Weimar Coalition

Weimar Coalition is the collective term for the coalition of SPD, Catholic center and left-liberal DDP ( German Democratic Party), which were based on imperial and national level during the Weimar Republic governments. On kingdom level they reigned 1919/1920 and 1921, in Prussia, 1919-21 and 1925-32 as well as in Baden 1919-31.


Already in the German Empire (1871-1918), the three parties had several times an absolute majority in parliament. At that time the SPD was not yet ready for government participation, conversely, also wanted the other two parties to work together (or party groups ) with the Social Democrats at most from case to case. In the social question SPD and a part of the center was offset by the left-wing liberals, in the school question DDP and Social Democrats to the center. Center and left-wing liberals were also prepared at different times to support the conservative- right liberal imperial government.

During the First World War, however, the three parties came together in the Intergroup Committee of the Reichstag to act moderating on the German war policy. As a milestone in the development applies the peace resolution of July 1917. Yet 1917, Centrists and liberals in the Imperial Government a, in October 1918 under the non-party liberals Max von Baden even Social Democrats.

In the election for the Constituent National Assembly on January 19, 1919, the parties of the Weimar Coalition together reached 76.2 percent of the votes cast. Of this total, the SPD 37.9 per cent, 19.7 per cent of the center and on the DDP 18.6 percent of the vote. Thus, the Germans decided against both the Soviet system and against the return to monarchy.

Compared with the previous and subsequent elections, these results were extremely good ( votes in percent):

In the 1919 election, the SPD had a special advantage: the conversion of the election in Einpersonenwahlkreis to list election paved the well-organized social democrats less difficulty than especially the Conservatives.

Already at the first general election on 6 June 1920, the Weimar coalition lost its majority. The Social Democrats were only 21.7 percent of the vote, the center only to 13.6 percent and the DDP only to 8.3 percent of the vote. In the last half-way free choice, from 1933, the latter even received only 0.9 percent. An absolute majority reached the Weimar Coalition on imperial level after 1920 no more, except for a brief period after 1922, as a part of the USPD again joined the SPD.

The parties of the Weimar Coalition, especially the SPD and DDP, lost votes in part because of the damage that the Treaty of Versailles had added to her reputation. In the SPD, was probably more important that the left wing was unhappy about the lack of social revolution. The crackdown on radical left uprising trials contributed to this dissatisfaction. Big winner of the election of 1920 was the left SPD - USPD split off, later took over the KPD this potential voters.

From the center of the Bavarian People's Party made ​​independently. This clearly right-wing party could reach about three to five percent of the vote. The DDP lost many voters to the DVP, which in turn lost in later years of right-wing parties; the decline of political liberalism was seen then in other countries.

Weimar governments

The three parties were momentarily still under Chancellor Wirth together (1921/1922) as well as in so-called grand coalitions together with the right-liberal DVP and partially other parties (1923, 1928-1930 ). The DVP was much more involved in Weimar governments than the SPD. The typical coalition from 1920 to 1932 was a minority government of the center, DDP and DVP under parliamentary support of the SPD.

In the countries of the Weimar coalition lost its influence only in Prussia it was until 1932 on.