This Weimar Timeline charts the chronology of the Weimar Republic, dating the pre-history before the adoption of the actual Weimar Constitution. This timeline stops when Hitler establishes the Third Reich.
The timeline is color-coded:
For a chronology focusing on the rise of Nazism see Early Nazi Timeline.
28 July 1914 World War I breaks out.
The Weimar Republic, officially known as the German Reich, was a historical period of Germany from 9 November 1918 to 23 March 1933, during which it was a constitutional federal republic for the first time in history; hence it is also referred to, and unofficially proclaimed itself, as the German Republic. The period's informal name is derived from the city of Weimar, which hosted the constituent assembly that established its government. In English, the republic was usually simply called "Germany", with "Weimar Republic" not commonly used until the 1930s.
The Kapp Putsch, also known as the Kapp–Lüttwitz Putsch, was an attempted coup against the German national government in Berlin on 13 March 1920. Named after its leaders Wolfgang Kapp and Walther von Lüttwitz, its goal was to undo the German Revolution of 1918–1919, overthrow the Weimar Republic, and establish an autocratic government in its place. It was supported by parts of the Reichswehr, as well as nationalist and monarchist factions.
The German People's Party was a conservative-liberal political party during the Weimar Republic that was the successor to the National Liberal Party of the German Empire. Along with the left-liberal German Democratic Party (DDP), it represented political liberalism in Germany between 1918 and 1933.
Reichswehr was the official name of the German armed forces during the Weimar Republic and the first years of the Third Reich. After Germany was defeated in World War I, the Imperial German Army was dissolved in order to be reshaped into a peacetime army. From it a provisional Reichswehr was formed in March 1919. Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the rebuilt German army was subject to severe limitations in size, structure and armament. The official formation of the Reichswehr took place on 1 January 1921 after the limitations had been met. The German armed forces kept the name 'Reichswehr' until Adolf Hitler's 1935 proclamation of the "restoration of military sovereignty", at which point it became part of the new Wehrmacht.
Der Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten, commonly known as Der Stahlhelm, was a German First World War veteran's organisation existing from 1918 to 1935. It was part of the "Black Reichswehr" and in the late days of the Weimar Republic operated as the paramilitary wing of the monarchist German National People's Party (DNVP), placed at party gatherings in the position of armed security guards.
The President of the Reich was the German head of state under the Weimar constitution, which was officially in force from 1919 to 1945. In English he was usually simply referred to as the President of Germany.
Wilhelm Marx was a German judge, politician and member of the Catholic Centre Party. During the Weimar Republic he was the chancellor of Germany twice, from 1923–1925 and 1926–1928, and served briefly as the minister president of Prussia in 1925. With a total of 3 years and 73 days, he was the longest-serving chancellor during the Weimar Republic.
The Bavarian People's Party was a Catholic political party in Bavaria during the Weimar Republic. After the collapse of the German Empire in 1918, it split away from the national-level Catholic Centre Party and formed the BVP in order to pursue a more conservative and particularist Bavarian course. It consistently had more seats in the Bavarian state parliament than any other party and provided all Bavarian minister presidents from 1920 on. In the national Reichstag it remained a minor player with only about three percent of total votes in all elections. The BVP disbanded shortly after the Nazi seizure of power in early 1933.
In the fourteen years the Weimar Republic was in existence, some forty parties were represented in the Reichstag. This fragmentation of political power was in part due to the use of a peculiar proportional representation electoral system that encouraged regional or small special interest parties and in part due to the many challenges facing the nascent German democracy in this period.
Paramilitary groups were formed throughout the Weimar Republic in the wake of Imperial Germany's defeat in World War I and the ensuing German Revolution. Some were created by political parties to help in recruiting, discipline and in preparation for seizing power. Some were created before World War I. Others were formed by individuals after the war and were called "Freikorps". The party affiliated groups and others were all outside government control, but the Freikorps units were under government control, supply and pay.
The early timeline of Nazism begins with its origins and continues until Hitler's rise to power.
Article 48 of the constitution of the Weimar Republic of Germany (1919–1933) allowed the Reich president, under certain circumstances, to take emergency measures without the prior consent of the Reichstag. This power came to be understood to include the promulgation of emergency decrees. It was used frequently by Reich President Friedrich Ebert of the Social Democratic Party to deal with both political unrest and economic emergencies. Later, under President Paul von Hindenburg and the presidential cabinets, Article 48 was called on more and more often to bypass a politically fractured parliament and to rule without its consent. After the Nazi Party's rise to power in the early 1930s, the law allowed Chancellor Adolf Hitler, with decrees issued by Hindenburg, to create a totalitarian dictatorship by seemingly legal means.
Hermann Ehrhardt was a German naval officer in World War I who became an anti-republican and anti-Semitic German nationalist Freikorps leader during the Weimar Republic. As head of the Marine Brigade Ehrhardt, he was among the best-known Freikorps leaders in the immediate postwar years. The Brigade fought against the local soviet republics that arose during the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and later was among the key players in the anti-democratic Kapp Putsch of March 1920. After the Brigade's forced disbanding, Ehrhardt used the remnants of his unit to found the Organisation Consul, a secret group that committed numerous politically motivated assassinations. After it was banned in 1922, Ehrhardt formed other less successful groups such as the Bund Viking. Because of his opposition to Adolf Hitler, Ehrhardt was forced to flee Germany in 1934 and lived apolitically in Austria until his death in 1971.
Franz Pfeffer von Salomon during the Nazi regime known as Franz von Pfeffer, was the first Supreme Leader of the Sturmabteilung (SA) after its re-establishment in 1925. Pfeffer resigned from his SA command in 1930 and was expelled from the Nazi Party in 1941. He died in 1968.
Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in the newly established Weimar Republic in September 1919 when Hitler joined the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. He rose to a place of prominence in the early years of the party. Being one of its best speakers, he was made the party leader after he threatened to otherwise leave.
Organisation Consul (O.C.) was an ultra-nationalist and anti-Semitic terrorist organization that operated in the Weimar Republic from 1920 to 1922. It was formed by members of the disbanded Freikorps group Marine Brigade Ehrhardt and was responsible for political assassinations that had the ultimate goal of destroying the Republic and replacing it with a right-wing dictatorship. The group was banned by the German government in 1922.
Josef "Beppo" Römer was a member of the Freikorps Oberland, one of the paramilitary organizations that sprang up around Germany as soldiers returned in defeat from World War I. He was later an organizer for the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). He was involved in German resistance to Nazism and plotted to assassinate Hitler in 1934. Römer was executed in 1944 by the Nazi regime.
The Freikorps Oberland was a voluntary paramilitary organization that, in the early years of the Weimar Republic, fought against Communist and Polish insurgents. It was successful in the 1921 Battle of Annaberg and became the core of the Sturmabteilung (SA) in Bavaria while several members later turned against the Nazis.
Germany saw significant political violence from the fall of the Empire and the rise of the Republic through the German Revolution of 1918–1919, until the rise of the Nazi Party to power with 1933 elections and the proclamation of the Enabling Act of 1933 that fully broke down all opposition. The violence was characterised by assassinations by and confrontations between right-wing groups such as the Freikorps, and left-wing organisations such as the Communist Party of Germany.
The Feme ('fā-mə) murders were a series of politically motivated murders in Weimar Germany from 1919 to 1923 that were committed by elements of the German far right against political opponents they considered treasonous. The practice was exposed in 1925 but few of the perpetrators were identified or prosecuted.