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Ebert and new Socialism -||- End of World War I -||- the Reparations -||- the KPD and the NSDAP -||- Foreshadowing of Hitler

~~~~~- To Germany- ~~~~~

The Reparations

The German people expected an agreeabll peace, as set by the 'Fourteen Points' of the American President- Woodrow Wilson. The wish did not come true. Instead, Germany would have to shorten her army to 100,000 men, and give up her colonies and ine-tenth of her mainland. This was for the formation of the two new 'buffer' states- Poland and Czeckhoslovakia. Germany was also made to pay for all the damage done in the fighting.

Ebert's government was labelled the 'November Criminals' by the people for 'betraying' Germany. This was by making peace with the allies. At first, no one wanted to sign. Ministers resigned, captains of the fleet sunk their ships being held in the British ports and the army made plans to defend against invasion. Ebert himself was ready to step down. In the end, he did not, and the German's signed on to this treaty of Versailles.

The sum that Germany had to pay was 132 billion gold marks (6,600,000,000) to be paid off every year (in instalments) until 1987. There was a problem here- Germany had no money to pay. They barely managed to pay the first instalment, and could not make the second one. In failing to do so, they gave France an excuse to invade.

France invaded and occupied the Ruhr Valley- the richest industrial area of Germany. The German government ordered the people to have passive resistance to the French, in the form of not doing anything when ordered. The French killed the people of the Ruhr- about 132 people were killed, and 150,000 were expelled from their homes.

The French eventually exhausted their economy because it was expensive to keep troops in the Ruhr. The effects on Germany though, were worse. The richest part of their country was no longer providing money. Then, the expelled people had to be cred for by the government because they ordered the passive resistance in the first place. But the government had no money to take care of their people. They tried to solve this problem by printing a lot of money. This caused hyperinflation, and by November 1923, a loaf of bread cost 201 billion marks. People starved.

Finally, a new government came, led by Gustav Stresemann. He ended Ruhr passive resistance and replaced the old mark with a new currency- the Rentenmark. These actions started to help Germany recover.