The Weimar Republic

weimar republic
A woman exchanges vegetables for baskets of money during the hyperinflation of 1923

The Weimar Republic is a name given to Germany and its political system between 1918 (the end of World War I) and 1933 (the rise of Nazism). The Weimar Republic was a bold attempt to create a modern liberal democracy, in a nation which had little experience of either liberalism or democracy. This radical experiment failed, the Weimar state lasting just 15 years before giving way to Adolf Hitler and Nazi totalitarianism. The Weimar Republic is of great interest to historians and students alike. It demonstrates how democracy can fail when it is too ambitious and when internal forces work against it. Weimar Germany was a society torn between old ideas and values – between old ideas like tradition, militarism and authoritarian government, and new ideas like republicanism, liberalism and democracy. Understanding the failure of the Weimar Republic is also essential for understanding how Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, one of the most fanatical and murderous regimes in human history, came to power in Germany.

Alpha History’s Weimar Republic website contains hundreds of primary and secondary resources for researching, learning and understanding the German republic between 1918 and 1933. Our topic pages contain concise summaries of key Weimar Republic topics and events. We provide a range of carefully chosen primary sources, including documentsgraphics and maps. There is also useful reference material like a timeline, glossary, a who’s who of significant leaders and a summary of Weimar Republic historiography. Finally, Alpha History also provides a range of interactive activities, such as crosswords and quizzes, where you can test your understanding of the Weimar period.

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