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Many personnel from the Kaiser's regime continued to hold office in the Weimar Republic and were not used to the compromise that was needed in a democracy. There was radical opposition to Weimar from the Freikorps on the right and from communists and the Spartacists on the left. Rosa Luxemburg, a leading Spartacist, called for the overthrow of the government. In the face of street battles and the threat of civil war in 1919, Friedrich Ebert did a deal with the Freikorps and the army to overthrow the Spartacists. Rosa Luxemburg was killed and the communists never supported the socialists again. Economic problems rooted in Versailles started to appear at the same time.
Curriculum Bites
This clip is from:
Curriculum Bites, International Relations
First broadcast:
26 January 2012

Classroom Ideas

Explore the roots of the problems between the Communists, Socialists and Freikorps. Students could be divided into the three groups and debate how they think Germany should be run. Look at why Ebert, a socialist, made a deal with the extreme right, and the consequences of this.