Welcome to Alpha History’s comprehensive website on the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic refers to Germany and its political system between 1918 and 1933, from the end of World War I to the rise of Nazism. The formation of the Weimar Republic was a bold attempt to create a modern liberal democracy, in a nation with little experience in either liberalism and democracy. The radical experiment failed, lasting only 15 years before giving way to Adolf Hitler and Nazi totalitarianism. We study the Weimar period for several reasons. The Weimar Republic demonstrates how and why democracy can fail, when its development is too ambitious and internal forces work against it. Weimar Germany is an example of 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 why the Weimar Republic failed is also essential for understanding the emergence of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, one of the most fanatical and murderous regimes in human history.
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 documents, graphics 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.