Historians differ in their judgment about the influence of Weimar culture on the development of the republic in the 1920s.
Weimar culture had a positive influence on the development of the republic in the 1920s. Assess this view using your own knowledge.
Germany was known as the Weimar Republic from 1918 to 1933. The Second Reich which preceded Weimar was presided over by the Kaiser (emperor) was highly conservative. The Third Reich (Nazi regime) which followed the Weimar Republic was a hyper nationalist dictatorship.
The cultural ambience of the Weimar Republic was very liberal. Indeed the informal name for the German Republic in this era (Weimar) takes its name from a city what was the haunt of liberal writers such as Goethe and Schiller.
The Weimar Republic was founded by politicians who belonged to the SPD, the Centre Party and the DDP. These parties were social democrat, Catholic and liberal respectively. They all favoured a greater degree of free expression than had been permitted prior to 1918. The right to voted was granted to women which was a major step in liberalisation. Feminism was en vogue in the cities but not so much in the countryside. The Marlene Dietrich film Der Blaue Engel exemplified the liberal atmosphere of the time. Bauhaus architecture was another example of liberal expression.
The Weimar Republic saw the emergence of the women’s liberation movement inasmuch as the laws on divorce were relaxed. Respectable women started to wear makeup and knee length skirts. Women were admitted to all the professions and women entered university in ever greater numbers.
Nightclubs thrived in Berlin and major cities. This is explored in a film entitled Cabaret. The old system of the Kaiser and militarism was lampooned by liberal left actors and musicians. The cartoonist George Grosz also poked fun at the old system.
Germany had no state religion in this era. This also represented a major step forward for liberalism. However, one of the key Weimar parties was the Centre Party. It represented the Catholic community and wanted to secure official recognition for the special status of the Catholic Church in Catholic areas of the country. The Catholic Church was deeply uncomfortable with some aspects of free expression.
The free wheeling cultural life of Weimar Germany was a positive influence on the country. However, every action provokes a reaction . Conservative minded people revolted against liberalism especially in the countryside. They were aghast at nightclub decadence and gender equality. They considered liberated women to be a threat to family life. They decried jazz and the tango as alien and corrupt.
The DNVP and the DVP were the two mainstream conservative parties in Weimar. The DVP was the more moderate of the two and became reconciled to Weimar. Its leader Stresemann was chancellor for a few month and then foreign minister for five years.
The Nazis were outraged at Weimar culture. They felt that German culture was being polluted. They denounced Dadaism and cubism as ”negroid and degenerate.”
In conclusion, what occurred in Germany was by no means unique. Much of the world was undergoing a culture war at the time. People rejoiced in peace and cast off the stultifying authoritarian mores of the previous generations. Had it not been for the Wall Street Crash it is probable that Germany would have continued on a liberal trajectory.
Historians differ in their judgments about the significance of economic developments in the years 1929-33 in the collapse of the Weimar Republic.
The impact of economic crisis on Germany in the years 1929-33 was the main reason for the collapse of Weimar.
ASsess this view using your own knowledge.
Historians differ in their judgments about the extent to which Nazis influenced the attitudes of Germany youth.
The Nazis were able to gain the support Germany youth in the years 1933-39.
Assess this view.
Historians have different explanations for Germany s defeat in WW2.
The impact of the Allied bombing campaign during the Second World War was the main reason why Germany was defeated.
Assess this view.