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freemanjud
Posts: 72

Meet seven German citizens in the year 1921. All survived World War I.

  • Karl Schmidt Karl is an employed worker who lives in the rich steel-producing area of the Ruhr. Before the war, he worked in the steel mills. During the war, he was a soldier at the front. He plans to return to the steel mills now that the war is over. He has a wife and two children.
  • Eric von Ronheim Eric is the head of a Frankfurt textile factory. He was an officer in the war, but returned to his business after the war.
  • Gerda Munchen owns a small Munich grocery store started by her parents. She and her parents are saving money in the hope of enabling her to go to university in a few years.
  • Wilhelm Schultz works with his father on the family farm in East Prussia. His grandfather lives in Danzig; his uncle lives in the area only 5 miles away from the family farm, but now that the war has concluded, it’s part of Poland.
  • Hermann Struts Hermann, a lieutenant in the German army, fought bravely during the war. From a long line of army officers and as a graduate of a German military academy, he has taken pride in the army’s able defense of the nation and its strong leadership. He is a career military officer.
  • Elisabeth von Kohler Elisabeth is a prominent attorney who attended the University of Bonn. She has a strong sense of German tradition and believes passionately in her nation’s contributions to Western civilization.
  • Otto Hauptmann Otto works in a Berlin factory. He has joined a trade union and is an active member.

Select two of these seven. Be sure to identify who they are in bold in your post.

Now that you are well-informed about the Treaty of Versailles, the political parties of Weimar Germany, the effort to bring about democracy in the country, and the economic stresses of the 1920s-early 1930s in the country, how would your two “chosen” individuals have responded? What I’m asking here is that you try to imagine the world of post-World War I, post-Treaty of Versailles, and mid-Weimar Germany through each of these individuals’ eyes. How do you think each individual would react to the current events underway? What political parties would each have gravitated toward? What sort of change/action/worry would they have sought from their country and/or had for themselves and their families? Be certain that you use the documents/handouts you have:

  • the summary of the Treaty of Versailles,
  • the Weimar Constitution,
  • the Weimar political parties,

as well as reference the material we looked at in class related to the

  • Treaty of Versailles,
  • and Weimar politics, economics, and cultural life.

Please post on this and then look to see if anyone else posted on at least one of your individuals. Weigh in on whether you agree with your classmates’ assessment of this person’s views or whether you disagree. This may require checking back on the discussion thread a bit, after you’ve posted. You can add this comment as a second post in the thread.

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hoolahoops
Posts: 34
Let’s look at my dude Herman Struts. After the war he would be disappointed that the Treaty of Versaille weakened Germany’s military power and equipment, especially as a brave lieutenant who completed military academy and takes pride in Germany’s former defense. I think he would be offended that German land was given to Belgium, France, and Poland. He would also look harshly upon the percentile of people from East Prussia, Upper Silesia, and Schleswig who voted in referendum to separate from German rule. Although the Reich President under the Weimar Constitution was delegated a significant amount of authority, there was still a general sense of disunity and resentment towards the regime from the political right. Hermann Struts would be among those who were critical of the Republic and longed for a return to the monarchy. Therefore I believe that he would be a member of the DNVP (German National People’s Party). This party had a strong upper middle class backing, and hoped to return to imperialistic rule. For Struts this is favorable as it would allow the nation to rebuild their military. As for Elisabeth von Kohler, I envision her as a member of the DDP (German Democratic Party). As an attorney she is in the upper middle class, and it isn’t clear that she was necessarily anti-Weimar rule. Assuming she still lives in Bonn after completing her college education, I don’t think Elisabeth would look favorably upon the provision from the Treaty of Versailles that placed the left bank of the Rhein, which includes half of Bonn, under international administration. She also wouldn’t like that all rivers were internationalized. As a lawyer she would easily navigate the Weimar Constitution, to find that under Article 2 it allows territory to become a part of the Reich. For her, hopefully Bonn and the rest of the Rheinland returns to German authority. I believe that Von Kohler would greatly appreciate the addition of a Constitution to the Republic in general, especially if she studied law and knows of the American Constitution. While the Weimar Constitution derives many of its clauses from the American one, Elisabeth would focus more on the contributions from new German universities and research facilities to the world. Universities flourished with foundational contributions to scientific knowledge, including quantum physics. Von Kohler would definitely emphasize this breakthrough among others as German in origin. Finally, I think Elisabeth would attribute the New Objectivity aesthetic in Weimar art to new expressionism around the globe. She would see that German Expressionism deeply influenced the Dada post-war art movement around the world as well.
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Mantis
Posts: 21

Struts and Schmidt

Hermann Struts, as a former member of the German army, would likely be angry at the new rule under the Weimar Republic. The new government is exceedingly weak and “unwarlike”, with multiple laws in their constitution that push to solve conflicts with peaceful means. Furthermore, they are unable to fight back upon the German Communists, allowing them to reign in office as well, and so he would take matters into his own hands. Because of his belief in the nation’s strong defenses, he would very likely join the Freikorps, claiming to protect the country by fighting the communists. This obvious dislike of the communist would cement Struts as a right-winger, and given his social status as a veteran, he would join the DNVP, wanting to return Germany to its more militaristic ways. His characteristics fit the party almost perfectly, as he is hostile towards the Weimar Republic’s weakness, has strong feelings of nationalism, and is in the upper-middle class after World War I.


Karl Schmidt, on the other hand, would probably be a much more passive person, not wanting to continue this line of violence - after all, he has a wife and children that he has to take care of now that the war is over. As a former worker in the steel mills, he has a lot of money, but it is now virtually worthless because of the hyperinflation. Because he has to provide for his family, and has already gone through one war, he would be anti-war, and so this would drive him to the USPD. Socialism would greatly benefit him and his family, and with the high level of social security declared by the new constitution, he would be able to live the rest of his life in peace. He would be able to keep all of his property, and though the government isn’t as strong as he would like it to be, it shouldn’t be a major concern to him and his life.

Originally posted by hoolahoops on February 14, 2018 18:45

Let’s look at my dude Herman Struts. After the war he would be disappointed that the Treaty of Versaille weakened Germany’s military power and equipment, especially as a brave lieutenant who completed military academy and takes pride in Germany’s former defense. I think he would be offended that German land was given to Belgium, France, and Poland. He would also look harshly upon the percentile of people from East Prussia, Upper Silesia, and Schleswig who voted in referendum to separate from German rule. Although the Reich President under the Weimar Constitution was delegated a significant amount of authority, there was still a general sense of disunity and resentment towards the regime from the political right. Hermann Struts would be among those who were critical of the Republic and longed for a return to the monarchy. Therefore I believe that he would be a member of the DNVP (German National People’s Party). This party had a strong upper middle class backing, and hoped to return to imperialistic rule. For Struts this is favorable as it would allow the nation to rebuild their military.

We seem to have had similar ideas about this. Struts is a very militaristic man, and with the weakness of Germany under the Weimar Republic, he would have joined the DNVP. His resentment towards the government would make him right-wing, and his socio-economic status would also allow him to help rebuild the nation.

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champagnesugarcube
Posts: 30

Otto Hauptmann works in a Berlin factory. From the description he is an active member in a trade union. Because he works in a factory and agrees with unions, I would imagine him being a part of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The SDP drew support from the working and lower middle classes. I don’t think Otto would have been greatly affected by the Treaty of Versailles.

Hermann Struts was a lieutenant in the German army and comes from a long line of army officers. Hermann has dedicated almost his whole life to the military of Germany, not only was in the army, he was a graduate of a German military academy.

Hermann would be extremely upset with the Treaty of Versailles, it states that the German army can only be 100,000 men. Germany is forbidden to have a draft and reserve army and they are forbidden to manufacture weaponry and they have to melt down all existing weapons. With each gun melting another tear rolls down Hermanns face. Because of Hermanns’ intense disagreement with the Treaty of Versailles, I think he would be a part of either the German Democratic Party or the National Socialist Party. The GDP wanted constitutional reform and I thought Hermann might get his army back if there were reforms. But Hitler was apart of the Nazi party and he wanted to return Germany to the time before the Weimar Republic, and Hermann might of thought that was the best way to get the army strong again.

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raemae
Posts: 30

For Eric Von Ronheim, finding a successful job was be hard because he lost his place in the army after the war and once his business begins to run smoothly again the mark begins to lose value. Eventually, no one is buying textiles because they can barely afford necessities. He lost hope that the Weimar Republic values him as a member of the labor force because they have not helped him prosper as a worker. Eric voted for the German National People’s Party because he wanted things to return to the way things were before the were, back when his textile factory was booming. Since Eric is from an upper middle class he had more political clout, he had more ins with politicians than the average citizen did. With these connections he tried to fix the economy so his textiles will be in high demand once again. In his down time, Eric created art portraying the hardships and horrors of World War 1 and eventually they become more popular than his textiles do. Because of this he focused his attention mainly on his artwork and reliving his days as an officer.
For Gerda Munchen, life is slightly different. The small grocery store definitely isn’t bringing in as much profit as it used to due to the high inflation, but people still need their bread and milk, so they are making just enough money to get by. They can’t keep up with the ever changing value of the mark and their piles of valueless money keep on growing. Her goal of going to a university is seems harder to reach every day as the value of the mark continues to decrease. She has to stop saving because there is only enough money to pay for the necessities. When the mark changed to the renton she lost the majority of her savings, but it didn’t matter much because the mark had lost its value anyway. She decided to vote for the German Social Democratic Party because the other middle class families were also looking to them to do something about the economic and social unrest. Because Gerda hasn’t earned a higher education and she is just the owner of a small grocery store she doesn’t take much action in fixing the economy and protesting the social upheaval. She believes that she doesn’t have the knowledge or power to make any big change.

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starstar
Posts: 33

No FAFSA for Gerda

Gerda Munchen would have been, like most people in 1921, very stressed out about her economic situation. 2 years after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, inflation was starting to kick in with about 75 Marks to 1 USD (depending on what time of year, as it went up towards the latter half of 1921), showing a sharp increase from the previous 4.2 Marks to 1 USD in 1919. Gerda was in the same situation as most of us right now: She was looking towards her future, preparing for college, and wondering how she could possibly pay for it. The fact that college was even an option for her as a woman shows a lot about the republic’s seeming value of equality. Not only could women go to college, but they could also vote. The Weimar Constitution clearly highlights the equality of men and women in Article 109, as it says they have the same rights as citizens. So, Gerda would have been pretty excited about the possibility of going to college, and given that inflation was not as bad as it would be 2 years later, she still may have had the slightest glimmer of hope that she would eventually be able to afford it. Although still left with the slightest bit of hope, her grocery store would have been a huge point of stress for herself and her family. With the deteriorating economy, the grocery story would be suffer and would not have been able to compete in the market anymore as a small private business. Because of her tough economic situation and the eventual educational sacrifices, Gerda would have hoped for dramatic economic changes from the Weimar Republic, and therefore would have supported the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The Social Democratic Party pushed to create more jobs and would compensate for the unemployed which would eventually improve the economy and hopefully lead to Gerda being able to save up for college.


Hermann Struts would have been outraged over the military outcome of the Treaty of Versailles. Their military, who he was previously very proud of, was dramatically reduced. Since being in the military is an important part of his personal life as well as his family’s life, this demilitarization would have been shameful to him. This is the type of shame that we discussed in class today in the context of the mass recent mass shooting in Florida that makes one revengeful, and eventually leads to catastrophic behavior. Because of his disappointment in Germany’s most recent behavior and nationalistic urge to Make Germany Great Again, Hermann would have gravitated towards the Nazi party. He would have wanted the Treaty of Versailles abolished, and would be in favor of the overthrowing of the Weimar Republic like the Nazi party would later do.

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chefcurry
Posts: 29

Eric Von Ronheim would definitely not have been content with the Treaty of Versaille. Since he was a german officer he probably would have had a certain sense of national pride. Although he returned to his business he would not have liked the restrictions on the military. The military could no longer have more than 100,000 men and all weapons were forced to be melted. Lucily for Eric he owned a textile factory and not a steel factory because then he would have to focus all his machinery towards building ships for the Germans. However his business would probably still have been negatively affected because of the inflation. With the inflation people wouldn’t have been able to spend their money on the products his company made. Since we don’t know his morals or what he truly believes we can’t say for sure what he may or may not have supported. One thing that I could assume is that he would be in favor of article 48. Since he was higher up in the army he might have supported the idea that the government could completely take over at any given time. He may have thought that if this were to happen he could retake his position in the military. I would definitely assume that Eric would be in the DNVP. This is because he was in the military so he’s probably a nationalist, but also since he is wealthy since he has his own business. For this reason he wouldn’t want to be in the nazi party since they were hostile to wealth and privilege.

Gerda Munchen would also have had a negative response to the loss of Germany in World War 1 and the events following it. According to the Treaty of Versaille her life would have been affected in a major way. Germany was forced to give up a ton of its livestock which led to the decline of the availability of food. Since Gerda owns a grocery store she couldn’t afford to have meat or dairy products delivered to her grocery store since there wasn’t as much of them. Also on account of this affecting her grocery store along with inflation she would have a tough time getting the funds needed for her to go to college. As someone mentioned before it is an amazement she had the opportunity in the first place under the Weimar constitution. From the art we saw in class Weimar was a very liberal place and women going to college would have been accepted. Under article 109 she is guaranteed the same rights. However with the economic deficit she wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of this opportunity. As we saw in class there was a major emphasis on prostitution. With her business gone and her hope of going to college dwindling she might have had to turn to the streets which is a terrible but realistic thing. In regards to her political party I would say she would be part of the SPD since it was made up of the working class which she is part of. She could also have possibly gone even more left to the USPD or even the KPD since when times are tough going extreme in either direction is usually the solution to people who are suffering.

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chefcurry
Posts: 29

Originally posted by raemae on February 15, 2018 18:45

For Eric Von Ronheim, finding a successful job was be hard because he lost his place in the army after the war and once his business begins to run smoothly again the mark begins to lose value. Eventually, no one is buying textiles because they can barely afford necessities. He lost hope that the Weimar Republic values him as a member of the labor force because they have not helped him prosper as a worker. Eric voted for the German National People’s Party because he wanted things to return to the way things were before the were, back when his textile factory was booming. Since Eric is from an upper middle class he had more political clout, he had more ins with politicians than the average citizen did. With these connections he tried to fix the economy so his textiles will be in high demand once again. In his down time, Eric created art portraying the hardships and horrors of World War 1 and eventually they become more popular than his textiles do. Because of this he focused his attention mainly on his artwork and reliving his days as an officer.

I really liked how you turned Eric's economic struggles into a new successful business. However I don't think many people could afford art since they were struggling to buy even the necessities.

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starstar
Posts: 33

Originally posted by raemae on February 15, 2018 18:45


For Gerda Munchen, life is slightly different. The small grocery store definitely isn’t bringing in as much profit as it used to due to the high inflation, but people still need their bread and milk, so they are making just enough money to get by. They can’t keep up with the ever changing value of the mark and their piles of valueless money keep on growing. Her goal of going to a university is seems harder to reach every day as the value of the mark continues to decrease. She has to stop saving because there is only enough money to pay for the necessities. When the mark changed to the renton she lost the majority of her savings, but it didn’t matter much because the mark had lost its value anyway. She decided to vote for the German Social Democratic Party because the other middle class families were also looking to them to do something about the economic and social unrest. Because Gerda hasn’t earned a higher education and she is just the owner of a small grocery store she doesn’t take much action in fixing the economy and protesting the social upheaval. She believes that she doesn’t have the knowledge or power to make any big change.

I agree the Grenda would be a part of the German Social Democratic Party because of their unfortunate economic situation. I don't think Grenda would believe that she doesn't have the knowledge to make any big change though, because she seems to be confident enough to want to go to university which wasn't as encouraged for women at the time. I also feel like Grenda's first priority would be getting her grocery store running smoothly again so that she can save money, so in my opinion it's not that she doesn't think she has the knowledge or power to make any big change, its just that "big change" isn't the goal for her right now.

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Francis
Posts: 30

Shifting to the extremes

Karl Schmidt and Wilhelm Schultz would both have gotten the rotten end of the deal in the Treaty of Versailles. Both lived in areas that were lost to allied powers. Schmidt lived in the Ruhr, an industrial area in West Germany on the Rhine. In the peace treaty, that area would have been demilitarized and possibly even occupied by the Allies. Allied occupation of the Rhineland really delivered a blow to Germany's industry. It is entirely possible that Schmidt could have been out of a job. With a wife and two children, and an oncoming recession, he would not have been in a good position, and with the worldwide depression on the horizon, he probably would have been out of a job either way. Schultz was from East Prussia. While his home was not occupied by the allies, a large part of it was ceded to Poland in the Treaty of Versailles. Schultz had family in Danzig and other areas that were just over the line that now separated Germany from Poland. He was only a few miles away from them, but now could not go to see them because, for reasons beyond his control, they now lived in different countries. Since his livelihood also lay in East Prussia, the new border most likely cost him a lot of business.

It is very likely that both of these men would have gravitated to the far-right NSDAP. In the most extreme times, people tend to move to the most extreme parties. The NSDAP, also known as the Nazis, was very attractive to those in the Weimar Republic who were angry and confused about all the losses they had endured. Many also believed that Germany should have won World War I. It is very likely that the charismatic leader of the Nazis, Adolf Hitler, spoke to both Schmidt and Schultz. He promised to bring jobs back to Germans, and create projects that would provide work. This would have appealed to Schmidt, who would desperately needed work to provide for his family after the upheaval in his hometown. The other platform that Hitler campaigned on was Lebensraum, or living space. He wanted to take back the territory that Germany had lost in the Treaty of Versailles. This would have appealed to both Schultz and Schmidt: Schmidt because this would mean an end to the occupation of the Rhineland, which would let him have his old life back, Schultz because he would be able to see his family again if Germany took back the part of Poland that they lost. When times are tough, extreme people rise to power. This is how the Nazi regime began.


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Francis
Posts: 30

Originally posted by Mantis on February 15, 2018 16:26

Hermann Struts, as a former member of the German army, would likely be angry at the new rule under the Weimar Republic. The new government is exceedingly weak and “unwarlike”, with multiple laws in their constitution that push to solve conflicts with peaceful means. Furthermore, they are unable to fight back upon the German Communists, allowing them to reign in office as well, and so he would take matters into his own hands. Because of his belief in the nation’s strong defenses, he would very likely join the Freikorps, claiming to protect the country by fighting the communists. This obvious dislike of the communist would cement Struts as a right-winger, and given his social status as a veteran, he would join the DNVP, wanting to return Germany to its more militaristic ways. His characteristics fit the party almost perfectly, as he is hostile towards the Weimar Republic’s weakness, has strong feelings of nationalism, and is in the upper-middle class after World War I.


Karl Schmidt, on the other hand, would probably be a much more passive person, not wanting to continue this line of violence - after all, he has a wife and children that he has to take care of now that the war is over. As a former worker in the steel mills, he has a lot of money, but it is now virtually worthless because of the hyperinflation. Because he has to provide for his family, and has already gone through one war, he would be anti-war, and so this would drive him to the USPD. Socialism would greatly benefit him and his family, and with the high level of social security declared by the new constitution, he would be able to live the rest of his life in peace. He would be able to keep all of his property, and though the government isn’t as strong as he would like it to be, it shouldn’t be a major concern to him and his life.

Originally posted by hoolahoops on February 14, 2018 18:45

Let’s look at my dude Herman Struts. After the war he would be disappointed that the Treaty of Versaille weakened Germany’s military power and equipment, especially as a brave lieutenant who completed military academy and takes pride in Germany’s former defense. I think he would be offended that German land was given to Belgium, France, and Poland. He would also look harshly upon the percentile of people from East Prussia, Upper Silesia, and Schleswig who voted in referendum to separate from German rule. Although the Reich President under the Weimar Constitution was delegated a significant amount of authority, there was still a general sense of disunity and resentment towards the regime from the political right. Hermann Struts would be among those who were critical of the Republic and longed for a return to the monarchy. Therefore I believe that he would be a member of the DNVP (German National People’s Party). This party had a strong upper middle class backing, and hoped to return to imperialistic rule. For Struts this is favorable as it would allow the nation to rebuild their military.

We seem to have had similar ideas about this. Struts is a very militaristic man, and with the weakness of Germany under the Weimar Republic, he would have joined the DNVP. His resentment towards the government would make him right-wing, and his socio-economic status would also allow him to help rebuild the nation.

I think that we disagree on the political direction of Karl Schmidt. I believe that the occupation of the Rhineland would have impeded Schmidt's ability to work in the steel industry. He would probably want the Allies out of there. This would turn him towards a more extreme party like the NSDAP. I think that the campaign of Lebensraum would have been very attractive for a man like Karl Schmidt, who had a wife and children to feed, and could not risk losing his job because of occupation.

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clairvoyant.
Posts: 34

By Due Process of Law

Wilhelm Schultz- Wilhelm is in panic. He worries for his uncle who is now living among people who do not appreciate his presence in their nation. Wilhelm curses the Treaty of Versailles for separating his family and for the loss of German land in general. Wilhelm was uneasy with the thought of Poland being an actual tangible nation at this time with a different government than Germany that his uncle might be opposed to. His grandfather in Danzig may also not be accustomed to the new independent government put in place by the treaty. However, these separations are nearly the least of Wilhelm’s worries. The Schultz farms haven’t been doing too well after World War I with all the animals they’ve had to sacrifice for Germany to pay off its debt determined by the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was already going through a great depression so without animals and little to no income, the Schultz family was starving. The produce they sold from the few animals they had remaining on their farm didn’t make enough money to feed the family so he stayed on the farm with his father and had to watch his other family members struggle to increase their income. He witnessed an aunt wither away and turn to prostitution as a source of income. He couldn’t feel disgusted by it because he understood the situation and why she had to do so. He threw his support behind the SPD/German Social Democratic Party. He grew angered with the government for getting into this war and blamed them for the results of the treaty which impacted his family. He held animosity towards the upper class and wanted more representation for the lower classes that were suffering through this depression. He felt as if certain articles of the constitution didn’t actually apply to him such as article 153 about having a right to private property yet his family’s animals were taken from him. Article 48 violates every right to a German person and Wilhelm refuses to agree with this contradiction. His family want a rewritten constitution with articles that do give lower class people more rights and preserves those rights. They also would like the government to do more about the economic situation because the Schultz family and more could not afford to eat anymore. There was too much chaos the lower classes suffered through during the Weimar Republic while the upper class and government enjoyed their luxuries.


Elisabeth von Kohler- Elisabeth enjoys the liberty of living comfortably in the Weimar Republic. She is a powerful middle/upper class woman who benefits from the chaos. Assuming more people are being arrested during this time, more people need attorneys opening up more opportunities for her than usual. She’s well educated and has a stable job giving her more of an upper-hand in that society than Wilhelm. The economy crashed around her and she barely noticed, she probably was one of those people using money as wallpaper. The constitution benefitted her more than it impeded her because she was ensured equal rights and duties plus she was already an upper class member. She was content. I believe that she would support the DVP/German People’s Party because she seems to have no reason to be upset at the government in this time since she is privileged and is barely affected. She feels a sense of nationalism for her country and she’s lucky that she can feel that where people who actually have to endure the consequences of the war cannot. She is proud of her country and culture. When it comes to what’s happening around her, she isn’t pleased with the conditions of the streets. She thinks women are degrading themselves for money because she doesn’t understand it. The protests followed by violence makes the streets too dangerous for her. She wants the government to ensure a safe place for her family to get an education in. She is mostly concerned for herself and her family.

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Historyguy
Posts: 30

Uncertainty Vs. Stability

Wilhelm Schultz would not have felt too good about his situation living with the after effects of World War I. On one hand, he was living in East Prussia, which was essentially cut off from Germany by the reestablishment of Poland as an independent nation. This would be even more frustrating, given that his uncle would now be living in the Polish area, making it very difficult to see or hear from him because of it. Furthermore, his grandfather was living in Danzig, which was made a free city. While this does not sound like a negative, it still would have been a hassle to try and travel through Poland in order to reach him, so his grandfather might as well have been living in another part of the country. Additionally, his family most likely would have had to contribute livestock as a part of the provisions in the Treaty of Versailles. As a result of this, they would probably end up suffering economically as well. Wilhelm probably would have felt lied to by the Weimar Constitution, given all of the talk that it has about the importance of personal liberty, particularly in Article 114 (Personal liberty is inviolable). Given the frankly miserable position that he would have found himself, Wilhelm unfortunately would have most likely been pushed to extremes. He most likely would have joined the DAP, which later evolved into the Nazi party, given its desire to overthrow the Weimar Republic. For Wilhelm, anything would be better than his current situation.


Otto Hauptmann would have fared a little better than Schultz did with the Treaty of Versailles. As a factory worker, his employment might not have been affected too negatively. In fact, given that Germany was required to build tons of shipping for the Allies, he may have had even more work available to him throughout the years. However, building such things for powers other than Germany might build some resentment. On the other hand, he also might not care, given the fact that he is still employed. Given his union activity, he would have been a fan of the liberties promised in the Weimar Constitution, especially Article 123 (All Germans have the right to assemble peacefully). Furthermore, he probably would have been a member of the SPD, as a member of a union and of the working class. His position in life would have been much more stable, so he most likely would have been much more moderate in his decisions.

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clairvoyant.
Posts: 34

Originally posted by hoolahoops on February 14, 2018 18:45

As for Elisabeth von Kohler, I envision her as a member of the DDP (German Democratic Party). As an attorney she is in the upper middle class, and it isn’t clear that she was necessarily anti-Weimar rule. Assuming she still lives in Bonn after completing her college education, I don’t think Elisabeth would look favorably upon the provision from the Treaty of Versailles that placed the left bank of the Rhein, which includes half of Bonn, under international administration. She also wouldn’t like that all rivers were internationalized. As a lawyer she would easily navigate the Weimar Constitution, to find that under Article 2 it allows territory to become a part of the Reich. For her, hopefully Bonn and the rest of the Rheinland returns to German authority. I believe that Von Kohler would greatly appreciate the addition of a Constitution to the Republic in general, especially if she studied law and knows of the American Constitution. While the Weimar Constitution derives many of its clauses from the American one, Elisabeth would focus more on the contributions from new German universities and research facilities to the world. Universities flourished with foundational contributions to scientific knowledge, including quantum physics. Von Kohler would definitely emphasize this breakthrough among others as German in origin. Finally, I think Elisabeth would attribute the New Objectivity aesthetic in Weimar art to new expressionism around the globe. She would see that German Expressionism deeply influenced the Dada post-war art movement around the world as well.

ooh I wish I understood that provision from the treaty to include in my post but I agree that she would be affected by that if she were to stay in Bonn but I was torn whether to put her in DDP or DVP but went along with DVP because her original description did say she supported her country but I wouldn't think that she would agree with the republic being a professional. I think the republic would be distasteful to her even considering the art we looked at, I don't think it would her taste. I am also not sure she would fight for constitution reform (although I am not sure if this means reform of the constitution or reform using guidelines based off of the constitution). I see where you're coming from at the end but considering she chose to focus on law, it doesn't show much creativity in her to me and I just think she would prefer more professional maybe more "meaningful" contributions to represent Germany.

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Historyguy
Posts: 30

Originally posted by clairvoyant. on February 15, 2018 21:21

Wilhelm Schultz- Wilhelm is in panic. He worries for his uncle who is now living among people who do not appreciate his presence in their nation. Wilhelm curses the Treaty of Versailles for separating his family and for the loss of German land in general. Wilhelm was uneasy with the thought of Poland being an actual tangible nation at this time with a different government than Germany that his uncle might be opposed to. His grandfather in Danzig may also not be accustomed to the new independent government put in place by the treaty. However, these separations are nearly the least of Wilhelm’s worries. The Schultz farms haven’t been doing too well after World War I with all the animals they’ve had to sacrifice for Germany to pay off its debt determined by the Treaty of Versailles. Germany was already going through a great depression so without animals and little to no income, the Schultz family was starving. The produce they sold from the few animals they had remaining on their farm didn’t make enough money to feed the family so he stayed on the farm with his father and had to watch his other family members struggle to increase their income. He witnessed an aunt wither away and turn to prostitution as a source of income. He couldn’t feel disgusted by it because he understood the situation and why she had to do so. He threw his support behind the SPD/German Social Democratic Party. He grew angered with the government for getting into this war and blamed them for the results of the treaty which impacted his family. He held animosity towards the upper class and wanted more representation for the lower classes that were suffering through this depression. He felt as if certain articles of the constitution didn’t actually apply to him such as article 153 about having a right to private property yet his family’s animals were taken from him. Article 48 violates every right to a German person and Wilhelm refuses to agree with this contradiction. His family want a rewritten constitution with articles that do give lower class people more rights and preserves those rights. They also would like the government to do more about the economic situation because the Schultz family and more could not afford to eat anymore. There was too much chaos the lower classes suffered through during the Weimar Republic while the upper class and government enjoyed their luxuries.


I agree with the desperation that you think Wilhelm would have felt given the situation that he found himself in. However, don't you think that such desperation would push him to even further extremes in his choice of political party? While the SPD was working for the betterment of the lower classes, they were the majority in the Reichstag while his family was suffering. He may have felt as if they weren't doing enough to help him. Because of this, I imagine him (unfortunately) gravitating towards the Nazi message of overthrowing the Weimar Republic, so I have to disagree with you on this one.

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