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Revolution from the Right Lecture 6 28 February 2012 HIST2133. The Weimar Republic through Documents, 1918-1933.

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Presentation on theme: "Revolution from the Right Lecture 6 28 February 2012 HIST2133. The Weimar Republic through Documents, 1918-1933."— Presentation transcript:

1 Revolution from the Right Lecture 6 28 February 2012 HIST2133. The Weimar Republic through Documents, 1918-1933

2 Anti-Republicans on the Right German National People’s Party (DNVP) Early German People’s Party (DVP) Propagated stab-in-the-back legend Saw war defeat as Jewish/Leftist/Bolshevist conspiracy Wanted back monarchy Demanded strictly revisionist foreign policy Opposed to fulfilment of Versailles Treaty

3 Free Corps: Voluntary military units, 1919-20 Formed by German Supreme Command: To crush revolutionary unrest To fight vs. foreign claims to German border or German-controlled territory in Baltic Sea region Baltic Free Corps fighting Bolshevist troops disappointed about loss of Baltic states to SU Reduced German army Reichswehr (500.000 → 100.000 men) had no jobs = Readiness of Free Corps to stage putsch against government after return to Germany

4 Rightist conspirators, 1919-20 General Ludendorff, former chief of staff of Supreme Command Colonel Papst, Reichswehr commander (involved in murdering Spartakus leaders) Kapp, senior official in East Prussia Lieutenant-General Lüttwitz, commander of Reichswehr units east of River Elbe Naval captain Ehrhardt, commander of 5000 men Free Corps near Berlin = Common goals: Dissolving parties & parliament Set up temporary dictatorship Create authoritarian presidential regime in long-term Press hard for lifting of Versailles treaty

5 Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch (1) First major right-wing attempt to overthrow Republic (13-17 Mar 1920): Revolt of Free Corps near Berlin led by Lüttwitz + Ehrhardt to forestall planned dissolution by government Unsuccessfully presented President Ebert political demands Occupied Berlin government quarter Set up new governement under ‘chancellor’ Kapp Top Reichswehr officer Seeckt rejects Eberts demand to stop putsch: “Reichswehr does not fire upon Reichswehr” Fled of government from Berlin Call of general strike by Leftists

6 Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch (2) = End of Ebert Groener accord of 10 Nov 1918 = Seekt interested in keeping out Reichswehr from politics but not in saving Republic → Army & bureaucracy mainly passive sympathy ► Kapp regime paralysed by general strike ► End of putsch & fled of Kapp etc. (17 Mar) ► Extreme Leftist troops still fighting in Ruhr area to unsuccessfully achieve socialist republic

7 Proclamation of Reich Chancellery Kapp and Lüttwitz stepped back The adventure is finished! The high-traitors … will be severely punished. Reich PresidentReich Government EbertBauer

8 Militant nationalists, 1921-2 Former finance minister Erzberger, † Aug 1921 Foreign minister Rathenau, † Jun 1922 = Organisation Consul (successor of Free Corps Ehrhardt) responsible = Mass protests by Republicans = Bill for the Protection of the Republic (Republikschutzgesetz) passed, Jul 1922 ► Begin of active legal struggle of Republic vs. rightist secret societies, nationalist circles & leagues

9 Hitler Putsch or: Beer-Hall Putsch, 8 Nov 1923 = Unsuccessful attempt of Hitler & Ludendorff to seize power for NS party Bavaria as operating ground for extreme Rightists Beerhall in Munich surrounded by Storm Troopers (SA) led by Roehm Hitler proclaimed new government + called for ‘March to Berlin’ from Munich → Hitler arrested + putsch crushed by police

10 Proclamation to the German people! The government of the November criminals was declared dismissed today. A temporary German national government has been created which consists of General Ludendorff, Adolf Hitler, General von Lossow, Oberst von Seisser

11 Results of Hitler Putsch = Amazing achievement of political nobody Hitler = Hitler’s lesson learnt: No direct action but winning masses by legal means (e.g. elections) Ludendorff acquitted altogether Hitler sentenced to 5 yrs imprisonment at Landsberg but released after 8 months only Hitler with sufficient time for writing 1st part of book Mein Kampf (My Struggle)

12 Mein Kampf (My Struggle) The ‘Bible of National Socialism’ (1925-6) ► Hitler’s autobiography & political testament written in Landsberg prison (1923-4) ► Zweites Buch (Second Book) (1928) = Struggle against Jews as central point

13 “National Opposition” Strived for different political & economic system in Germany Not prepared to abide to rules of Republic Split over question if change by violence or parliamentary majorities = From very different social & ideological backgrounds ↓ Extreme Leftists and Extreme Rightists = Characteristic most important defect of Weimar Republic

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