We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Was the Weimar Republic?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

People use the term “Weimar Republic” to refer to a period in German history between 1919 and 1933 when the government was a democratic republic governed by a constitution that was laid out in the German city of Weimar. Technically, the Weimar Constitution lasted until 1945, when the German government was formally dissolved in the wake of the Second World War, but most people date the end of the Weimar Republic to 1933, when Adolf Hitler took control and the constitution became effectively meaningless under his Third Reich.

Under the Weimar Constitution, Germany was divided into 19 states. All citizens had the right to vote, electing members of the Reichstag or German Parliament along with the President. The President in turn appointed a chancellor and an assortment of cabinet members. As many historians have noted, on paper, the Weimar Constitution was a brilliant document, and Germany under the Weimar Republic was a true democracy.

However, even from the start, the Weimar Republic was deeply troubled. When the constitution was first established, many Germans were highly suspicious of the new government, and extremists on the left and right rejected the authority of the republic, undermining its effectiveness. While the government was theoretically a coalition comprised of numerous political parties, it was beset on all sides, making it difficult to assert its authority.

In addition to being in political trouble from the beginning, the Weimar Republic also faced serious financial challenges. Inflation in Germany skyrocketed early 1920s but was eventually stabilized at great cost. This was followed by an economic boom known as the "Golden Twenties" which came to an end when the Great Depression hit in 1929. The combination of the recession and an economic policy of severe austerity to pay World War I reparations led to deflation and spiralling unemployment, and at one point, six million Germans were unemployed. Citizens grew increasingly restless and angry, and Adolf Hitler took advantage of this once he was sworn in as Chancellor on 30 January 1933. Less than a month later, the Reichstag building was gutted by a fire of mysterious origin, and Hitler effectively took control, suppressing opposition political parties under the guide of public safety and turning the republic into a dictatorship.

When learning of Hitler's rise to power and the events which followed, many people express astonishment that the German people allowed Hitler to effectively destroy the Weimar Republic and take control of Germany. However, Hitler's rise must be viewed in context. He promised the German people that he would put an end to inflation, joblessness, and political violence, even notably saying that what Germany needed was a dictatorship, and many Germans heeded these promises when they flocked to vote for him. For a people struggling with economic, social, and political chaos under the Weimar Republic, Adolf Hitler appeared to have a lot to offer, and while many Germans later regretted their support for Hitler, they also pointed out that they felt like they had little choice.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Historical Index researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon247509 — On Feb 14, 2012

Statistically, Swedes have more social freedoms than the U.S. So the last comment was uninformed. America was targeted due to its long-time intervention in middle eastern affairs in the last few decades. 9/11 (if it was not an inside job) was a mere act of revenge against the U.S government. Hell, they even think the American government is the oppressor in their own home territory.

Plus "Land of the Free" in a era where the Patriot Act and TSA exits? Don't believe the silly lies of the government. It gets even deeper than that, but it's your job to do your own research on this.

By anon170248 — On Apr 25, 2011

@anon162199/comment 10: Bin Laden didn't attack Sweden because it would not mean anything. America is known as "the land of the free" and is one of the world's most powerful countries. A blow like 9/11 resonated much more in America than it would have in Sweden.

Also, doesn't "kill the infidels" mean 'kill the unfaithful'? It seems as if that phrase has been tossed around at least a few times by terrorists.

By anon162199 — On Mar 22, 2011

@anon160475/comment number 8: As a Muslim, I can tell you that there are no Muslims who want to invade America and wipe non-Muslims off the face of the Earth, not even the Taliban.

The Taliban are only interested in applying Sharia law to their own territory, nothing more.

International organizations like Al Qaeda want to apply Sharia law at home too, but they see America as funding both corrupt regimes as well as supporting the belligerent Israel.

Bin Laden issued numerous statements both before and after 9/11. In none of these did he give Americans the choice of "Islam or death".

As Bin Laden himself said, "If we hate freedom, then why did we not attack Sweden?"

I hate the extremists with passion, but to spread lies about them or to portray America as having not provoked him is quite the agitating farce.

By anon160788 — On Mar 17, 2011

Dudla, this is because of the democracy.

By anon160475 — On Mar 15, 2011

@anon: Clearly you know nothing about fascism. In such a political development, and as exemplified by Hitler and the Nazi party, propaganda and gaining the will of the people, as well as nationalism is the goal of coming to power. Remember that the Treaty of Versailles was scathing against Germany (albeit Wilson might have been a little too generous, but by giving the sweet and sour it would have been more fair) and many Germans resented that. Their economy continued going down, and their military was made smaller.

So here comes this guy named Adolf Hitler who spreads some propaganda about the party, and says he will reconstruct the economy, is a war hero (he was a corporal during World War I), and will make Germany great again. Well, doesn't that sound awesome? To the Germans it did, and so they were bagged, binned, and in Hitler's pocket.

Not to mention Fascism is a totalitarian type of government, so yes, Hitler was the law. Also, you must remember the SS and SA; they were loyal to the Nazi party and served as the law basically.

Next, there is no guise of the war on terror. You must be naive if you think that a war on people who attacked us and wants to wipe us off the face of the Earth is a guise. In case you are just as naive, the Muslim extremists want to either convert or kill anyone who's not Muslim. Yeah, they don't resemble real Islam, but the fact is is that they are a threat! Guise my arse.

Sure there has been collateral damage in the middle east but since you appear to be super naive, "Stuff happens in war." That is a blunt but too true saying.

Lastly, the same race of people does not rule all the nations in the world. Given that your view of the world is so tainted, I will enlighten you. The continents of the world are North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South Pole. North America (except Mexico) and Europe are run by white men. Africa is run by black men. Asia is run by Asian men, and Central/South America is run by hispanic/latino men.

Don't consider me your catch of the day if you are trolling. I'm not the least bit mad.

By anon155286 — On Feb 23, 2011

why didn't the police just stop hitler? I mean they were the law, not him. It's not as if he was president yet. they could have just killed him.

By anon138556 — On Jan 01, 2011

It's all so "Cloak and Dagger." If the Ford Foundation did indeed fund Hitler during World War II, as well as the Rothschilds and Rockefellers, then the "Globalists" had as much to do with the slaughter of the innocents as the Nazis. This is all going on today in the U.S. under the guise of the so-called "War on Terror."

By anon136484 — On Dec 22, 2010

The same race of people control all of the governments of the world and they have to keep wars going on all the time because wars are the biggest money-makers for them!

By anon125595 — On Nov 09, 2010

the weimar republic sounds hauntingly familiar to what is going on in America today. the fed monetizing our debt, huh, sounds like what happened 70 some years ago in Germany! now the scary question, who is America's Hitler going to be? and the final question: how in the hell do we stop this?

By dudla — On Aug 28, 2010

Did you know that the Weimar Republic flag looks the same as Germany's current flag looks? It has three horizontal stripes with black on top, red in the middle and yellow (or gold) on the bottom.

By PizzaGeek — On Aug 20, 2010

Basically, the Weimar Republic was the predecessor to nazism. Not that the Weimar Republic caused Nazism -- that was in large part Hitler's doing -- but the Nazi's came to power after the Weimar Republic fell.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.