Talk:Weimar Constitution

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Article 41 Article 48[edit]

As I remember, the article was number 41, and allowed the Chancellor to rule by decree provided that the President had previously declared a state of national emergency. As far as I know, this was used by Adolf Hitler in that, following the Reichstag Fire of 1933, Hitler convinced President Hindenburg to declare a national emergency; this done, Hitler (then Chancellor) was able to rule (by decree) that all other political parties, but especially Communists, were banned; I believe he took other measures against the Communists, but I do not remember what.

Regardless, this article is in desperate need of cleanup, so I'm adding it to my desk. Rob Church Talk 04:00, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Having checked the text of the constitution, I can confirm that this is a failing in my memory; Article 48 is the correct number. Rob Church Talk | Desk 01:36, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
I think I might take a stab at cleanup — I see a few things that can be improved, with some further historical context added. -- JonRoma 06:52, 26 August 2005 (UTC)
OK, now I've done it. I've made a major edit adding a detailed listing of what I view as the key points of the Weimar Constitution. My definition of "key points" includes the areas that might be considered "unique" or "progressive" in their day, as well as the areas of weakness and pertinence to the weakening of the Weimar government and the advent of the Third Reich. Question: Is this list too long?
I haven't yet gone very far into the discussion of the particular mechanical flaws of the constitution or the process by which it was subverted by the Nazis. That's next on my list. -- JonRoma 23:12, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Otto Friedrich[edit]

Lockley: Who is Otto Friedrich? Your addition would be more meaningful if you would add who he is (or even a link). In the meantime, I think I have some sources that have more detail about the multitude of parties in any of the Weimar Republic's many elections. -- JonRoma 04:35, 22 September 2005 (UTC)


  1. was this the first constitution to have proportional representation written into it?
  2. "The chancellor and ministers were compelled to resign in the event the Reichstag passed a vote of no confidence." compelled? by their own volition/choice? or by dictate of the written words of the constitution?
  3. "The was is entitled to object to laws passed by Reichstag." the what?

Kingturtle 21:18, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Answers to Kingturtle's questions:

  1. Belgium was, according to the article Proportional representation.
  2. A compulsory action is the opposite of one that is voluntary. See dictionary definition of compel. As to the Weimar Constitution itself, Article 54 states: "Der Reichskanzler und die Reichsminister bedürfen zu ihrer Amtsführung des Vertrauens des Reichstags. Jeder von ihnen muß zurücktreten, wenn ihm der Reichstag durch ausdrücklichen Beschluß sein Vertrauen entzieht." In English: "The Reich Chancellor and the Reich ministers, in order to exercise their official duties, require the confidence of the Reichstag. Any of them must resign if the Reichstag votes explicitly to withdraw its confidence." See also Vote of no confidence.
  3. Should have been "The Reichsrat is entitled to object...." Corrected; thanks.

-- JonRoma 05:00, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Cites, please. Avoid (appearance of) original research.[edit]

This subject is obviously of some historical importance, and the article should have good cites. The section "Weaknesses" in particular makes unsubstantiated claims which, without cites, have the appearance of original research. Please add good cites to this article as necessary. -- 20:44, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I too noticed many issues with the "Weaknesses" section. I did not address them all.

  • I think that many who read it will take it to mean that the whole section is the opinion of the author of that book. I have not read Mr. Shirer's book, so I do not know that to be true.
  • It denounces parts of the constitution as "weaknesses". This is clearly an opinion.
  • It insinuates that a lack of central government control over local law enforcement is a flaw. I do not know if this is Mr. Shirer's opinion, but I would bet money that Hitler would agree. I removed this insinuation.

Part of me wants to recommend that the whole thing be scrapped as non-NPOV, but proportional representation and a monarchish president are massive weaknesses. They belong in the article, but not as opinions. Wikipedia should explore this from a different angle so we can cover these weaknesses as facts. It is not our place to denounce them as weaknesses. Let the article show that proportional representation allowed party politics to rot the government and that the monarchish president climbed out of the -ish in the short span of 13 years or so. (talk) 17:38, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Weimar Constitution never repealed?[edit]

As I understand it, the Weimar Constitution was never repealed or abrogated. If true, this info should be added to the article. I'll list a couple cites for this, but I'd prefer something better.

"The old Constitution adopted at Weimar in 1919, when the German Republic was founded, has never been repealed." --,9171,755790,00.html TIME Magazine, Feb. 10, 1936

"As Arendt points out, the Nazis never bothered to abolish the old Weimar constitution. They even left the civil services more or less intact (374). When Stalin inaugurated the Soviet constitution in 1936, he declared it ‘provisional’ (394-95). The constitution thus, according to Arendt, was ‘dated’ from the moment of its issuance. It was never repealed." -- Footnote #3. Numbers in parentheses are page numbers in The Origins of Totalitarianism.

"The Weimar Constitution was never abrogated or replaced. it remained in force until 1949 - throughout the 12 years of the Third Reich." --

"Q. Was the Weimar Constitution ever formally repealed?" "A. No, the Weimar Constitution has never been repealed." -- Nuremberg trials

-- 01:46, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

The Weimar Constitution was never abrogated formally (in the sense lawyers understand formally).
The Weimar Constitution was abrogated in a sufficient way at latest when the provisory status of the Federal Republic (where it could be argued it was merely dormant) was finally ended and the unified country decided to have a slightly changed Basic Law as its constitution. However, one sentence remains as a normal law in today's Germany, and some five articles have been elevated "part of the Basic Law", which lawyering tradition almost universally renders at "parts of the Weimar Constitution having constitutional force" (the slight difference is that they are cited "WRV" or "Art. 150 GG iVm ... WRV", and not simply as if belonging to the concrete body of text known as the Basic Law).
The Weimar Constitution was never touched in toto by the Nazis. For the various ways they in law, and not only practice, however touched its articles, those who understand German have an impressive and objective summary here. There did not, actually, remain many leftovers.-- (talk) 13:15, 27 April 2013 (UTC)