From War to Chaos … the birth of Weimar Germany 1918-1923

Political Violence erupts between Right and Left supporters in Berlin, 1919

Here are the slides and associated worksheets for the opening lessons to our Germany 1918-45 depth study. ‌ So far we have explored the first moments of the post-WW1 Germany and the dawn of the Weimar Republic, exploring the challenges and threats the new government faced due to Germany’s defeat in WW1 and being forced into signing what was perceived as an unfair and humiliating ‘peace’ as agreed by the Great Powers at Versailles.

Unperturbed by the constant threat of revolution, death (political assassinations were part of everyday life!), food shortages and seemingly omnipresent spectre of economic meltdown looming large over them, the Weimar government embarked upon what was the most progressive and democratic course of political franchise and governance anywhere in the world at the time. Given the volatile and violent state of affairs from which they were seeking to build from, perhaps this was a touch foolhardy, but again this offers valuable lessons in terms of understanding better the reasoning behind why democracy and associated institutions need not always be the best answer given the circumstances!

Fear and hatred… gun battles, riots and civil unrest… ruled the day in Germany at the end of the First World War.

‘The Coming of the Third Reich’ by Richard J. Evans published in 2004.

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