The rise and fall of the Weimar Republic

In the last couple of weeks, I have attended a set of two lectures at London’s City Literary Institute on the rise and fall of the Weimar Republic in Germany from 1919-1933 delivered by Alison Appleby. Below are some brief extracts from my notes:

What were the achievements of the Weimar Republic by 1926?

  • Attempted putsches by Left and Right successfully foiled
  • Hyperinflation dealt with and currency stabilised
  • Economic indicators were improving
  • Improved relations with former enemies France, Britain and USA
  • Allied armies were to withdraw early from occupied regions
  • Cultural achievements such as Bauhaus and Expressionism

Why did the Weimar Republic not last?

  • Institutions were largely dominated by anti-republicans in military and civil service
  • Death of Gustav Stresemann in 1929 who could have diluted the Treaty of Versailles
  • Political parties supporting Republic lost majority in legislature
  • Continuing depression in agriculture meant growing discontent in rural areas
  • Modernism and cosmopolitanism alarmed the traditionalists
  • Economic recovery was over-dependent on foreign loans and susceptible to global fluctuations


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