Why did the Weimar Republic descend so rapidly into chaos?

‘Thirteen wasted years’ bellowed Adolf Hitler at receptive audiences in the spring of 1932. He was talking about the first full German democracy, the Weimar Republic. Proclaimed in November 1918, it was born out of a desire to do things better after the horrors of the first world war and was an ambitious attempt to establish one of the most progressive states in history. ‘Democratic chaos,’ sneered Hitler, ‘unmitigated political and economic chaos.’ Much of the electorate agreed. Less than a year later, Hitler became chancellor and immediately set about fulfilling his electoral promise to destroy democracy. The short and tumultuous story of the Weimar Republic continues to fascinate. The