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Study notes

The Kapp Putsch (1920)

  • Levels: GCSE
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR

The Kapp Putsch of 1920 involved a rebellion by members of the Freikorps when the Weimar Government tried to disband them.

The Freikorps grew in strength after the Spartacist Revolt in 1919. However, in March 1920 the Government attempted to disband the Freikorps and consequently the Ebert government lost control of the Freikorps. Members of the Freikorps did not want to become unemployed again as they had after the First World War, so they turned against the Government

When around 5,000 Freikorps marched on Berlin, Ebert initially ordered the German Army to stop the rebellion. However, the Army refused to do anything as they did not wish to act against former soldiers.

So, the Freikorps managed to take over Berlin and declare a new government headed up by Wolfgang Kapp who then invited the Kaiser to return from the Netherlands to retake his post as Emperor.

The Weimar Government fled Berlin and, in an attempt to stop the putsch, encouraged the workers of Berlin to go on strike.

This strike brought Berlin to a standstill and meant that it was very difficult for the new government to do anything as all essential services were stopped.

This resulted in the collapse of the putsch after only four days and the restoration of the Weimar Government


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