DEPTH STUDY GERMANY: WEIMAR REPUBLIC - 01. THE EFFECT OF WW1 ON GERMANY. This presentation covers the social, economic and political impact of war along with a brief analysis of the physical cost of war.
2. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• In early 1918 the German people were celebrating.
• After years of stalemate the Great War was going their
• On the Eastern Front, Russia has been defeated.
• The Bolsheviks government had been forced to sign a
humiliating peace treaty giving Germany 25% of its best
land and 75% of its iron ore.
3. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• German divisions were now transferred from the Eastern
Front to the Western Front.
• They made a massive breakthrough all along the Western
Front in the Ludendorff Offensive.
• German divisions were now advancing quickly through
Belgium and Northern France.
• Their leaders encouraged the German people to believe that
victory would soon be theirs.
4. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• The Allies were stronger, and Germany was weak.
• USA had entered the war in 1917. They manage to build up
the Allied forces by sending equipment and soldiers to
• The Germans had lost their best officers in the beginning of
the war, and the German soldiers were exhausted and
poorly supplied after years of an efficient British blockade.
• In June 1918 the Ludendorff Offensive slowed, then
5. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
THE LUDENDORFF OFFENSIVE
• The German spring offensive began on 21 March 1918, and
created the biggest crisis of the war for the Allies.
• General Erich Ludendorff was the driving force in the
preparation of this offensive, together with Field Marshal
Paul von Hindenburg.
• Ludendorff wanted to break through the Allied lines in the
Somme area, after which he would determine the next move.
• Such an approach was self-defeating because maintaining
momentum depended upon logistic support of the advancing
forces, which could only be ensured by careful preparations
7. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• In August 1918, the Allies counter-attacked.
• The German army had little strength left to resist.
• Within a few weeks the Allies had recaptured the land lost and
started to threaten the German soil.
• The luck of war has changed so rapidly that for many Germans
was impossible to accept that the war is going in the wrong
• By September 1918 it was clear that Germany is forced into
• Over 1 million German soldiers were dead and civilians faced
• Germans blamed the Kaiser, and he was forced into abdication.
8. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• Germany experienced political problems before the war.
• The Reichstag was weak.
• Working class and middle class had little to say in the way
Germany was run.
• There was no effective opposition to the Kaiser.
• During the war, this situation got worse.
• Opposition leaders were imprisoned.
• Germany was ruled as a military dictatorship by the Kaiser and
his army leaders Ludendorff and Hindenburg.
• This weakened the Reichstag further.
9. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• Germany was very unstable.
• Armed demobilized soldiers were returning home, joining in
violent demonstrations against the war and the Kaiser.
10. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• Farming was disrupted because farm workers were drafted into
the armed forces.
• By 1918 Germany was producing only 50% of the milk, and 60%
of the butter and meat, which had been produced before the
• It could not make up for this by importing food because in the
last two years of the war the British navy blockaded German
ports, successfully preventing any food getting in.
• Many German people faced starvation.
• In the winter of 1916-1917 the supply of potatoes ran out and
there were only turnips left. In their weak condition civilians
were vulnerable to disease.
• Around 750.000 German citizens died from the combined
effects of hunger and disease.
11. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• Before the war, the Germans had been proud and ambitious for
• They were prepared to work hard for its success.
• The experiences of war made Germans bitter and angry.
• All the hopes of the pre-war Years had been dashed. They
looked around for someone to blame for defeat in the war.
• A society that had been famous for its unity and the obedience
of its people now became famous for its squabbling and
12. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
• Germany emerged from the First World War in chaos.
• The new Weimar government experienced crisis after crisis, as
a consequence of being a government of large coalition.
• Out of this confusion, Hitler and the Nazis emerged as the most
powerful group in Germany and led the nation into a
Dictatorship, ending in an international war and the death of
tens of millions of people.
13. CAMBRIDGE IGCSE – DEPTH STUDY: GERMANY
Begging on the
Wounded veterans of
the Great War – a
common sight on the
streets of Weimar
Germany – were
among those hardest
hit by the great
inflation. Even the
money they received
IMPACT OF THIS
IMAGE OVER THE