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Why did the Right Wing fail in its threat to the Weimar Republic in the years 1918-1923?

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Introduction

Why did the Right Wing fail in its threat to the Weimar Republic in the years 1918-1923? In 1918 the German Republic was viewed in a bad light by the German public for signing the Treaty of Versailles, and for surrendering to the Allies. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles extremism set about in Germany. In 1918- 1919 a Marxist revolution had been prevented and many left-wing party leaders were murdered. Left-wing uprisings continued but Germany did not succumb to Communism, the forces of reaction and strident nationalism recovered and emerged by 1920 as the most potent enemies of the Republic. The Republic had made the German people believe they were winning and could have won the war. This and the Treaty of Versailles signing aggravated the German public the most. One quote by Fritz Ernst, a German historian, shows this "We believe that it is the stab in the back alone that had prevented a German victory. We were convinced that one could be patriotic only on the rightist side." The Republic was under constant pressure by many Right Wing parties, these included the DNVP and the NSDAP (later became the Nazi party) The DNVP were founded in November of 1918, this at first was the only available political party for Right Wing activists. ...read more.

Middle

This led to poor results but the party did have some hidden strengths. Many of the NSDAP supporters did not understand the change and thought the party had changed policies and were unhappy about this. But Hitler and his propaganda ministers made the supporters realise they were only changing tactics and not policies. In 1920-1926, H. von Seeckt, chief of Army Command, thought that the army should be an apolitical body, preserving its traditions above the hurly-burly of party rivalry. In 1919 the actions of the German Army (Reichswehr), and how it refused to act against the Freikorps in the Kapp Putsch, clearly showed that its attitude toward the government was merely tepid. In the words of J.W. Hiden it 'would tolerate the Republic for the time being in its own interests'. Because Ebert was unwilling to sanction far-reaching revolutionary changes, he was reliant on the old army to keep order. Few officers wished to co-operate closely with the Republic but there were some e.g. Reinhardt. The Kapp Putsch of March 1920, was a Right Wing uprising that triggered many Left Wing uprisings across Germany. Reinhardt was obedient to the wishes of the Republic but when Hans Von Seeckt replaced Reinhardt as Head of Army Command, it was clear the mass of the troops were politically neutral and simply obedient. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hyperinflation hit Germany and affected the German public very badly. The German mark plummeted in value against the Pound and the Franc. This affected the reparations Germany had to pay and led to the French occupation of the mining district the Ruhr. This did not affect all of Germany badly as the farmers and landowners did not suffer from the inflation. Gustav Stresemann was seen as a strong Chancellor and managed to stop hyperinflation in Germany by appointing a new President of the Reichsbank (Bank of Germany) from December 1923. This man, Schacht, introduced a new currency in Germany called the Rentenmark. Hitler did not like the fact that hyperinflation had been controlled because he knew that the German public would only vote for an extremist party in a time of crisis. The Weimar Republic seemed to have the hatred of the country set against it however this was not the case. The two things the German people hated the most was, the Treaty of Versailles and the Allies, for making Germany sign the Treaty. The Right Wing parties, the Nazis, did not manage to gain power in these years so therefore the Republic did survive. Yet the threat from the Right Wing was not yet totally abolished. "Confidence in the political and economic system of the country was seriously, possibly even fatally undermined." Historian Henig is saying that then Wing threat had damaged the Republic beyond all expectations and in the long run the Republic were unable to recover from it. ...read more.

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