Ok, this is gonna be a pretty long post. Here are my notes on Weimar Germany (1919-1929) and Nazi Germany from 1929-1933. I can't copy and paste my notes for 1933-1939 because they're in a table in word :/
Weimar Germany, under Ebert, 1919 - 1923:
The Birth of the Weimar Republic:
-9th November 1918, the Kaiser abdicates his throne
-10th November 1918, Ebert becomes new leader of Republic of Germany and signs armistice
-In January 1919, an election was held with Ebert’s party winning and he became president of the Weimar Republic. (Called the Weimar Republic because the new government met in the town of Weimar)
-At the time, the new government had to deal with political, social and economic problems caused by WW1
Political problems faced by the Weimar Republic:
-Germany was used to having power coming from just 1 person, rather than a group of people
-Lots of different parties with split power meant that decision making was much slower
-Extremist parties criticising more moderate views
-Any new government had to sign the TOV, making them unpopular
-The president has emergency powers and can gain control of the army, which could lead to abuse
-Democracy is unpopular at the time
-Communism gaining in popularity because of Russia revolution
Opposition to the government from the Left and Right:
-Socialists are ‘centre’ left wing, and communists are ‘far’ left wing
-The Freikorps were a right wing party (anti-communist)
-The Spartacists were a communist party, led by Liebknecht and Luxemburg
-In early 1919, the Spartacists wanted a revolution like Russia’s revolution. Ebert made an agreement with the Freikorps, and the Freikorps fought the Spartacists and won, ending this particular communist threat.
-In February 1919, a socialist leader was killed in the socialist state of Bavaria. The communists seized the opportunity of the socialist leader’s death and tried to take control of Bavaria. Ebert again called on the Freikorps who again crushed the revolt.
-In March 1920, Dr Wolfgang Kapp led 5000 Freikorps into Berlin in a rebellion known as the Kapp Putsch. The army refused to fire on the Freikorps and it looked like Ebert’s government were doomed. However, the government were saved by the people of Berlin, who went on strike meaning there was no transport, power or water, and the rebellion failed.
Economic problems faced by the Weimar Republic:
-The TOV meant Germany had to pay war reparation of £6600 and they had also lost key industrial areas, meaning Germany were very weak economically. Other countries were also reluctant to trade with Germany and unemployment and poverty was common in Germany.
-In 1921, war reparations were paid, however in 1922 they were not. In January 1923, French troops entered the Ruhr and began to take what was owed to them in the form of raw materials and goods, which was allowed under the TOV.
-The government ordered the workers to carry out passive resistance so that there were no goods for France to take.
-As the government had no goods to trade for money, it simply printed off money for pay off war reparations and loans. However this caused huge hyperinflation and saving became worthless and people had to carry their wages home in wheel-barrows.
-At this point in 1923, the Weimar Republic looked to be in trouble.
Weimar Germany, under Stresemann, 1923 – 1929:
-In August 1923, a new government under Gustav Stresemann took over.
-Stresemann called of the passive resistance, destroyed the current currency of marks and replaced them with rentemarks. He also negotiated to receive American loans under the Dawes Plan, which would boost Germany industry and the profits could be used to pay-off the loans. Finally he re-negotiated war reparations, with them being paid over a longer period.
-In 1924, the economy was more stable and the Weimar Republic seemed to be on the up, with the bad times behind them. In 1928, Germany achieved the same levels of production as before the war, reparations were being paid, and exports were on the increase.
-Culture began to thrive and the famous Bauhaus style of architecture developed. There was also a Golden age for German cinema in the 1920s and in 1927 there were 900 dance bands in Berlin alone.
-In 1925, the Locarno treaties were signed and Germany joined the LON in 1926. In 1929, the Young Plan had been agreed, lightening the reparations that Germany had to pay.
-The US loans underpinning German industry could be recalled at any time and could cause the whole German economy to collapse. Farmers were now also over producing with not enough demand for food, and they began to pay for their mortgages.
-30% of votes still went to parties oppose to the Weimar Republic. Also in 1926, Hindenburg was elected president by the German people, and he was against democracy.
Hitler’s Germany, 1929 – 1939:
The Nazis up to 1929:
-Hitler was right-wing anti-communist authoritarian.
-In 1921 the SA was formed to protect the Nazis and give them some power.
-Hitler had more radical ideas and made scapegoats for people to blame for anything that went badly in Germany such as the Jews.
-By November 1923, Hitler believed he could become leader of Germany, with the Weimar government in a weak position and preoccupied with the economic crisis.
-On November 8th 1923, Hitler announced he was taking over the government of Bavaria and took over official buildings. However the next day the Weimar government hit back, with the rebellion breaking up in chaos and Hitler escaping in a car. This is known as the Munich Putsch and it had been a disaster for him.
-Hitler was arrested and charged for high treason, however he impressed the judges and was only given 5 years in prison, when he should have received a life sentence. He also only ended up serving 9 months in prison. In prison he wrote Mein Kampf which clarified his ideas and said that the Nazis couldn’t to take control by force, but must work within the current democratic system to achieve power, but once in power, the system could be destroyed. Hitler had gained enormous publicity at the trial.
-Between 1923 and 1929, the Nazi Party struggled to gain votes because of how well Stresemann was during with the economy
-In 1925 the SA was set-up, a more loyal version of the SS who thoroughly supported Hitler.
-Joseph Goebbels was appointed to take charge of Nazi propaganda and was efficient in spreading the Nazi message
The Wall Street Crash, 1929, and the Rise of the Nazis:
-In 1929, the American stock market crashed and the world went into an economic depression. The USA asked for their loans back off Germany, and the German economy collapsed.
-The Nazis came up with a plan to solve the economic crisis. They would get rid of the TOV so they didn’t have to pay war reparations, and they would solve unemployment by having a large army and increasing military supplies production for the larger army.
-At the time the Weimar Government had lost popularity because of the economy, and the Nazis blamed them, communists, the November criminals (those who agreed to the armistice) and Jews for the economic situation.
-Their tactics of scape-goating, more radical ideas of solving the economy and clever propaganda from Goebbels led the Nazis gaining support and getting nearly 200 seats in 1932, yet it still wasn’t enough.
Hitler becoming Fuhrer:
-Bruning, Von Paper and Schleicher failed in a short period of time as Chancellor. In January 1933 Hindenburg (president) appoints Hitler as Chancellor as: there a few other suitable candidates; he was the leader of the largest party; and Hindenburg thinks he can also tame Hitler.
-February 1933, Reichstag fire is blamed on communists by Hitler and he receives emergency powers to arrest them all, reducing competition in the upcoming election.
-In March 1933, Hitler gets 50% of votes in a public vote, due to people thinking his more extreme ideas may fix the economy, and with help from the SA intimidating people, allowing him to govern.
-On March 23rd 1933, Hitler receives 67% in a Reichstag (government) vote, again with help from the SA and SS intimidating politicians, allowing him to pass The Enabling Act and to rule by decree. This meant he could pass laws quickly and unchallenged
-In June 1933, The Night of Long Knives took place. Hitler banned all other political parties and killed SA leaders as he feared them. Many of the SA now became part of the army or SS and the SA as a whole became much weaker. All in all, Hitler had removed any opposition.
-Whilst Hindenburg was alive Hitler could not become Fuhrer. However, Hindenburg died on 2nd August 1933 and Germany became Fuhrer of Germany.
Nazi Germany, 1933 – 1939 (Gleichschaltung):