The treaty of Versailles, 22 June 1919.This only dealt with Germany. The peace treaty imposed upon Germany at Versailles by the victorious allies was an impossible burden for a country already crippled by the human and material cost of the war. The prospect for a success was weak.
The allies maintained their naval blockade while their armies threatened to resume their attacks on German forces if the German Government refused to accept the treaty 1919-1920.
Shortage of materials and food 1918 – 1920
French occupation of Saar 1919 – 1926
Hyperinflation 1922 – 1923 had been a latent threat to the republic since 1918, but in mid April 1923 the German mark collapsed and by August the exchange rate stood at four and a half million marks to the American dollar.
In 1918 ï¿½1 was worth 20 marks in 1923 ï¿½1 was worth 20 000 000 000 000 marks. Two women were going to the bank with a washing basket filled with notes, they passed a shop and saw a crowd standing round a window, so put down the basket when they turned around all the notes were there but someone had stole the basket this happened in Berlin 1923.
Germany because of the war guilt clause, was blamed for the war had to pay an astronomical sum in reparations ï¿½6,600 million demanded by the allies as reparations for war damages in May 1921 but by 1923 the government fell behind with the payments because it was short of money.
Army and navy reduced 1919
Anarchy in cities 1920 – 1923.
SA members were provided with a distinctive Brown shirt emblazoned with the swastika in 1924 – 1945
Paramilitary organisations 1924 – 1945
Weak Weimar Republic 1919 – 1933 The new prosperity depended on American loans, and if they stopped German industries would collapse.
Weak leadership 1919 – 1923
Death of Stesemann On 3 October 1929 Stesemann died, then on 28 October the American stock market crashed wiping out billions of dollars worth of shares overnight, and sending financial shock waves around the world, and the USA slid into depression. German banks and businesses that depend on loans from the USA had to close because of the USA withdrawal of loans. Industrial production fell by 30% and unemployment rose to 5 1/2 million in 1932. The Government was short of money, but the new chancellor bruning, failed to persuade the Reichstag to increase taxes or reduce unemployment benefit. Germany hated the Allied pace makers but that hatred was transferred to the German politicians who signed the treaty.
The great Depression was an essential pre-condition for the rise of fascism in Germany, but it is necessary to examine how the nsdap exploited political uncertainties and particularly, middle class fears in order to understand how Hitler seized power in 1933.
Racial purity was taught in schools all subjects, German language, history, geography chemistry and mathematics must concentrate on military subjects the glorification of military service and of German heroes and leaders and the strength of a regenerated Germany. 1939.
Scapegoats: Jews, orthodox Jews had fled from Trarist persecution. In the 1935 Nuremberg Laws 1935 A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. Any marriages between Jews and citizens of German and kindred blood are herewith forbidden.
Scapegoats; communists normally were more radical Socialists.
Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933 Hitler persuaded Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree banning socialist and communist meetings and allowing the arrest of the left wingers. In March 1933 Hitler called elections, which the Nazis won with 44% of the vote.
Nazi propaganda was organised by Joseph gobbles to persuade Germans to believe in Nazisim. Hitler realised the importance of propaganda and used it to target many Germans’ specific grievances.
Unemployment which dropped to a relative low point of one and a quarter million in august 1929, reached three million by December and seemed set to reach four million by the end of 1930. By the winter of 1932 about one third of the German workforce was unemployed.
Re – armament