The Collapse of the Weimar Republic

The Collapse of the Weimar Republic

Economic Turmoil

Hyperinflation - History GCSE RevisionAs we pointed out in our guide to Weimar Germany, the success of Weimar from 1923 was linked to American loans to Germany. In 1929, the unthinkable happened. The American stock market crashed in 1929, and it led to a deep economic depression. America no longer had money to lend to Germany.

The Weimar Republic was quickly shoved into a deep, deep economic black hole. Unemployment went through the roof In May 1931 four million people were unemployed; by January 1933 there were 6 million. Millions of Germans were forced into poverty. But the government didn’t appear to do anything to help them. As we’ve seen, Weimar’s political system only produced weak governments.

Things were made worse by the fact that the President, Paul von Hindenburg, had to use Article 48 to pass economic reforms. And these reforms only made the situation even worse. The politicians in the Reichstag made balancing the country’s budget a priority, meaning they started to cut things like wages for public workers and unemployment benefits. Exactly the things, in other words, that made ordinary people even angrier.