This Weimar Republic glossary contains definitions for English and German words and concepts, relevant to events in Germany between 1918 and 1933. Words from A to D.
Anti-Semitism is racist ideas or actions against Jewish people on the basis of their race. It was a widespread form of prejudice in Europe in the early 20th century, particularly in Russia and Germany.
Article 231 (see war guilt clause)
Authoritarianism is a political ideology or system where government and rulers are not constrained by democratic processes or checking. A system where important decisions about politics, economics and society are made arbitrarily by leaders.
Bauhaus was an artistic school and movement in Weimar Germany, formed in 1919. It integrated modernist ideas and modern industrial production techniques, to provide functional yet attractive designs.
Bavarian Soviet Republic
The Bavarian Soviet Republic was a short lived attempt to establish a post-war socialist government in southern Germany. Socialists seized control of Bavaria in April 1919 but were ousted by Reichswehr troops and Freikorps paramilitaries the following month.
Beer Hall putsch
The Beer Hall putsch, also known as the Munich putsch, was a failed attempted by Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP to seize political control in Bavaria in November 1923.
The ‘Black Reichswehr‘ was another term for the Freikorps: civilian militias formed in secret and in defiance of restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.
Bolshevism is the name given to revolutionary communism in Europe in the early 20th century. It comes from the Bolshevik movement that seized control of Russia in October 1917.
Brownshirts (see SA)
cabaret (German, kabarett)
A cabaret is a restaurant or nightclub that provides live entertainment, such as singing and dancing. This entertainment often contained political or erotic overtones.
Centre Party (German, Zentrumpartei or Zentrum)
The Centre Party was a Catholic-based German political party, formed in 1870. It had socially conservative views and policies. The Centre Party was involved in most Weimar coalition governments.
The chancellor was the head of government in Imperial and Weimar Germany. He was the broad equivalent of the prime minister in the Westminster political system.
A coalition government is a government formed when two or more parties agree to work together, to form a majority bloc in an assembly or parliament. Coalition governments rely on cooperation between politically different groups so are often unstable and prone to collapse.
A constitution is a document outlining and legally enforcing the system of government in a nation or state. Most constitutions specify how the nation is to be governed and define and limit powers.
A counter-revolution is a period or series of events where individuals or groups seek to halt or reverse significant political, social or economic change.
The Dawes Plan was a 1924 agreement, formulated by an international committee and overseen by US banker Charles Dawes. It was designed to facilitate repayment of Germany’s World War I reparations debt.
Demobilisation is the process of dismantling an army, discharging its soldiers and returning them to civilian life.
Determinism is the belief that almost all historical events are determined or shaped by previously-occurring events or factors. In determinism, no event is entirely unexpected or unpredictable.
Deutsche Arbeiterpartie (DAP, or German Workers’ Party)
The Deutsche Arbeiterpartie (DAP) was a small right-wing political group formed in 1919. It was the precursor to the NSDAP or ‘Nazi’ Party.
Dolchstosslegende (see stab-in-the-back legend)