1924-29 is considered the Golden Twenties of the Weimar period. While times were never exactly great and even its height the economy was built on some profoundly wobbly foundations the stabilization of Weimar captured a brief and fascinating moment in German history. At the start of World War I, the German Empire was the most […]Read more "The Pyrite Twenties"
With most of the shooting either behind or ahead of us, it’s as good a moment as any to provide a rundown of the political scene and thinking that dominated Weimar Germany. The nation feels like a state caught in transition, and its politics reflected the revolutionary forces threatening to tear it apart. On one […]Read more "Politics in Weimar Germany"
The final revolution of 1923 would also cast the longest shadow. For years Adolf Hitler had been slowly building his support in Bavaria. These early years were far from easy. In 1922 Hitler was arrested for assault, and served a month in jail. In private he was rarely impressive. Apart from the odd little mustache, […]Read more "The Beer Hall Putsch"
By summer of 1923 a wave of general strikes brought down the Cuno administration. This was hardly unusual for the period. Even in the relatively stable years from 1924-29 the Weimar coalitions shuffled around in a perpetual game of musical chairs. The Chancellor this time was Gustav Stresemann of the right leaning Deutsche Volkspartei (German […]Read more "The German October"
As the murders continued, Ebert and a rotating cast of parties and Chancellors tried to carry on the business of governing a Germany still reeling domestically and isolated internationally. This was challenge enough, but in 1921 the Reparations Committee finally decided on the size of the reparations anvil for Germany’s role in the war. The […]Read more "Oh, High Mark"
With their bid for total control stymied, the Reichswehr redirected their energies towards rearming and taking the fight to their external enemies. Though they never lost their contempt for the Weimar Constitution, the Kapp Putsch and its aftermath gave the unreformed Junker dominated military a sense of job security. Instead General Hans von Seeckt began […]Read more "Woe to the Left"
As long as the threat of a revolutionary uprising held, the army was willing to tolerate the Ebert government. But the aristocratic Junker corps that controlled the Reichswehr had no love for Weimar, or any intention of accepting it in the long term. General Groener had also resigned by this point, and his successor General […]Read more "Pop a Kapp"