1. Analyse the problems of the Weimar republic
After the First World War, Kaiser resigned due to November Revolution and later on, in 1919, a federal republic met in Weimar, Germany to replace the imperial form of government, which is known as Weimar Republic. This Republic lasted until 1933, and was destroyed by Hitler. It went to three stages. In the first stage, which was from 1919-23, there was instability when the republic was struggling to survive. In the second stage, from 1923-29, there was stability when Gustav Streseman was the leading politician. This stability was due to the Dawes plan of 1924 in which USA provided huge loans. In the third or last stage, from 1929-33 ...view middle of the document...
The Republic should have made some reasonable changes to the system that they opted for.
d. The political parties had very little experience of how to operate a democratic parliamentary system: Before the Republic, Germany was ruled by Chancellor and when the responsibilities were given to the Reichstag (lower house of parliament), it failed to rule because the parties refused to compromise. There was tension in the Republic and the sense of trust and leadership was lost due to which the Republic was unable to lead properly.
2. Outbreaks of violence were not fully controlled by the government.
a. The Spartacist Rising: Led by Spartacus, in which the left wing party, communists, occupied every major city in Germany in attempt to overthrow the republic. The government was incapable to handle the the Spartacist Rising on its own, and had to depend on private forces.
b. The Kapp Putch (March 1920): When Wolfgang Kapp was declared as Chancellor by the right-wing groups, Freikorps, who tried to seize power after they were disbanded from the government.. If the government would have taken stricter actions and punished a larger majority of Friekorps, the ex-members would have not been hostile to the republic and not join Hitler.
c. A series of political assassinations took place: ex-Freikorps members assassinated many communists and members of the republic. The government was unable to take any strong measures against such acts of terrorism and hence, the offenders were taken lightly and the government was unable to intervene because of the support of the right-wing.
d. The Beer Hall Putsch: Hiller aimed to overthrow the government in Berlin but was broken up by the police. This created a negative image of the government in the eyes of people.
3. Economic problems
a. In 1919 Germany was close to bankruptcy and in January 1923 French troops occupied the Ruhr: This was mainly due to the treaty of Versailles, and since Weimar republic was blamed for it, the government had to go through these problems.
b. The prosperity was much more dependent on the American loans than most people realized: Weimar republic was not independent enough to handle the economic crisis and to form strategies that would bring them out of the debt.
c. The USA stopped any further loans and began to call in many of the short-term loans already made to Germany: Germany had lost all the financial help with turned out to be a big trouble for the government. The government did not form any plans or ideas to cope up with this economic crisis in the beginning; hence, dealing with the crisis became hard.
4. The alternative – Hitler and the Nazis
a. They offered national unity, prosperity and full employment and they promised to overthrow the Versailles Settlement: People were already broken and helpless due to the working of Weimar Republic. They saw a little hope in Hitler and had no other option but to trust him and support him.