As you have seen, Germany is a land of severe instability following WW1. The Treaty of Versailles extracts a heavy toll from the German economy and the German people. Unemployment in the Great Depression exceeds 50%. Germany’s WW1 war debt is staggering, and it leads to inflation and a massive devaluation of the German Mark. No one trusts the government, and the government offers no solutions to Germany’s economic and social woes.
Part 1 of 2: Examine the different political parties and their platforms.
- Industries should be controlled by the Government (called Nationalized) so that the price of goods is maintained at affordable levels, profiteering is eliminated, and everyone works together for the common good of society
- Decision about working conditions and social welfare should be controlled by Worker Councils. In this way, everyone has an equal voice in the decision- making process.
- The military should be reduced in size. The cost of maintaining a military is a huge drain on government revenues. The resources could be applied to benefit other programs.
SOCIAL DEMOCRAT PARTY
- Elected Officials should make decisions, and a democratic form of choosing the government should be used in elections.
- Industry should be a healthy mix of private and government-control. Key industries such as railways and communications should be Nationalized (i.e., run by government)
- The Treaty of Versailles should be honored, and Germans should take steps to meet the requirements more quickly.
NATIONAL SOCIALIST PARTY.
- Germany’s Armed Forces should be expanded so Germans can protect their interests and expand their power base.
- Industry should be privatized so monetary forces (e.g., profits) stimulate the economy and create jobs.
- Democratic elections and government should be banned. A strong political force supported by the military is needed to provide leadership.
- Germany’s economic woes can be attributed to certain groups especially Jews. Their actions should be restricted (e.g., Jews cannot hold a government job).
- The Treaty of Versailles is a curse and embarrassment.
Part 2 of 2: For each person listed below determine the political party they would support and provide a 1 sentence justification for the vote.
- World War I Veteran
- Wealthy Industrialist whose factory makes military equipment
- Factory Worker
- Out of work laborer
- Middle Class manager at a railroad company