Weimar Republic

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German Reich
Deutsches Reich
Motto: "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
"Unity and Justice and Freedom"
Das Lied der Deutschen
(English: "Song of the Germans")
Germany in 1930
Germany in 1930
German states in 1920s (Free State of Prussia with its provinces shown in blue)
German states in 1920s (Free State of Prussia with its provinces shown in blue)
CapitalBerlin Weimar (de facto)
Common languagesOfficial:
1925 census[1]
64.1% Protestant (Lutheran, Reformed, United)
32.4% Roman Catholic
0.9% Jewish
2.6% Other
Government1919–30 Federal
constitutional republic
1930–33 De facto authoritarian
presidential republic
• 1919–25
Friedrich Ebert
• 1925–33
Paul von Hindenburg
• 1919 (first)
Philipp Scheidemann
• 1933 (last)
Adolf Hitler
• State Council
Historical eraInterwar period
• Established
9 November 1918
• Government by decree begins
29 March 1930[2]
• Hitler appointed Chancellor
30 January 1933
27 February 1933
23 March 1933
1925[3]468,787 km2 (181,000 sq mi)
• 1925[3]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
German Empire
Nazi Germany

The Weimar Republic (German: Weimarer Republik [ˈvaɪmaʁɐ ʁepuˈbliːk] (audio speaker iconlisten)), officially the German Reich (Deutsches Reich), also referred to as the German Republic (Deutsche Republik), is the name now used for the republic that governed Germany from 1919 to 1933.

Origin[change | change source]

After the German Empire was defeated in World War I, Germany became a republic, but it was still called "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire). Today it is called the Weimar Republic and this period is called the Weimar period, because the constitution was made in the city of Weimar.

Beginning[change | change source]

On November 9, 1918, the Republic was proclaimed by Philipp Scheidemann at the Reichstag building in Berlin and two hours later a socialist republic was proclaimed around the corner at the Berlin Castle by Karl Liebknecht.

The Emperor, or Kaiser, Wilhelm II, went into exile in the Netherlands. The new Republic was declared even before the end of World War I.

Problems[change | change source]

The Weimar Republic had a lot of problems. The Treaty of Versailles made things very difficult for the economy. Inflation got completely out of hand. There were political problems because governments ruled only for a very short time, not long enough to be able to make important decisions. There were a lot of radical right and left extremists, for example monarchists (people who wanted back the monarchy) and communists, who believed that all things, especially property, land and money, should be shared. Political parties had their own militias to fight each other.

One of the paramilitary organizations that arose after World War I was the German: Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten meaning "Steel Helmet, League of Front Soldiers".[4] They operated as the armed branch of the national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP). they were placed at party gatherings in the position of armed security guards (Saalschutz). In 1935 they became part of the Nazi Party.[4]

Positives[change | change source]

The Weimar period is also known for its culture. Artists tried out modern ideas and used new things like film. The Bauhaus began in the 1920s too.

End[change | change source]

What we now call The Weimar Republic came to an end on 23 March 1933, when Chancellor Adolf Hitler installed the Enabling Act, which established the Third Reich.

References[change | change source]

  1. Volume 6. Weimar Germany, 1918/19–1933 Population by Religious Denomination (1910–1939) Sozialgeschichtliches Arbeitsbuch, Volume III, Materialien zur Statistik des Deutschen Reiches 1914–1945, edited by Dietmar Petzina, Werner Abelshauser, and Anselm Faust. Munich: Verlag C.H. Beck, 1978, p. 31. Translation: Fred Reuss.
  2. Thomas Adam, Germany and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History, 2005, ISBN 1-85109-633-7, p. 185
  3. "Das Deutsche Reich im Überblick". Wahlen in der Weimarer Republik. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "The Steel Helmet/Association of Frontline Soldiers (Germany)". CRW Flags. Retrieved January 30, 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]