In November 1918, World War I came to an end and the German Empire fell. In the following days, Germany’s newly formed provisional government made preparations for the country’s first democratic elections. On November 12, 1918, the socialist politicians in charge of the new government issued a declaration supporting universal suffrage in all elections. For the first time in Germany’s history, the right to vote included women.
German women had actively tried to secure the right to vote for years. However, these efforts had been unsuccessful during the years of the German Empire. During the years of the Weimar Republic, German women voted and held political office for the first time. They also explored new professional, social, and economic roles for themselves. Nazi propaganda argued that women should stay in their traditional roles as wives and mothers. However, many German women still voted for the Nazi Party in the national elections of the early 1930s.