Germany marks centennial of Weimar era that preceded Nazis

Germany marks centennial of Weimar era that preceded Nazis
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Elke Buedenbender, wife of German President, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Parliament President Wolfgang Schaeuble, from left, pose in front of the statues of oethe and Schiller on occasion of the 100th birthday of the Weimar Republic in Weimar, eastern Germany, eastern Germany, Wednesday, Feb.6, 2019. (Martin Schutt/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Weimar Republic is broadly painted as an abject failure, the post-World War I period of hyperinflation, famine, ineffective leadership and other woes that helped give rise to the Nazis.

At a ceremony on Wednesday marking its 100th anniversary, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier praised the ideals that gave birth to an experiment in democracy and a government that lasted from 1919 to 1933.

Steinmeier noted the republic’s constitution gave men and women equal rights in a marriage; said children should be educated based on “talent and inclination” instead of their parents’ religion or wealth; and advocated an economic system that provided “dignity for everyone.”

He says it was a “call for a new beginning, a call for freedom and justice against the violence of the republic’s enemies.”