Weimar Republic

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Map of the Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic (German: Weimarer Republik) is an often used unofficial name for the liberal democratic country created by the German Revolution of 1918–19 and the Treaty of Versailles. It ended when the NSDAP gained power in 1933 and created National Socialist Germany. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where a national assembly convened to write and adopt a new constitution, which became effective on 11 August 1919.

The official German name was the Deutsches Reich ("German Reich"), which was also the official name of the preceding German Empire and initially also the official name of National Socialist Germany.

Less politically correct views

Communist violence

Communists made several attempts to take power in coups, such as the Bavarian Soviet Republic and the Spartacist uprising by the Spartacus League. The non-Communist parties had the army and the Freikorps (nationalist militias) quell these uprisings by force.

The Communists continued to use large-scale political violence, gained increasing support during the Great Depression, and it has been argued that one the main reasons that the NSDAP was allowed take power was that the alternative was increasingly viewed as a Communist regime and rule of terror, similar to that in the Soviet Union.

Soviet offensive plans controversy

Supporters of the Soviet offensive plans theory have argued that Stalin already in the 1920s helped the German military to evade the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles and to rearm by allowing the German military to produce and test their weapons on Soviet territory. Furthermore, Stalin has been argued to have helped Hitler to come to power by forbidding German Communists to make common cause with the Social Democrats against the National Socialists. Stalin is argued to have viewed the National Socialists and Germany as an "icebreaker", intended to be one part of new war between capitalist countries, similar to WWI, which would make them weakened and then easily conquered by Communist uprisings and invasions.

Jewish influence and anti-Semitism

Jewish influence and anti-Semitism are often discussed aspects of the Weimar Republic.

The fall of the German Empire removed earlier restrictions on Jews, such as regarding appointments to higher governmental positions. See also Jewish influence: Germany.

A less well-known aspect is the anti-Semitism and extensive restrictions on Jewish influence in Poland after independence. This contributed to migration of many Polish Jews to Germany, which has been argued to have contributed to the anti-Semitism in Germany.

Critics, such as the National Socialists, saw the Jewish influence as contributing to argued degeneracy. One example was regarding as in the arts. See the Degenerate art article.

The influential Frankfurt School originated in the Weimar Republic.

The relationship between Jews and finance could be seen as related to the hyperinflation and later the Great Depression.

Jews were often prominent in stab in the back theories or otherwise seen as influential during the German Revolution of 1918–19.

Another criticism was of the relationship between Jews and Communism and Jewish influence on Communist (attempted) coups in Germany and elsewhere.

See also the articles on the Kristallnacht and Holocaust motivations.

See also the "External links" section in the article.


Jews were especially visible in private banking in Berlin, which in 1923 had 150 private Jewish banks, as opposed to only 11 private non-Jewish banks. They owned 41% of iron and scrap iron firms and 57% of other metal businesses. Jews were very active in the stock market, particularly in Berlin, where in 1928 they comprised 80% of the leading members of the stock exchange. By 1933, when the Nazis [sic] began eliminating Jews from prominent positions, 85% of the brokers on the Berlin Stock exchange were dismissed because of their ‘race’. At least a quarter of full professors and instructors (at German universities) had Jewish origins. In 1905-6 Jewish students comprised 25% of the law and medical students. In 1931, 50% of the 234 theatre directors in Germany were Jewish, and in Berlin the number was 80%.

—Sarah Gordon, 1984, Hitler, Germans and the Jewish Question.

In the all-important administration of Prussia, any number of strategic positions came into the hands of Hebrews. A telephone conversation between three Jews in Ministerial offices could result in the suspension of any periodical or newspaper in the state. No one who lived through the period from 1919 to 1926 is likely to forget the sexual promiscuity that prevailed. Throughout a town like Berlin, hotels and pensions made vast fortunes by letting rooms by the hour or day to baggageless, unregistered guests, throngs of child prostitutes outside the doors of the great Berlin hotels and restaurants. Most of them (the night clubs and vice-resorts) were owned and managed by Jews.

—Edgar Mowrer, 1939, Germany Puts the Clock Back.

In the Berlin of pre-Hitler years most of the theatres were Jewish-owned or Jewish-leased, most of the leading film and stage actors were Jews, the plays performed were often by German, Austrian or Hungarian Jews and were staged by Jewish film producers, applauded by Jewish dramatic critics in Jewish newspapers. The Jews are not cleverer than the Gentiles, if by clever you mean good at their jobs. They ruthlessly exploit the common feeling of Jews, first to get a foothold in a particular trade or calling, then to squeeze the non-Jews out of it. It is not true that Jews are better journalists than Gentiles. They held all the posts on those Berlin papers because the proprietors and editors were Jewish.

—Edgar Mowrer, 1939, Disgrace Abounding.

Even in November 1938, after five years of anti-Semitic legislation and persecution [sic], they still owned, according to the Times correspondent in Berlin, something like a third of the real property in the Reich. The banks, including the Reichsbank and the big private banks, were practically controlled by them. So were the publishing trade, the cinema, the theatres and a large part of the press all the normal means, in fact, by which public opinion in a civilized country is formed. The largest newspaper combine in the country with a daily circulation of four millions was a Jewish monopoly. Every year it became harder and harder for a gentile to gain or keep a foothold in any privileged occupation. At this time it was not the ‘Aryans’ who exercised racial discrimination. It was a discrimination that operated without violence. It was exercised by a minority against a majority. There was no persecution, only elimination.

—Sir Arthur Bryant, 1940, Unfinished Victory.

The Ullstein group was a kind of super-trust; the largest organization of its kind in Europe, and probably in the world. They published four daily papers in Berlin alone, among these the venerable Vossische Zeitung, founded in the eighteenth century, and the B.Z. am Mittag, an evening paper. Apart from these, Ullstein’s published more than a dozen weekly and monthly periodicals, ran their own news service, their own travel agency, etc., and were one of the leading book publishers. The firm was owned by the brothers Ullstein – they were five, like the original Rothschild brothers, and like them also, they were Jews.

Arthur Koestler, 1949, The God that Failed.

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