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Germans on WelfareFrom Weimar to Hitler$
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David F. Crew

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195053111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195053111.001.0001

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Religion, Socialism, and State Welfare in the Weimar Republic

Religion, Socialism, and State Welfare in the Weimar Republic

Chapter:
(p.16) Chapter One Religion, Socialism, and State Welfare in the Weimar Republic
Source:
Germans on Welfare
Author(s):

David F. Crew

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195053111.003.0002

This chapter shows that the Weimar welfare system was made possible through a compromise between religious welfare interests and the Social Democrats. Racism offered a way out the normative crisis as it promised immortality to healthy genes. This had murderous consequences during the period of the Third Reich. In the Wilhelmine Empire, the Social Democrats viewed the German state as an instrument for domination so they participated in the construction of the Weimar Republic. They wanted the provision of public welfare to be made more democratic. The Social Democrats' loyal support of the capitalist state drew unrelenting criticism from the German communists. The national state created the legal framework for the public welfare system in the Weimar Republic. At the same time, religious welfare organizations began to realize that working with and within the new state welfare system made it more difficult for them to fulfill their religious and ethical missions.

Keywords:   Weimar welfare system, Social Democrats, racism, Third Reich, Wilhelmine Empire, Weimar Republic, German communists

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