The Weimar Republic 1918-1932
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Transcript of The Weimar Republic 1918-1932
The Weimar Republic 1918-1932Daniel W. BlackmonIB HL HistoryCoral Gables Senior High
Max Pax: 10 / 1918Ludendorff's demand for an immediate armistice led to the formation of a new government on Oct. 3, 1918 by Prince Max of Baden.
Max Pax: 10 / 1918Max' primary task is to negotiate with Woodrow Wilson for an armistice. Labelled the Pacifist Prince by the public and the army, he is hampered by the inconsistent attitudes of Hindenburg and Ludendorff.
Max Pax: 10 / 1918Prominent in Max government are the Social Democrats, led by Friedrich Ebert.
The Kiel Mutiny: 10 / 18As the war ended, officers in the High Seas fleet concocted a plan to take the fleet out on a "death ride," challenge the Royal Navy, and go down in glory.
The Kiel Mutiny: 10 / 18The sailors refuse to do their duty to take the ships out. By November 3, the mutiny has spread to the city of Kiel itself, involving sailors and dockworkers.
The Kiel Mutiny: 10 / 18The port is shut down. The Social Democrats send representatives to try to head off a Bolshevik revolution and succeed. Clearly, German military units are no longer reliable.
The Bavarian Revolution 10 / 18Kurt Eisner, a Jewish Independent Socialist, deposes the Wittelsbach dynasty on November 7 and establishes and declares a republic with power held by a Council of Workers, Peasants, and Soldiers.
The Bavarian Revolution 10 / 18Eisner is not, however, a Bolshevik. Rosa Luxemburg despised him. He distrusted Lenin and Trotsky. There is no Red Terror at all.
Abdication of the Kaiser: 11/ 18Amidst great turmoil and confusion in the country, Max tried to save the monarchy, but the Kaiser hesitated to abdicate.
Abdication of the Kaiser: 11 / 18By Nov. 7, Ebert told Prince Max that if the Kaiser did not abdicate, a social revolution would be inevitable. He added that he did not want to see such a revolution occur.
the German Republic 11 / 18Ebert asks Max to resign and begins forming a Socialist-dominated government for the new German Republic.
the German Republic 11 / 18Ebert must negotiate the armistice, withdraw all German troops from France, arrange a nation-wide election in January to write a new constitution, keep the country from dismembering itself, and fight off an attempted Bolshevik-style coup from the radical left, the Spartacists.
The Spartacists 11 / 18Led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the Spartacists had opposed participation in the war, and were ideologically close to the Bolsheviks.
The Spartacists 11 / 18Lenin rejected the Social Democrats as true socialists (he regarded them as Marxist Revisionists, which they were) but accepted the Spartacists as comrades.
The SpartakistsLenin encourages this development with money and with the despatch of Karl Radek (a close confidant of Lenin and, like Luxemburg, a Polish Jew--the two disliked each other).
The SpartakistsTension exists among the Spartacists since Luxemburg rejects Lenin's use of terror and suppression of other socialist parties. Neither Liebknecht nor Luxemburg are prepared to accept Lenin's primacy.
The Spartacists 11 / 18They will eventually organize themselves as the KPD (Communist Party of Germany).
Armistice November 11, 1918The Armistice agreement was signed in a railroad car in the Forest of Compigne.
The FreikorpsThe Freikorps were paramilitary units owing loyalty to the brigade organizer, like the condottieri of the Italian Renaissance.
The FreikorpsThe pre-War Youth Movement (the Wandervogel) is an important shaping influence. The Movement represented a revolt of discontented bourgeois youth against the world of their parents.
The FreikorpsThe Movement emphasized a restless desire for action (of any kind, action for its own sake), a mystic fellowship of the Volk which absorbs the individual, and a willingness to follow a Fhrer, a Leader.
The FreikorpsThe second determining experience of the Freikorps was, of course, the War, and especially the creation of Sturmtruppen or Stotruppen.
The FreikorpsThese units were self-contained, with their own organic mortars, machine guns, and flame-throwers. Individuals were issued lighter carbines instead of the heavier Mauser rifle, and were permitted to carry pistols (previously the exclusive province of the officers).
The FreikorpsStormtroopers were the first to adopt the steel helmet. Their preferred weapon was the hand grenade. Discipline was strict, but not the traditional discipline unto death (Kadaverdisziplin) of the Imperial Army. Enlisted men used the Familiar Singular "du" in addressing their officers.
The FreikorpsThese units also produced a very large ratio of officers to men (as high as 1:4), chiefly lieutenants and captains--all unmarried men under 25 years of age, usually from outside the ranks of the traditional officer corps
The Freikorps. They were made up largely of veterans, many of whom came from elite shock troop formations. Their officers were primarily from the shock troops. They are heavily armed, very skilled and professional, nihilistic, violent, viciously anti-democratic and anti-Bolshevik..
The FreikorpsMany of them will end up in Hitlers SA. Although they despised Ebert, they were very happy to kill Spartacists. Lenin did not have to face anything like them in Russia.
The FreikorpsThe German novelist, Ernst Jnger may be taken as the spokesman for the Freikorps.
The FreikorpsIn 1914, this sensitive university student marched to war, writing in his diary: "Surely this day that God has given/ Was meant for better uses than to kill." (Waite 23)
The FreikorpsBy 1916, at 21 years of age, Jnger has been wounded 20 times, wears the coveted Pour le Mrite, Imperial Germany's highest decoration, and now commands a Stormbattalion. He is a hard and ruthless killer:
Ernst Jnger: Storm of Steel"The turmoil of our feelings was called forth by rage, alcohol and the thirst for blood. As we advanced heavily but irresistibly toward the enemy lines, I was boiling over with a fury which gripped me -- it gripped us all-- in an inexplicable way. The overpowering desire to kill gave me wings.
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelRage squeezed bitter tears from my eyes . . . Only the spell of primaeval instinct remained. . . . . Combat during the World War also had its great moments.
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelEveryone knows that who has ever seen these princes of the trenches in their own realm, with their hard, set faces and blood-shot eyes; brave to the point of madness, tough, quick to leap forward or back.
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelTrench warfare is the bloodiest, wildest, most brutal of all warfare and it produced its own type of men--men who grew into their Hour--unknown, crazy fighters.
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelOf all the stimulating moments of war, none is so great as the meeting of two Schok Troop Leaders in the narrow confines of a trench. There is no retreat and no mercy then. Blood wrings forth from their shrill war cries which are wrenched from the heart like a nightmare. . . .
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelThis is the New Man, the storm soldier, the elite of Mitteleuropa. A completely new race, cunning, strong, and packed with purpose. What first made its appearance openly here in the War will be the axis of the future around which life will whirl faster and ever faster . . .
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelThe glimmering sunset of a declining period is, at the same time, the morning light of another day in which men are called to new and harder battles.
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelFar behind them await the mighty cities, the hosts of machines, the nations whose iner foundations will be torn asunder by the attacks of the New Man--of the audacious. the battle-proven, the man merciless both to himself and to others.
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelThis war is not the end. It is only the call to power. It is the forge in which the world will be beaten into new shapes and new associations. New forms must be molded with blood, and power must be seized with a hard fist. . . . .
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelWar, the Father of all things, is also our father. he hammered us, chiselled us, hardened us into that which we now are. And forever, as long as the wheel of life still turns in us,
Ernst Jnger: Storm of SteelWar will be the axis on which it revolves. He trained us for war, and warriors we will remain as long as we draw the breath of life." (Waite 23, 26, 28, 22)
The FreikorpsThe chief sources of recruits were the Stormtroop battalions from the War and idealistic university students. Units brought over from the Stormtroop battalions their Imperial insignia:
The Freikorpsthe most common were acorns and oakleaves (Germanic symbols for courage and loyalty) and the death's head (taken from Blcher's hussars in 1814 and adopted by Himmler's SS).
The FreikorpsThe colors adopted were the Imperial black-white-red rather than the black-red-gold of the Revolution of 1848 and the Weimar Republic
The Freikorps(note that Hitler very carefully chose black, white, and red for the Nazi flag: the black swastika on a white field to tie the Nazis to the Germanic past, the red field to symbolize revolution)
The FreikorpsThe "Ehrhardt Song" of one of the largest, most famous, and most ferocious Freikorps i