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How far was the defeat in World War One a key turning point in the

development of Germany?
A turning point in history can be seen as a point in time in which an event occurs,
leading to and triggering change. It is in this way that Germanys defeat in the
First World War in 1918 can be seen as a significant turning point in her
development, particularly because of the serious political, economic, and social
changes that followed. The defeat in World War One was the first step of a long
road of conflict ending in Germanys defeat in World War Two.
Germanys defeat in the First World War is definitely a key turning point, as it
influenced all of the changes that ultimately led to the Second World War. The
war cost Germany $38 billion[1], on top of which 6.6 billion had to payed in
reparations as stated in the Treaty of Versailles. Part of this Treaty also meant a
great loss in Germanys empire; she lost approximately 6.5 million people, and
nearly 13% of her pre-war territory. So not only was Germany in crippling debt,
her views had been completely ignored at the Treaty, leading to bitterness
among her people towards the Treaty and the government who was partly
blamed for their loss. As well as this, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty and
take all blame and responsibility for the damage and loss of the war. This was
embarrassing for the people of Germany and again caused bitterness and
resentment among them. It was this negativity and hatred in Germany that
allowed her development steer towards more extremist views such as Nazism.
Hitler was able to use the anger of the people to help direct the power vacuum
left over after the Kaiser was forced into abdication into his own hands, and it is
in this way that Nazism gained popular appeal among the people of Germany.
Her defeat in World War One had consequences that were far reaching and
therefore can be seen as a significant turning point in Germanys development.

Between 1914 and 1918, industrial output fell by over 40% [2], millions of working
men were killed in war, and there were food shortages. Germanys usual trading
partners favoured doing business with the Allies over her so not much money
was coming in from imports and exports either. This led to further unrest
amongst the people, who felt something needed to be done and because they
felt so let down by the previous government they were much more likely to opt
for change and more radical views, such as Nazism which promised to make
Germany great again and restore her power. The signing of the Treaty of
Versailles in 1919 seemed to be the final push for the people of Germany to start
taking action and led to several Left Wing uprisings in 1919. Peoples views were
becoming more radical and support for the Nazi party grew more and more:
Hitler was seen as a symbol of hope.
Overall, it can be argued that Germanys defeat in the First World War had knockon effects which directly led to the rise of Hitler and Nazism. If there wasnt a
power vacuum to be filled after her defeat, the Nazis wouldnt have risen to
power and had the popularity they did, and the Second World War as well as
many other events that followed wouldnt have happened. Therefore, Germanys
defeat in World War One was a huge significant turning point in terms of her
development because without it, there wouldnt have been as many major
turning points occurring afterwards, such as World War Two.