There were various factors that contributed to the failure of the Weimar Republic of Germany and the ascent of Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party into power on January 30, 1933. Various conflicting problems were concurrent with the eventuation of the Republic that, from the outset, its first governing body the socialist party (SPD) was forced to contend with.
These included the aspect of German imperialism, the unresolved defeat of 1918, financial collapse and the forced struggle against the activities of the National party as well as inflation. Other factors which influenced the failure of Weimar were the structural weaknesses induced by the constitution and the basic lack of support for the Republic among the German people particularly amongst the elite. These aspects were the major causes which doomed the Weimar republic to ultimate failure and the eventual ascent of Hilter’s nationalist party to power.
The new socialist government of Weimar (SPD), whose constitution was adopted on July 30, 1919, entered a situation they by no means created. The period during which they were appointed to rule was associated with defeat and misery, and when disorder was nationwide. The situation then, was that of revolution. However, rather than to make a socialist revolution they co-operated with the liberals and with the catholic center party to lead Germany in a reformed version of her old self. In June 1919, they voted to comply with the treaty of Versailles (the vindictive settlement imposed by the Paris peace conference). However, the signing of the Treaty served to promote protest and unrest amongst the soldiers, sailors, German people, and democracy thus resulted in becoming an alien device.
The imperial army, for instance, never got over the humiliation of surrender which they felt was a ‘stab in the back’ by their own countrymen. The sailors at Kiel mutinied in a last desperate effort on October 28 and On November 9, 1919, the streets were filled with crowds marching to demonstrate at the center of Berlin. Similarly, even before the contingency of these incidents, the center party, a liberal group who were the coalition government of the acting SPD formed by Phillip Scheidemann, resigned rather than sign the Treaty of Versailles. Besides, German patriotism was strong, in particular because the German people believed they had fought a defensive war and were told their soldiers were ‘unconquered in the field.
Therefore, the humiliating Treaty came as a rude shock to the German people who, correspondingly, blamed the politicians for betraying the soldiers in signing the armistice and saw them as compounding their treason by accepting the peace settlement. They spoke of the ‘November criminals’ and protested “A nation of seventy million suffers, but does not die.” These factors propagated in the promotion of anti republican feeling, the conclusions of which were clearly reflected in the results of the election...