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The Weimar Republic Essay

2062 words - 9 pages

Why did the Weimar Republic fail to stand up to Nazism?: PASS NOTES.

2. 1929-1933: The Depression

NAZI STRENGTHS
1. What were Hitler's Talents?
2. How did the party change following the Beer Hall Putsch?
3. How did the party change following the Depression?
The 1930s were turbulent times in Germany's history. World War I had left the country in shambles and, as if that weren't enough, the people of Germany had been humiliated and stripped of their pride and dignity by the Allies. Germany's dream of becoming one of the strongest nations in the world no longer seemed to be a possibility and this caused resentment among the German people. It was clear that Germany needed some type of ...view middle of the document...

The "humiliation imposed by the victors in the World War I, coupled with the hardship of the stagnant economy," created bitterness and anger in Germany (Berlet 1). This is the reason that, when the Allies tried to establish a new government in Germany, the German people were less than eager to embrace it.
The French Revolution was a prime example that without a participant culture, there is no stability. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Weimar Republic failed so miserably in Germany. When it was introduced in 1918, it had the potential of molding Germany's government into a modern institution. It consisted of regular elections (this would later be referred to as the Reichstag), a proportional representative electoral system, and checks and balances. It was almost flawless as a formula for creating a modern institution but it did not make Germany stable by any means. Herein lies another lesson that many countries have learned the hard way: a modern institution does not, in itself, guarantee that a country will become stable. In Germany's case, there was no participant culture and, as a result, no trust in the government and no efficacy. Germans believed that people within their country were conspiring against them. They did not trust the government in the least and because of this suspicious attitude sought a scapegoat to blame for their suffering (the scapegoat, as we now know, would turn out to be the Jew).
Germany was slowly falling apart and could not handle another crisis.
Unfortunately, the Depression of 1929 was inevitable. It was also unfortunate that Keynsionism had not yet been conceived for, if it had, Germany might not have dug itself into a bigger hole. Because of its impoverished state and its inability to pay its reparatory debts, Germany began to produce more and more money until inflation was so high that its money became almost worthless (had Keynsionism been developed Germany may not have gone into such a devastating depression). By 1933 the economy "stood on the brink of collapse, with an economy which should, realistically, have long since declared itself bankrupt" (Frei 163). Now Germans felt that the so called "democratic" system had brought them nothing but trouble and this paved the way for Hitler and his Nationalist Socialist Party (which would later be referred to as Hitler's Nazi party, a party that was centered around ideological fascism) (Berlet 1).
There is no denying that Hitler took advantage of Germany's instability. He appeared at a time when Germany needed someone to give it a solution to its problems. The first action he took was to assure the German people that they were not at fault for any of their dilemmas. According to Hitler, there was an internal enemy amongst them that had caused all of Germany's powers and was to blame. Hitler identified Germans as good and superior while he marked the enemy as evil and inferior. This served to once again inflame the Germans so...

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