User:TRAJAN 117/German Reich (1919–1933)

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German Reich
Deutsches Reich
"Song of Germany"
The German Reich in 1925.
Capital Berlin
Languages German
Religion Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Lutheran
Government Federal Republic
 •  1919–1925 Friedrich Ebert
 •  1925–1933 Paul von Hindenburg
 •  1919 Philipp Scheidemann (first)
 •  1932–1933 Kurt von Schleicher (last)
Legislature Reichstag
 •  Imperial Council Reichsrat
Historical era Interwar Period
 •  Treaty of Versailles 28 June 1919
 •  Constitution adopted 11 August 1919
 •  Kapp-Putsch 13 March 1920
 •  Beer Hall Putsch 08 November 1923
 •  Machtergreifung 30 January 1933
 •  1925 468,787 km2 (181,000 sq mi)
 •  1925 est.[1] 63,363,000 
     Density 135/km2 (350/sq mi)
Currency German Papiermark,
German Rentenmark,
German Reichsmark
Preceded by
Succeeded by
User:TRAJAN 117/German Empire
User:TRAJAN 117/Greater German Reich

The German Reich (German: Deutsches Reich), was the official name for the federal republic established in 1919 to replace the German Empire. The name Deutsches Reich is often mistranslated into English as "German Empire", but Reich can also be translated as realm or nation,[2] but it was usually just referred to as Germany in English, and as Deutschland in German.


Following World War I, the republic emerged from the revolution of 1918, and the abdication of William II. In 1919, a national assembly convened in the city of Weimar, where a new constitution for the German Reich was written, then adopted on 11 August of that same year. Germany's period of liberal democracy lapsed in the early 1930s, leading to the ascent of the N.S.D.A.P. and Adolf Hitler in 1933. Although the constitution of 1919 was never officially repealed, the legal measures taken by the National Socialist government in February and March 1933, commonly known as Gleichschaltung ("coordination") meant that the government could legislate contrary to the constitution. The constitution became irrelevant; thus, 1933 is usually seen as the end of the federal republic and the beginning of Hitler's totalitarian dictatorship.

In its 14 years, the Republic was faced with numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremists on the left and the right and their paramilitaries (Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, Rotfrontkämpferbund and the Sturmabteilung), and hostility from the victors of World War I, who tried twice to restructure Germany's reparations payments through the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan. However, it overcame many of the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles, (Germany eventually repaid a reduced amount of the reparations required by the treaty with the last payment being made on 03 October 2010),[3] reformed the currency, and unified tax politics and the railway system, as well as create a unique cultural impact with its art, music and cinema.


  1. ^ Demographics of Germany, Jan Lahmeyer. Retrieved on 22 December 2013.
  2. ^ Reich is difficult to translate into English; often rendered as "empire" or "nation", the closest English term is perhaps "realm". Whereas explicit references to the German Empire, incorporating the words, Kaiser ("emperor") or Kaiserliche ("imperial"), disappeared in 1919, Deutsches Reich, from 1943 Großdeutsches Reich (~"German Realm", "Greater German Realm" or "Nation"), remained in use until 1945.
  3. ^ "Germany makes final payment for WWI reparations", Retrieved on 04 May 2014.