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Weimar Democracy & Ordinary Germans Holocaust


The section seeks to identify why the democratic system of Weimar collapse. As such, the analysis identifies the long-term and short-term effects alluded to weakening the democratic system of the German People. The long-term factors identified include lack of democratic leadership, the constitutional flows, powerful opponents, and party system failures. The psychological disillusionment arose as a short-term factor of Weimer democracy failure.

Lack of a Democratic Leadership

Contrarily to Britain, France and United States, Germany was never exposed to democratic revolution. During 18th Century whereby United States and France realized democracy through liberty, equality, and rights of individuality, Germany at that time strongly adhered to traditional rulers, states military dominant, and conservative government elites (Fielden, 2007). In 1918 Germany collapsed due to military defeat and to attain Germany peaceful environment, the country had to endorse democratic system (Fielden, 2007). Though democracy was employed in 1918, Germans had minimal experience on democracy while they system was perceived to be a foreign concept (Fielden, 2007). The democracy idealism was perceived to be embedded with humiliation, political disorder, violence, and economic hardship. As such, the Weimar democracy failed because majority of Germans associated the experienced challenges to the democratic system.

Constitution Flaws

It is important to note that in 1918, Germany was transformed from authoritarian state to a democratic state. Though the constitution of 1919 advocated for Germany basic rights, the constitution had flaws that inhibited the functioning of democracy (Coldrey, 2009). The constitution advocated for a voting system that was of proportional representation. As such, small political parties accessed presentation into Reichstag which spur political instability and frequent elections. Essentially no political party won the majority seats which implied that the 21 Weimer government was a coalition government. Additionally, the constitution showcased flaws by giving powers and influence to the present. As per the Article 48 of the Weimer constitution, the present was allowed to rule based on decree if the political systems failed to function. Historically, in 1919 to 1923, president Ebert applied Article 48 in more than 135 occasion and after the parliamentary fail in 1930, president Ebert used Article 48 continuously until the appoint of Hitler as chancellor (Fielden, 2007). Arguably, the Weimer democratic system could have worked if the constitution had not reserved such powers to the presented, if the constitution advocated for fewer political parties, and if the constitution precisely defined the power sharing between German state and the central government. As such, the constitutional flaws enabled the aggressive enemies of democracy to attack and destroy the Weimer democracy.

Powerful Opponents

The Weimer government is presumed to make little efforts to deal with powerful opponents opposing democracy in Germany. Agencies of Germany state such as the civil service, the judiciary, and the educational system adhered to the rules and regulations from the hands of men whom their loyalty were alluded to the old Germany hence inhibiting Weimer democracy development (Fielden, 2007). Such agencies remained hostile to the republics and democracy. As such, the Weimer government failed to bring control to the hostile environment created by the agencies of the government. Additionally, the privileged elites in Germany conserved their power and status conforming to the republic Germany. The privileged group argued that that Germany industry grew richer and the army grew richer, implying that Germany prospers better under the conservative systems (Fielden, 2007). It is in this case that Germany conservative group consistently operated against the survival of Germany as a democracy country.

Party System Failure

Majority of the Germans loss faith in party system approaches due to frustrations that arose through political violence and party movements such as the Freikorps. As such, the Nazis and the communist failed to adhere to parliamentary democracy and thereafter sought to destroy the parliamentary democracy. As such, the Weimer republic opposition parties such as the SPD and Center Party were at a great extent opposing to the republic and democracy of Germans (Klar, 1992).

Psychological Disillusionment

The start of Weimer republic is highly associated with all the negative outcomes of the post-war Germany. As such, all the wrongs of the post-war were afflicted to the Germans and as such, the Germans associated the Republic of Weimer with instability, lack of progress, and dishonor. As such, the Weimer republic was forever associated with much hated treaty of Versailles which a symbol of shame and defeat for Weimer until 1934 whereby Hitler removed the provisions of such a treaty (Bessel, 2004). The Versailles treaty exposed the Germans to have emotional issues that geared the guilt of having engaged into war and the outcome that were associated with the war. Additionally, the war exposed the Germans into Ruhr occupation and the devastating hyperinflation. As such, it can be argued that such clusters of misfortunes that plagued Germany psychologically weakened the Germans confidence towards Weimer republic. Generally, the Germans found it difficult to conform to the new system due to psychological disillusionment hence the presented Weimer democracy was without democrats hence the failure of democracy.


Under determinist’s view, it can be argued that Weimer democracy failed due to structural weakness of the states operating agencies which were inevitable. The showcased structural weaknesses include the German authoritarian tradition, the political, economic, and international issues weakened the Germans confidence and acceptance of new systems. As such, the Weimer democracy failed to attain legitimate acceptance from the Germans.


The section of the report conducts an in-depth analysis as to why majority of the ordinary Germans participated in Holocaust activities. From the in-depth analysis, the report identifies that majority of the ordinary Germans engaged in Holocaust activities purposefully to attain world-power status, majority were coerced, some participated due to social psychological pressure, obedience for the ruling party, and personal gain.

To Attain World-Power Status

The first insight of Nazi being into power, the party advocated for the separation of Jews purposefully for expulsion and extermination. As such, Hitler promised the ordinary Germans that he will return Germany back to social order, economic stability hence positioning Germans into world-power status (C.R, 2013). As such, Hitler received great backing from the ordinary Germans purposefully to put away certain kinds of people who were presumed no to fit in the society. Such people were regarded as outsiders, criminals, useless eaters, and asocials. Essentially, the Nazi Party was attractive to the ordinary Germans whereby the party prosed varied solutions to the problems that were affecting the Germans hence the party was perceived to be a savior of the German Volk (Spielvogel, 2005). Lastly, to attain the world-power status, ordinary Germans highly participated in German Anti-sematic action under the Nazi party purposefully to exterminate all the Jews (Monhollen, 2012). Basically, ordinary Germans were motivated to participate in executing the Jews. Such promises motivated ordinary Germans to participate into holocaust by viewing Jews to be a curse in society. In this concept, it can be argued that Ordinary Germans participated into holocaust due to racist ideology, individualism, and utilitarianism.

Ordinary Germans were Coerced

One theoretical underpinning advocates that majority of ordinary Germans had to participate in holocaust simply because they were coerced. Majority of ordinary Germans were exposed to threat of punishments such as external compulsion for not participating in Holocaust. As such, Ordinary Germans had no choice but to follow orders. Essentially, majority of the ordinary Germans worked in military and police institutions whereby chain of command was strictly observed. Lack of compliance from the ordinary Germans implied that they will undergo severe punishments, perhaps with death. Generally, government agencies such as the police, parliament, and the military that was composed of ordinary Germans were trained to follow the established chains of command based on how to perform the Holocaust (Monhollen, 2012). As such, the Ordinary Germans were expected to defer to one’s superior and not to showcase the non-conformist behavior regarding the holocaust activities.

Social Psychological Pressure

Ordinary Germans engaged into holocaust due to social psychological pressure placed upon by their comrades. It is important to note that the applied fragmentation tasks could not enable the Ordinary Germans realize what the real nature of activities they were participating into (Spielvogel, 2005). The perpetrators participated engaged into holocaust activities without knowing it was an extermination policy to kill Jews in the entire country. Similarly, the ordinary Germans were expected to conform to the institutional roles. As such, it became extremely difficult for ordinary Germans to resist holocaust participation. Additionally, Ordinary Germans were exposed into fear due to the presented consequences of failing to participate. The Germans knew that during the war, the Nazi political system was characterized by terror purposefully to eliminate opposition political parties (Spielvogel, 2005) As such, ordinary Germans were psychologically afflicted with fear of being persecuted for failure of participating in Holocaust. Generally, the Holocaust perpetrators were subjected to tremendous situational pressure.

Personal Gain

Ordinary Germans participated in holocaust purposefully to attain self-interest. As such, ordinary Germans focused on holocaust as a goal to own careers and materials left behind by the Jews among other races. Politically, it can be argued that ordinary Germans were willingly put their interests before those of the other groups, on the other groups, while need hardly belabored. For example, in Nazi Germany, the property left by the Jews after holocaust were looted, auctioned, or purchased at a discounted price. Additionally, ordinary Germans were lured to personal gain by cooperating with the locals in the persecution and the murder of Jews (Spielvogel, 2005). For example, in Lithuania the ordinary Germans that participated in mass shooting were awarded cut in the first property, especially the housing, then participated in auctioning the household materials to wider the society, hence spreading complicity.


Ordinary Germans participated in holocaust as blind followers of orders imposed by Hitler. Hitler is alleged to be highly obeyed by his followers due to charisma that confined the perpetrators were, so to speak, and caught in his spell. As such, the ordinary Germans could not resist Hitler’s charisma that advocated for authoritative, and a totalitarian society that basically blunt individuals from understanding the norms of the society, and conditions individuals to accept all the tasks assigned as necessary (Mitchell, 1997). It is in this concept that ordinary Germans had to obey the authority whereby the obedience elicits merits consideration from Hitler’s government. Basically, it can be argued that some of the ordinary Germans participated in Holocaust, not because of their consent, but because of obeying Hitler.


Conclusively, it can be argued that ordinary Germans participated in holocaust activities under the great influence of the Nazi’s. The Nazi’s motivated ordinary Germans through varied promises through racial superiority, and personal. Contrarily, the Germans participated due to extrajudicial fears, obedience to the Nazi’s political leaders such Hitler, for personal gain, and psychological pressure. In this concept, it can be argued that ordinary Germans participated unwillingness.

Qn. 10. Why did Stalin unleash a famine in Ukraine?


The famous Joseph Stalin was a leader of the Soviet Union. He succeeded Lennon in 1924 as a leader in Ukraine (Graziosi 2016). To him, the Soviet Union was very important and utilized his position to strengthen it further. Unleashing of famine to the Ukraine natives was the main element used to suppress the native and strengthen this movement. There are three main reasons for the unleashing famine in Ukraine by Stalin. The reasons include; finance generation for expansion of the Soviet Union, increasing totalitarian power of Soviets and reduction of kulaks power (Graziosi 2016). The most conspicuous method used was the creation of famine called Holodomor (Man-made Famine) in Ukraine. The main reasons for the formation of this famine in as discussed below.

  1. Generation of finance for modernization and industrial expansion of Soviet Union

Unleashing famine in Ukraine was made to increase finance industrial expansion and modernization of Soviet Union. Stalin had a five-year plan for modernization of Soviet Union. To generate this, all the private industries were abolished, commerce was nationalized (Klymenko 2016). More so, there was the need for collectivization of farms and imposition of farm grain quotas. A Huge amount of wheat harvested in Ukraine stocked in food grains and exported. This was done to yield enough cash facilitating the modernization of Soviet Union. Additionally, this cash facilitated the massive military build-up to strengthen the union.

The stocked wheat was budgeted to feed Ukrainian citizens for two consecutive years. Conversely, Stalin decided to create famine for the natives and exported food for the above-named reason. The increased rate of deaths caused by famine raised the need for emergency food aid from Moscow. This act was fiercely rejected by Stalin who sent soldiers to the Ukraine borders in order to prevent any entrance of foreign food (Klymenko 2016).

  1. To increase the powers of Soviet totalitarian regime

Famine was made to increase the Soviet totalitarian regime. The villages were brought under the power of central government controlled by Stalin. He suppressed those who believed in the culture, language and the independence spirit of Ukraine by killing and imprisoning them (Nikolko 2017). The Soviet community became very powerful and controlled huge granaries of reserved grains. Grains and potatoes were piled and secured by GPU guards. Furthermore, the Soviet prioritized feeding productive animals on behalf of the native community. The communist activists were sent to grab any trace of food from homes of starving Ukrainians.

To maintain their powers in Ukraine, the Soviet Union denied claims of assistance from foreign states (Nikolko 2017). The claims were regarded as anti-Soviet propaganda. This was ascertained by exporting enough grains and banning foreign journalists into Ukraine. Doctors were commanded not to associate peoples’ death with starvation. Mentioning Holodomor in Ukraine was a criminal offence. This made the citizens to be suppressed hence the Soviet Union dominating and expanding its territories. Notably, a person could be arrested and Soviets a famine a ‘famine’ or ‘starvation’ sentence (Klymenko 2016). This proved how strong the Soviet Union was under Stalin rule.

  1. To diminish the powers of kulaks

Kulaks were very powerful and famine was made to diminish their powers in Ukraine. The kulaks were the communist farmers in Ukraine producing food for the natives. They owned over 24% of land and controlled the economy of Ukraine (Vsetecka 2017). They employed a lot of people in their farms. Stalin had a belief that the kulaks were very powerful and could easily out rule his regime. He, therefore, formulated a policy ‘kulaks liquidation’ in order to fight them. To succeed in this, the kulaks were declared as enemies of the people (Vsetecka 2017). Over ten million kulaks were taken out of their homes to a special settlement in the Siberian wilderness. Hunger and disastrous living conditions led to the deaths of most of them. Other resistant farmers were shot dead or sent to Siberia as well. This act made all the Ukraine citizens be totally submissive to the Soviets.


Stalin achieved his strategy to industrialize Ukraine. This was evident where many farmers left their activities and ran to towns to work for jobs for their livelihood. More so, the Soviet Union become very vigilant in Ukraine. However the increased deaths caused by famine made neighboring states like Moscow to intervene and eradicate Stalin regime.

Qn. 11 Why is it important to study the regimes of Hitler and Stalin?


Stalin and Hitler’s regimes are very important in the world history. There regimes are key in enforcing laws and captivation of industrialized states. They have a vast relevance in industrial revolution being done internationally. The two regimes oversee all the revolutions taking place in the historical world socially, economically, industrial revolutions and political ideologies as discussed below. These are the key aspects of historical and political dynamisms adopted t date.

  1. Political ideologies

Hitler and Stalin’s regime has crafted a lot of political ideas used by different political systems globally. Authoritarian and totalitarian rules being studied in contemporary history sources data from the two regimes (Nolan 2016). Attuning to human rights, the main idea came from Hitler regime. This is where Hitler rule mandated the Gestapo (commonly termed as human right abusers) to suspend or completely remove rights of individuals. As such, United Nations after World War II formulated human rights cap in its constitution to protect the rights of citizens internationally. Other totalitarian activists include Mao Tse-tung of China and Bonito Mussolini of Italy.

  1. Economic revolutions

Stalin regime is important in evaluating economic revolutions of different states. He had collectivization of agriculture and a powerful command over the economy. Importantly, the economic change was done through the exportation of agricultural harvests from Ukraine in order to stabilize their economic base. Their deeds of grabbing harvests and storing them in central granaries for exports made it difficult to explain their good motives. As such, anyone questioning their claim was branded an enemy of the economy hence killed or imprisoned. From this, many states absorbed the aspect of storing products in granaries for exportation as it boosts the economic base of different countries.

  1. Social-cultural revolution

Hitler and Stalin’s regime were the best in explanation of social-cultural revolution. Social factors like racism were perpetrated by Hitler. He made racial policy in 1945 whereby a racial doctrine on Aryan race was documented (Molyneux 2017). This law suppressed the Jews (believed to be of doctrine origin) and Indo-Aryan (of Indian origin). Fascism, was a social tool used by socialist Germany workers party to protect the Germany speaking people (Aryan) in Hitler regime. Stalin, on the other hand, reduced social powers and used capitalism. This was done by eradication of communists and socialists from his empire, drafting new culture of industrialization and modernization (Pakulski 2016). Many states are building from the same by practicing different social-cultural aspect of life through reduction of racism, communist and socialist development.

  1. Industrial revolution

The Hitler and Stalin regime in important in the industrial revolution. Poor peasant farmers from collective farms running to towns in search of jobs for their sustainability in 1932 (Sandford 2017). This increased urban population. This rendered an advantage to the industrialists. The mass influx of the increased urban population availed cheap labor for industries. In the five year plan made by Stalin, the Ukraine invested heavily in huge projects and mining sector utilized the cheap labor available. Equally important is the encouragement of socialists’ competition between factories facilitating an increment in their output. Increased productivity enhanced the supply of raw materials and fuel for industrial growth.

Industrial fields like engineering and technical studies were paramount. This was balanced against the effort used in production (Sandford 2017). Hence, Ukraine gradually changed from an agricultural based state to an industrialized state. This knowledge is utilized by various states including UK and Japan for their industrial development. Technological advancement by using machines and labor-intensive methods of production are explored by investors globally. The law of labor supply and demand in production is important to effect productivity in different states. The need for export is balanced against imports for economic stability in all industrialized countries. This knowledge is addressed by Stalin economy.


Hitler and Stalin regimes provides a lot of relevant information concerning industrialization and urbanization. Many states in South America like Brazil and Colombia referred these regimes for utilization of cheap labor from slaves for their industrial growth. The developing states refer the Hitler way of governance in increasing their development statue. There is emergence of capitalists and communists and their relevance in economic development.


Bessel, R. (2004). The Nazi Capture of Power. Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 39, no. 2, p. 173.

Coldrey, J. (2009). The Rise of Fascism: Assessing the Constitution of the Weimer Republic. POLIS Student Journal, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 6.

Fieden, P. (2007). Republic to Reich: A History of Germany, 1918-1939. P. 95. McGraw-Hill, New Zealand.

Graziosi, A. (2016). Selected Bibliography of Socialist Famines in the Twentieth Century. East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 3(2), 153-166.

Klar, N. (1992). To what Extent were the Problems of the Weimer Republic Responsible for the Rise of Nazism. New York Times.

Klymenko, L. (2016). The Holodomor law and national trauma construction in Ukraine. Canadian Slavonic Papers, 58(4), 341-361.

Molyneux, J. (2017). Does Leninism lead to Stalinism?. Irish Marxist Review, 6(17), 58-78.

Nikolko, M. (2017). Political Narratives of Victimisation in the Ukrainian-Canadian Diaspora. In Diaspora as Cultures of Cooperation (pp. 131-147). Springer International Publishing.

Nolan, P. (2016). 14 Political Economy and. The Transformation of the Communist Economies: Against the Mainstream, 400.

Pakulski, J. (2016). State violence and the eliticide in Poland, 1 93 5—4 9.

Sandford, G. W. (2017). From Hitler to Ulbricht: The Communist Reconstruction of East Germany, 1945-1946. Princeton University Press.

Vsetecka, J. (2017). Andrij Makuch and Frank E. Sysyn, editors. Contextualizing the Holodomor: The Impact of Thirty Years of Ukrainian Famine Studies. East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 4(1), 223-227.

References List

C.R. (2013). Germany’s Hyperinflation-Phobia: Economy History. The Economist.

Mitchell, A. (1997). The Nazi Revolution: Hitler’s Dictatorship and the German Nation. P. 192 Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

Monhollen, J. (2012). The Effect of Nazi Propaganda on Ordinary Germans. Journal of Seber and Scroll, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 74-77.

Spielvogel, J. (2005). Hitler and Nazi Germany. P. 272. Fifth Edition, New Jersey: Pierson Prentice Hall.