Weimar Republic documents

This collection of Weimar Republic documents and extracts was compiled by Alpha History authors. The date given in parentheses is the date of the source, rather than the period or events the source describes. These sources are updated and expanded regularly. If you would like to suggest, request or contribute a Weimar Republic-related document, please contact Alpha History.

Beginnings of the republic

The Kaiser reflects on his abdication (1922)
Socialists appeal to the people of Schleswig-Holstein (November 1918)
Philipp Scheidemann proclaims the German republic (November 1918)
Declaration to the German people by the new SPD government (November 1918)
Hugo Preuss supports Weimar democracy (November 1918)
‘The German republic shall thrive!’ (November 1918)
Ernst Troelstch on the new German democracy (December 1919)
Extracts from the Weimar Constitution (August 1919)

The German Revolution

Rosa Luxemburg condemns Ebert and the SPD government (1918)
Karl Leibknecht proclaims the Free Socialist Republic of Germany (November 1918)
Groener on the Ebert-Groener Pact of November 1918 (1957)

The Treaty of Versailles

Clemenceau vows that justice will be visited on Germany (June 1919)
Extracts from the Treaty of Versailles (June 1919)
Keynes on German reparations and Germany’s capacity to pay (1919)

Right wing reaction

Hindenburg supports the stab-in-the-back legend (1919)
Proclamation of ‘Reich Chancellor’ Wolfgang Kapp (1920)
Friedrich Ebert on the political divisions in Weimar Germany (1920)
Ludendorff calls for Germany to prepare for war (1922)
An American news report on the murder of Walter Rathenau (June 1922)
Agnes Smedley describes the Freikorps (1923)
A British journalist reports on enemies of the Weimar republic (1923)

The difficult 1920s

Thomas Mann speaks in favour of the Weimar Republic (1922)
A report on the French Ruhr occupation (January 1923)
The British ambassador on the occupation of the Ruhr (January 1923)
South African leader Jan Smuts condemns the Ruhr occupation (October 1923)
An anonymous German view about the government and hyperinflation (1923)
Friedrich Kroner on the problems of shopping under hyperinflation (August 1923)
Betty Scholem on the difficulties of life and commerce under hyperinflation (October 1923)
Stefan Zweig recalls the 1923 hyperinflation (1943)
Chancellor Gustav Stresemann responds to the Munich Putsch (November 1923)
Journalist Joseph Roth describes a visit to the German Reichstag (1924)
Hindenburg’s remarks on becoming president (1925)
Franz von Papen on problems of the Weimar Republic (1953)

The golden years

Gustav Stresemann on German admittance to the League of Nations (1925)
A military officer’s view on German foreign policy (1926)
Gustav Stresemann speaks about the ‘new Germany’ (1927)

Weimar culture

George Grosz recalls life in Berlin during the Golden Age of Weimar (1946)
Felix Gilbert recalls Weimar culture in Berlin during the 1920s (1988)
The Dada Manifesto (1918)
Fritz Lang on Weimar film and the US and German film industries (1926)

The rise of Nazism

Arnold Brecht on Hindenburg’s presidency (1944)
Ernst Bloch warns against Hitler and the NSDAP (1924)
Lea Grundig recalls living in Germany during the Great Depression (1964)
Franz von Papen on his appointment as German chancellor (1952)
Groener on banning the SA (1932)
Franz von Papen on the German economic crisis (June 1932)
Goebbels on the November 1932 Reichstag elections (1932)
Brecht on von Papen and von Schleicher’s role in bringing Hitler to power (1967)
Hitler’s political goals – as explained to generals of the Reichswehr (1933)
The first proclamation of the Hitler cabinet (February 1933)
Hitler’s political agenda, from a speech to the Reichstag (March 1933)
Bruno Heilig on how Hitler came to power (1938)
A Berlin schoolteacher on Hitler’s appointment as chancellor (1933)