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Weimar Germany Timeline: WWI to Hitler

  • German Revolution of 1918 and Kaiser Wilhelm II Resigns

    German Revolution of 1918 and Kaiser Wilhelm II Resigns
    The German Revolution replaced the constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy, known as the Weimar Republic. This shift resulted from the economic and political tension from WWI (defeat of Germany by Allies). Kaiser Wilhelm II was forced to abdicate to the Netherlands (resignation was announced before consent) under the conviction that a new government would preserve order. The image depicts a US newspaper containing the event, conveying how the new government had a global effect.
  • Ebert-Groener Pact

    Ebert-Groener Pact
    This pact was an agreement made between Fredrich Ebert, who was the chancellor of Germany for the time being, and Wilhelm Groener, the Quartermaster General of the German military. The pact insured the loyalty of the German army to the newly formed Weimar Republic, in return for actions taken by the government against leftist uprisings.
    The image depicts a photo of Groener, representing the military force of Germany. The pact allowed for Germany to maintain control over its people.
  • Armistice ending WW I

    Armistice ending WW I
    After four years of war, both the Central Powers and Allies agreed to stop fighting. Germany was required to evacuate France and Belgium, in addition to paying reparations of 269 billion marks in today’s money. This resulted in major devastation on the German home front, and anger towards the Allies.
    The image depicts happy civilians, celebrating the end of the war. However, it is clear that the armistice was twisted as Germany's surrender, fueling anger on their behalf.
  • Spartacist Revolt

     Spartacist Revolt
    This revolt began on January 4th and concluded on January 15th, in which the capital of Germany, Berlin, was taken over by left-winged armed militias. The Freikorps, or "free" military that generally support right-wing causes, were sent to crush this revolt. The image illustrates the Freikorps putting down this uprising, including the weapons used that brought violence to the event.
  • Bavarian Soviet Republic

    Bavarian Soviet Republic
    The Bavarian or Munich Soviet Republic was a short-term state in Germany during the Revolution of 1918-19. It was recognized as a socialist state in the form of a workers' council, and soon overthrown by the Freikorps.
    The map in the image displays the borders of this republic, demonstrating the vast amount of power that the communist-led group dominated before collapse about a month later. The prominent red color is reflective of the communist flag.
  • Treaty of Versailles and the results for Germany

    Treaty of Versailles and the results for Germany
    Germany was locked into a commitment to limit their military, relinquish territory, pay reparations, and claim war guilt. Many citizens were unaware of Germany’s failure in the war, leading to the myth of being “stabbed in the back” from the government signing the treaty. This opened blame on Jewish Germans as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hermann Muller, who signed the treaty was Jewish. The picture was chosen as it depicts German sentiment for the treaty and the anti-Semitism in Germany.
  • Formation of Weimar Republic/Constitution

      Formation of Weimar Republic/Constitution
    In 1919, Friedrich Ebert signed the Weimar Constitution into law, creating Germany's first democracy with a parliament. As a member of the Social Democratic Party, Ebert became the first president of the Republic.
    The image is a photo of Ebert, and holds significance given his position as the head of Germany at this time. The president had the power to appoint the chancellor, and the Reichstag was elected, theoretically, every four years.
  • Kapp Putsch

    Kapp Putsch
    In March, the right-wing Freikorps announced a coup in Berlin and ordered the German president to step down, initiating the Kapp Putsch. On March 12, the Freikorps took over public buildings which resulted in an order for workers and public servants to strike against the takeover. This strike put the country at a standstill and forced the Freikorps to end the coup. The image was chosen as it depicts the mass of loyalty among the Freikorps against the government in initiating a coup.
  • (Red) Ruhr Uprising

    (Red) Ruhr Uprising
    On March 13, 1920 Communists started an uprising in the Ruhr valley. They demanded the right to arm themselves to protect against further coups like the Kapp Putsch. The fighting between workers, the army, and Freikorps lasted until the uprising was suppressed on April 12, 1920. The image was chosen to display the loyalty and unity of the Red Army in the Ruhr in their determination. The unity in this uprising pointed out the weaknesses of the Weimar government.
  • Rapallo Treaty

    Rapallo Treaty
    Signed April 16, 1922, the Rapallo Treaty opened diplomatic relations between Germany and Soviet Russia. The countries agreed to renounce all financial claims against each other and established stronger military and economic ties. The image was chosen to depict the anticipation for the Rapallo Treaty and the governments' satisfaction with it. The Rapallo Treaty would begin the acceptance of Germany into world politics.
  • Grand Coalition of Weimar Germany

    Grand Coalition of Weimar Germany
    The Grand Coalition included 7 coalitions from 1923 to 1928 which suggests tension and unrest due to parties not working well together. The proportional representation system underlined the political instability while the effects of the Great Depression were the main cause for the end of the Grand Coalition. This picture is significant as it conveys the complicated politics of the Weimar Republic due to the various political parties that had representative power.
  • Introduction of Rentenmark

     Introduction of Rentenmark
    In August of 1923, Gustav Stresemann introduced the rentenmark as the new currency in Germany after the hyperinflation crisis occurred. Stresemann reduced the amount of government spending which decreased the deficit in Germany. Stresemann also promised to pay back reparations to France and Belgium. This image is significant of what the new currency in Germany became as it held more value than the paper mark.
  • Occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium

    Occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium
    In November 1922, Germany missed a payment of reparations. They claimed they did not have the funds to pay the reparations but France believed Germany simply refused. As a result, France and Belgium sent troops to the Ruhr industrial valley to steal Germany’s production of goods. By 1925, Gustav Stresemann persuaded Britain and France to leave the valley in exchange for Germany’s payment of reparations. This image was chosen to show the tension and divide between Germans and France in the Ruhr.
  • Hyperinflation Crisis

    Hyperinflation Crisis
    In January of 1923, the German government told workers in Ruhr valley to strike against Belgian and French occupation. To support the workers, the government decided to print more money, therefore pushing hyperinflation. They also continued printing more money to pay for war debt. The price of bread increased from 250 marks in January to 200,000 million marks in November of 1923. The image was chosen to depict the sheer mass of money circling through Germany during hyperinflation.
  • Beer Hall Putsch

    Beer Hall Putsch
    On November 8th, 1923, Hitler and the NSDAP attempted to overthrow the Weimar Republic when they led a coup d’etat. They tried to seize control of the state government in the march on Berlin while overthrowing the German federal government. They wanted to establish a government where citizenship was based on race. This image represents the Beer Hall Putsch as it shows the complete chaos that was caused by the NSDAP.
  • Weimar Golden Age

    Weimar Golden Age
    The Golden Age in Weimar Germany was a period of time during 1924-1929 when Germany’s economy was prospering. The living standards in Germany increased as well as the economic stability allowing more culture to be spread. More attention was put on German art and theatre during the Golden age as it was seen as a sense of cultural identity and nationalism. This image represents the cultural wave that erupted in Germany when art and entertainment caught more attention.
  • Dawes Plan

    Dawes Plan
    In April 1924 American bankers lowered the amount of money Germany had to pay per year for reparations. Germany was then able to pay back its reparations to France due to the Dawes Plan. France, America, and Britain were involved in this plan as Germany was then able to pay back reparations to Britain and France while Britain and France repaid war loans to America. This image represents the cycle that happened between Germany and foreign nations.
  • Locarno Treaty

    Locarno Treaty
    The Locarno Treaty was a pact that guaranteed that Germany’s western frontier which bordered Britain and France would be unbreakable in regard to all the countries being in consensus with repelling any armed aggression towards one another in the future. The Treaty was signed on October 16th, 1925 between Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, and Britain. This image is representative of the controversy of the Locarno Treaty and why the NSDAP succeeded to obtain all power.
  • Treaty of Berlin with Soviet Union

    Treaty of Berlin with Soviet Union
    The Treaty of Berlin was signed on April 24th, 1926, when Germany and the Soviet Union decided to maintain neutrality in the event of an attack on the other by a foreign party for five years. This treaty also reintroduced the relationship that Germany and the Soviet Union had under the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922. This image is significant because it shows how many people were involved in the treaty showing the complexity of the treaty.
  • German Entrance into League of Nations

     German Entrance into League of Nations
    Germany agreed to demilitarize the Rhineland, which gave them a chance to be admitted into the League of Nations. Germany under president Hindenburg, with Gustav Stresemann helping to persuade him, entered into the League of Nations in September 1926 and settled several disputes. This picture was chosen because Germany's entry into the League was relevant globally as it helped strengthen the believe in international peace.
  • Young Plan

    Young Plan
    The Young Plan was agreed in August 1929 and reduced total reparations by 20% with payments of 2 billion a year. Payments would be over 59 years, with payments ending 1988, and U.S. banks would continue to loan Germany money under J.P. Morgan. Both public spending power and employment increased as a result. This picture is relevant because while international politics decided on reparation policies, many Germans were still extremely opposed.
  • Beginning of Great Depression

    Beginning of Great Depression
    The U.S. stock market fell in October 1929, causing the value of U.S. investments to suddenly drop, as a method to make up for their losses, they demanded Germans to pay their loans. Three million Germans were unemployed in 1930 while the extreme left and right saw dramatic gains in the polls. This picture portrays the increase in unemployment in Germany, which is relevant due to the constant economic struggles Germans had faced.
  • Election of President von Hindenburg

    Election of President von Hindenburg
    After the death of Friedrich Ebert in April of 1925, it led to Hindenburg being elected despite Hindenburg being loyal to monarchism. Paul von Hindenburg was then re-elected president in 1932 when elections were held on March 13th. Hindenburg also won elections over Hitler in 1932 winning a second-year seven-term. This image is significant because it depicts Hindenburg in a powerful militaristic way explaining why people voted for him.
  • Von Papen’s Deal with Hitler

    Von Papen’s Deal with Hitler
    Von Papen was replaced as chancellor by Von Schleicher and wanted to regain power so conducted secret talks with Hitler. In 1932, Papen concluded a deal with Hitler that he would persuade president Hindenburg to make Hitler chancellor and give himself the position of vice chancellor. This picture is important because it displays the close ties that developed between Papen and Hitler, due to both their desires to gain political power.
  • Hitler Becomes Chancellor

    Hitler Becomes Chancellor
    While Hindenburg disliked Hitler, Von Papen persuaded Hindenburg that making Hitler chancellor would make him easier to control. Schleicher resigned as Chancellor making Hindenburg desperate to appoint another, this led him to use to Article 48 to make Hitler chancellor in January 1933. This picture was used because depicts how Hindenburg, who didn't like Hitler, decided to give him the role of chancellor.