The city was a focal point of art, literature and music during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was the place where Germany's first democratic constitution was signed after the First World War, giving its name to the Weimar Republic government (1919–1933). Paradoxically, it was also one of the cities mythologised by the Nazi propaganda.
By 1964, Weimar had seen better days, and was full of dilapidated neighborhoods. The Nazi Reich had little use for the city where its degenerate predecessor regime had been born. Johannes Drucker stayed at the Hotel Elephant when he visited Weimar in order to silence his blackmailer, Gunther Grillparzer.