1923 – The year of crisis? The invasion of the Ruhr to the Munich Beer Hall Putsch.

In this article we shall learn about how Germany was affected by three series of events in 1923. Aimed at GCSE students studying Germany as their depth study in OCR Modern History, but may be applicable to other courses. 

1923 was a “year of crisis” for Germany under the Weimar republic. With the occupation of the Ruhr valley, the economic catastrophe known as hyperinflation and the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, 1923 was seen by many as a key failure in the Weimar’s life span.

The first infamous event in the year of crisis was the French invasion of the Ruhr.  The invasion, on behalf of the French, was a result of Germany’s weak economy. They couldn’t keep up with the unjust reparations set into place by the allies, and therefore stopped paying them. Furious, the French decided to take stern action and killed 132 people and expelled 150,000 Ruhr Germans  from their homes.

Ebert, the leader of the Weimar republic decided to print more money to tackle the huge economic problem made worse by the French and their occupation of the Ruhr valley. However, this eventually led to too much money in circulation in the economy, and therefore caused an extreme form of inflation in Germany- hyperinflation.  With the huge increase of inflation within the economy this meant people’s savings were worthless, and now poverty increased.

Adolf Hitler saw this his moment to seize power, and on the 8th of November he attempted revolution with 600 SA (Storm Troopers) members.  3 Police members were killed.

If not for Hyperinflation, it is thought Hitler wouldn’t have attempted a revolution in 1923 as he thought the public would support his party.

TIP: For an A* you have to explain how all three events are linked and how they affected society!

Exam technique: Which event was worse for the Weimar republic? Clue – It’s not specifically one!

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