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"
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"