The Fall of
The Weimar Republic
Prof. Tim Brown, Andrew Jarboe.
Hitler, Germany, and the Holocaust.
Prof. Timothy Brown, Andrew Jarboe.
Why did the Weimar Republic fail?
The Weimar Republic is the name of the political regime and the extension of the historical period that took place inGermany since the meeting of the National Constituent Assembly in 1919 to repeal the Constitution and the subsequent assumption of power made by the leader of the National Socialist German’s Workers Party, Adolf Hitler, in 1933.
The Republic was proclaimed on November 9, 1918 (reason why it could be considered the Weimar Republic began its existence in that year), after the workers and the troops ofthe German Empire rise up against the government earlier that year because it refused to hold talks to put an end to the First World War. Kaiser Wilhelm II fled the country and formed a Provisional Government of the Council of People's Commissars, a coalition composed of members of the German Social Democratic Party, led by Friedrich Ebert and the German Independent Social Democratic Party(radical excision of the above) , which was supported by the Catholic party of the Centre (Zentrumspartei). This provisional government was in charge of quelling the Spartacist revolution, led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who in January 1919, in Germany attempted to establish a Soviet State as the Bolsheviks did in Russia in 1917. Both Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed, resulting from thenthe final separation between the Social Democrats and the other radical groups that form the German Communist Party (KPD). The new National Constituent Assembly met in Weimar (Thuringia) in February 1919 and drafted a Constitution that Germany was going to be a Federal Democratic Republic with two Houses of Parliament, the Reichstag (legislative lower house) and Reichsrat (chamber representingfederal). Democratic arrangements of the Constitution (female suffrage, proportional representation, popular legislative initiative) and other social measures (eight-hour working day) were not accompanied by others that would have meant a complete break with imperial Germany: there was no confiscation of the properties of the former leaders, and former imperial officials (army officers, policeofficers, judges or teachers) remained in office. Ebert was elected president.
World War I had created many economic, social and political problems to Germany, which, besides having to cope with high inflation and a huge national debt, was resented by the harsh conditions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919 which formally ended the war. This agreement called for the disarmament ofthe country and the giving of substantial compensation in concept of war reparations to the Allies. The German currency was devalued to the absolute limits (at the end of 1923, one dollar was equivalent to 4 billion marks in paper), the Government was unable to recognize payments and the population suffered from the economic crisis that occurred. In January 1923, French and Belgian forces occupiedthe German industrial heartland, the Ruhr, arguing that Germany had not met expectations.
Gustav Stresemann took over, as head of Government, control of the broad coalition formed on August 13, 1923; and managed to stabilize the situation in the country. In 1924, the Allies provided Germany to pay compensation through the Dawes Plan, which established a more realistic giving schedule. In October1925, Stresemann signed the Locarno Treaties, in which Germany recognized the new western frontiers established at Versailles. The Allies withdrew their forces occupying Germany and a year later was elected the League of Nations, the international body created for the maintenance of world peace. It introduced a new currency, the Reichsmark, subject to a stricter monetary control and started an...