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Germany commemorates signing of Weimar Republic constitution

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Germany is to commemorate the signing 100 years ago of the constitution that founded the Weimar Republic by then president Friedrich Ebert on Sunday.

Ebert (1871-1925) signed the constitution bill in the small town of Schwarzburg about an hour’s drive from the central city of Weimar on August 11, 1919, while he was on holiday there.

A few days earlier – on July 31, 1919 – the constitution of Germany’s first democracy had been agreed by the Weimar National Assembly.

Among other things, the constitution introduced women’s suffrage, participation in companies with the right to set up works councils, the right to unionize and the separation of church and state.

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The Friedrich Ebert Foundation has organized a festival to mark the centenary of the constitution in Schwarzburg, with leading politicians expected to attend.

Plans include a panel discussion, an exhibition on women’s suffrage, music, drama and a classic car tour from Weimar to Schwarzburg. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Weimar Republic 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. (NAN)