The Weimar Republic - Germany’s first democracy


Sources Portal for the Weimar Republic

Election poster of the SPD (© Bundesarchiv, Plak 002-020-038)

The Weimar Republic era is one of German history’s most fascinating periods. It ushered in major societal developments: new democratic and social rights, innovation and growing strength in research, and ground-breaking artistic, literary, cinematographic, and architectural modernity. And it was simultaneously plagued by bitter battles among different groups, by unreconciled standpoints and violence, and by the symptoms of economic, political, cultural, and societal crises. This ambivalence remains associated with the Weimar Republic to this day. And it keeps a special flame of fascination with the republic burning even 100 years after it was founded.

The best way to track down the Weimar Republic is to examine the traces it has left behind, spanning a very broad spectrum of different kinds of sources - films, photos, files, letters, diaries. Many of these have been digitized and are now available online. This portal presents the most important and comprehensive collection of these - for private research as well as for professional or scientific work, schools, or hobbies.

Have an exciting time tracking the traces of the republic!

Logo Bundesarchiv (© Bundesarchiv)

Federal Archives: Weimar - The First German Democracy

Germany headed towards parliamentary democracy at the national level for the first time a hundred years ago. This has prompted the Bundesarchiv to digitize files, films, photos, posters, maps, and recordings on a large scale. Its portal will continuously expand in the coming years and show you the way to special sources stemming from the times of the Weimar Republic.

"Enough of Hitler" (© Bundesarchiv, Plak 002-017-049-T1)

Election Posters in the Weimar Republic

The elections and electoral battles of the Weimar Republic stirred up extremely strong sentiments. This is demonstrated by the striking election posters of the period. This page serves as an archive for these very posters, which were created during the 15-year life span of the republic. It features over 100 different election posters of all major - but also many smaller - parties. The posters are for regional and national parliamentary elections, Landtag and Reichstag respectively, and for the Reichspräsident elections. There are also propaganda posters not tied to any one specific election.

This group of posters is a private collection of Jan Schuster, who holds a degree in German Studies and Political Science and has been working for years for various online marketing companies.

Logo DokumentArchiv (©


This page, created privately by Kai Riedel, features numerous documents on German history, which a special section on the Weimar Republic. They are sorted by year, without any classification or weighting. Nevertheless, even specialists can make interesting discoveries.

Logo Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (© Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg)

Archives of the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg:
From Monarchy to Republic - 1918-1923

The collection of sources entitled From Monarchy to Republic was compiled as part of the eponymous research and digitization project. It brings together numerous historical sources suitable for illustrating the massive political, economic, societal, and cultural processes of transformation that took place in southwestern Germany during the period from the last months of the war in 1918 to approximately 1923. Its publication online is meant to prompt more extensive research on this time of upheaval as it unfolded in Baden, Württemberg, and Hohenzollern. Direct access to the sources is provided by its thematic presentation. It is the first time that the archives within these sources are available online and digitized with this classification by topic. Despite its extensive scope, the collection contains just a selection of the relevant archives of the comprehensive materials of Baden-Württemberg’s Landesarchiv. From Monarchy to Republic is not a complete collection of all archives on the early period of the Weimar Republic.

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A project of Weimarer Republik e.V., with generous support from


Abkürzungs- und Siglenverzeichnis der verwendeten Literatur:

ADGBFederation of German General Trade Unions
AEGGeneral Electricity Company
AfA-BundGeneral Free Federation of Employees
AVUSAutomobile Traffic and Training Road
BMWBavarian Motor Works
BRTgross register tons
BVPBavarian People’s Party
CenterCenter Party
DAPGerman Workers’ Party
DDPGerman Democratic Party
DNTGerman National Theater
DNVPGerman National People’s Party
DVPGerman People’s Party
GmbHLimited (form of company)
KominternCommunist International
KPDCommunist Party of Germany
KVPConservative People’s Party
MSPDMajority Social Democratic Party of Germany; the Majority Socialists
NSnational socialism (Nazi)
NSDAPNational Socialist German Workers’ Party; Nazi party
NVNational Assembly
O.C.Organization Consul
OHLArmy High Command
SASturmabteilung; Brownshirts
SPDSocial Democratic Party of Germany
StGBPenal Code
UfAUniversum Film Aktiengesellschaft
USPDIndependent Social Democratic Party of Germany
VKPDUnited Communist Party of Germany
ZentrumCenter Party
[AB]August Baudert: Sachsen-Weimars Ende. Historische Tatsachen aus sturmbewegter Zeit, Weimar 1923.
[AS]Axel Schildt: Die Republik von Weimar. Deutschland zwischen Kaiserreich und „Drittem Reich“ (1918-1933), hrsg. von der Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen, Erfurt 2009.
[BauerBauer, Kurt, Nationalsozialismus. Ursprünge, Anfänge, Aufstieg und Fall, u.a. Wien 2008.
[BihlBihl, Wolfdieter, Der Erste Weltkrieg 1914 - 1918. Chronik - Daten - Fakten, Wien 2010.
[BüttnerBüttner, Ursula, Weimar. Die überforderte Republik 1918-1933, Stuttgart 2008.
[DNV]Die Deutsche Nationalversammlung im Jahre 1919 in ihrer Arbeit für den Aufbau des neuen deutschen Volksstaates, hrsg. v. Ed.[uard] Heilfron, Bd. 1 bis 6, Berlin [1919].
[Ebert/Wienecke-JanzEbert, Johannes/Wienecke-Janz, Detlef, Die Chronik. Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts bis heute, Gütersloh/München 2006.
[EK]Eberhard Kolb: Die Weimarer Republik, 3. überarb. u. erw. Aufl., München 1993.
[EtzoldEtzold, Hans-Rüdiger, Der Käfer II. Die Käfer-Entwicklung von 1934 bis 1982 vom Urmodell zum Weltmeister, Stuttgart 1989.
[GG]Gitta Günther: Weimar-Chronik. Stadtgeschichte in Daten. Dritte Folge: März 1850 bis April 1945 (Weimarer Schriften, Heft 33), Weimar 1987.
[GrüttnerGrüttner, Michael, Das Dritte Reich 1933-1945 (= Bd. 19, Gebhardt. Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte), Stuttgart 2014.
[HildebrandHildebrand, Klaus, Das Dritte Reich, 7. Aufl., München 2010.
[Kessler Tgbb]Harry Graf Kessler. Tagebücher 1918-1937, hrsg. von Wolfgang Pfeiffer-Belli, Frankfurt a. M und Leipzig 1996.
[KittelKittel, Erich, Novembersturz 1918. Bemerkungen zu einer vergleichenden Revolutionsgeschichte der deutschen Länder, in: Blätter für deutsche Landesgeschichte 104 (1968), S. 42-108.
[KolbKolb, Eberhard, Die Weimarer Republik, 7. durchges. und erw. Aufl., München 2010.
[NiedhartNiedhart, Gottfried, Die Außenpolitik der Weimarer Republik, 2. aktualisierte Aufl., München 2010.
[O/S]Manfred Overesch/ Friedrich Wilhelm Saal: Die Weimarer Republik. Eine Tageschronik der Politik, Wirtschaft, Kultur, Düsseldorf 1992.
[Overesch/SaalOveresch, Manfred/Saal, Friedrich Wilhelm, Die Weimarer Republik, Eine Tageschronik der Politik, Wissenschaft Kultur, Augsburg 1992.
[PeukertPeukert, Detlef, Die Weimarer Republik. Krisenjahre der Klassischen Moderne, Frankfurt a.M. 1987.
[PK]Paul Kaiser: Die Nationalversammlung 1919 und die Stadt Weimar (Weimarer Schriften, Heft 16), Weimar 1969.
[PM]Paul Messner: Das Deutsche Nationaltheater Weimar. Ein Abriß seiner Geschichte. Von den Anfängen bis Februar 1945 (Weimarer Schriften, Heft 17), Weimar 1985.
[ThHB]Thüringen-Handbuch. Territorium, Verfassung, Parlament, Regierung und Verwaltung in Thüringen 1920 bis 1995, hrsg. von Bernhard Post und Volker Wahl, Redaktion Dieter Marek (Veröffentlichungen aus Thüringischen Staatsarchiven, Bd. 1), Weimar 1999.
[TofahrnTofahrn, Klaus W., Chronologie des Dritten Reiches. Ereignisse, Personen, Begriffe, Darmstadt 2003.
[UB]Ursula Büttner: Weimar. Die überforderte Republik 1918-1933. Leistungen und Versagen in Staat, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft und Kultur, Stuttgart 2008.
[VU]Volker Ullrich: Die Revolution von 1918/19, München 2009.
[WinklerWinkler, Heinrich-August, Weimar 1918-1933. Die Geschichte der Ersten deutschen Demokratie, München 1993.
[WirschingWirsching, Andreas, Die Weimarer Republik. Politik und Gesellschaft, 2. erw. Aufl., München 2010.

(zusammengestellt von Dr. Jens Riederer und Christine Rost, bearbeitet von Stephan Zänker)