There are many who claim that the Treaty of Versailles helped cause and foster the emergence of Nazism. The treaty is “cited for causing the successive financial crises that destabilized the Weimar Republic. Its…“War Guilt clause,” is seen as an insult to national pride permanently discrediting the Republic that accepted it”. During the 1920s and 1930s, the War Guilt Clause, almost impossibly high reparation payments, and German demilitarization fostered resentment in Germany that became a platform right wing parties such as the Nazis were able to use to gain power. Germans felt like they had suffered as much as everyone else during WWI and could not accept that they were being blamed for the war.
Emergence of Anti-Semitism in Germany Toward the End of the Weimar Republic There were many different factors that resulted in anti-Semitism emerging so strongly in Germany towards the end of the Weimar Republic. These factors included the instability of the economy during the reign of the Weimar Republic, the lingering anger over the way the Weimar Republic Governing Body had so easily accepted the Treaty of Versailles, and Germany's need for a great leader who would guide Germans to triumph. From the beginning the Weimar Republic was doomed, it being a republic that had been born out of a military defeat. One that so few Germans could accept. It was beset with many problems, leading many Germans either to withhold support from the Parliamentary Democracy or to seek actively to destroy it.
World War Two was the most devastating conflict in the history of humanity. It crippled many nations and caused millions of people to die. One of the major causes of this disastrous war was the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War. This treaty was destructive towards the Germans. Germany had to pay large amounts of reparations to the Allied nations at the end of World War One resulting in a Great Depression in Germany.
When answering how the Nazi party came to rule in Germany, one must look at foreign policy in respect to the Versailles Treaty during the Second Reich. Economically, due to the settlement at Versailles, Germany would be hit by massive inflation as well as a crippling depression under the Weimar Republic. This made many people distrust the newly created Weimar Republic. Socially, Germans generally blamed the government, as well as the Treaty of Versailles for the hard times that they suffered after the First World War. This social environment gave rise to the Nazi movement and many other parties that opposes the treaty and the Weimar Republic alike.
As mentioned before, Britain was bankrupt after the war due to excessive borrowing from the United States to help support the their war effort in Europe. Germany would be decimated economically after the war. Germany had already begun to feel the rope of economic strain tighten as the war came to an end. The mark would plummet and the repercussions of the British blockade had hurt the social morale in Germany. Many of the states in Europe were near starvation, including Austria-Hungary.
The armistice was signed on November 11, 1918 which officially ended the war until a peace treaty could be agreed to and signed. The peace treaty was signed by Germany on June 28, 1919 in the palace of Versailles. This peace treaty known as the Treaty of Versailles dealt exclusively with defeated Germany. When Germany signed the treaty, their army had been ruined the government was collapsing and the people were exhausted. The four powers were all greatly affected by this war and therefore vengeful intentions were at mind while creating the treaty.
The failure of the economy, extreme nationalism and the fragile government of Germany in the 1920’s and 30’s could also be seen as the reason for Hitler’s success(Wepman 98). The end of W.W.I left Germany in economic debt, suffering to survive. The Treaty of Versailles blamed Germany for the war and required them to pay for all the reparations. With many unemployed and homeless, the country was in economic ruins(Heck 120). To try and end their suffering, the German government printed more money, which in turn caused inflation and more problems.
They became known as the "November Criminals" and many people including the army felt that they had been "stabbed in the back." They had to accept the post-war treaties and were hated by many Germans for the terms such as the war guilt clause, reparations and loss of territory etc. Germany suffered a post-war depression, thousands of people were starving, and a flu epidemic was killing thousands. The poverty was made worse in 1923, when Germany could not afford to pay the reparations and French and Belgian troops entered the Ruhr. Hyperinflation set in, the Weimar government lost support from the classes hit worst: Middle class and working class.
Because France blamed Germany for the First World War, they forced them to pay for all of the damages that was considered their fault. This was extremely demoralizing to the economics in the country, because Germany had to basically pay for the entire war, which caused Germany to plunge deeply into debt. According to articles 159-187, Germany not only had to pay off their debt, but also had to pay off the debt that Belgium had to the allies. The article also stated that Germany was expected to pay reparations for casualties, that were to be paid to the families of the deceased, they had to pay for all non-military damages, and all the ship that were destroyed at the hands of the Germans. The French also took total control over the Saan Busin, and controlled all of the coal deposits and the railroad systems.
Defeat in a large-scale war always signals the beginning of a difficult period for a nation. Following World War I, Germany was virtually crushed by the harsh demands of the Treaty of Versailles. The German economy was weighed down heavily by the enormous reparations bill. Weimar governments struggled to meet the huge reparations payments and their failure to do so was the basis of further problems. One such event was the additional humiliation of the French and Belgian occupation of the Ruhr in 1923.