The Weimar Republic: The Fragility of Democracy

Teach the turbulent history of Germany’s Weimar Republic in your classroom with the rich collection of artwork, primary source documents, biographies, readings, and lesson ideas gathered here. Students study the key events and figures of the highly creative Weimar period and discuss why it did not last. In the process, they will reflect on the challenges that face a democracy and the impact that individual choices have on a society as a whole.

The history of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) illuminates one of the most creative and crucial periods in the twentieth century and serves as a significant case study of the critical issues of our own time. Many of the questions asked about the Weimar Republic are relevant to problems that individuals and societies face in the twenty-first century.

In this website, you will find readings that provide context and background on the Weimar Republic. The reading, Why Study Weimar?, written by professor Paul Bookbinder, is especially helpful for building a context and understanding of how many aspects of the Weimar era echo and inform some of the major issues and challenges facing democratic nations today.

The collection of primary source documents assembled on this website creates a fascinating picture of a complex society at a crossroads in a nation's history. The website also presents a series of profiles of key Weimar personalities whose actions and choices helped shape the course of events. Finally, we hope you find the timelinelesson ideas and additional resources helpful as you explore this important history.

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