Weimar

Weimar (German pronunciation: [ˈvaɪmaɐ̯]; Latin: Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Leipzig, 170 kilometres (106 miles) north of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres (106 miles) west of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, whereas the city itself counts a population of 65,000. Weimar is well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.

The city was a focal point of the German Enlightenment and home of the leading personalities of the literary genre of Weimar Classicism, the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller. In the 19th century, famous composers like Franz Liszt made Weimar a music centre and later, artists and architects like Henry van de Velde, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius came to the city and founded the Bauhaus movement, the most important German design school of the interwar period. However, the political history of 20th-century Weimar was inconsistent: it was the place where Germany's first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the Weimar Republic period in German politics (1918–33), as well as one of the cities mythologized by the National Socialist propaganda.

Until 1948, Weimar was the capital of Thuringia. Today, many places in the city centre have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites (either as part of the Weimar Classicism complex or as part of the Bauhaus complex) and tourism is one of the leading economic sectors of Weimar. Relevant institutions in Weimar are the Bauhaus University, the Liszt School of Music, the Duchess Anna Amalia Library and two leading courts of Thuringia (the Supreme Administrative Court and Constitutional Court). In 1999, Weimar was the European Capital of Culture.

Weimar
View of Weimar
View of Weimar
Coat of arms of Weimar

Coat of arms
Location of Weimar within Thuringia
Thuringia WE
Weimar is located in Germany
Weimar
Weimar
Weimar is located in Thuringia
Weimar
Weimar
Coordinates: 50°59′0″N 11°19′0″E / 50.98333°N 11.31667°ECoordinates: 50°59′0″N 11°19′0″E / 50.98333°N 11.31667°E
CountryGermany
StateThuringia
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions12 districts
Government
 • Lord MayorPeter Kleine (Ind.)
Area
 • Total84.48 km2 (32.62 sq mi)
Elevation
208 m (682 ft)
Population
(2017-12-31)[2]
 • Total64,426
 • Density760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
99423, 99425, 99427, 99428
Dialling codes03643, 036453
Vehicle registrationWE
Websitewww.weimar.de

History

Prehistoric times

Archaeological finds dating back to the Thuringii epoch (3rd to 6th centuries) show that the Weimar part of the Ilm valley was settled early, with a tight network of settlements where the city is today.

Middle Ages

Kasseturm in Weimar
The Kasseturm is a relic of the former city wall at Goetheplatz

The oldest records regarding Weimar date to 899. Its name changed over the centuries from Wimares through Wimari to Wimar and finally Weimar; it is derived from Old High German wīh- (holy) and -mari (standing water, swamp).[3] Another theory derives the first element from OHG win (meadow, pasture).[4] The place was the seat of the County of Weimar, first mentioned in 949, which was one of the mightiest actors in early-Middle Ages Thuringia. In 1062 it was united with the County of Orlamünde to the new County of Weimar-Orlamünde, which existed until the Thuringian Counts' War in 1346 and fell to the Wettins afterwards.

The Weimar settlement emerged around the count's wooden castle and two small churches dedicated to St Peter (which became later the main church), and to St James. In 1240, the count founded the dynasty's monastery in Oberweimar, which ran under Cistercian nuns. Soon after, the counts of Weimar founded the town, which was an independent parish since 1249 and called civitas in 1254. From 1262 the citizens used their own seal. Nevertheless, the regional influence of the Weimar counts was declining as the influence of the Wettins in Thuringia increased. Hence, the new small town was relatively marginal in a regional context, also due to the fact that it was situated far away from relevant trade routes like the Via Regia. The settlement around St James Church developed into a suburb during the 13th century.

After becoming part of the Wettin's territory in 1346, urban development improved. The Wettins fostered Weimar by abolishing socage and granting privileges to the citizens. Now Weimar became equal to other Wettinian cities like Weißensee and grew during the 15th century, with the establishment of a town hall and the current main church. Weimar acquired woad trade privileges in 1438. The castle and the walls were finished in the 16th century, making Weimar into a full city.

Early Modern Period

We-marktplatz01
Market Square with some 16th-century Renaissance patricians' houses
Weimar 1 (Merian)
Weimar in 1650

After the Treaty of Leipzig (1485) Weimar became part of the electorate of the Ernestine branch of Wettins with Wittenberg as capital. The Protestant Reformation was introduced in Weimar in 1525; Martin Luther stayed several times in the city. As the Ernestines lost the Schmalkaldic War in 1547, their capital Wittenberg went also to the Albertines, so that they needed a new residence. As the ruler returned from captivity, Weimar became his residence in 1552 and remained as such until the end of the monarchy in 1918. The first Ernestine territorial partition in 1572 was followed by various ones, nevertheless Weimar stayed the capital of different Saxe-Weimar states. The court and its staff brought some wealth to the city, so that it saw a first construction boom in the 16th century. The 17th century brought decline to Weimar, because of changing trade conditions (as in nearby Erfurt). Besides, the territorial partitions led to the loss of political importance of the dukes of Saxe-Weimar and their finances shrunk. The city's polity weakened more and more and lost its privileges, leading to the absolutist reign of the dukes in the early 18th century. On the other hand, this time brought another construction boom to Weimar, and the city got its present appearance, marked by various ducal representation buildings. The city walls were demolished in 1757 and during the following decades, Weimar expanded in all directions. The biggest building constructed in this period was the Schloss as the residence of the dukes (north and east wing: 1789–1803, west wing 1832–1835, south wing: 1913–1914). Between 1708 and 1717 Johann Sebastian Bach worked as the court's organist in Weimar.

Golden or Classical Age (1758–1832)

The period from the start of the regencies of Anna Amalia (1758–1775) and her son Carl August (1775–1828) through to Goethe's death in 1832 is denoted as the "golden" or the "classical" age because of the high level of cultural activity in Weimar. The city became an important cultural centre of Europe, having been home to such luminaries as Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Wieland and Bertuch; and in music the piano virtuoso Hummel. It has been a site of pilgrimage for the German intelligentsia since Goethe first moved to Weimar in 1775. Goethe was also active in civic duties while living there. He served as Privy Councilor to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach for an extended period. The tombs of Goethe and Schiller, as well as their archives, may be found in the city. Goethe's Elective Affinities (1809) is set around the city of Weimar. In comparison to many major German states, the dukes' policy was liberal and tolerant in this period. The liberal Saxe-Weimar constitution was brought into effect in 1816.

Silver Ages and The New Weimar (1832–1918)

The time after Goethe's death is denoted as the "silver" age because Weimar remained an influential cultural centre. The first emphasis was fostering music. In 1842, Franz Liszt moved to Weimar to become the Grand Ducal court conductor. Liszt organized the premiere of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin (1850) in the city. The Weimar School of Music was founded in 1872 as Germany's first orchestra school. Richard Strauss worked in Weimar between 1889 and 1894 as second conductor in the acclaimed Staatskapelle Weimar (the court orchestra founded in 1491). Several of his encores for works such as Don Juan and Macbeth were performed by the Staatskapelle Weimar. Friedrich Nietzsche moved to Weimar in 1897, and died there three years later.

In 1860 the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School, the precursor of today's Bauhaus University, was founded. This was the beginning of academic arts education in Weimar. The institution created its own painting style, the "Weimar School" of painting with representatives such as Max Liebermann and Arnold Böcklin. The Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar was found by Henry van de Velde with the support of Grand Duke William Ernest in 1902 and represents the other root of the Bauhaus, known as "Das Neue Weimar" ("The New Weimar") around Harry Graf Kessler. It was a foundation against Prussia's restrictive arts policy favouring Historicism instead of international Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau.

As early as the 19th century, the curation of Weimar and its heritage started. Many archives, societies and museums were founded to present and conserve the cultural sights and goods. In 1846, Weimar was connected by the Thuringian Railway. In the following decades, the city saw a construction and population boom (like most late-19th century cities in Germany). Nevertheless, Weimar did not become industrialised, and remained a city of clerks, artists and rentiers. During the German Revolution of 1918–19 the last reigning grand duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, William Ernest, had to abdicate and went in exile to Heinrichau in Silesia.

Weimar Republic

The period in German history from 1919 to 1933 is commonly referred to as the Weimar Republic, as the Republic's constitution was drafted here. Berlin as the capital was considered too dangerous for the National Assembly to use as a meeting place, because of its street rioting after the 1918 German Revolution. The calm and centrally-located Weimar had a suitable place of assembly (the theatre), hotels and infrastructure, so it was chosen as the capital.

In 1920, the federal state of Thuringia was founded by an association of eight former microstates (Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Meiningen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, Reuss-Gera and Reuss-Greiz) and Weimar became its capital. Due to that fact, the city experienced another period of growth.

In 1919, Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus School by a merger of the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School with the Kunstgewerbeschule Weimar. The Bauhaus in Weimar lasted from 1919 to 1925, when it moved to Dessau, after the newly elected right-wing Thuringian council put pressure on the School by withdrawing funding and forcing its teachers to quit. Many buildings in Weimar today have influences from the Bauhaus period. However, only one original Bauhaus building was constructed during 1919–1925, the Haus am Horn, now used for exhibitions and events on Bauhaus culture.

The Weimar Republic era was marked by a constant conflict between "progressive" forces and right wing forces, the former represented by Harry Graf Kessler and the latter Adolf Bartels in Weimar. After 1929, the right wing forces prevailed and Weimar became an early centre of Nazism.

Nazi Germany and World War II

Jedemdasseine
Buchenwald's main gate, with the slogan Jedem das Seine ("to each his own")

Weimar was important to the Nazis for two reasons: first, it was where the hated Weimar Republic was founded, and second, it had been a centre of German high culture during recent centuries. In 1926, the NSDAP held its party convention in Weimar. Adolf Hitler visited Weimar more than forty times prior to 1933. In 1930, Wilhelm Frick became minister for internal affairs and education in Thuringia, the first NSDAP minister in Germany. In 1932, the NSDAP came to power in Thuringia under Fritz Sauckel. In 1933, the first Nazi concentration camps were established around Weimar in Nohra (the first one in Germany) and Bad Sulza. Most prisoners at this time were communists and social democrats. After Kristallnacht in 1938, harassment of Jews became more intense, so that many of them emigrated or were arrested. The Weimar Synagogue was destroyed in 1938.

During the 1930s, the barracks in Weimar was greatly extended. One famous person serving as a soldier in Weimar was Wolfgang Borchert, later a well known poet and playwright. As it was the capital of Thuringia, the Nazis built a new Roman-fascist-style administrative centre between the city centre and the main station. This Gauforum, designed by Hermann Giesler, was the only Nazi governmental building completed outside Berlin (though there were plans for all German state capitals). Today it hosts the Thuringian State Administration. Other Giesler buildings are the "Villa Sauckel", the Governor's palace and the "Hotel Elephant" in the city centre.

In 1937, the Nazis established Buchenwald concentration camp only eight kilometres from Weimar city centre. The slogan Jedem das Seine ("to each his own") was placed over the camp's main entrance gate. Between July 1938 and April 1945, some 240,000 people were incarcerated in the camp by the Nazi regime, including 168 Western Allied POWs.[5] The number of deaths in Buchenwald is estimated at 56,545.[6] The Buchenwald concentration camp provided slave labour for local industry (arms manufacturer Wilhelm-Gustloff-Werk).[7]

The city centre was partially damaged by US Air Force bombing in 1945 with some 1,800 people killed and many historic buildings destroyed. Nevertheless, most of the destroyed buildings were restored soon after the war because of their importance in German cultural history. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Weimar in April 1945, and the city surrendered to the US 80th Infantry Division on April 12, 1945.[8] The residents of Weimar were ordered to walk through Buchenwald, to see what had been happening so close to the city, as documented in Billy Wilder's film Death Mills. The city ended up in the Soviet zone of occupation, so US troops were soon replaced by Soviet forces.

Since 1945

From 1945 to 1950, the Soviet Union used the occupied Buchenwald concentration camp as a NKVD special camp to imprison defeated Nazis and other Germans. The camp slogan remained Jedem das Seine. On 6 January 1950, the Soviets handed over Buchenwald to the East German Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In 1948, the East German government declared Erfurt as Thuringia's new capital, and Weimar lost its influence on German contemporary culture and politics. (The state of Thuringia itself was dissolved in 1952 and replaced by three Bezirke (districts) in a local government reform; Weimar belonged to the Bezirk of Erfurt.) The city was the headquarters of the Soviet Union's 8th Guards Army as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. Due to its fame and importance for tourism, Weimar received more financial subsidies from the GDR government and remained in better condition than most East German cities.

Anna amalia bibliothek weimar brandschaden 03092004 nachmittag
The destroyed Anna Amalia Library in 2004

After German reunification in 1990, Weimar experienced significant economic hardship, but funding restored much that had deteriorated, and it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996 (Bauhaus) and 1998 (Classical Weimar). The European Council of Ministers selected the city as European Capital of Culture for 1999. Tourism has become an important economic factor over the decades. Weimar is now a popular residence of people working in Erfurt and Jena, both less than 20 minutes away.

In 2004, a fire broke out at the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. The library contains a 13,000-volume collection including Goethe's masterpiece Faust, in addition to a music collection of the Duchess. An authentic Lutheran Bible from 1534 was saved from the fire. The library is one of the oldest in Europe, dating back to 1691, and is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Over one million volumes were housed in the library, of which forty to fifty thousand were damaged beyond repair. A number of books were shock-frozen in Leipzig to save them from rotting. The library was reopened in 2007.[9]

Geography and demographics

Topography

Weimar is situated within the valley of Ilm river, a tributary of Saale river on the southern border of the Thuringian Basin, a fertile agricultural area between the Harz mountains 70 km (43 mi) in the north and the Thuringian Forest 50 km (31 mi) in the southwest. The municipal terrain is hilly; the height of the city centre in Ilm valley is approximately 200 m of elevation. To the north, the terrain rises to Ettersberg, the city's backyard mountain, 482 m in height. The range of hills in the south of Weimar rises up to 370 m and is part of the Ilm Saale Plate Muschelkalk formation. The eastern, central and western parts of the municipal territory are in agricultural use, whereas the Ettersberg and some southern areas are wooded.

Climate

Weimar has a humid continental climate (Dfb) or an oceanic climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system.[10][11] Summers are warm and sometimes humid with average high temperatures of 23 °C (73 °F) and lows of 12 °C (54 °F). Winters are relatively cold with average high temperatures of 2 °C (36 °F) and lows of −3 °C (27 °F). The city's topography creates a microclimate caused through the basin position with sometimes inversion in winter (quite cold nights under −20 °C (−4 °F)). Annual precipitation is only 574 millimeters (22.6 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Light snowfall occurs, mainly from December through February, but snow cover does not usually remain for long.

Administrative division

Weimar Stadtgliederung
Districts of Weimar

Weimar abuts the district of Weimarer Land with the municipalities Berlstedt, Ettersburg, Kleinobringen, Großobringen and Wohlsborn in the north, Kromsdorf, Umpferstedt and Mellingen in the east, Vollersroda, Buchfart, Hetschburg, Bad Berka and Troistedt in the south and Nohra, Daasdorf am Berge, Hopfgarten and Ottstedt am Berge in the west.

The city itself is divided into 10 inner urban and 11 suburban districts. The centre is formed by the district Altstadt (old town) and the Gründerzeit districts Nordvorstadt in the north, Parkvorstadt in the east and Westvorstadt in the south and west. Later additions are Südstadt in the south and Schönblick in the southwest. Finally, there are the Plattenbau settlements, constructed during the GDR period, Weststadt and Nordstadt as well as two industrial areas in the north and west.

The 11 suburban districts are villages which became incorporated during the 20th century; however, they have mostly stayed rural to date:

  • Gaberndorf (incorporated in 1994)
  • Gelmeroda (1994)
  • Legefeld/Holzdorf (1994)
  • Niedergrunstedt (1994)
  • Oberweimar/Ehringsdorf (1922)
  • Possendorf (1994)
  • Schöndorf (1939)
  • Süßenborn (1994)
  • Taubach (1994)
  • Tiefurt (1922)
  • Tröbsdorf (1994)

Demographics

Weimar Einwohner
History of population until 2010

Over the centuries, Weimar remained a small town of less than 5,000 inhabitants. When it became the capital of Saxe-Weimar in 1572, population growth was stimulated and population increased from 3,000 in 1650 to 6,000 in 1750. Around the year 1800, Weimar had 7,000 inhabitants. Their number grew constantly over the years to 13,000 in 1850, 28,000 in 1900 and 35,000 at the beginning of World War I. During the interwar period, the new capital of Thuringia saw a population boom, which led to 65,000 inhabitants in 1940. Since that time, the population levels have stagnated. The years 2009 to 2012 brought a moderate growth of approximately 0.35% p. a., whereas the population in bordering rural regions is shrinking with accelerating tendency. Suburbanization played only a small role in Weimar. It occurred after the reunification for a short time in the 1990s, but most of the suburban areas were situated within the administrative city borders.

The birth surplus was +3 in 2012, this is +0.0 per 1,000 inhabitants (Thuringian average: −4.5; national average: −2.4). The net migration rate was +4.5 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2012 (Thuringian average: -0.8; national average: +4.6).[12] The most important regions of origin of Weimar migrants are rural areas of Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony as well as foreign countries like Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Like other eastern German cities, Weimar has only a small amount of foreign population: circa 4.0% are non-Germans by citizenship and overall 7.3% are migrants (according to 2011 EU census). Differing from the national average, the biggest groups of migrants in Weimar are Vietnamese people, Russians and Ukrainians. During recent years, the economic situation of the city improved: the unemployment rate declined from 20% in 2005 to 8% in 2013. Due to the official atheism in former GDR, most of the population is non-religious. 20.3% are members of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany and 6.1% are Catholics (according to 2011 EU census).

Culture, sights and cityscape

Classical Weimar
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Park an der Ilm, Römisches Haus, Weimar
Park an der Ilm
CriteriaCultural: iii, vi
Reference846
Inscription1998 (22nd Session)

World Heritage Sites

Two World Heritage Sites converge in Weimar:

Museums

Weimar has a great variety of museums:

  • The Goethe-Nationalmuseum at Frauenplan shows the life of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his former residence.
  • Goethe's garden house in the Park an der Ilm shows an exhibition about Goethe and his connection to nature.
  • The Schiller-Museum at Schillerstraße shows the life of Friedrich Schiller in his former residence.
  • The Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv at Hans-Wahl-Straße collects the estate of Goethe, Schiller and other various artists. In 2001, it became a member of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.
  • The Wittumspalais at Theaterplatz shows early-modern court lifestyle with items like furniture and porcelain.
  • The Liszt-Haus at Marienstraße shows the life of Franz Liszt in his former summer residence.
  • The Nietzsche-Archiv at Humboldtstraße shows the life and estate of Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • The Gedenkstätte Buchenwald in former Buchenwald concentration camp commemorates the victims of Nazi terror.
  • The Bauhaus-Museum at Theaterplatz shows an exhibition about the Bauhaus design school.
  • The Schlossmuseum inside the residence castle exhibits early-modern antiques and other objects of court life.
  • The Duchess Anna Amalia Library at Platz der Demokratie is an important early-modern library with various print objects.
  • The Neues Museum at Weimarplatz shows an exhibition of contemporary art.
  • The Stadtmuseum at Karl-Liebknecht-Straße exhibits the municipal history of Weimar.
  • The Kunsthalle Harry Graf Kessler at Goetheplatz hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary artists.
  • The Haus am Horn at Am Horn street was the first building designed entirely on the design principles of the Bauhaus art school.
  • The Fürstengruft at the historic cemetery is a mausoleum of famous Weimar citizens like Goethe and Schiller as well as the dukes of Saxe-Weimar.
  • The Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens (museum of pre- and protohistory of Thuringia) at Humboldtstraße exhibits various objects of early Thuringian history such as archaeological finds.
  • The Deutsches Bienenmuseum (German bee museum) at Ilmstraße in Oberweimar district hosts the only pure exhibition about bees and apiculture in Germany.
030430-goethehaus

Goethe-Nationalmuseum

Schiller Weimar

Schiller-Museum

Goethe-Schiller-Archiv Weimar

Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv

Bauhaus Museum Weimar 01

Bauhaus-Museum

Neues Museum Weimar2

Neues Museum

Stadtmuseum Weimar im Bertuchhaus

Stadtmuseum

Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens (Westansicht)

Museum für Ur- und Frühgeschichte Thüringens

Cityscape

The historic city centre of Weimar is situated between the Ilm river in the east, Grabenstraße in the north, Goetheplatz and Theaterplatz in the west and Schillerstraße in the south. Its two central squares are the Marktplatz in the south (with the town hall) and the Herderplatz in the north (with the main church). Despite its medieval origin, there are only a few medieval buildings, many being destroyed by frequent fires throughout the city's history. Most buildings in this area date back to the 17th and 18th century. Furthermore, Weimar has two old suburbs: in the north, the Jakobsvorstadt around St. James' Church (medieval origin) and another one in the south around Frauenplan square. The majority of buildings in these areas are also of 17th- and 18th-century origin. During the late 19th and early 20th century, Weimar grew in all directions. Because of its function as an "officials' city", the houses in this areas are more extensive than in many comparable Gründerzeit quarters in Germany. The most uptown areas are those right and left of the Park an der Ilm in the southeast, whereas the western and northern quarters are more basic and mixed with industrial areas in their outer parts. During the GDR period, two new Plattenbau settlements were developed in the west and the north of the city. After 1990, suburbanization occurred for a short time and the rural districts of Weimar saw significant growth is a big city.

Sights and architectural heritage

Religious buildings

The city's main church is the evangelical St. Peter and Paul at Herderplatz (also known as Herderkirche). It was rebuilt in late-Gothic style after a fire around 1500. Between 1726 and 1735, the interior got a Baroque renewal by Johann Adolf Richter. Johann Gottfried Herder was the dean of the church between 1766 and 1803. The second old evangelical church of Weimar is St. James at Rollplatz, rebuilt in 1712 in Baroque style. The catholic parish church of Weimar is devoted to Sacred Heart and was built between 1888 and 1891 in historicist forms imitating Florence Cathedral. Another church is the Russian-Orthodox Chapel within the historic cemetery. It was built in 1862 as the funerary chapel of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna and was one of the first Russian-styled buildings in Germany.

Interesting churches in the suburban districts are the Lutheran parish church of Gelmeroda, which was the inspiration for many paintings of Lyonel Feininger, and the Lutheran parish church of Oberweimar, which was a former monastery, and is a good example of Gothic architecture in Weimar.

Weimar Stadtkirche Peter Pa

St. Peter and Paul's Church

Die Jakobskirche in Weimar

St. James' Church

Herz-Jesu-Kirche Weimar2

Sacred Heart Church

Russ orthodoxe kirche we2

Russian-Orthodox Chapel

GelmerodaKirche1

Gelmeroda Parish Church

Kirche Oberweimar

Oberweimar Parish Church

Castles and palaces

Due to its function as a ducal residence, Weimar is rich in early-modern castles and palaces. The biggest one is the Stadtschloss at Burgplatz in the city centre. Today's four-wing building was started after a great fire in 1774. The tower and the Bastille building at its south-western edge are relics of older castles in this place.

The Fürstenhaus at Platz der Demokratie was the first parliament building in Weimar, established in the 1770s. Today it is in use by the Weimar School of Music. The Green Castle next to the Fürstenhaus was built in the 1560s in Renaissance style and hosts today the Duchess Anna Amalia Library. The Yellow Castle at Grüner Markt was built in 1703 and is the municipal library today. The neighbouring Red Castle is also part of the library and was built in the 1570s. The Wittumspalais is a smaller widow mansion near Theaterplatz, established in 1768. Outbildings of the ducal residence are the Husarenstall (1770), the later residence of Charlotte von Stein at Ackerwand street, the Marstall (1870s) at Kegelplatz, today used as Thuringian State Archive and the Reithaus (1710s) within the Park an der Ilm.

Weimar, castello 06

Court of the Stadtschloss

Weimar Fürstenhaus 2012

Fürstenhaus

Weimar Grünes Schloss (HAAB)

Green Castle

Rotes Schloss in Weimar

Red Castle

Weimar Wittumspalais2

Wittumspalais

Weimar Charlotte von Stein

Husarenstall

Reithaus im Ilmpark

Reithaus

Furthermore, there are some impressive ducal country residences around Weimar. They are marked by their beautiful parks and gardens. Schloss Belvedere, south-east of Weimar was built between 1724 and 1732 in Baroque style with an orangery near to a ducal hunting forest. North-east of Weimar, at Ettersburg lies another ducal hunting lodge next to the Ettersberg mountain and its forest. It was established between 1706 and 1711 also in Baroque style. The third summer residence, Schloss Tiefurt, is located in Tiefurt, north-east of Weimar. The small lodge in a wide park in Ilm valley was rebuilt in 1775 in late-Baroque forms.

Belvedere weimar1

Schloss Belvedere, main building

Beethovenhaus & Bachhaus des Schloss Belvedere (Weimar)

Schloss Belvedere, side buildings

Schloss Ettersburg

Schloss Ettersburg

Schloss Tiefurt

Schloss Tiefurt

Other sights

  • The town hall at Marktplatz was built between 1837 and 1841 in Neo-Gothic style by Heinrich Heß after the former one (15th-century) burnt down.
  • The two main buildings of Bauhaus University at Marienstraße are icons of 20th-century early-modern architecture. Both were built by Henry van de Velde between 1904 and 1911. They mark the transition from older Historicism and Art Nouveau to the new international modern style in Germany by their functional forms (e. g. skylights for better working conditions inside).
  • The German National Theatre at Theaterplatz was built in 1906/07 in neo-classicist forms. Two predecessors were in use after 1779 and 1825 as ducal court theatres during Weimar's golden age. In 1919, the Weimar National Assembly developed the Weimar Constitution in this theatre.
  • The Gauforum at Weimarplatz is a Roman-fascist style representative government district between the city centre and the main station. This Gauforum, designed by Hermann Giesler, was the only realized Nazi government district outside Berlin (whereas there were plans for all German state capitals). Today it hosts the Thuringian Administration State Department.
  • The Park an der Ilm is the city's largest park along Ilm river between the ducal palace and the district of Oberweimar. It was established between 1778 and 1833 and is an English landscape garden today, part of UNESCO world heritage. Sights inside the park are Goethe's garden house (1690s) and Römisches Haus (in the style of a Roman temple, 1790s).
  • The Historic Cemetery at Karl-Haußknecht-Straße was opened in 1818 and hosts the graves of Goethe, Schiller and many other famous people from Weimar.
  • The Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal at Theaterplatz is the most famous memorial in Weimar. It was made by Ernst Rietschel between 1852 and 1857 and is dedicated to Goethe and Schiller, the most important poets of German classical literature.
Rathaus, Weimar - 1

Town hall

Bauhaus University Weimar 03

Southern main building of Bauhaus University

Van-de-Velde-Bau in Weimar (Südgiebel)

Northern main building of Bauhaus University

Theater Weimar

Theatre and Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal

Weimar - Goethe und Schiller Statuen am Theaterplatz

Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal

Gauforum Weimar Westseite

One building of the Gauforum

Römisches Haus im Park an der Ilm (Weimar)

The Römisches Haus in Park an der Ilm

Events

The Onion Market (Weimarer Zwiebelmarkt) is an annual festival held in October in Weimar and it is Thuringia's largest festival. The festival is held over 3 days and approximately 500 stalls and more than 100 stage performances are put up across the city.[15]

Weimar first celebrated the Onion Market in 1653. Stalls typically offer onion plaits, themed arts and crafts and numerous onion-based foods, including onion cakes, onion soups and onion breads. The festival also hosts numerous beer gardens, live music, fairground attractions and a Ferris wheel.

There are several clubs with live music once or twice a week. There is also a student club in the city centre which also features disco and live music events on Friday- and Saturday nights (Kasseturm). There are several smaller theatre and cabaret venues other than the large "DNT" (Deutsches National Theater). There are four cinemas including a 3-D cinema,[16] and a Bowling Alley[17] in the Weimar Atrium, the local mall.

Economy and infrastructure

Agriculture, industry and services

The area around Weimar is relatively fertile and 48% of the municipal surface are used for agricultural production. Most common agricultures are cereals, maize and rapeseed, while famous agricultural products from the Weimar region are potatoes (especially from Heichelheim, 7 km (4 mi) to the north) for dishes with Thüringer Klöße (Knödel from potatoes), onions (from Heldrungen and Oldisleben, 45 km (28 mi) to the north), which are sold on the Weimar Onion Market in October, and Saale-Unstrut wine from Bad Sulza, 25 km (16 mi) to the north-east.

Industry has never been dominant in Weimar, nevertheless there were several big factories from different sectors until 1990. After reunification, nearly all factories got closed, either because they failed the adoption of free market economy or because the German government sold them to west German businessmen who closed them to avoid competition to their own enterprises. On the other hand, the federal government started early in the 1990s to subsidize the foundation of new companies, but it took long time before the economic situation got stabilized around 2006. Since this time, unemployment decreased and overall, new jobs develop. Today, there are many small and medium-sized companies in Weimar with electro-technics and engineering in focus. Nevertheless, settlement of new factories isn't much in focus of the local government, because it concentrates itself on developing tourism and services. The biggest companies with production in Weimar are Bayer (pharmaceutical factory), Coca Cola (beverages) and Hydrema (dump truck factory). A new big commercial zone was established in the 1990s in the neighbouring municipality of Nohra with focus on logistics and distribution.

Due to its tradition as a capital, Weimar is a centre of governmental services to date. Furthermore, creative branches like media, advertising, architecture and design are important for Weimar's economy. The most important sector is tourism with 3,500 hotel beds, 350,000 visitors and 650,000 overnight stays in hotels in 2012 and a large number of German one-day visitors. Other services like retail, trade fairs and specialized hospitals are more brought by the near neighbour cities Erfurt and Jena with their infrastructure.

Transport

By rail

Weimar is connected by the Thuringian Railway to Leipzig in the east and to Frankfurt/Kassel in the west. Furthermore, there are some regional railways to Gera via Jena and to Kranichfeld via Bad Berka. Today, there are long-distance trains to Frankfurt via Erfurt and Fulda and to Dresden via Leipzig and regional trains to Göttingen and Eisenach via Erfurt, to Halle via Naumburg, to Altenburg, Glauchau, Zwickau and Greiz via Jena and Gera and to Kranichfeld. When the new Erfurt–Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway will open (in 2015), Weimar will be disconnected from the German long-distance train network. However the regional train service will be augmented to connect Weimar with ICE-stops in Erfurt, Halle and Leipzig.

In freight transport exists an intermodal terminal in Vieselbach (Güterverkehrszentrum/GVZ) with connection to rail and Autobahn, 15 km (9 mi) west of Weimar.

By road

Weimar is located at the Bundesautobahn 4 (FrankfurtDresden). Furthermore, there are two federal roads to Erfurt and Jena (Bundesstraße 7) and to Rudolstadt and Kölleda (Bundesstraße 85) as well as some regional roads to Sömmerda, Oßmannstedt and Magdala. A bypass road around Weimar was built in the 2000s in the north and west; the eastern and southern continuation are in discussion, but not in definite planning because of some difficulties in routing.

By aviation

The Erfurt-Weimar Airport lies approximately 30 km (19 mi) west of Weimar. It was largely extended in the 1990s, but the anticipated rise in passengers did not occur so that there is only rare air traffic, mostly to Mediterranean holiday regions. Other flights are carried out via Frankfurt Airport, which can be reached in 3 hours, and prospective via Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which is scheduled to open in 2017 and is accessible within 3 hours.

By bike

Biking is getting more and more popular since the construction of quality cycle tracks began in the 1990s. For tourism serve the Ilm track and the Thuringian city string track (Radweg Thüringer Städtekette). Both connect points of tourist interest, the first along the Ilm valley from Thuringian Forest to Saale river and second near to medieval Via Regia from Eisenach via Gotha, Erfurt, Weimar and Jena to Altenburg. Additionally, there are some theme routes like the Goethe cycle track and the Feininger cycle track. For inner city every-day traffic exist some cycle lanes along several main streets. Bike renting is offered in city centre.

Bus service

For a small city, Weimar is well served by city bus routes, which also serve all of the annex towns and villages. An hourly bus route serves the Buchenwald Memorial and oldtimer buses go in city's historical centre. All bus routes are connected at Goethe Square in city centre, most run furthermore to the main station. Between 1899 and 1937 were trams in operation. Trolleybus service started in 1948 and was ceased in 1993.

Education

Bauhaus University Weimar 03
University's main building

After the reunification, the educational system was realigned. Some academies were combined into the new Bauhaus University, founded in 1996 with approximately 4,200 students and focus on architecture, design and media. The Liszt School of Music is a university focussed on music and music education founded in 1872 with 850 students today. Furthermore, there are three regular Gymnasiums, the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere, an elite boarding school with focus on music, and the Thuringia International School with an international (and foreign language) curriculum.

The most important archives in Weimar are the Goethe- und Schiller-Archiv (member of UNESCO Memory of the World Programme) with focus on German literary history and the Thuringia Main State Archive with governmental documents from last 500 years. The Duchess Anna Amalia Library hosts books and documents of German literary and cultural history.

Politics

Mayor and city council

The current mayor Peter Kleine, (independent) is in office since 2006.

The last municipal election was held in 2009 with the result:

Party Percentage Seats in council
CDU (conservative) 23.2 10
The Left (post-socialistic left) 19.9 6
Weimarwerk Bürgerbündnis (citizen-oriented/populist) 18.4 8
Greens (green) 15.4 6
SPD (social democratic) 13.6 8
FDP (classical liberal) 6.4 3
NPD (far-right) 3.1 1

Two members of council switched from The Left to SPD in 2012.

Twin towns

Weimar is twinned with:

Famous residents of Weimar

References

  1. ^ "Alle politisch selbständigen Gemeinden mit ausgewählten Merkmalen am 31.12.2018 (4. Quartal)". DESTATIS. Archived from the original on 10 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden, Gemeinschaftsfreie Gemeinde, erfüllende/beauftragende Gemeinden, Verwaltungsgemeinschaft/Mitgliedsgemeinden in Thüringen". Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik (in German). September 2018.
  3. ^ Gitta Günther, Wolfram Huschke, and Walter Steiner, Weimar (Böhlau, 1993), p. 494.
  4. ^ Adrian Room, Placenames of the World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for over 5000 Natural Features, Countries, Capitals, Territories, Cities and Historic Sights (McFarland, 2003: ISBN 0-7864-1814-1), p. 387.
  5. ^ Bartel, Walter: Buchenwald—Mahnung und Verpflichtung: Dokumente und Berichte (Buchenwald: Warnings and our obligation [to future generations]—Documents and reports), Kongress-Verlag, 1960. p. 87, line 8. (in German)
  6. ^ Podcast with one of 2000 Danish policemen in Buchenwald. Archived 13 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine Episode 6 is about statistics for the number of deaths at Buchenwald.
  7. ^ Edward Victor.Alphabetical List of Camps, Subcamps and Other Camps.www.edwardvictor.com/Holocaust/List %20 of %20 camps.htm
  8. ^ Stanton, Shelby, World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939–1946, Stackpole Books (Revised Edition 2006), p. 150
  9. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/phoenix-from-the-flames-weimar-s-duchess-anna-amalia-library-re-opens-a-512782.html
  10. ^ Kottek, M.; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  11. ^ Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification". Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11: 1633–1644. doi:10.5194/hess-11-1633-2007. ISSN 1027-5606.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) (direct: Final Revised Paper)
  12. ^ According to Thüringer Landesamt für Statistik
  13. ^ UNESCO: Classical Weimar. Retrieved 3 January 2019
  14. ^ UNESCO: Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau. Retrieved 3 January 2019
  15. ^ Festivals & Concerts, Leisure (August 2011). "October 7th to 9th: the Onion Festival in Weimar". AroundGermany.
  16. ^ http://www.weimar-atrium.de/?page_id=1037
  17. ^ http://www.weimar-atrium.de/?page_id=1038
  18. ^ "Miasta partnerskie - Zamość". Urząd Miasta Zamość (in Polish). Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Partnerschaften" (in German). Retrieved 19 December 2015.

Further reading

External links

Adolf Hitler's rise to power

Adolf Hitler's rise to power began in Germany in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party then known as the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – DAP (German Workers' Party). The name was changed in 1920 to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers' Party, commonly known as the Nazi Party). It was anti-Marxist and opposed to the democratic post-war government of the Weimar Republic and the Treaty of Versailles, advocating extreme nationalism and Pan-Germanism as well as virulent anti-Semitism. Hitler's "rise" can be considered to have ended in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month. President Paul von Hindenburg had already appointed Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after a series of parliamentary elections and associated backroom intrigues. The Enabling Act—when used ruthlessly and with authority—virtually assured that Hitler could thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection.

Adolf Hitler rose to a place of prominence in the early years of the party. Being one of its best speakers, he told the other members to either make him leader of the party or he would never return. He was aided in part by his willingness to use violence in advancing his political objectives and to recruit party members who were willing to do the same. The Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923 and the later release of his book Mein Kampf (Translation: My Struggle) expanded Hitler's audience. In the mid-1920s, the party engaged in electoral battles in which Hitler participated as a speaker and organizer, as well as in street battles and violence between the Rotfrontkämpferbund and the Nazis' Sturmabteilung (SA). Through the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Nazis gathered enough electoral support to become the largest political party in the Reichstag, and Hitler's blend of political acuity, deceptiveness and cunning converted the party's non-majority but plurality status into effective governing power in the ailing Weimar Republic of 1933.

Once in power, the Nazis created a mythology surrounding the rise to power, and they described the period that roughly corresponds to the scope of this article as either the Kampfzeit (the time of struggle) or the Kampfjahre (years of struggle).

Bauhaus

The Staatliches Bauhaus (German: [ˈʃtaːtlɪçəs ˈbaʊˌhaʊs] (listen)), commonly known as the Bauhaus, was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught.The Bauhaus was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. The German term Bauhaus—literally "building house"—was understood as meaning "School of Building", but in spite of its name and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not initially have an architecture department. Nonetheless, it was founded upon the idea of creating a Gesamtkunstwerk ("'total' work of art") in which all the arts, including architecture, would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style later became one of the most influential currents in modern design, Modernist architecture and art, design, and architectural education. The Bauhaus movement had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.The school existed in three German cities—Weimar, from 1919 to 1925; Dessau, from 1925 to 1932; and Berlin, from 1932 to 1933—under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928; Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930; and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime, having been painted as a centre of communist intellectualism. Although the school was closed, the staff continued to spread its idealistic precepts as they left Germany and emigrated all over the world.The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. For example, the pottery shop was discontinued when the school moved from Weimar to Dessau, even though it had been an important revenue source; when Mies van der Rohe took over the school in 1930, he transformed it into a private school and would not allow any supporters of Hannes Meyer to attend it.

Chancellor of Germany

The title Chancellor has designated different offices in the history of Germany. It is currently used for the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundeskanzler(in) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), the head of government of Germany.

The term, dating from the Early Middle Ages, is derived from the Latin term cancellarius. The modern office of chancellor evolved from the position created for Otto von Bismarck in the North German Confederation in 1867; this federal state evolved into a German nation-state with the 1871 Unification of Germany. The role of the chancellor has varied greatly throughout Germany's modern history. Today, the chancellor is the country's effective leader, although in formal protocol, the Bundespräsident and Bundestagspräsident are ranked higher.

In German politics, the chancellor is the equivalent of a prime minister in many other countries. The chancellor is elected by the Bundestag.The current, official title in German is Bundeskanzler(in), which means "Federal Chancellor", and is sometimes shortened to Kanzler(in). The 8th and current chancellor is Angela Merkel, who is serving her fourth term in office. She is the first female chancellor.

Coat of arms of Germany

The coat of arms of Germany displays a black eagle with a red beak, a red tongue and red feet on a golden field, which is blazoned: Or, an eagle displayed sable beaked langued and membered gules. This is the Bundesadler (German for "Federal Eagle"), formerly known as the Reichsadler (German for "Imperial Eagle").

It is a re-introduction of the coat of arms of the Weimar Republic (in use 1919–1935), which was adopted by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1950. The current official design is due to Karl-Tobias Schwab (1887–1967) and was originally introduced in 1928.

The German Empire of 1871–1918 had re-introduced the medieval coat of arms of the Holy Roman Emperors, in use during the 13th and 14th centuries (a black single-headed eagle on a golden background), before the emperors adopted the double-headed eagle, beginning with Sigismund of Luxemburg in 1433. The single-headed Prussian Eagle (on a white background; blazoned: Argent, an eagle displayed sable) was used as an escutcheon to represent the Prussian kings as dynasts of the German Empire. The Weimar Republic introduced a version in which the escutcheon and other monarchical symbols were removed.

Flag of Germany

The flag of Germany or German flag (German: Flagge Deutschlands) is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany: black, red, and gold (German: Schwarz-Rot-Gold). The flag was first adopted as the national flag of modern Germany in 1919, during the Weimar Republic, until 1933.

Since the 19th century, Germany has two competing traditions of national colours, black-red-gold and black-white-red. Black-red-gold were the colours of the 1848 Revolutions, the Weimar Republic of 1919-1933 and the Federal Republic (since 1949). They were also adopted by the German Democratic Republic (1949-1990), albeit, since 1959, with an additional ('socialist') coat of arms.

The colours black-white-red appeared for the first time only in 1867, in the constitution of the North German Confederation. This nation state for Prussia and other north and central German states was expanded to the south German states in 1870/1871, under the name German Empire. It kept these colours until the revolution of 1918/1919. Thereafter, black-white-red became a symbol of the political right, especially the radical right. The national socialists in 1933 re-established these colours along with the party's own swastika flag. After World War II, black-white-red was still used by some conservative groups or by groups of the far right - as it is not forbidden, unlike proper national socialist symbols.

Black-red-gold is the official flag of the Federal Republic of Germany. As an official symbol of the constitutional order, it is protected against defamation. According to §90 of the German penal code, the consequences are a fine or imprisonment up to five years.

German Revolution of 1918–19

The German Revolution or November Revolution (German: Novemberrevolution) was a civil conflict in the German Empire at the end of the First World War that resulted in the replacement of the German federal constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliamentary republic that later became known as the Weimar Republic. The revolutionary period lasted from November 1918 until the adoption in August 1919 of the Weimar Constitution.

The causes of the revolution were the extreme burdens suffered by the population during the four years of war, the strong impact of the defeat on the German Empire and the social tensions between the general population and the elite of aristocrats and bourgeoisie who held power and had just lost the war.

The roots of the revolution lay in the German Empire's defeat in the First World War and the social tensions that came to a head shortly thereafter. The first acts of revolution were triggered by the policies of the German Supreme Command of the Army and its lack of coordination with the Naval Command. In the face of defeat, the Naval Command insisted on trying to precipitate a climactic battle with the British Royal Navy by means of its naval order of 24 October 1918. The battle never took place. Instead of obeying their orders to begin preparations to fight the British, German sailors led a revolt in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven on 29 October 1918, followed by the Kiel mutiny in the first days of November. These disturbances spread the spirit of civil unrest across Germany and ultimately led to the proclamation of a republic on 9 November 1918. Shortly thereafter, Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated his throne and fled the country.

The revolutionaries, inspired by socialist ideas, did not hand over power to Soviet-style councils as the Bolsheviks had done in Russia, because the leadership of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) opposed their creation. The SPD opted instead for a national assembly that would form the basis for a parliamentary system of government. Fearing an all-out civil war in Germany between militant workers and reactionary conservatives, the SPD did not plan to strip the old German upper classes completely of their power and privileges. Instead, it sought to integrate them into the new social democratic system. In this endeavour, SPD leftists sought an alliance with the German Supreme Command. This allowed the army and the Freikorps (nationalist militias) to quell the communist Spartacist uprising of 4–15 January 1919 by force. The same alliance of political forces succeeded in suppressing uprisings of the left in other parts of Germany, with the result that the country was completely pacified by late 1919.

Elections for the new Weimar National Assembly were held on 19 January 1919. The revolution ended on 11 August 1919, when the Weimar Constitution was adopted.

Gustav Stresemann

Gustav Ernst Stresemann (Gustav Stresemann ; 10 May 1878 – 3 October 1929) was a German statesman who served as Chancellor in 1923 (for a brief period of 102 days) and Foreign Minister 1923–1929, during the Weimar Republic. He was co-laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926.

His most notable achievement was the reconciliation between Germany and France, for which he and Aristide Briand received the Nobel Peace Prize. During a period of political instability and fragile, short-lived governments, he was generally seen as the most influential cabinet member in most of the Weimar Republic's existence. During his political career, he represented three successive liberal parties; he was the dominant figure of the German People's Party during the Weimar Republic.

Hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic

Hyperinflation affected the German Papiermark, the currency of the Weimar Republic, between 1921 and 1923. It caused considerable internal political instability in the country, the occupation of the Ruhr by France and Belgium as well as misery for the general populace.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe (, German: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə] (listen); 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; and treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant.

A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe was a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace. In 1998 both these sites together with nine others were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name Classical Weimar.Goethe's first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy. In 1791, he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, and in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist, historian, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period, Goethe published his second novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship; the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808, the first part of his most celebrated drama, Faust. His conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism.

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer named Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship one of the four greatest novels ever written (along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Don Quixote), while the American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name (along with Plato, Emanuel Swedenborg, Montaigne, Napoleon, and Shakespeare). Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe.

President of Germany (1919–1945)

The Reichspräsident was the German head of state under the Weimar constitution, which was officially in force from 1919 to 1945. In English he was usually simply referred to as the President of Germany. The German title Reichspräsident literally means President of the Reich, the term Reich referring to the federal nation state established in 1871.

The Weimar constitution created a semi-presidential system in which power was divided between the president, a cabinet and a parliament. The Reichspräsident was directly elected under universal adult suffrage for a seven-year term. It was intended that the president would rule in conjunction with the Reichstag (legislature) and that his emergency powers would be exercised only in extraordinary circumstances, but the political instability of the Weimar period, and a paralysing factionalism in the legislature, meant that the president came to occupy a position of considerable power (not unlike that of the German Emperor he replaced), capable of legislating by decree and appointing and dismissing governments at will.

In 1934, after the death of President Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler, already Chancellor, assumed the Presidency, but did not usually use the title of President – ostensibly out of respect for Hindenburg – and preferred to rule as Führer und Reichskanzler ("Leader and Reich Chancellor"), highlighting the positions he already held in party and government. In his last will in April 1945, Hitler named Joseph Goebbels his successor as Chancellor but named Karl Dönitz as Reichspräsident, thus reviving the individual office for a short while until the German surrender.

The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany established the office of Federal President (Bundespräsident), which is, however, a chiefly ceremonial post largely devoid of political power.

Reichstag (Weimar Republic)

The Reichstag (English: Diet of the Realm) was the Lower house of the Weimar Republic's Legislature. It originated in the creation of the Weimar Constitution in 1919. After the end of the Weimar Republic in 1933, the Reichstag continued to operate, albeit sporadically, as the nominal Legislature of Nazi Germany.

Reichswehr

The Reichswehr (English: Realm Defence) formed the military organisation of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when it was united with the new Wehrmacht (Defence Force).

Saxe-Weimar

Saxe-Weimar (German: Sachsen-Weimar) was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in present-day Thuringia. The chief town and capital was Weimar. The Weimar branch was the most genealogically senior extant branch of the House of Wettin.

Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (German: Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) was created as a duchy in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach, which had been in personal union since 1741. It was raised to a Grand duchy in 1815 by resolution of the Vienna Congress. In 1903, it officially changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony (German: Großherzogtum Sachsen), but this name was rarely used. The Grand Duchy came to an end in the German Revolution of 1918–19 with the other monarchies of the German Empire. It was succeeded by the Free State of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, which was merged into the new state of Thuringia two years later.

The full grand ducal style was Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Landgrave in Thuringia, Margrave of Meissen, Princely Count of Henneberg, Lord of Blankenhayn, Neustadt and Tautenburg.

The Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach branch has been the most genealogically senior extant branch of the House of Wettin since 1672.

Thuringia

Thuringia (German: Thüringen) (German pronunciation: [ˈtyːʁɪŋən] (listen)), officially the Free State of Thuringia (English: ; German: Freistaat Thüringen, pronounced [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈtyːʁɪŋən]), is a state of Germany.

Thuringia is located in central Germany covering an area of 16,171 square kilometres (6,244 sq mi) and a population of 2.15 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest German state by area and the fifth smallest by population. Erfurt is the state capital and largest city, while other major cities include Jena, Gera, and Weimar. Thuringia is surrounded by the states of Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Saxony.

Most of Thuringia is within the watershed of the Saale, a left tributary of the Elbe, and has been known as "the green heart of Germany" (das grüne Herz Deutschlands) from the late 19th century due to the dense forest covering the land. Thuringia is home to the Rennsteig, Germany's most well-known hiking trail, and the winter resort of Oberhof, making it a well-known winter sports destination with half of Germany's 136 Winter Olympic gold medals won through 2014 having been won by Thuringian athletes. Thuringia is also home to prominent German intellectuals and creative artists, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Friedrich Schiller, and is location of the University of Jena, the Ilmenau University of Technology, the University of Erfurt, and the Bauhaus University of Weimar.

Thuringia was established in 1920 as a state of the Weimar Republic from a merger of the Ernestine duchies, except for Saxe-Coburg, but can trace its origins to the Frankish Duchy of Thuringia established around 631 AD by King Dagobert I. After World War II, Thuringia came under the Soviet occupation zone in Allied-occupied Germany, and its borders altered to become contiguous. Thuringia became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1947, but was dissolved in 1952 during administrative reforms, and its territory divided into the districts of Erfurt, Suhl and Gera. Thuringia was re-established in 1990 following German reunification, with slightly different borders, and became one of the Federal Republic of Germany's new states.

Weimar Classicism

Weimar Classicism (German: Weimarer Klassik) was a German literary and cultural movement, whose practitioners established a new humanism, from the synthesis of ideas from Romanticism, Classicism, and the Age of Enlightenment.

The Weimarer Klassik movement lasted thirty-three years, from 1772 until 1805, and involved intellectuals such as Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller, and Christoph Martin Wieland; and then was concentrated upon Goethe and Schiller during the period 1788–1805.

Weimar Constitution

The Constitution of the German Reich (German: Die Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs), usually known as the Weimar Constitution (Weimarer Verfassung) was the constitution that governed Germany during the Weimar Republic era (1919–1933). The constitution declared Germany to be a democratic parliamentary republic with a legislature elected under proportional representation. Universal suffrage was established, with a minimum voting age of 20. The constitution technically remained in effect throughout the Nazi era from 1933 to 1945.

The constitution's title was the same as the Constitution of the German Empire that preceded it. The German state's official name was Deutsches Reich until the adoption of the 1949 Basic Law.

Weimar Republic

The Weimar Republic (German: Weimarer Republik [ˈvaɪmaʁɐ ʁepuˈbliːk] (listen)) is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany.

Germany became a de facto republic on 9 November 1918 when Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated the German and Prussian thrones with no agreement made on a succession by his son Crown Prince Wilhelm, and became a de jure republic in February 1919 when the position of President of Germany was created. A national assembly was convened in Weimar, where a new constitution for Germany was written and adopted on 11 August 1919. In its fourteen years, the Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism (with paramilitaries—both left- and right-wing) as well as contentious relationships with the victors of the First World War. Resentment in Germany towards the Treaty of Versailles was strong especially on the political right where there was great anger towards those who had signed the Treaty and submitted to fulfill the terms of it. The Weimar Republic fulfilled most of the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles although it never completely met its disarmament requirements and eventually paid only a small portion of the war reparations (by twice restructuring its debt through the Dawes Plan and the Young Plan). Under the Locarno Treaties, Germany accepted the western borders of the country by abandoning irredentist claims on France and Belgium, but continued to dispute the eastern borders and sought to persuade German-speaking Austria to join Germany as one of Germany's states.

From 1930 onwards President Hindenburg used emergency powers to back Chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz von Papen and General Kurt von Schleicher. The Great Depression, exacerbated by Brüning's policy of deflation, led to a surge in unemployment. In 1933, Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor with the Nazi Party being part of a coalition government. The Nazis held two out of the remaining ten cabinet seats. Von Papen as Vice Chancellor was intended to be the "éminence grise" who would keep Hitler under control, using his close personal connection to Hindenburg. Within months, the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency: it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties. Hitler's seizure of power (Machtergreifung) was permissive of government by decree without legislative participation. These events brought the republic to an end – as democracy collapsed, the founding of a single-party state began the dictatorship of the Nazi era.

Weimar culture

Weimar culture was the emergence of the arts and sciences that happened in Germany during the Weimar Republic, the latter during that part of the interwar period between Germany's defeat in World War I in 1918 and Hitler's rise to power in 1933. 1920s Berlin was at the hectic center of the Weimar culture. Although not part of the Weimar Republic, some authors also include the German-speaking Austria, and particularly Vienna, as part of Weimar culture.Germany, and Berlin in particular, was fertile ground for intellectuals, artists, and innovators from many fields during the Weimar Republic years. The social environment was chaotic, and politics were passionate. German university faculties became universally open to Jewish scholars in 1918. Leading Jewish intellectuals on university faculties included physicist Albert Einstein; sociologists Karl Mannheim, Erich Fromm, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse; philosophers Ernst Cassirer and Edmund Husserl; political theorists Arthur Rosenberg and Gustav Meyer; and many others. Nine German citizens were awarded Nobel prizes during the Weimar Republic, five of whom were Jewish scientists, including two in medicine. Jewish intellectuals and creative professionals were among the prominent figures in many areas of Weimar culture.

With the rise of Nazism and the ascent to power of Adolf Hitler in 1933, many German intellectuals and cultural figures, both Jewish and non-Jewish, fled Germany for the United States, the United Kingdom, and other parts of the world. The intellectuals associated with the Institute for Social Research (also known as the Frankfurt School) fled to the United States and reestablished the Institute at the New School for Social Research in New York City. In the words of Marcus Bullock, Emeritus Professor of English at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, "Remarkable for the way it emerged from a catastrophe, more remarkable for the way it vanished into a still greater catastrophe, the world of Weimar represents modernism in its most vivid manifestation." The culture of the Weimar period was later reprised by 1960s left-wing intellectuals, especially in France. Deleuze, Guattari and Foucault reprised Wilhelm Reich; Derrida reprised Husserl and Heidegger; Guy Debord and the Situationist International reprised the subversive-revolutionary culture.

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