Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. History Dept.


Professor Raffael Scheck

Second Advisor

Professor Robert Weisbrot


This paper aims to bridge the gap between the plebiscites following the First World War and the referendums of the Third Reich. To this point, the literatures on these sets of votes have remained completely separate. No scholars have considered the NSDAP’s votes in the context of the postwar votes. By comparing and contrasting these groups of plebiscites for the first time, this paper will shed light on the democratic backsliding of interwar Germany.

This paper argues that when planning their referendums, the leaders of the Third Reich had the immediate postwar plebiscites in mind and were, in some cases, subtly responding to them. When searching for signs of the postwar plebiscites in the Third Reich’s referendums, it will look at three metrics: direct allusions, voting procedures, and propagandistic messaging.


plebiscite, referendum, Marienwerder, Upper Silesia, Anschluss, Third Reich