A timeline of the Weimar Republic gives an overview from its foundation in 1918 to its end in 1933, focusing on its early years. The clip explains reasons for the abdication of the Kaiser in the face of the imminent defeat of Germany at the end of the First World War. The Kaiser felt betrayed and fled to the Netherlands, leaving a power vacuum which was filled by a new Reichstag, led by Friedrich Ebert, with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) as the largest party. Ebert's vision was of a Weimar Republic existing for the benefit of its people, but this was compromised by the association of Weimar with the Treaty of Versailles.
Examine the reasons for the Kaiser's abdication, when, apparently, the German people preferred an authoritarian regime to a democratic one. Ask students to look at the actual series of events leading to the Armistice and the role of ordinary soldiers and sailors. Students can also examine the reasons why the Weimar Republic was viewed with suspicion by many Germans from the start.