The SA celebrated their re-legalization the only way they knew how, which meant getting in everyone’s faces and shooting a bunch of people. The biggest example of both came when they marched into the Hamburg suburb of Altona on July 17th 1932. Long a Communist haven the Nazis had decided to be as provocative as […]Read more "The Coup of Altona Bloody Sunday"
The Iron Front was supposedly the United Front of Republicanism, but in practice it became the SPD’s answer to the brownshirts. They borrowed the military uniforms, the marching styles, even some of the rally elements like call and response shouts. Their logo, three arrows, were designed to be painted over swastikas in sharp diagonals representing […]Read more "I’m With Him: Hindenburg and the Iron Front"
1930 marked the beginning of the Weimar death spiral. To get around the deadlocks in the Reichstag, Brüning began to turn ever more to the now 82 year old President’s emergency powers. This, in turn meant that a small clique of ex-military men and conservative politicians around Hindenburg, headed up by General Kurt von Schleicher, […]Read more "The Radical Knife Edge"
More prominent than the Blutmai schism was the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the start of the Great Depression. The speculative booms of the 20s had set up the global economy for a hard crash, and in a month long period from September 20th to October 24th first the British and then the American stock […]Read more "Market Crash"
By 1929 Germany’s financial situation was again becoming tenuous, but the friendlier diplomatic situation gave Stresemann another chance to keep the economic plate of debt and reparations spinning a while longer. Once again an American banker stepped in with an idea and a consortium of capitalists eager to make some interest payments on it. Owen […]Read more "Bloody May Day"
In 1925 Weimar found stable footing, albeit on rotting floorboards over an abyss. While Chancellor and subsequently foreign minister Stresemann made serious strides towards normalizing international relations, his partner to date Friedrich Ebert passed away suddenly. Worn down by the stress of holding his country together, the agony of his choices, and especially the downright […]Read more "The Eye of the Hurricane"
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"