Assess The View That The Collapse Of The Weimar Republic Was Primarily Due To The Appeal Of Hitler And The Nazi Party

3180 words - 13 pages

The fall of the Weimar Republic was not only due to the appeal of Hitler and the Nazis but a number of other factors as well. Essentially in order to make a judgment on the collapse of the democratic German government numerous social, political and economic problems factors must be accounted for. In 1918 various conflicting problems were concurrent with the eventuation of that from the outset its first governing body the socialist party (SPD) was forced to contend with. These included the aspect of German imperialism, the unresolved defeat of 1918, financial collapse and the forced struggle against the activities of the National party as well as inflation. Other factors, which influenced the ...view middle of the document...

The Ebert–Groener pact was an argument between Friedrich Ebert, the Chancellor of Germany November 9th 1918 – February 11, 1919 President of Germany February 11, 1919 – February 28th 1925, and Wilhelm Groener, the First Quartermaster General of the German Army on November 9, 1918, 2 days before the official end of World War I. It was the culmination of many secret conversations between the two that generally occurred late at night between eleven and one over a secret telephone line in the Chancellor's office in Kassel, Germany. The army was essentially given a free pass in dealing with the communists of Germany, namely the Spartacists led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. In return the army promised to support Ebert. This served the purposes of both Ebert and Groener because Ebert was trying to handle a situation where he had entirely lost power and the workers were on the streets demanding a workers revolution, similar to what had just happened in Russia. Groener was trying to take care of many decommissioned army officers who were jobless and starving and were beginning to form paramilitary groups in Berlin. From this agreement the Freikorps, or "free corps", a right wing vigilante army was born. (www.worldlingo.com/ma/dewiki/en/Ebert-Groener-Pakt) President Ebert used the Freikorp, who were a rightwing mercenary unit, to put down the Spartacus uprising, a communist inspired revolution.
After that, Ebert was always seen as an enemy in the eyes of the extreme left, and so consequently the government he represented, Weimar, was also seen in the same light. Next, the Kapp Putsch saw Dr. Kapp, leader of the Freikorp and an extreme right-winger, try to take control of Berlin with his mercenaries. This time Ebert used the moderate leftwing in the form of the trade unions, to put down the revolt, by calling a general strike in the region. This would result in the rightwing becoming against the new republic, along with leftwing groups. But possibly the greatest threat for early Weimar Germany was the Treaty of Versailles. The imperial army, for instance, never got over the humiliation of surrender that they felt was a ‘dolchtosslegende’, which means ‘stab in the back’ by their own countrymen. The sailors at Kiel mutinied in a desperate effort on October 28 and On November 9, 1919, the streets were filled with crowds marching to demonstrate at the center of Berlin. Similarly, even before the contingency of these incidents, the center party, a liberal group who were the coalition government of the acting SPD formed by Phillip Scheidemann, resigned rather than sign the Treaty of Versailles. (www.johndclare.net/Weimar1_Redruth.htm)

Besides, German patriotism was strong, in particular because the German people believed they had fought a defensive war and were told their soldiers were ‘unconquered in the field.’ Therefore, the humiliating Treaty came as a rude shock to the German people who, correspondingly, blamed the politicians for betraying...

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