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Germany – The Weimar Republic, 1918-33

10. What was Weimar culture?

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In this module, we think about the concept of Weimar culture, focusing in particular: (i) the traditional view of Weimar culture as consisting in radical avant-garde art (e.g. George Grosz, Otto Dix, etc.) and modernist architecture; (ii) the extent to which historians have more recently (in the last twenty years) considered Weimar culture in terms of the lifestyle of ordinary Germans; (iii) the idea of the consumer society and the (consequent) reduction in the size of the family; (iv) the importance of sport and physical culture; (v) the rise of American cultural imports including the cinema, mass advertising for consumer products (e.g. soap, cosmetics, cigarettes), and glossy, illustrated magazines; (v) the concept of ‘rationalisation’ in cultural terms; and (vi) the extent to which 1933 marked a sharp change in Weimar ‘culture’.


In this course, Professor Matthew Stibbe (Sheffield Hallam University) explores Weimar Germany through twelve key questions: (1) Was Weimar Germany doomed to fail from the start?; (2) Why did Weimar fail in the early 1930s?; (3) How much of a problem was political extremism for the Weimar Republic?; (4) What kind of elections took place in Weimar Germany?; (5) How did the design of the West Germany constitution aim to avoid the problems faced by Weimar Germany?; (6) What was the impact of hyperinflation in Weimar Germany?; (7) How successful was the Weimar economy in the years 1924-29?; (8) What was the impact of the Wall Street Crash on the Weimar Republic?; (9) Did living standards improve in the Weimar period?; (10) What was Weimar culture?; (11) Did the lives of women improve in the Weimar period?; and (12) How did ethnic minorities fare in the Weimar period?


Matthew Stibbe is Professor of Modern European History at Sheffield Hallam University. He is a specialist in twentieth-century German and European history, and currently serves on the committee of the German History Society. His most recent publications include (as co-editor with Kevin McDermott) Eastern Europe in 1968: Responses to the Prague Spring and Warsaw Pact Invasion (2018) and (as co-editor with Ingrid Sharp) Women's International Activism During the Inter-War Period, 1919-39 (2018).

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APA style

Stibbe, M. (2021, January 29). Germany – The Weimar Republic, 1918-33 - What was Weimar culture? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Stibbe, M. "Germany – The Weimar Republic, 1918-33 – What was Weimar culture?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Jan 2021,

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