History UsefulNotes / WeimarRepublic

1st Nov '17 2:12:23 AM SaltyWaffles
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Weimar (so called because that's where the constitution was written - Berlin remained the capital [[note]]but when the constitution was made, there was too much unrest there (again), so the delegates, fearing for their lives, moved to the much-quieter city of Weimar[[/note]]) was the government that ran Germany from the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne until the UsefulNotes/{{Nazi|Germany}}s took power.

to:

Weimar (so called because that's where the constitution was written - Berlin written--Berlin remained the capital [[note]]but when the constitution was made, there was too much unrest there (again), so the delegates, fearing for their lives, moved to the much-quieter city of Weimar[[/note]]) was the government that ran Germany from the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne until the UsefulNotes/{{Nazi|Germany}}s took power.



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 UsefulNotes/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 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.

The first few years (and for that matter the last few years) of the Weimar Republic was a time of enormous political instability. Between 1918 and 1923 there was an attempted coup by either the far right or the far left every year, as well as almost 500 political assassinations - most of them committed by right wing organizations like the ''Freikorps'' or ''Organisation Konsul'', most of which went unpunished - especially those committed by right wing extremists, as many judges were unreconstructed monarchists.. The last one in 1923, the Munich Beer Putsch, was actually led by UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. He got less than half a year in jail and wrote ''Mein Kampf''.

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 who, on account of his level of power power, was called (only half-jokingly) the ''[[CaptainErsatz Ersatzkaiser]]'' ("Fake/Replacement Emperor"). Other than that, there were only a few other changes, 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 a strong president as in the US of A, America, a strong parliament as in the (Third) French republic, and direct democracy / plebiscites democracy/plebiscites as in Switzerland.[[note]]Interestingly [[note]]Interestingly, none of the plebiscites on the Reich level succeeded, though some came awfully close. The constitution of UsefulNotes/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 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 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, impossible when the Nazis and the Commies got more than 50% of the votes; votes, and the plebiscites were welcome opportunities for agitators from both left and right to spread their propaganda.

The first few years (and (and, for that matter matter, the last few years) of the Weimar Republic was a time of enormous political instability. Between 1918 and 1923 1923, there was an attempted coup by either the far right or the far left every year, as well as almost 500 political assassinations - most assassinations--most of them committed by right wing organizations like the ''Freikorps'' or ''Organisation Konsul'', most of which went unpunished - especially unpunished--especially those committed by right wing extremists, as many judges were unreconstructed monarchists.. monarchists. The last one in 1923, one, the Munich Beer Putsch, Putsch in 1923, was actually led by UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. He got less than half a year in jail and wrote ''Mein Kampf''.



Economically, though... well, the Mark suffered from RidiculousExchangeRates, thousands of people lost any money that wasn't saved as 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.

to:

Economically, though... well, the Mark suffered from RidiculousExchangeRates, thousands of people lost any money that wasn't saved as gold, foreign currency 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 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.



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. 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.

Historians' perceptions of the Weimar Republic differ. Marxist historians present it as an example of capitalism in crisis, arguing that the rise of the far-right and later the Nazis was orchestrated and abetted by business interests to preserve their power. Others, like William L. Shirer, present it as being doomed from the start, and that its later history was simply a failed state stumbling from crisis to crisis until its inevitable final collapse. Still more, like Ian Kershaw, adopt a more moderate approach, pointing out that at no point was the rise of Hitler and the end of the republic inevitable; on the contrary, the Republic gained strength during the boom years, and, even after the crisis of the Great Depression the electoral support of the anti-democratic forces of Nazism and Communism was actually falling and the Nazi Party almost bankrupt by the time Franz von Papen made his fateful decision to invite the Nazis into the cabinet in 1933.

to:

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 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 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 that they didn't matter. The Nazis managed to get an agreement with another right wing party party, and ''that'' got them over 50% both of the votes and of the seats in parliament. Furthermore, the third-largest party were was the communists. Either way, democracy had been given a thumbs down by a majority of Germans. The Nazis banned the Communist party while still maintaining a facade of democracy 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 two-thirds majority of those present, despite the Social Democrats voting against him him, and the other parties (that had voted for Hitler in exchange for promises Hitler mostly broke) dissolved themselves themselves, with the social democratic party being dissolved through Hitler's new legislative powers.

Historians' perceptions of the Weimar Republic differ. Marxist historians present it as an example of capitalism in crisis, arguing that the rise of the far-right and later the Nazis was orchestrated and abetted by business interests to preserve their power. Others, like William L. Shirer, present it as being doomed from the start, and that its later history was simply a failed state stumbling from crisis to crisis until its inevitable final collapse. Still more, like Ian Kershaw, adopt a more moderate approach, pointing out that at no point was the rise of Hitler and the end of the republic inevitable; on the contrary, the Republic gained strength during the boom years, and, even after the crisis of the Great Depression Depression, the electoral support of the anti-democratic forces of Nazism and Communism was actually falling falling, and the Nazi Party almost bankrupt by the time Franz von Papen made his fateful decision to invite the Nazis into the cabinet in 1933.
31st Oct '17 10:20:11 AM jeez
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weimarar_republik.gif]]

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weimarar_republik.gif]] org/pmwiki/pub/images/weimarar_republik_5.gif]]
31st Oct '17 10:18:28 AM jeez
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Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weimarar_republik.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"They carry the name of the enterprise - but who carries its spirit?"'']]
30th Oct '17 4:07:30 AM jeez
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* ''BabylonBerlin'' is set here. [[DeparmentOfRedundancyDepartment In Berlin]].

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* ''BabylonBerlin'' is set here. [[DeparmentOfRedundancyDepartment [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment In Berlin]].
30th Oct '17 4:07:16 AM jeez
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Added DiffLines:

* ''BabylonBerlin'' is set here. [[DeparmentOfRedundancyDepartment In Berlin]].
21st Oct '17 2:56:21 PM nombretomado
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If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Sandi Toksvig asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (she 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; 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]]

to:

If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Sandi Toksvig asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (she 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').'UsefulNotes/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; 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]]



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 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.

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 UsefulNotes/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 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.
5th Sep '17 1:52:55 AM Saveelich
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Weimar (so called because that's where the constitution was written - Berlin remained the capital [[note]]but when the constitution was made, there was too much unrest there (again), so the delegates, fearing for their lives, moved to the much-quieter city of Weimar[[/note]]) was the government that ran Germany from the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne until ThoseWackyNazis gained power.

to:

Weimar (so called because that's where the constitution was written - Berlin remained the capital [[note]]but when the constitution was made, there was too much unrest there (again), so the delegates, fearing for their lives, moved to the much-quieter city of Weimar[[/note]]) was the government that ran Germany from the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne until ThoseWackyNazis gained the UsefulNotes/{{Nazi|Germany}}s took power.
4th Sep '17 6:29:28 PM Saveelich
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/Westfront1918''
30th Mar '17 7:16:25 AM Jhonny
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The first few years (and for that matter the last few years) of the Weimar Republic was a time of enormous political instability. Between 1918 and 1923 there was an attempted coup by either the far right or the far left every year, as well as almost 500 political assassinations, most of which went unpunished by the toothless democracy. The last one in 1923, the Munich Beer Putsch, was actually led by UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. He got less than half a year in jail and wrote ''Mein Kampf''.

to:

The first few years (and for that matter the last few years) of the Weimar Republic was a time of enormous political instability. Between 1918 and 1923 there was an attempted coup by either the far right or the far left every year, as well as almost 500 political assassinations, assassinations - most of them committed by right wing organizations like the ''Freikorps'' or ''Organisation Konsul'', most of which went unpunished - especially those committed by the toothless democracy.right wing extremists, as many judges were unreconstructed monarchists.. The last one in 1923, the Munich Beer Putsch, was actually led by UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. He got less than half a year in jail and wrote ''Mein Kampf''.
30th Mar '17 4:06:18 AM jeez
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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; 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]]

to:

If you're ever on ''Series/{{QI}}'' and Creator/StephenFry Sandi Toksvig asks you what Germany was called in 1930 (he (she 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; 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]]
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