Weimar Republic

Germany in the years 1918/1919–1933

The Weimar Republic is the name now used for the republic which governed Germany from 1918 to 1933.

German Reich
Deutsches Reich
Motto: "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
"Unity and Justice and Freedom"
"Das Lied der Deutschen"
"Song of the Germans"
Weimar Republic in 1930
Weimar Republic in 1930
German States in 1925 (Free State of Prussia with its provinces shown in blue)
German States in 1925 (Free State of Prussia with its provinces shown in blue)
Official languagesGerman
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
11 August 1919
• Admitted to the League of Nations
8 September 1926
• Government by decree begins
29 March 1930
• Hitler appointed Chancellor
30 January 1933
27 February 1933
23 March 1933
• Total
468,787 km2 (181,000 sq mi)
1925[2]1,933 km2 (746 sq mi)
• 1925[2]
Preceded by
Succeeded by
German Empire
Nazi Germany

Officially it was the German Reich (Deutsches Reich): (German: Weimarer Republik [ˈvaɪmaʁɐ ʁepuˈbliːk] (audio speaker iconlisten)).

It was also unofficially referred to as the German Republic (Deutsche Republik).



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.



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 end of World War I on 11 November 1918.The fighting in World War I stopped on 11 November 1918 when the Armistice of Compiegne was signed.



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 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".[3] 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.[3]



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.

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


  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. "Das Deutsche Reich im Überblick". Wahlen in der Weimarer Republik. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Steel Helmet/Association of Frontline Soldiers (Germany)". CRW Flags. Retrieved January 30, 2017.

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