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
When the first world war ended in 1918 there was a German revolution due to there failure and the Weimar republic was created. Due to the failure of the war Germany received harsh reparations from the treaty of Versailles and many people though that it was cruel to give Germany such a hard punishment. The government (Weimar republic) signed this order and many German people resented them for signing it and agreeing to the conditions. They were known as the November criminals. The violent uprising caused chaos across germany with many groups ready to take on the government.
Between 1919 and 1923 it had to deal with many problems. 1919 saw the Spartacist Rebellion and the new government was forced to agree to the unpopular Treaty of Versailles. In 1920 the Kapp Putsch succeeded in taking over the government for a while. In 1921 Germany began to pay reparations and inflation began to get out of control. Two years later France and Belgium invaded the Ruhr and the hyperinflation was now out of control.
During a depression, political trends become extremist and so the Nazis flourished; Hitler offered both a scapegoat and himself as a strong leader to look up to. The depression gave Hitler the edge he needed to gain ninety-five seats in the Reichstag and ultimately progress from the leader of a minority party to the Dictator of the Third Reich. The Depression also drew attention to the weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution; as poverty and unemployment increased, respect for the democratic system drastically decreased. The German population did not want to be governed by a democracy as it was such a governing body that signed the Treaty of Versailles. Hatred for this document was still rife in Germany and so Hitler, who openly detested the Treaty, became the obvious choice.
The Weimar republic was created in 1919 with the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm ll, it was created at a time of confusion and chaos after Germany had lost the First World War. Between 1919 and 1923 it had to deal with many problems such as extremists’ attacks, the treaty of Versailles and the reparations crisis. Firstly Germany had no tradition of democracy and had always had strong leaders; Germans weren't ready for democracy and did not agree to it. With Germany suffering very badly because of the war it added onto the hatred the democracy had made. The new government was the body that signed the treaty of Versailles, and to many it was a betrayal and most Germans referred to it as the ‘stab in the back theory’.
In fact the groups within the right such as the Freikorps and consul organisation showed an increasing amount of violence because of their lack of support on democracy, which of course created a tremendous threat to the Weimar Republic. To an extent one could argue that the economy was a major threat to the stability of the Weimar Republic in the period 1919-1923 due to the severe reparation payments. The Treaty of Versailles stipulated that Germany had to pay reparations for the damage which was caused in WW1. The poor leadership and economic problems consequently led to a German defeat. In 1921, the total amount of reparations was set at 269 billion gold marks.
These men went on to be known as the November criminals, a clear sign of the resentment the German people had for the men that had effectively gave in to the allies as they saw it. Though in truth they had no choice, the treaty’s vindictive terms and unreasonable reparations resulted in a shattered German economy; hyperinflation ensued with the price of everyday necessities skyrocketing, millions of the population went into poverty and unemployment levels hit 25%. Though the treaty of Versailles was not totally to blame for the economic crisis, as the Kaiser had borrowed huge amounts of money to pay for the war effort, it was the most significant cause, it not only led to economic troubles but also much of the political instability that led to the republic’s downfall who used the treaty and the
In this essay I will discuss the title question and come to a conclusion on whether or not I agree. For me, one of the main causes of ww2 was the fact that The Treaty of Versailles was extremely harsh on Germany; this created a build up of anger and resentment from Germans, and also put them in a financial depression. Although Hitler had no control over this, he played on their poverty to receive votes and gain power. He also built up Germany’s resentment against the United Nations, which made his people pro war. Many people believe another fault of the League of Nations that contributed to war was; how they appeased Hitler by letting him have Czechoslovakia.
The first key issue I would like to discuss is the limited nature of the German revolution and how this damaged the prospects of German democracy. The way that Ebert used to take control lead damaged the prospects of democracy from the outset. Historians have criticised Ebert’s use of force to crush radical groups such as the Spartacists and his use of the Freikorps. Together with the crushing Spartacists in 1919 caused these left wing radicals to become divided and were therefore unwilling to compromise on reforms in the Reichstag. This made it far more difficult for coalitions to form and for democracy to function in the designed fashion.
Due to the failure of the Weimar Republic and general public dissatisfaction arising from poor economic conditions exacerbated by the Treaty of Versailles, coupled with the 1929 Wall Street Crash, German citizens were understandably desperate for change. Until this point in time the Nazi party, and Hitler, had been essentially unpopular. However, the economic situation ensured Hitler’s increasing popularity as the people looked toward more extreme but non-communist ideals. The initial consolidation of Nazi power in 1933 arose from key events such as the reichstag fire, implementation of the Enabling Law, removal of external and internal opposition, and the night of long knives. Although Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazi party was still outnumbered in the cabinet, so when the election was called in February 1933 Hitler knew that he must once again win the support of the public.