The Stresemann Years

The Stresemann Years

Gustav Stresemann as Chancellor

Stresemann History GCSE Revision

Luckily for the Weimar Republic, there were figures at home and abroad who had the talent and the motivation to save the Republic. Well, for a couple of years at least.

Gustav Stresemann became Chancellor (ie. the Head of the Government) of Germany in August 1923, at the height of the hyperinflation and Ruhr crises. He took some key steps to end the madness.

* He created a Grand Coalition out of all the political parties that wanted to save Weimar. It was much stronger than previous governments, and was able to make decisions and pass laws much more effectively as a result.

* Stresemann then told the workers in the Ruhr to call off their strike. The government had previously supported them, and had in fact even been paying them money to stay on strike, as part of its strategy of ‘passive resistance’ to the occupation. The gesture sent out the message that he was prepared to arrange a solution with France, which responded by withdrawing its troops.

* Stresemann’s Finance Minister, Hans Luther, took steps to end the hyperinflation crisis by simply binning the old currency and replacing it with a new one, called the Rentenmark. This move created more confidence that the financial crisis was being solved, and was the first step in stimulating an economic recovery.

The Grand Coalition collapsed in 1923 after the SPD was angered by its weakness at dealing with Hitler’s Putsch. But fortunately the recovery was already underway by this point