no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Modern history: germany: 1928-1933

Modern History
HSC syllabus
Notes for Modern History
Germany (1918-1933)
Political Parties of Post-war Germany:
The Left:
- SPD. Social Democratic Party or Majority Socialists.
o Led by Friedrich Ebert
o Sought to preserve order
o Pro-republican, democratic
o Wanted to curb revolutionary excesses, instead opting for gradual social change
o Largest party in Reichstag until 1932
o Supported by trade unions, salaried workers and civil servants
- USPD. Independent Social Democratic Party.
o Led by Haase
o Wanted to reform society first as a foundation for effective democracy
o Wanted to counter the traditional German power bases of the army, industrialists, civil service and the aristocracy
- KPD. Communist Party of Germany or Spartacists.
o Extreme left-wing
o Led by Rosa Luxemburg an Liebnecht
o Influenced from Moscow and Marxist theory
o Wanted revolution, in Germany and the world, of the working class
o Opposed to democracy and the republic as a national parliament
o Supported by the industrial working-class, unemployed
The Centre:
- DDP. German Democratic Party
o Pushed for democratic, liberal reform
o Originally pro-republican, became pro-republican
o Middle-class support
- Zentrum. Centre Party or Catholic Party
o Broad-based, moderate party
o Pro-republican, democratic
o Middle-class support
o Supporter of, in particular, Catholic interests
o Supported by people from all classes, Catholics
The Right:
- DVP. German People’s Party.
o Moderate right-wing, conservative
o Supported democracy
o Anti-communist, anti-socialist
- DNVP. German National People’s Party
o Conservative, right-wing, nationalistic
o Supported by powerful ruling classes of old Germany, eg. industrialists, Junker aristocracy, civil service and upper levels of the army HC
o Anti-republican, anti-Marxist
o Pro-monarchy
o Anti-Semitic
- NSDAP. National Socialist German Workers’ Party or Nazi Party
o Extreme right-wing
o Anti-socialist, anti-communist
o Anti-democratic, anti-republican
o Anti-Semitic

The end of WW1:
- Ludendorff and Hindenberg accepted that the war was lost and demanded that the German government negotiate an armistice to end the war
- Military High Command handed back power to the Reichstag and civilian politicians, so that they are not seemingly connected with the loss in the minds of the German public
- After years of positive propaganda, the military defeat of the country came as a shock to most Germans
- Politicians, not the army, are blamed for the defeat and the signing of peace is seen as a betrayal of the nation
- On the home front people go without basic necessities, including food because of the British naval blockade. This led to political unrest, esp. after the Russian Revolution
- The civilian gov, led by Prince Max of Baden carried out reforms and began negotiations to end the war

German Revolution 1918
- In November 1918, after years of inactivity, Supreme Naval Command ordered the German navy to attack the British fleet. With the war practically over, sailors were horrified and simply refused to obey the order. The mutiny of the sailors soon spread to neighbouring town Kiel and was joined by soldiers and workers. A soviet was set up, and the movement soon spread to other northern German towns. However, despite the frustration, war weariness and disillusionment of returned soldiers, the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils were not revolutionary. They were mostly led by moderate socialists demanding democracy, freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
- On 8 November Bavaria declared itself an independent republic. The monarchy was expelled and radical socialists led by Eisner formed a new gov.
- Also that day, Prince Max sends an envoy to France to sign the armistice offered by President Wilson and the Allies. Attempts by the Germans to modify the terms were rejected by the Allies
- On 9 November German High Command told the Kaiser that he no longer had the support of the army or the nation, and he abdicated and left Germany to exile in Holland. That day Prince Max handed power to Ebert, leader of the SPD, the biggest party in the Reichstag who quickly declared Germany a republic
- On 11 November German representatives sign the armistice agreement

The Treaty of Versailles:
- Was presented to the Germans in May 1919
- The Allies would only deal with a democratic German gov.
- On June 28 1919, despite intense protest, the German gov. signs the treaty (due to the Allies’ threat of renewed war)
- No Wilson’s Fourteen Points, it was an imposed peace - diktat
- Was too harsh, but not harsh enough (Allies could have either given the Germans as little cause for resentment as possible, or have eliminated Germany’s capacity to reassert itself in the future – the Treaty did neither of these)
- Germany was neither occupied nor divided permanently, and the nation remained basically intact
- The immediate effect was that Germany experienced serious economic and political instability
- Generated a legacy of long-term national humiliation and bitterness
- British economist Keynes warned of the serious economic unreality of the treaty
- The Weimar Republic would forever be associated with the Treaty, and this weakened it – created the “stab in the back” legend of betrayal

­The Weimar Constitution:
- Gave all men and women over 20 the vote, as well as many other civil liberties and freedoms
- Used proportional representation meaning there were more coalitions and less power for any single party outright. This was dangerous in a time of major socio-economic reform, a view expressed by Freidrich in 1950’s and Bracher in 1960’s. However, Kolb points out that many other European countries adopted this form of voting without it leading automatically to the rise of extremist parties.
- 2 houses of parliament – Reichstag elected by the people, and Reichsrat elected from German states
- Head of state was President, elected by the people. The President appointed the Chancellor, and had supreme command of the armed forces. However, Article 48 stated that if public order was endangered the president could suspend fundamental rights and could intervene with force. But Radel points out that France also had a similar clause. The difference was that in France it was not abused as it was in Germany
- No previous experience with democracy. It wasn’t something fought for by the people, rather it had been thrust upon an unexpected new government.
- States retained many rights and power, so state conservatives undermined republican power
- Power of party caucuses led to a loss of freedom for Reichstag members and increased difficulties in forming coalitions due to inflexible party positions over little matters in policy
- Industrialisation increased geographical mobility and created smaller social classes, disintegrating the party system (Kolb and Lepsius)
- Republican gov.’s failure to introduce reforms to industry, civil service, education, judiciary and the army meant it had to operate under attacks from a variety of anti-republican, conservative and traditionalist strongholds

Ebert as Chancellor (1918-Feb 1919):
- Did not want the role “I do not want it, in fact I hate it like sin” It was unexpected and he was unprepared
- He believed the “revolution” was over, but knew the extreme left wasn’t finished
- Stinnes-Legien Pact. 18 Nov 1918
Between trade unions and industrialists. Ebert supported this alliance, as capitalists, worried about the extreme left’s demands for socialism and social reform gave their workers the 8-hour day and the right to form committees and in return promised that the unions would not support the left’s radical demands.
- SPD and USPD split in December 1918 after Ebert used the army to quell an insurgence of radical sailors in Berlin
- Groener-Ebert Pact. Nov 1918
In return for maintaining discipline and order in the army, the military were prepared to “put itself at the gov’s disposal”. The army feared disorder and Bolshevism, and Ebert shared the same fear. In this way, the army and many of its leaders retained its influence.
- The Freikorps
Special military units of returned ex-soldiers. Defence minister Noske supported them and saw them as more efficient that the army to protect the gov from the extreme left
- Spartacist Uprising. Jan 1919
Spartacists had never joined the gov and continued to urge for counter-revolution and the overthrow of the Ebert gov. At the end of 1918 they renamed themselves the KPD. They were encouraged by the despair of the working-class (blockade still in place) and seized official buildings in Berlin. They declared the Ebert gov deposed and a mass demonstration of 200000 workers took place where Berlin Shop Stewards declared a general strike. Trapped in the Chancellery, Ebert ordered the Freikorps to put down the uprising. The shop stewards called off the strike and Luxemburg and Liebknecht were both arrested and murdered by the Freikorps.
- Bavarian Unrest
Subsequent rebellions also broke out in Bremen and in the independent Bavarian state. Noske again sent out the Freikorps to forcefully settle the unrest, and Eisner was killed in Bavaria. Freikorps units and regular troops were sent to Munich to put down the new communist republic that had emerged.
- Ebert’s policy of using force to remove the threat of counter-revolution from the radical left caused deep divisions in the left of German politics.
- February 1919 the first elections are held and Ebert is elected President

The Army in the Weimar Republic:
- Carr: “the Weimar Republic provided a façade for the rule of the General Staff and big business”
- Kept much of its standing through Freikorps, not enough gov reform, Groener-Ebert Pact
- Right wing elements in German society (nationalists, industrialists, military and old ruling classes) had never supported the Republic
- The Kapp Putsch 1920
Carrying out the clauses in the Treaty of Versailles, the gov ordered that the Freikorps be disbanded and the size of the army reduced. General Luttwitz led the Berlin Freikorps unit to move in on the city in protest. Expecting the army to protect them from the right as they had the left, Ebert and Chancellor Bauer were forced out of Berlin when army leader General Seeckt told them that the army was going to stay well out of it. “when Reichswehr fires on Reichswehr, then all comradeship within the officer corps will have vanished”. The military leaders of the putsch (coup) declared a new gov led by Wolfgang Kapp. However, their plan had little chance of success because the working-class and middle-class trade unions declared a general strike which quickly paralysed the city. They were supported by the German bureaucracy and in a few days the putsch had failed.
- The Kapp putsch revealed the weakness of the gov in dealing with the right, and showed that the working-class and organised labour were still a powerful force in German society. It also showed the growing power of the army within the state.
- Noske was sacked and Gessler became the defence minister. However he was often overruled by von Seeckt. Thus close links emerged between the Reichswehr and the President so that the army, who was not responsible to the Reichstag, could have a say in politics and in the choosing of Chancellors
- During the early 1920’s Seeckt, the new commander of the Reichswehr, carried out many reforms in the German army by making it bigger through technicalities and by creating a system that made ability the criteria for promotion. Although many of these changes secretly violated the military provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, he preserved the standing and influence of the army and set new foundations for a strong army in later years
Historians have had many different views of the army in Weimar Germany:
- Liberal:
o Eg. Bracher, Carsten in 1950’s, 1960’s
o Saw the Reichswehr as undermining the democratic city and developing a “state within the state”, pursuing its own, independent goals
- Conservative:
o Eg. Meier-Welcker
o Claims the army came to terms with the republic and would have supported it in the 1930’s if the gov had been more sympathetic to the needs of the army
- Recent:
o Eg. Hillgruber, Geyer in 1970’s
o Concentrate on the ideas of “strong gov” with a fusion of civilian and military elements to found a Wehrstat or military authoritarian gov. ie. there was a compromise between gov and army, and no “state within a state”
- Kolb:
o Agrees with other recent historians, but makes the point that this does not mean that a strong army was at all necessary. The army still had no real reason besides their own ambitions for power for all of its machinations in the late 1920’s.

Economic disorder
- From 1919 to 1924, the Weimar gov had to deal with the collapsing German economy
- The gov had financed the war mainly through borrowing, and when Germany was defeated, it owed millions of marks and was suffering rising inflation
- Key industrial resources had been lost in the peace treaty, Germany lost all export trade and was unable to attract foreign investments or loans.
- The gov itself was not prepared to carry out any necessary economic reforms to solve the problem. They simply printed more money, so the value of the mark continued to fall.
- Policy of Fulfilment
Political instability ensues and republicans Wirth and Rathenau become Chancellor and foreign minister, putting in place the policy of fulfilment, ie. for the good of the nation Germany should seek to fulfil the provisions of the Treaty “in order to preserve the honour of our name”. It was to create a situation where it would then be possible to renegotiate and modify some of the terms.This policy, an affirmation of the Treaty, met intense opposition from the right, who through the still existing, although disbanded, Freikorps, carried out many political murders and even killed Rathenau in 1922. However, despite a new law designed to curb the violence, right-wing groups that came before the courts were treated mildly by a legal system that was itself right-wing.
- Occupation of the Ruhr
In Jan 1923 when Germany couldn’t meet its second reparation deadline, French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr, aiming to seize control of the mines and factories. Britain disagreed with the French. All German parties united in their condemnation of the French action, but they were in no position to resist the French with military force, so the gov. introduced a policy oft “passive resistance” in the Ruhr, ie. Germans did not cooperate and industry and mining came to a halt as workers went on strike. The invaders were there for 2 years. Thousands of Germans were forcibly removed, and curfews were imposed, many were imprisoned and acts of violence increased on both sides. The German economy couldn’t deal with the loss of a vital industrial area like the Ruhr, having to support those unemployed, and pay for the import of coal that they would normally have produced.
- Hyperinflation
By 1923, Germany was experiencing a rapid fall in the value of their currency, to the point that it became worthless. In Sept 1923 one US dollar was worth ten million marks. Business transactions of any sort became impossible, and banks issued bank notes by weight. The middle- and lower-classes were most severely affected, losing savings, wages and any welfare, while the self-sufficient farming class and the industrial and business classes gained the most. The extreme political parties demanding drastic change began to gain more support
- In Aug 1923 the conservative Cuno gov finally fell and Ebert called on Stresemann, leader of the DVP, to form a new coalition gov., the “Great Coalition”
- Also in Aug. industrialists and generals realised that Passive Resistance had failed. On Sept 24 Stresemann abandoned the policy.
- Stresemann also began the process of negotiation with the French and introduced financial reforms and the new currency, the Rentenmark to deal with hyperinflation

Political Upheaval 1923:
- Political upheaval in many states and the danger of separatism
- Saxony and Thuringia were legally in the power of the communists
- NSDAP gained power in Bavaria
- Seeckt’s army would not outright move against the right-wing forces in Bavaria
- However, the army quickly mobilised to Saxony and Thuringia when asked and removed the communists from gov there. This aroused criticism from socialists and the working-class, because the gov there had been voted for democratically, and the SPD walked out on Stresemann’s coalition. A vote of no confidence meant he was forced to resign in Nov 1923.
- Beer Hall Putsch 8 Nov 1923
The Kampfbund (fighting league) in Bavaria included the Nazi movement, as well as Gen Ludendorff, and constantly attacked the democratic gov. In 1923, when the Bavarian gov was wavering in its support of Stresemann’s gov, they decided the time was right to take Bavaria by force and trigger national revolution. Bavarian leaders were detained and Hitler declared a new gov. However the army was not prepared to back the putsch as military reinforcements had entered the city. Ludendorff led Hitler to the centre of Munich where a march was staged, hopefully to win support. The ploy failed and Ludendorff and Hitler were arrested. Ludendorff was excused from court but Hitler served 6 months of a 5-year prison sentence given him by a right-wing judiciary. By the time the verdict was given in 1924, Hitler was not an unknown Bavarian politician, but a national figure.

The Middle Years (1924 – 1929)
- Dawes Plan 1924
Adjusted the payment of Germany’s reparations bills to the amount that Germany had the capacity to pay. As part of the plan Germany was to receive an immediate loan and France agreed to leave the Ruhr. This began a period of economic growth in Germany, but met criticism from right-wing political notes.
- Foreign loans
The gov spent much of the money on public works, housing, transport, welfare. Industry was restructured and modernised and industrial cartels were created. Exports doubled and coal, iron and steel production surpassed pre-war figures.
- However the prosperity was built on weak foundations. Germany was living off borrowed money and economic power was concentrated in the hands of industrialists and bankers. Unemployment remained high and agriculture remained depressed
- Stresemann, after an unsuccessful Chancellorship, became foreign minister. He was a nationalist, but set realistic goals for foreign policy, believing Germany could recover its position in the world by peaceful negotiation. Taylor: “he intended to do this by persistent pressure of events, not by threats, still less by war.” He remained in this post until his death in 1929.
- In Feb 1925 Ebert died and 2 elections were held to decide on his successor. Hindenberg, the right-wing, nationalist figurehead of old imperial Germany was elected into office, and he took over from the man that had tried to rule constitutionally. However, even though the right-wing extremists though Hindenberg would lead the old Germany back, he did remain loyal to the constitution while in office. It is significant that Germans chose a heroic field marshal rather than the SPD/ Zentrum candidate.
- Treaty of Locarno 1925
Between France, Germany, Belgium, Britain, Italy in Oct 1925. The treaty guaranteed the French-German and German-Belgian borders and renounced the use of war in the future. This was the first time Germany was treated as an equal. Briand (French foreign minister): “At Locarno we spoke European. It is a new language that we certainly ought to learn”.
- Germany was admitted to the League of Nations in 1926, although many Germans were opposed to this joining with the old Allies
- The issue of Germany’s relationship with eastern Europe, Poland and Czechoslovakia, was still not properly addressed although several treaties were signed between Germany and its old states.
- Treaty of Rapallo 1922
Between Germany and Soviet Russia which established diplomatic relations. Like Germany, USSR had been still, and still was shunned by the global community. Both nations were temporarily weak but potentially powerful.
- Treaty of Berlin 1926
Between USSR and Germany, it provided for friendship and neutrality as well as increased economic and military cooperation.
- The Young Plan 1929
Followed Dawes Plan, with new revisions for conditions for reparations payments:
o Reparations to continue until 1988
o Allied controls to be dropped
o Rhineland to be evacuated by 1930
It was based on the assumption that the German economy was stable and that economic growth would continue. It was opposed by certain right-wing elements led by Hugenberg, who said that the Young Plan would “undermine Germany’s will to destroy the Versailles Treaty”. Hitler was part of this Harzburg Front and made important and high-ranking connections and gained publicity.
- Stresemann died suddenly just weeks before the US stockmarket crash. His policies had begun economic recovery, and his diplomacy had restored Germany to a position of equality and fostered international goodwill.
- Cultural life in Weimar Germany
Germany became on of the world centres for creative arts and ideas. It was a society prepared to accept the expression of new ideas.
o Provocative theatre, cabaret and films flourished, much of it with a political and social message, eg. Brecht (Marxist), Lang, Sternberg, Metropolis, Nosferatu.
o Literature and architecture also abounded, eg. All Quiet on the Western Front, and the Bahaus School of Art and Architecture, which believed in functional art that worked with new technology. The main theme of much leftist literature was a revolt against authority.
o Expressionist painting was the fashion, and much German work focused on the suffering and hardship many Germans had endured, eg. Otto Dix, Klee, Beckmann, Grosz. In the 1920’s Germany replaced Paris as the world centre of modern art.
o Germany also had the most educated population in Europe, and science and technology were much advanced, eg. Einstein, Freud, Jung, Mercedes, BMW, Zeppelins, 7 Nobel Prizes in 1920’s
o The gay and lesbian movements as well as the nudist movement were very out in the open in Germany at the time, eg. film star Marlene Dietrich
o Open prostitution – people came from around the world to experience Berlin culture
Historians have sought to interpret the cause and effect of this creative and cultural outpouring:
o Johnson suggested that it had been building since the nineteenth century, and that with war and defeat, German society changed as class divisions began to break down.
o Gay suggests that post-war society provided the opportunity for many who had been outsiders to gain acceptance
o Kolb noted that there was a great divide between these artistic groups and ordinary Germans, and that the cultural expression alienated a large part of the population. The leftist culture upset and was opposed by many conservatives. To many this was unacceptable and a reflection on the republican gov that had allowed it to flourish. The Nazis in particular became violently opposed to the new culture of Weimar Germany.

The Collapse of the Weimar Republic (1921929-1933)
- The right-wing were incensed by Stresemann’s “soft” foreign policies. Their aims were not only to reclaim old German territory, nut also expand west. On the domestic scene the barons of the steel and heavy industries advocated and authoritarian, anti-western and anti-republican course. They wanted to curb the power of the German labour movement, and would follow any political party supporting this cause.
- The Dawes Plan involved injecting large sums of US capital into the German economy. With all levels of gov going on a spending spree, only balancing budgets with US loan money, Germany became very dependent on the US and built up a huge deficit. When the US stockmarket crashed in Oct 1929, they called in the loans, and it only took weeks for Germany to experience total disarray. Enterprises went bankrupt and unemployment rose sharply.
- To meet the rising costs for welfare, middle-class parties demanded and increase in unemployment insurance. The SPD couldn’t accept this and new elections were held in 1930. However, they did not resolve the problem – no outstanding gov was formed. Hindenberg invoked Section 48, giving himself the power to govern by emergency decree. He appointed Bruning Chancellor.
- Bruning had to deal with the failing economy and decided to cut gov spending completely while raising taxes. The budget was to be completely balanced. Consequently:
o Overall wages reduced to 1927 level (cut by 10%)
o Unemployment pay cut by 60%
o Decline of business and waves of bankruptcy
o Unemployment rose form 2 to 6 million on 2 years.
o High unemployment + high food prices led to intense poverty and suffering to most
Historians discuss the effects of the Depression:
o Fest: unprecedented wave of suicides + dropping birth rates led to a decline in the population. Charlatans, astrologers, clairvoyants, etc flourished to accompany the springing up of wild hopes in a time of great suffering
o Knickerbocker: describes the inability of the working-class to afford even basic commodities (eg. food), and their desparation. People relied on charities and about 15 million received their livelihood from social services and welfare.
- Political violence increased in 1932, with several attempts to assassinate members of gov and high-ranked officials. There were constant street battles between paramilitary forces, mostly between Nazis and Communists, purposefully provoking each other to act. The effect of this violence was: “devastating for the public. They became convinced that the authorities had lost control and that a coup or revolution was imminent”. (Berghahn)
- Violence + Bruning’s austerity program in the face of global Depression led to the people’s losing confidence in the gov and hence democracy and the republic. More and more people turned to extreme political movements

Nazi Seizure of Power (1932-1933)
- When Bruning suggested that the SA and SS be banned, Schleicher, the new Reichswehr chief, convinced Hindenberg to appoint Papen Chancellor. He did so in May 1932.
- Von Papen’s Chancellorship:
o Headed “cabinet of the Barons” a thinly disguised front for the vested interests of the agrarian and industrial elites
o 20th Jul 1932 unlawfully dismissed the Prussian gov that had been a thorn in the side of the conservative establishment since the revolution. Made of SPD and Zentrum, the gov had provided a stable counterbalance to the anti-democratic forces in Germany. However, this time the unions and SPD simply accepted the dismissal – they had become resigned to the relentless attacks from right and left, added to the failure of their policies
o called new Reichstag elections in Nov 1932. NSDAP vote increased to 37.3%
- Hitler’s definition of “socialist” was that nationalism broke down class barriers. It stemmed from his fighting in WWI where he saw men from all classes fighting side by side for Germany
- Hindenberg hesitated in making Hitler Chancellor because he was wary of the extremism of the Nazi party. He feared that a gov under Hitler would become a dictatorship
- Papen had little backing in the Reichstag so he proposed to dissolve parliament and rule by martial law and decree. Schleicher told Hindenberg that the army could not support this plan. On Dec 1 1932 Papen was dismissed and replaced by Schleicher. Papen continued to scheme to get back into the gov and planned to replace Schleicher with a right-wing coalition made of reps from army, business, landed aristocracy and NSDAP. Hitler was to be Chancellor and Papen vice-chancellor with similar power.
- 30 Jan 1933 Schleicher was dismissed and Hitler and his cabinet were sworn in by Hindenberg
- Hitler controlled the Ministry of the Interior (therefore the police) and SA and SS got new powers
- Feb 1933 the Reichstag building burnt down. This led to a witch hunt of all Nazi “enemies” especially the Communists who were accused of sabotage. Hitler got an emergency decree that abolished rights of free association and assembly and freedom of the press
- Hitler pressed for elections in March 1933, and with an unlimited supply of money, the Nazis launched a successful campaign. However, they still didn’t get a big enough majority and would have had to rely of their coalition partners.
- Propaganda was launched by Goebbels to introduce the Enabling Act which would give temporary dictatorial powers to the gov if it had 2/3 Reichstag votes. Hitler and Hindenberg, in a grand demonstration, gathered in front of Crown Prince Wilhelm and the Kaiser’s empty throne. SPD delegates were arrested and all other parties voted for the Act 441 to 84.
- The Nazis were supported by mostly rural and semi-rural voters and land-holders with a lot of political weight in their local govs.
- Extremes were supported in the 1930’s but the left was fractured by a bitter and irreconcilable division. Until the eve of the Nazi seizure of power, the Communists, following Moscow’s direction, heralded that a victory for Nazism would signal the final collapse of capitalism
Historians views on the collapse of the Weimar Republic:
- Bullock, Nicholls: Hitler’s personality was crucial
- Craig: Germans were reacting to social change. Military and Junkers were to blame
- McKibben, Taylor: Depression and subsequent unemployment led to fear among the petit-bourgeoisie
- Bracher: Germany had a weak democratic base, undermined by fear of communism, alliance of army and gov and the incomplete 1928 revolution
- Fischer: Superficial nature of the Weimar gov
- Howland & Barr: constitutional weaknesses, incl multi-party system
- Kershaw: Structural weaknesses of Weimar society
- Kolb: failure to destroy the power of old elites in 1918, alliance of nationalists and authoritians
- Schoenbaum: A rapidly industrialising society failed to accept change, leading to a search for a “leader”

Timeline of events

1918 – Nov: Revolution
Nov 8: Bavaria declared itself Republic
Nov 9: Kaiser abdicates
German Republic declared by SPD
Nov 11: Armistice signed
Nov 18: Stinnes-Legien Pact
Groener-Ebert Pact
Freikorps created
Dec: SPD and USPD split
1919 – Jan: Spartacist Uprising
Feb: First elections
May: Allies present Treaty of Versailles
Jun 28: Germans sign Treaty of Versailles
1920 – Kapp Putsch
Noske sacked
Groener is replaced by Seeckt as commander of Reichswehr
1921 – May: Germany presented with first reparations bill
Wirth (Zentrum) is Chancellor
Rathenau is foreign minister
Jun: Policy of fulfilment
1922 – Jun: Right-wing extremists gun down Rathenau in a street
Treaty of Rapallo
1923 – Jan: France and Belgium invade the Ruhr
Aug: Stresemann Chancellor
Nov: SPD walk out, Stresemann resigns
Nov 8: Beer Hall Putsch
1924 – Apr: Dawes Plan
1925 – Oct: Treaty of Locarno
Ebert dies
Hindenberg president
1926 – Germany joins League of Nations
Treaty of Berlin
Seeckt replaced
1928 – Groener replaces Gessler as civilian minister of defence
1929 – Young Plan
Oct: Stresemann dies
US stock market crash. Great Depression ensues
1930 – SPD walk out of coalition, new elections
Bruning Chancellor
1932 – May: Bruning dismissed
Jul 20: Prussian gov dismissed
Schleicher dismisses Groener and Chancellor Bruning
1933 – Jan: Hitler is Chancellor
Feb: Reichstag fire
Enabling Act passed

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