Dissolution of Germany Post WWI

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.

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Dissolution of Germany Post WWI

Postby Patrick » Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:44 pm

Hope this is the right forum for this...

What kept the German union from dissolving immediately post-WWI? I was wondering if that action have been taken to avoid to conditions of the Treaty of Versailles since "Germany", as such, would no longer exist if it broke up into its component parts again.
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Patrick

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Postby Freiritter » Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:56 pm

I would expect that the Länder that composed the former Empire saw themselves as a collective nation and wanted to keep together. Second, the Freikorps units had kept putting down Communist uprisings all across the Reich. In some instances, the bad blood between the Communists and the largely conservative Freikorps got really fierce. One Freikorps leader was choked to death with the ribbon of his own Pour le Merite when captured by Communists.

Cordially,

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Postby sid guttridge » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:12 am

Hi Patrick,

An interesting question that had never occurred to me before.

Considering that Germany had only been unified some 50 years before and WWI swept away the Hohenzollerns who had achieved this unification, it is indeed remarkable that Germany was already so cohesive.

Indeed, it was so cohesive that the Allied peace treaty with Austria after WWI specifically stated that Austria could not join the German state because Anschluss was the clear popular preference of Austrians immediately after the loss of their non-Germanic empire. If this had occurred Germany would have emerged from WWI with a larger and more homogeneous population than it had entered it with!

One wonders whether there was an independence party in post-WWI Bavaria and whether the Allies ever considered recreating the independent German states of pre-1870?

Cheers,

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Postby greenhorn » Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:57 am

1870?
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Postby Patrick » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:47 am

1870?


Prior to 1870, there was no Germany as such, just a loose confederation of many smaller states. With the Franco-Prussian war, Bismarck was able to unify these states. My original question was this: why didn't Germany simply dissolve itself back into the smaller states to avoid the obligations of the Treaty of Versailles?
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Postby Vaterland » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:39 am

Perhaps it was that post WW1, the German people felt solidarity with other Germans becasue of the harsh conditions impossed on them by the Treaty of Versailles, regardless of wheather they were Bavarian, Prussian, Saxon, etc.... They were all paying dearly for WW1, so why not pay dearly together.

I really hope I am making somesort of sense here.
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Postby Hawk » Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:58 am

Vaterland wrote:Perhaps it was that post WW1, the German people felt solidarity with other Germans becasue of the harsh conditions impossed on them by the Treaty of Versailles, regardless of wheather they were Bavarian, Prussian, Saxon, etc.... They were all paying dearly for WW1, so why not pay dearly together.

I really hope I am making somesort of sense here.


You are, in fact that solidarity is what made Germany form all the different states that enter the Franco-Prussian war of 1870.
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Postby greenhorn » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:44 am

I think the Schleswig Holstein question was foramtive in building the concept of nationhood, requiring the German Kingdoms and Princedom and Duchies.... to decide whether to back the Austrians or the Prussians.

Prussians beat the Austrians in 1866 and annexed Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark. What was worse for the British, the Hanoverian King backed Austria and Hanover was annexed.....
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Postby PaulJ » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:05 pm

Okay, I can't resist an old joke here:

Its the Franco-Prussian war and Bismark is busy uniting the Germans at France's expense. Marching in von Moltke's armies are two wise old Bavarian soldiers, one with a fine new watch. The other, admiring it very much, asks the first one if he looted it from one of the French dead on the battlefield.
"Certainly not!" the first one replies. "I got it from a Prussian."
"Really?" the other one asks. "Where'd you find a Prussian?"
"Never you mind," the first one replies. "If you want one, you'll have to shoot your own."
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Postby greenhorn » Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:41 am

That's what I like to hear.... Team Spirit..... were all in it together provided you guys get to go first over the minefield type of attitude....
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German unity

Postby Eric Hillebrand » Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:41 pm

Many groups tried to tear Germany apart after WW1. The French set up seperatist movements in the rhineland, many Bavarians wanted to seperate from the hated Prussians(Bayern Voran!), etnic groups tried to return to their own homelands, (Poles in Silesia and East Prussia). And of course communists wanted to become part of the world revolution under Soviet leadership.
This is probally why many 'good' Germans turned to Hitler to save the Reich. Most ironically, Hitler's actions ended up shrinking and splitting Germany, not saving it!
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Postby Pirx » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:46 am

I have read book "Talks with headsman" - it's long interviev with Joseph "Jurgen" Stroop (1895-1952)- SS officer. He was born in Detmold, and in his opinion before 1914 German Empire was a couple princedoms, kingdoms, freistadts etc. Only army, money and emperor were symbols of united country. "Before 1914" he wrote "each of us was first Bavarian, Prussian or Schwab, and in second row German". In his opinion I World War was the factor that they all felt Germans, as one nation.
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Postby Helmut Von Moltke » Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:07 am

Pirx wrote:I have read book "Talks with headsman" - it's long interviev with Joseph "Jurgen" Stroop (1895-1952)- SS officer. He was born in Detmold, and in his opinion before 1914 German Empire was a couple princedoms, kingdoms, freistadts etc. Only army, money and emperor were symbols of united country. "Before 1914" he wrote "each of us was first Bavarian, Prussian or Schwab, and in second row German". In his opinion I World War was the factor that they all felt Germans, as one nation.


good point there, I would say. :wink: The other time that I would say Germany had a similar unity was during the Franco - Prussian war, and before that, with the first instilling of this spirit, the Napolenic wars in 1813. Just my 2 cents... :D

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Postby phylo_roadking » Mon May 22, 2006 3:14 pm

Coming late to this, but all - note this......

In 1918-19 there was a long serious of revolutions in the bigger states; nothing makes a Status Quo stronger than having to fight for its survival. The stronger Landsraat governments that MIGHT have seceded from the union - now where have i heard that before lol - were too busy fighting for their survival. They came to rely on the ONE NATIONAL organisation there was for that survival, the Army, first as the Freikorps - which lets face it was really the Army by another namePOLITICALLY - and then the Army itself.
two - notice in the background of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the NSDAP you hear little details like Goering being Prime Minister of Bavaria etc.? The states or Lands actually LIKED the unified nation because ONE it guaranteed internal free trade - which they didnt have up to 1870 and was financially crippling, TWO it guarateed them each their oen government nd control over a WIDE variety of public services and utilities and of course THREE they didnt have to PAY for national organisations like the Army etc., THIS came from nationally-levied taxation.
To put it simply - in its first years the state governments were too busy surviving to think about anything else, then later they were happy with the then-division of power and authority.

For a good comparison - American Members here think of National versus State Legislatures. When was the last time a State Legislature seceded from the Union???? LMAO

PLUS - there were OTHER things that held the nation together in adversity, like the constant political turmoil, the terrible inflation during the Reparation Period etc. Having lived in Northern Ireland through the Troubles, i can tell you that its amazing how fast hidtorical-perspective time flies lol - when theres something MUCH more important and destructive happening outside your won front door or in your backyard.

There was simply FAR too much else filling the minds of Germans to think constructively about restructuring the nation.

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