Administrative divisions of Weimar Germany

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Weimar Republic location map.svg

Prior to World War I, the constituent states of the German Empire were 22 smaller monarchies, three city-states and the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine. After the territorial losses of the Treaty of Versailles and the revolution of 1918, the remaining states continued as republics. The former Ernestine duchies continued briefly as republics before merging to form the state of Thuringia in 1920, except for Saxe-Coburg, which became part of Bavaria.

Länder (states, republics)[edit]

State Capital
Free States (Freistaaten)
Flagge Herzogtum Anhalt.svg Anhalt Dessau
Flagge Großherzogtum Baden (1891–1918).svg Baden Karlsruhe
Flag of Bavaria (striped).svg Bavaria (Bayern) Munich
Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg Brunswick (Braunschweig) Braunschweig
Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg Hesse (Hessen) Darmstadt
Flagge Fürstentum Lippe.svg Lippe Detmold
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg Mecklenburg-Schwerin Schwerin
Flagge Großherzogtümer Mecklenburg.svg Mecklenburg-Strelitz Neustrelitz
Civil flag of Oldenburg.svg Oldenburg Oldenburg
Flag of Prussia (1918–1933).svg Prussia (Preußen) Berlin
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg Saxe-Coburg (Sachsen-Coburg) – to Bavaria in 1920 Coburg
Flag of Saxony.svg Saxony (Sachsen) Dresden
Flagge Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe.svg Schaumburg-Lippe Bückeburg
Flag of Thuringia.svg Thuringia (Thüringen) – from 1920 Weimar
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Waldeck-Pyrmont – to Prussia in 1921/1929 Arolsen
Flagge Königreich Württemberg.svg Württemberg Stuttgart
Free and Hanseatic Cities (Freie und Hansestädte)
Flag of Bremen.svg Bremen
Flag of Hamburg.svg Hamburg
Flag of the Free City of Lübeck.svg Lübeck
States merged to form Thuringia in 1920
Flagge Fürstentum Reuß ältere Linie.svg Reuss Gera
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg Saxe-Altenburg (Sachsen-Altenburg) Altenburg
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg Saxe-Gotha (Sachsen-Gotha) Gotha
Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1826-1911).svg Saxe-Meiningen (Sachsen-Meiningen) Meiningen
Flagge Großherzogtum Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1813-1897).svg Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) Weimar
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Rudolstadt
Flagge Fürstentümer Schwarzburg.svg Schwarzburg-Sondershausen Sondershausen

These states were gradually de facto abolished under the Nazi regime via the Gleichschaltung process, as the states were largely re-organised into Gaue. However, the city-state of Lübeck was formally incorporated into Prussia in 1937 following the Greater Hamburg Act - apparently motivated by Hitler's personal dislike for the city. Most of the remaining states were formally dissolved by the Allies at the end of World War II and ultimately re-organised into the modern states of Germany.

Prussian provinces[edit]

Further information: Provinces of Prussia
Provinces of Prussia in the Weimar Republic 1919-1933

After the fall of the German Empire the Kingdom of Prussia was reconstituted with a republican government as the Free State of Prussia. It had to cede virtually all territory belonging to the provinces of Posen and West Prussia to the newly created state of Poland. Prussia and its provinces formally continued to exist even though political control was eventually taken over by the Nazi Party following their rise to power in 1933. Prussia was eventually dissolved following the end of World War II in 1945.

Nazi era[edit]

Though the Länder and Prussian provinces continued to exist officially after the Enabling Act of 1933, they were adapted to the Nazi party Gaue after 1934, which became their de facto successors.


  • Solsten, Eric (1999). Germany: A Country Study. DIANE Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7881-8179-3.