Weimar Germany Character Analysis

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On November 11, 1918 at 11am Germany signed an armistice with the Allied forces effectively ending the bloodiest war in human history. What followed would be the rise and fall of the Weimar Republic which would ultimately establish the Third German Reich. This is the backdrop for Eric Weitz’s Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, where he describes the achievements and the devastating failures which spurred on the rise and fall of a republic and the eventual creation of a dictator. The first chapter of Weitz’s book titled “A Troubled Beginning” describes the social and political landscapes of Germany following the war. All of which coalesces into the primary theme of the chapter, that the Weimer Republic was built on a foundation that was doomed…show more content…
The German homeland had gone through radical changes over the course of the war in a similar manner to the soldiers. “No returning soldier found his family and his village, town, or city in the same condition as he had left it.” In this manner Weitz is establishing that even prior to the formation of the Weimar Republic, Germany had begun its social changes. Over the course of the war women had been drafted into the work force as the need for munitions were great and the supply of “man power” was limited. It is described that prior to the war women had been in the work force as cleaners and kitchen staff, but now they made up the bulk of the workforce. However, due to the social status of women at this time they were given small wages and long hours. In the views of the author and many German officials at the time; this made them very susceptible to political agitation. Despite conditions, Weitz explains that this became an outlet for female social change as women began to feel liberated. The female workers were away from their authority figures and this gave them the ability to finally flaunt their sexuality, artistic energies, and political ideals. Many of these changes would precipitate into the Weimar Republic much to the chagrin of old-elite and conservative…show more content…
As stated before the social pressures as the hands of women, sailors, soldiers, and works eventually became cries for political change. Weitz explains how the rise of these groups created a rift in Germany, “To their mainly working-class supporters, the councils…were vehicles for bringing, at long last, democracy and socialism to Germany. To their opponents, including Social Democrats, the councils…meant political terror, insecurity, chaos, and economic disaster.” Due to social and political pressures the old government could not sustain power and the chancellor handed power over to the Social Democrats and their leader Friedrich Ebert. The author explains that Ebert needed to “rein in” the German people as he feared a Bolshevik type revolution. Ebert believed that establishing a constitution and a free-election would calm the chaos and control the more radical groups. For Weitz, the Social Democrats, having never held power before, to organize a successful government needed the assistance of the radical majorities in government. This resulted in compromise between the Social Democrats, army officers, high-level bureaucrats, and capitalists. Weitz describes this compromise as the start of the Weimar Republic, but also what doomed it. He states, “In grips of panic. They ran toward one another and embraced…Once the sense of panic had passed, once officers, civilians
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