Class 9 History

Nazism: Weimar Republic

The first half of the twentieth century was the period of massive upheavals for the world, especially for Europe. This was the period when the World Wars happened, which changed the world forever. One of the fallouts of the First World War was the rise of Nazism and Hitler in Germany. The weird perspective of the Nazis resulted in horrible outcomes. In this lesson, you will read about the rise and effects of Nazism.

Weimar Republic

Let us first try to understand the background which gave enough opportunity to Hitler to gain a foothold. Germany was a powerful empire in the early years of the twentieth century. It fought the First World War (1914-1918) alongside the Austrian empire and against the Allies (England, France and Russia). The Allies were strengthened by the US entry in 1917 and won the war in November 1918.

The defeat of the Imperial Germany paved the way for democratic republic in Germany. The parliamentary parties met at the National Assembly at Weimar and established a democratic constitution with a federal structure. Universal suffrage was allowed for electing the Deputies to the German Parliament (Reichstag).

Versailles Treaty

But after the First World War, Germany was forced to accept certain terms which hurt the pride of the German people. As per the peace treaty signed at Versailles, Germany lost its overseas colonies, a tenth of its population, 13% of its territories, 75% of its iron and 26% of its coal to France, Poland, Denmark and Lithuania. To weaken its power, the Allied Powers demilitarized Germany. The War Guilt Clause forced Germany to pay compensation amounting to £6 billion. The resource rich Rhineland was occupied by the Allied armies for much of the 1920s. Because of these developments, many Germans were not happy with the Weimar Republic.