WEIMAR MELTDOWN REVOLUTIONS AND CRISES HYPERINFLATION
CRISES By 1920 the new democratic Weimar Republic was in serious trouble: People were very angry about the Treaty of Versailles – They felt it was a HUMILIATION for Germany to sign. Many blamed the new democratic Government for surrendering The Government was seen as WEAK and INEFFECTIVE
KAPP PUTSCH Previously the Spartacist rising had been beaten in 1919 by the Right wing Free Corps. Now in 1920 the FREE CORPS itself tried to take over in a PUTSCH. (Revolt) They were led by Wolfgang Kapp.
KAPP PUTSCH Over 5,000 supporters marched on Berlin to set up a RIGHT WING government based on the old Germany The Weimar Government however called the major services (Gas Electric, Water, Transport) out on STRIKE and the without these Kapp’s Putsch ended.
1923 ECONOMIC TROUBLES Following the War Germany was economically damaged. Under Versailles its valuable Iron industry was reduced 50%! Its coal output by 16% AND Germany had to pay huge Reparations!! £6.6 Billion in equal instalments for 66 years!
Can they pay? Germany struggles to pay the first few instalments owed. They pay £2Billion gold marks in 1921 to Belgium and France. In January 1923 Germany says it cannot afford to pay any more
Invasion Belgium and France do not believe the German claim and invade the rich industrial Ruhr district of Germany
Passive resistance The German response to this was to urge PASSIVE RESISTANCE. Workers were encouraged not to work on behalf of the French and Belgians The French were tough and over 100 strikers were killed and 150,000 made homeless
GERMAN RESPONSE The German Government supported the workers by paying them with printed money. HOWEVER They were not getting the rich income from the Ruhr mines and Industry The result of this was rampant INFLATION – (Increase in prices to match the supply of money making the German currency gradually worthless)
HYPERINFLATION Prices went up so fast that workers were being paid TWICE a day !! Prices of goods like bread could spiral in a day People had to carry their money in wheelbarrows
Results By November 1923 the German currency was worthless. Many Germans savings were ruined Small businesses collapsed Old peoples pensions were ruined They blamed the Weimar Government for the disaster
A Chance for a takeover? One person thought it was time to act to make a new Germany!