History UsefulNotes / WeimarRepublic

13th Aug '16 2:07:23 PM Jhonny
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The question of whether the Nazis were "voted into power" or seized it sometimes comes up. On the one hand, it's true that the Nazi party never won an absolute majority of votes -- in the March 1933 election with Hitler already chancellor, the National Socialist party gained 43.9% of the vote.[[note]]Even ''with'' voter intimidation and persecution of leftists.[[/note]] While this may seem extraordinary, it only seems so to countries with a two-party system (like the US). Many countries in the world have multiple parties in their governments, requiring parties to make alliances to govern effectively. In such a system a party receiving 44% of the vote is a big win. Even though the Nazis "only" held 44% of the vote, its opponents were fractured into so many little parties they didn't matter. Furthermore, the third-largest party were the communists. Either way, democracy had been given a thumbs down by a majority of Germans.

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The question of whether the Nazis were "voted into power" or seized it sometimes comes up. On the one hand, it's true that the Nazi party never won an absolute majority of votes -- in the March 1933 election with Hitler already chancellor, the National Socialist party gained 43.9% of the vote.[[note]]Even ''with'' voter intimidation and persecution of leftists.[[/note]] While this may seem extraordinary, it only seems so to countries with a two-party system (like the US). Many countries in the world have multiple parties in their governments, requiring parties to make alliances to govern effectively. In such a system a party receiving 44% of the vote is a big win. Even though the Nazis "only" held 44% of the vote, its opponents were fractured into so many little parties they didn't matter. The Nazis managed to get an agreement with another right wing party and ''that'' got them over 50% both of the votes and of the seats in parliament. Furthermore, the third-largest party were the communists. Either way, democracy had been given a thumbs down by a majority of Germans. \n The Nazis banned the Communist party while still maintaining a facade of democracy and there was a relatively free vote (with the Communists "abstaining" due to mostly being in jail) on whether Hitler should be given the power to make laws on his own. Hitler got the required two thirds majority of those present, despite the Social Democrats voting against him and the other parties (that had voted for Hitler in exchange for promises Hitler mostly broke) dissolved themselves with the social democratic party being dissolved through Hitler's new legislative powers.
13th Aug '16 2:02:26 PM Jhonny
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Economically, though... well, the Mark suffered from RidiculousExchangeRates, thousands of people lost any money that wasn't saved as gold or silver, and when things looked as if they had somewhat stabilized, the economic crisis of 1929 struck. This might have also recorded one of the first cases of RidiculousFutureInflation... except not in the future, and with somehow worse inflation. Case in point: You could sit down for tea when the inflation was at it's worst at take the bill 2 hours later, only to find that your bill had somehow doubled within the two hours you were eating. Germany became so ruined that people didn't even hesitate to give their vote to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler after he promised them economic prosperity. The Nazis beating up their opponents also contributed, though the violence was entirely mutual.

to:

Economically, though... well, the Mark suffered from RidiculousExchangeRates, thousands of people lost any money that wasn't saved as gold gold, foreign currency or silver, and when things looked as if they had somewhat stabilized, the economic crisis of 1929 struck. This might have also recorded one of the first cases of RidiculousFutureInflation... except not in the future, and with somehow worse inflation. Case in point: You could sit down for tea when the inflation was at it's worst at take the bill 2 hours later, only to find that your bill had somehow doubled within the two hours you were eating. Germany became so ruined that people didn't even hesitate to give their vote to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler after he promised them economic prosperity. The Nazis beating up their opponents also contributed, though the violence was entirely mutual.
13th Aug '16 1:59:14 PM Jhonny
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If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he hasn't done it yet, but it's bound to come up at some point), don't say "The Weimar Republic". That name is an invention of historians and was not used at the time (like [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire 'The Byzantine Empire']] or 'TheBonnRepublic'). The correct term is "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire).[[note]]"Reich" is a bit hard to translate accurately into English, as it is a mostly neutral term that can apply to both dynastic and non-dynastic states. An interesting fact is that the constituent assembly in Weimar had some trouble deciding whether the state should be called "Deutsche Republik" (indicating a democratic republic) or "Deutsches Reich" (smacking of monarchism) ultimately a compromise between the center left that favored the former and the (center)-right that favored the latter was found with Article 1 opening with "Das Deutsche Reich ist eine Republik" - the German Reich is a Republic[[/note]]

to:

If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he hasn't done it yet, but it's bound to come up at some point), don't say "The Weimar Republic". That name is an invention of historians and was not used at the time (like [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire 'The Byzantine Empire']] or 'TheBonnRepublic'). The correct term is "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire).[[note]]"Reich" is a bit hard to translate accurately into English, as it is a mostly neutral term that can apply to both dynastic and non-dynastic states.states; The German word for France for instance is Frank''reich''. An interesting fact is that the constituent assembly in Weimar had some trouble deciding whether the state should be called "Deutsche Republik" (indicating a democratic republic) or "Deutsches Reich" (smacking of monarchism) ultimately a compromise between the center left that favored the former and the (center)-right that favored the latter was found with Article 1 opening with "Das Deutsche Reich ist eine Republik" - the German Reich is a Republic[[/note]]
13th Aug '16 1:58:40 PM Jhonny
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If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he hasn't done it yet, but it's bound to come up at some point), don't say "The Weimar Republic". That name is an invention of historians and was not used at the time (like [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire 'The Byzantine Empire']] or 'TheBonnRepublic'). The correct term is "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire).[[note]]"Reich" is a bit hard to translate accurately into English, as it is a mostly neutral term that can apply to both dynastic and non-dynastic states.[[/note]]

to:

If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he hasn't done it yet, but it's bound to come up at some point), don't say "The Weimar Republic". That name is an invention of historians and was not used at the time (like [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire 'The Byzantine Empire']] or 'TheBonnRepublic'). The correct term is "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire).[[note]]"Reich" is a bit hard to translate accurately into English, as it is a mostly neutral term that can apply to both dynastic and non-dynastic states.[[/note]]
An interesting fact is that the constituent assembly in Weimar had some trouble deciding whether the state should be called "Deutsche Republik" (indicating a democratic republic) or "Deutsches Reich" (smacking of monarchism) ultimately a compromise between the center left that favored the former and the (center)-right that favored the latter was found with Article 1 opening with "Das Deutsche Reich ist eine Republik" - the German Reich is a Republic[[/note]]
13th Aug '16 1:16:21 PM nombretomado
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Culturally, the Weimar Republic was very productive. Most notably, it contained the Cabaret culture (which produced Creator/MarleneDietrich), UsefulNotes/{{Dada}}ism, Bauhaus architecture, German Expressionism and director Creator/FritzLang, who probably created the RobotGirl trope (and others) in ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''. Even Creator/AlfredHitchcock made some British-German coproductions during this time. Then there were [[DichterAndDenker lots and lots of famous writers and intellectuals]]: Creator/BertoltBrecht, Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Maria Remarque, Erich Kästner, brothers Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Elias Canetti, Lion Feuchtwanger, Ödön von Horváth, Robert Musil, and so on.

to:

Culturally, the Weimar Republic was very productive. Most notably, it contained the Cabaret culture (which produced Creator/MarleneDietrich), UsefulNotes/{{Dada}}ism, Bauhaus architecture, German Expressionism and director Creator/FritzLang, who probably created the RobotGirl trope (and others) in ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''. Even Creator/AlfredHitchcock made some British-German coproductions during this time. Then there were [[DichterAndDenker [[UsefulNotes/DichterAndDenker lots and lots of famous writers and intellectuals]]: Creator/BertoltBrecht, Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Maria Remarque, Erich Kästner, brothers Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Elias Canetti, Lion Feuchtwanger, Ödön von Horváth, Robert Musil, and so on.
8th Aug '16 4:37:07 AM Morgenthaler
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If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he hasn't done it yet, but it's bound to come up at some point), don't say "The Weimar Republic". That name is an invention of historians and was not used at the time (like [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire 'The Byzantine Empire']] or 'TheBonnRepublic'). The correct term is "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire).

to:

If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he hasn't done it yet, but it's bound to come up at some point), don't say "The Weimar Republic". That name is an invention of historians and was not used at the time (like [[UsefulNotes/ByzantineEmpire 'The Byzantine Empire']] or 'TheBonnRepublic'). The correct term is "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire).
Empire).[[note]]"Reich" is a bit hard to translate accurately into English, as it is a mostly neutral term that can apply to both dynastic and non-dynastic states.[[/note]]
8th Aug '16 4:17:27 AM Morgenthaler
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->''[[Film/TheProducers Germany was having trouble, what a sad, sad story...]]''

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->''[[Film/TheProducers Germany ->''"Germany was having trouble, what a sad, sad story...]]''
"''
-->-- ''Film/TheProducers''
21st May '16 8:43:12 AM Chrispang
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Economically, though... well, the Mark suffered from RidiculousExchangeRates, thousands of people lost any money that wasn't saved as gold or silver, and when things looked as if they had somewhat stabilized, the economic crisis of 1929 struck. Germany became so ruined that people didn't even hesitate to give their vote to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler after he promised them economic prosperity. The Nazis beating up their opponents also contributed, though the violence was entirely mutual.

to:

Economically, though... well, the Mark suffered from RidiculousExchangeRates, thousands of people lost any money that wasn't saved as gold or silver, and when things looked as if they had somewhat stabilized, the economic crisis of 1929 struck. This might have also recorded one of the first cases of RidiculousFutureInflation... except not in the future, and with somehow worse inflation. Case in point: You could sit down for tea when the inflation was at it's worst at take the bill 2 hours later, only to find that your bill had somehow doubled within the two hours you were eating. Germany became so ruined that people didn't even hesitate to give their vote to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler after he promised them economic prosperity. The Nazis beating up their opponents also contributed, though the violence was entirely mutual.
8th Apr '16 9:32:00 AM Jhonny
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Structurally, the Republic wasn't actually terribly different from the Hohenzollern Empire. Rather than an Emperor, there was a directly-elected ''[[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany Reichspräsident]]'' (Reich President), who on account of his level of power was called (only half-jokingly) the ''[[CaptainErsatz Ersatzkaiser]]'' ("Fake/Replacement Emperor"). Other than that, there were only a few other changes, the requirement that the Chancellor have the support of the Reichstag and the extensive emergency powers of the President (Article 48) being the most important. Their new constitution was supposed to be the Best Constitution Ever, thus uniting the best things (considered) from the constitutions of the most successful western democracies: A strong president as in the US of A, a strong parliament as in the (Third) French republic, and direct democracy / plebiscites as in Switzerland.[[note]]Interestingly none of the plebiscites on the Reich level succeeded, though some came awfully close. TheBonnRepublic does not allow for any form of direct democracy on the federal level and many state constitutions initially didn't either. Whether this is a good thing or not has come up repeatedly in the UsefulNotes/BerlinRepublic and overall a tendency in favor of direct democracy has shown itself in state constitutional amendments and local plebiscites being easier than ever before[[/note]] [[GoldenMeanFallacy All of these backfired spectacularly]]: The strength of the president became a problem when a half-senile, easily influenced Hindenburg had almost-dictatorial powers; the strong parliament, which could kick out every government they didn't like, made governing first difficult and finally impossible, when the Nazis and the Commies got more than 50% of the votes; and the plebiscites were welcome opportunities for agitators from both left and right to spread their propaganda.

to:

Structurally, the Republic wasn't actually terribly different from the Hohenzollern Empire. Rather than an Emperor, there was a directly-elected ''[[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany Reichspräsident]]'' (Reich President), who on account of his level of power was called (only half-jokingly) the ''[[CaptainErsatz Ersatzkaiser]]'' ("Fake/Replacement Emperor"). Other than that, there were only a few other changes, the requirement that the Chancellor have the support of the Reichstag and the extensive emergency powers of the President (Article 48) being the most important. Their new constitution was supposed to be the Best Constitution Ever, thus uniting the best things (considered) from the constitutions of the most successful western democracies: A strong president as in the US of A, a strong parliament as in the (Third) French republic, and direct democracy / plebiscites as in Switzerland.[[note]]Interestingly none of the plebiscites on the Reich level succeeded, though some came awfully close. The constitution of TheBonnRepublic does not allow for any form of direct democracy on the federal level and many state constitutions initially didn't either. Whether this is a good thing or not has come up repeatedly in the UsefulNotes/BerlinRepublic UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic and overall a tendency in favor of direct democracy has shown itself in state constitutional amendments and local plebiscites being easier than ever before[[/note]] [[GoldenMeanFallacy All of these backfired spectacularly]]: The strength of the president became a problem when a half-senile, easily influenced Hindenburg had almost-dictatorial powers; the strong parliament, which could kick out every government they didn't like, made governing first difficult and finally impossible, when the Nazis and the Commies got more than 50% of the votes; and the plebiscites were welcome opportunities for agitators from both left and right to spread their propaganda.
8th Apr '16 9:30:59 AM Jhonny
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Structurally, the Republic wasn't actually terribly different from the Hohenzollern Empire. Rather than an Emperor, there was a directly-elected ''[[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany Reichspräsident]]'' (Reich President), who on account of his level of power was called (only half-jokingly) the ''[[CaptainErsatz Ersatzkaiser]]'' ("Fake/Replacement Emperor"). Other than that, there were only a few other changes, the requirement that the Chancellor have the support of the Reichstag and the extensive emergency powers of the President (Article 48) being the most important. Their new constitution was supposed to be the Best Constitution Ever, thus uniting the best things (considered) from the constitutions of the most successful western democracies: A strong president as in the US of A, a strong parliament as in the (Third) French republic, and direct democracy / plebiscites as in Switzerland.[[note]]Interestingly none of the plebiscites on the Reich level succeeded, though some came awfully close. The UsefulNotes/BonnRepublic does not allow for any form of direct democracy on the federal level and many state constitutions initially didn't either. Whether this is a good thing or not has come up repeatedly in the UsefulNotes/BerlinRepublic and overall a tendency in favor of direct democracy has shown itself in state constitutional amendments and local plebiscites being easier than ever before[[/note]] [[GoldenMeanFallacy All of these backfired spectacularly]]: The strength of the president became a problem when a half-senile, easily influenced Hindenburg had almost-dictatorial powers; the strong parliament, which could kick out every government they didn't like, made governing first difficult and finally impossible, when the Nazis and the Commies got more than 50% of the votes; and the plebiscites were welcome opportunities for agitators from both left and right to spread their propaganda.

to:

Structurally, the Republic wasn't actually terribly different from the Hohenzollern Empire. Rather than an Emperor, there was a directly-elected ''[[UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany Reichspräsident]]'' (Reich President), who on account of his level of power was called (only half-jokingly) the ''[[CaptainErsatz Ersatzkaiser]]'' ("Fake/Replacement Emperor"). Other than that, there were only a few other changes, the requirement that the Chancellor have the support of the Reichstag and the extensive emergency powers of the President (Article 48) being the most important. Their new constitution was supposed to be the Best Constitution Ever, thus uniting the best things (considered) from the constitutions of the most successful western democracies: A strong president as in the US of A, a strong parliament as in the (Third) French republic, and direct democracy / plebiscites as in Switzerland.[[note]]Interestingly none of the plebiscites on the Reich level succeeded, though some came awfully close. The UsefulNotes/BonnRepublic TheBonnRepublic does not allow for any form of direct democracy on the federal level and many state constitutions initially didn't either. Whether this is a good thing or not has come up repeatedly in the UsefulNotes/BerlinRepublic and overall a tendency in favor of direct democracy has shown itself in state constitutional amendments and local plebiscites being easier than ever before[[/note]] [[GoldenMeanFallacy All of these backfired spectacularly]]: The strength of the president became a problem when a half-senile, easily influenced Hindenburg had almost-dictatorial powers; the strong parliament, which could kick out every government they didn't like, made governing first difficult and finally impossible, when the Nazis and the Commies got more than 50% of the votes; and the plebiscites were welcome opportunities for agitators from both left and right to spread their propaganda.
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