What does General Ludendorff’s notion of a “stab-in-the-back” refer to?When you can accomplish the learning objectives for this lesson, you should begin work on the lesson essay described below.

What does General Ludendorff’s notion of a “stab-in-the-back” refer to?When you can accomplish the learning objectives for this lesson, you should begin work on the lesson essay described below.

Lesson 3: The Decline of the Weimar Republic and the Rise of the Nazi Party
Lesson Essay
When you can accomplish the learning objectives for this lesson, you should begin work on the lesson essay described below. You may use any assigned readings, your notes, and other course-related materials to complete this assignment. Be sure to reread theessay grading criteria on the Grades and Assessments page.
This essay should be about 750 words long, typed double space with one-inch margins on each side. It is worth 100 points and should address the following:
What does General Ludendorff’s notion of a “stab-in-the-back” refer to? Discuss the political implications of this theory for the newly founded Weimar Republic in 1919. You should take into account both the relationship between civil government and the military command and the public’s perception of the republic and the lost war.

Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, you should be able to do the following:
Define crucial terms and events such as the stab-in-the-back legend, Kapp-Putsch, NSDAP, SA, SS, Night of the Long Knives, andErmächtigungsgesetz.
Provide a brief summary of the Treaty of Versailles.
Summarize the various reasons the Weimar Republic was an emergency solution disliked by large segments of the German population.
Broadly discuss the genesis of the NSDAP and its development until 1933.
Enumerate the major political goals of Hitler and the NSDAP.
Provide an account of how Hitler established a totalitarian regime within the first six months of his being voted chancellor.
Commentary
The First World War
We have already briefly touched upon the multiple factors that led to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Chief among them was the widespread imperialist ambitions of the major European nations at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Since Germany developed its industrial power relatively late, it felt left behind in comparison with the other powers, notably France and Britain, which had already built huge imperialist empires in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. Demanding its own “place under the sun,” as the German Emperor Wilhelm II put it, Germany rapidly increased its military and economic presence in other parts of the world and established colonies in southwest Africa, China, and the Pacific islands, among others. Compared with the strong sense of competition among European powers around 1914, the assassination of Grand Duke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Serbia, generally considered the “actual” cause of the war, was merely the final straw that unleashed the storm that had been building for decades.
The war itself was enthusiastically embraced by most peoples in Europe, with only a few critical voices in the beginning. This changed later on, particularly after it had become clear in 1916 that the war could not be won as easily as each nation had hoped. The central powers (comprising Germany and Austria together with Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire) made quick advances against Russia and the Serbs in the east. Most importantly, Germany succeeded in smuggling the great revolutionary Lenin into czarist Russia in 1916, and thus helped unleash the Bolshevik October Revolution in Russia in 1917. After the revolution, Germany secured a gain of territory (including Finland, Poland, the Ukraine, and some regions in the Caucasus) by signing the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918.


 

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