This is referring to the Weimar government before Hitler rose to power- how much power did the original constitution give to each?


2 Answers 2


Apparently, the President of the Weimar Republic had powers like the President has in many countries, and more power added into his commitment within emergency state (Article 48 of the Weimar Republic Constitution).

The Reich Chancellor was one of the highest in the Government, which could replace the Reich President (Article 51).


Edit: There was also a Reichstag arson (according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reichstag_fire and its references). No matter the arsonist was a Communist or just a fool (and so "flagged" as Communist), it helped to justify the request for an emergency decree and, possibly, mass arrests of communists (including Reichstag members). It may enabled Hitler's party to form a Reichstag majority.

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    The recall of the president was much more complicated then you make it: It needed a two-thirds majority in the Reichstag and a referendum. See Wikipedia. Jun 8, 2015 at 16:58

The President could appoint the chancellor so he had more powers.

Also at the time of Weimar republic there was rule by decree (effectively, dictatorship of the president): the president was invested with extraordinary powers because the parties could not agree on a coalition.

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    That's not obvious at all. In many countries the president (or even a monarch) formally appoints a prime minister that is effectively chosen by the parliament. Even if the president had a bigger role than that, the ability to call up new elections or to fire a head of government make a big difference beyond merely appointing one. I don't know about Weimar but this answer fails to support its own claims adequately.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 8, 2015 at 10:27
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    So? I know that but that's completely unrelated to my point. If anything, if you just look at this one event naïvely, it supports the notion that Hindenburg did not have that much power, because Hitler is the one that became an all-powerful dictator.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 8, 2015 at 10:42
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    Yes, that's the “naïve” part about it, but still. You seem to assume that nominating someone necessarily implies great powers, beyond that of the nominee, but it does not. Reminding us that Hindenburg appointed Hitler, as fateful as that particular appointment might have been, simply reiterates the same assumption, without addressing my criticism.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 8, 2015 at 10:57
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    Like I said, I don't know the Weimar Republic, it's entirely possible the president was very powerful and you're welcome to make your case (no need for comments, simply edit your answer). But the fact that he could appoint (or even remove) the Chancellor simply does not imply he had more powers, much less “obviously”. It's a simple point really, no need to discuss it endlessly.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 9, 2015 at 12:17
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    "The fact is that she does not." - wrong. She rules by secret letters, by expressing her opinions. There is no need to use her constitutional powers every time, just because everybody knows her powers, and they are huge. There is no need to remove your subordinate every time you want him to do something. Also the Queen can appoint the PM without the consent of the Parliament, she just does not need to do it usually.
    – Anixx
    Jun 9, 2015 at 12:41

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