leadership, and the inaction of the League of Nations. The Treaty of Versailles, which was a peace settlement in which the Germans had no choice and were forced to sign after WWI, was an important reason why the Nazis came to power. The German general public were so angry over the Treaty and found it hard to accept the terms of it because it became a symbol of Germany's humiliation and defeat. This made the new Weimar government, who signed the treaty, extremely unpopular and there was a lot of opposition to the government.
To what extent was the Treaty of Versailles fair to Germany? The Treaty of Versailles was created to cripple Germany so that they could not start another war. One side of the argument is that the Treaty was extremely unfair to Germany, as it took away some of her most valuable assets and fuelled nationalism. However, the other side of the argument is that as Germany caused a lot of damage, she deserved to be punished and prevented from stirring up more trouble. The military clause was the harshest and most damaging clause, and was greatly disapproved of by Germany.
Despite this, this is what Hitler wanted- the public began to vote for him after he promised better lives for those affected. To the unemployed, he promised them jobs. To ordinary Germans, a better and richer Germany was promised, in which Versailles would be beaten- many Germans hated the treaty, feeling it was too harsh. The rich industrialists and landowners were promised that Communism would be smashed, which is what these groups of people were scared of. Many of these rich industrialists helped to finance the Nazi party.
This treaty placed blame solely on Germany resulting in loss of the Rhineland, also Germany had to demilitarize and pay back billions to allies as part of war reparations. This push by the Allied powers left Germany defeated but not destroyed as this loss offered a starting point for a political push away from the imperial government of the past to a new republic as Germans began to revolt. Named the Weimar Republic, the new government in place was incapable of dealing with the complex problems via the Treaty of Versailles. Hyperinflation and political revolts began to affect the country. The sanctions of the treaty placed Germany was in dismay, this offered neighboring European countries the ability to take advantage of Germany.
Whilst the German people were starting to think that the Weimar were failing and democracy was not right for Germany, Hitler realised that this was his moment to try and seize power. The depression made people angry about the Weimar because of poverty and unemployment. This helped Hitler and the Nazis because they were also angry at the Weimar about everything, for example the depression and the Treaty of Versailles. The German people wanted a new government. So the Nazis put themselves out there telling the public that they hate the Weimar for the same reason as the public do.
All of these terms are what led Germany to economic and political instability in the years 1919-23. One of the terms of the treaty, which caused economic instability, were the reparations Germany had to pay for the war. The figure was set at £6.6 billion and undoubtedly Germany would not be able to pay this figure. The English economist, John Maynard Keynes, feared in 1919 that the reparation set would fundamentally weaken the economy of Germany with consequences for the whole of Europe. George Clemenceau aimed to cripple the German economy with the high reparations figure.
Nobody was happy with it and Italy and Germany wanted revenge. The Treaty of Versailles made the country lose all colonies (it was under the control of the League of Nations) and also some territories that used to be part of Germany. Many citizens that used to live in Germany were now living in other countries, new ones, created by the peace settlement. This made Hitler make promises that he would use any means to reunite all Germans and that empire was desirable. It was obviously a threat to surrounding nations.