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The clip includes a 1919 cartoon expressing German antipathy to reparations, and the reasons for, and the brutal consequences of, the French and Belgian invasion of the Ruhr. Various solutions to hyperinflation are featured, including negotiated reduction in reparations payments and loans from the USA under the Dawes Plan. The resulting economic boom and the new freedom in culture included design, film, theatre and music, and from 1924 to 1929, extremist groups lost some of their appeal. However, when the good times went away, Hitler exploited the new discontent and the Weimar Republic was doomed.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
26 January 2012

Classroom Ideas

Ask students to analyse the cartoon - how representative is it of German views of reparations? They can do the same with the eyewitness account. Consider the different strategies used by Ebert and Stresemann to deal with consequences of reparations. Focus on what attracts people to the support of extremist parties.