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.

The German Revolution

Prince Max von Baden opposes democracy (1918)
Max von Baden announces Wilhelm II’s abdication (1918)
Kaiser Wilhelm’s Instrument of Abdication (1918)
The Kaiser reflects on his abdication (1922)
The USPD attacks the SPD government (1918)
Socialists appeal to the people of Schleswig-Holstein (1918)
Philipp Scheidemann proclaims the German Republic (1918)
Rosa Luxemburg condemns Ebert and the SPD (1918)
Karl Leibknecht proclaims the Socialist Republic (1918)
Groener on the Ebert-Groener Pact of November 1918 (1957)

Foundations of the Republic

Declaration to the people by the new SPD government (1918)
Declaration of the Council of Ministers (1918)
Hugo Preuss supports Weimar democracy (1918)
‘The German republic shall thrive!’ (1918)
Ernst Troelstch on the new German democracy (1919)
Extracts from the Weimar Constitution (1919)

Weimar foreign relations

Clemenceau vows justice will be visited on Germany (1919)
Extracts from the Treaty of Versailles (1919)
Keynes on 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)
British journalist Morgan Philips Price on the Kapp putsch (1920)
Communists condemn the response to the Kapp putsch (1920)
A British journalist on in the Ruhr (1920)
Friedrich Ebert on political divisions in Germany (1920)
Ludendorff calls for Germany to prepare for war (1922)
A US news report on the murder of Walter Rathenau (1922)
Agnes Smedley describes the Freikorps (1923)
A British journalist on enemies of the Weimar Republic (1923)

The difficult 1920s

A Berlin newspaper on rising inflation (1921)
A British diplomat on excessive money-printing (1921)
Thomas Mann speaks in favour of the Weimar Republic (1922)
Ernest Hemingway on the low value of the mark (1922)
A report on the French Ruhr occupation (1923)
The British ambassador on the occupation of the Ruhr (1923)
South African Jan Smuts condemns the Ruhr occupation (1923)
An anonymous view about German hyperinflation (1923)
Friedrich Kroner on shopping under hyperinflation (1923)
Betty Scholem on the difficulties of hyperinflation (1923)
Stefan Zweig recalls the 1923 hyperinflation (1943)
Gustav Stresemann responds to the Munich Putsch (1923)
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 Germany in the League of Nations (1925)
A military officer’s view on German foreign policy (1926)
Gustav Stresemann speaks about the ‘new Germany’ (1927)
The Kellogg-Briand Pact (1928)

Weimar culture

George Grosz on Berlin during the Golden Age of Weimar (1946)
Felix Gilbert on Weimar culture in Berlin during the 1920s (1988)
The Dada Manifesto (1918)
Fritz Lang on Weimar and US 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 on life during the Great Depression (1964)
Franz von Papen on becoming German chancellor (1952)
Groener on banning the SA (1932)
Franz von Papen on the German economic crisis (1932)
Goebbels on the November 1932 Reichstag elections (1932)
Brecht on von Papen, von Schleicher and Hitler (1967)
Hitler’s goals, as explained to Reichswehr generals (1933)
Bruno Heilig on how Hitler came to power (1938)
A Berlin teacher on Hitler’s appointment as chancellor (1933)

From democracy to totalitarianism

The first proclamation of the Hitler cabinet (February 1933)
Hitler’s political agenda, from a speech to the Reichstag (1933)
A Berlin police chief on the Reichstag fire (1933)
The Reichstag Fire Decree (1933)
The Enabling Act (1933)