||This article needs additional citations for
verification. (May 2016)
Weimar Republic (
German: Weimarer Republik
[ˈvaɪmaʁɐ ʁepuˈbliːk] (
listen)) is an unofficial, historical designation for the
German state between 1919 and 1933. The name derives from the city of
Weimar, where its
constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the state was still
Deutsches Reich; it had remained unchanged since 1871. In English the country was usually known simply as Germany. A
national assembly was convened in Weimar, where
a new constitution for the Deutsches Reich was written, and adopted on 11 August 1919. In its fourteen years, the Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including
hyperinflation, political extremism (with
paramilitaries – both left- and right-wing); and contentious relationships with the victors of the
First World War. The people of Germany blamed the Weimar Republic rather than their wartime leaders for the country's defeat and for the humiliating terms of the
Treaty of Versailles. However, the Weimar Republic government successfully reformed the currency, unified tax policies, and organized the railway system. Weimar Germany eliminated most of the requirements of the
Treaty of Versailles; it never completely met its disarmament requirements, and eventually paid only a small portion of the war reparations (by twice restructuring its debt through the
Dawes Plan and the
 Under the
Locarno Treaties, Germany accepted the western borders of the republic, but continued to dispute the Eastern border.
From 1930 onwards
President Hindenburg used
emergency powers to back Chancellors
Franz von Papen and General
Kurt von Schleicher. The
Great Depression, exacerbated by Brüning's policy of deflation, led to a surge in unemployment.
 In 1933, Hindenburg appointed
Adolf Hitler as Chancellor with the
Nazi Party being part of a coalition government. The Nazis held two out of the remaining ten cabinet seats. Von Papen as Vice Chancellor was intended to be the "
éminence grise" who would keep Hitler under control, using his close personal connection to Hindenburg. Within months the
Reichstag Fire Decree and the
Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency: it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties. Hitler's seizure of power (
Machtergreifung) was permissive of government by decree without legislative participation. These events brought the republic to an end: as democracy collapsed, a single-party state founded the
Even so, German Foreign Office official
Harry Graf Kessler had predicted as early as February 1919 that the Republic was doomed. "The paradox", he wrote, "by which a Social Democratic Government allows itself and the capitalist cash-boxes to be defended by royalist officers and unemployed on the dole is altogether too crazy."
 His friend and socialist liberal
German Democratic Party colleague
Walther Rathenau was assassinated, just like Matthias Erzberger before him, by right-wing assassin squads
Organisation Consul. Like the Nazis, the Consul was founded by the
Freikorps. Ultimately, the Republic in Germany was destroyed by gangsterism, infighting, incompetence, political naivete, and international debt obligations.