Date of Original Version
Dancing on the Volcano: Essays on the Culture of the Wiemar Republic, ed. Thomas W. Kniesche and Stephen Brockmann (Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1994) pp 1-18.
Abstract or Table of Contents
The first German democracy lasted for a little over fourteen years: from November 9, 1918, when two German politicians proclaimed two German polities in two parts of Berlin on the same day; to January 30, 1933, when, in the midst of a prolonged political crisis, President Hindenburg appointed the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party Chancellor. Although, as one historian has stated, "the fourteen years of the first German democracy are among the best-researched periods of German history," much work remains to be done, if our understanding of the Weimar Republic is to lead us to a heightened understanding of the present. In the same account, we read: "Few periods of German history present such difficult problems of interpretation and evaluation as the Weimar years."