The Seeds of Evil: The Rise of Hitler

The Seeds of Evil: Germany 1919 - 1933.

Social consequences of the War

German society changed enormously as a result of the war. During the war the percentage of women in the workforce had risen to 37%, a massive rise. At the end of the war this figure did not fall dramatically, meaning that from now on women had a significant role to play in the german economy. The reaction of many Germans to the ending of the war also had a large impact on German Society. Many of the former soldiers were of the opinion that they had not lost the war, they believed that the army had been cheated. (Hitler later phrased this as 'The Stab in the back'). As a consequence of this many germans looked for people to blame. Some lay the blame in the hands of the Kaiser. Others, many others, looked to the new Government. They had immediately sued for peace and accepted the terms of the Armistice. For many Germans this showed that they were largely to blame. Other theories that were popular amongst the former soldiers were that it was the result of Communists or Jews. So in the immediate Post War era, there is a mass of suspicion within Germany. Combined with these factors is the potential threat to the social order. Under the Kaiser the armed forces and aristocratic Prussian elite had enjoyed many privileges. These groups now had to try and reestablish their authority. In a democracy this proves difficult and can lead to further tension. The first President of the Weimar republic, Ebert, worked hard to try and win the support of the elite groups. he wanted their support in order to maximise the stability of the new republic. Likewise he had to work hard to gain the support of the army, who in return needed his support if they were to survive as a significant political power in the years following the peace settlement.

The Second Reich
The Founding of the Weimar Republic
The Impact of War
The Treaty of Versailles
Germany 1919 - 1923
Germany - Economic Recovery
The Early days of the Nazi Party 1919 - 1924
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Unit last updated 4th June 2004

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