After reading about the Germans, Julia gave us a task in which we had to analize some sources. I was with Francisco Montoya and Trinidad Porretti.
This source, which belongs to an autobiography written by Adolf Hitler in 1924, shows Hitler’s viewpoint on the Treaty of Versailles. He clearly despised the treaty and he thought it was unfair. He considered it a disgrace and humiliation to Germany. Hitler calls it a “highway robbery” as it was unfair and was a stab in the back for the German people, who weren’t prepared to pay such a high price as a result of the Treaty. The treaty caused a scandal among most of the Germans who deeply hated the treaty.
This source, written by a woman who witnessed and lived in the Ruhr during the French occupation, shows as insight to the living conditions of the Ruhr citizens throughout this period of chaos. The French were violent and aggressive. They regarded the Germans with extreme despise and treated them awfully. The German people suffered of massive poverty and starvation as well as living in dreadful conditions during this time. Not only did they struggle through both of these things, but also they experienced a great humiliation due to the French, who ruled in a very strict and cruel manner. They would even punish the slightest detail of a behaviour they didn’t approve of. This source shows the terrible time the Germans underwent during the French occupation of the Ruhr.
This source is a British cartoon in which there are three men, one of them is drowning and the two others are watching from above standing in the ground. The two watchers represent the leaders of Britain and FRance, while the one drowning represents Germany. We can grasp the irony in this poster, as Germany is drowning due to the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which left her country crippled. The French and British did nothing to help them or at least give them more time to pay the reparations. In the inferior part of the cartoon we can see Germany asking for help, while Britain and France look with contempt and pride and do nothing to help her. Germany asks for a life-belt, which is lying no more than a few meters away from Britain and France, but still they wouldn’t bother to look for it and throw it to her. This shows that even if both of this powerful countries had the resources to help Germany, they weren’t willing to do it.
This source was written in 1992 by Finlay Mckichan, a British Historian. It is explained that the Germans were not able to realise that the causes of hyperinflation were complex and needed serious measures to be taken. Instead, the measures they took were ineffective. Germans believed that hyperinflation would be solved by simply printing money, but they were wrong. Germany blamed reparations and the Weimar Republic for hyperinflation, as the impose of reparations produced a big economic problem in the country, and were accepted, and consequently paid, by the Weimar Republic. Due to this, middle-class Germans never forgave the Republic, as they believed it created a big impact in the nation.
This source shows a poster of one of the greatest international stars, Marlene Dietrich, who made the 1920s a golden age for the German cinema. The poster is one of Dietrich’s films, “Blonde Venus”, in which it can be seen the protagonist wearing clothes that would not have been considered appropriate years ago, showing that women’s life had become more liberal and permissive. The picture shows the fact that those years meant great culture changes in Germany. People´s night life started being more liberal. Songs and movies about sex, which had been considered inappropriate and dare some years before, started being performed. Moreover, going to clubs became a common pastime. This new era started with the Weimar Republic, as all this would have been banned in the Kaiser’s days.