The comparisons between Donald Trump’s political success and Hitler’s rise, so numerous even before the election, have intensified since the former won the electoral vote in November 2016. Historians have weighed in with differing opinions and analyses about the two phenomena. This is an on-going collection of articles on the topic, all suggestions welcome! Continue reading “Trump and Weimar Germany”
In Lions and Lambs. Conflict in Weimar and the Creation of Post-Nazi Germany Noah Strote analyses the generation that shaped the post-Nazi reconstruction to arrive at a “bold new interpretation of Germany’s democratic transformation in the twentieth century”: “Not long after the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, Germans rebuilt their shattered country and emerged as one of the leading nations of the Western liberal world. In his debut work, Noah Strote analyzes this remarkable turnaround and challenges the widely held perception that the Western Allies—particularly the United States—were responsible for Germany’s transformation. Continue reading “New book: Conflict in Weimar and the Creation of Post-Nazi Germany”
Writing for the Smithonian Magazine, Linda Simon, author of Lost Girls. The Invention of the Flapper, argues that the women of the “Roaring Twenties” had a lot in common with today’s millennials: “Many young feminists embrace the flapper’s sassy, independent spirit of seeming to play at adulthood, and are perfectly comfortable referring to themselves as ‘girls’—notably, the questing young women on Lena Dunham’s TV show ‘Girls.’ Flapper styles may be relegated to costume museums, but the flapper spirit lives again after a hundred years.”
Knut Langewand’s study on metaphors of bodies and sickness in Weimar’s political discourse shows how the discussion about the health of some of Weimar’s leading statesmen undermined the legitimacy of the new Republic itself. On the basis of the cases of Stresemann, Ebert, Braun, Müller, and Brüning, the book discusses the construction of terms such as “kranker Volkskörper” and their impact on the political culture of the time.
Alfred Flechtheim, the art dealer who brought Picasso to Berlin and founded the magazine Querschnitt, was one of the most important figures of Weimar Germany’s cultural scene. 80 years after his death, the Georg Kolbe Museum has put on a show about his life and work, featuring works by the artists he represented: Continue reading “Exhibition on Alfred Flechtheim”
ARIADNE, the journal published by the Archive of the German Women’s Movement, is inviting contributions for a special issue on the “female history/ies of the Weimar Republic”. The editors aim to present the different female lifestyles and social realities and ask which role women played in the new state.
Proposals have to be submitted before 1 July 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In August 2016, the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena established the Forschungsstelle Weimarer Republik, a “central platform for German and international Weimar research”. Funded by the Ministry of Economy, Science and Digital Society of Thuringia, the new research centre hosts a yearly conference, organises regular workshops for early career researchers, awards prizes for research publications (from BA theses to Habilitationen), and publishes a series on Weimar history.
“Give me four years’ time” – with this slogan Hitler promised a total transformation of German society in 1933. The new exhibition Berlin 1937 at the Berliner Stadtmuseum looks at daily life in the German capital after Hitler’s four years and “the National Socialist dictatorship had permeated every aspect of German everyday life”: “What was the city like for its residents as they went from their homes to school or to work, to the church or to the synagogue, to air raid exercises or to dance? What changed under Nazi rule; what stayed the same? What were the consequences for individuals and for societal groups? And: To what degree was it possible to recognise the system’s criminal nature before the war and the Holocaust began?”
The FAZ and regional broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk have teamed up for an essays series on the topic of “Weimarer Verhältnisse?” (Weimar conditions): a group of distinguished historians of the era, including Andreas Wirsching, Ute Daniel and Hélène Miard-Delacroix, consider the reasons for Weimar’s collapse and its lessons for today, from democratic breakdown to economic policy.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Marlene Dietrich’s death, Resonance FM repeated Marlene Dietrich – Beyond Top Hat and Tails, a radio feature we posted about before. It is available to listen online until 13 May.
The BBC has produced a programme on revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, with input by historians Jacqueline Rose, Mark Jones, and Nadine Rossol: “Melvyn Bragg discusses the life and times of Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919), ‘Red Rosa’, who was born in Poland under the Russian Empire and became one of the leading revolutionaries in an age of revolution. She was jailed for agitation and for her campaign against the Great War which, she argued, pitted workers against each other for the sake of capitalism. Continue reading “BBC on Rosa Luxemburg”
In The Guardian, the journalist Vanessa Thorpe follows in the footsteps of Franz Hessel, author of the 1929 book Walking in Berlin. Quite remarkably, she contends that “the city that comes to life on Hessel’s pages could be straight out of Cabaret, based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin” – a book published 10 years later. If anything, Isherwood took inspiration from Hessel rather than the other way round.
In the current issue of Central European History, Jochen Hung reviews new literature on the history of the Weimar Republic, focusing on the often-used “plot” of Weimar’s cultural modernism juxtaposed with its democratic breakdown: “More than thirty years ago, Eberhard Kolb commented that the vast wealth of research on the history of the Weimar Republic made it “difficult even for a specialist to give a full account of the relevant literature.” Since then, the flood of studies on Weimar Germany has not waned, and by now it is hard even to keep track of all the review articles meant to cut a swath through this abundance. Yet the prevailing historical image of the era has remained surprisingly stable: most historians have accepted the master narrative of the Weimar Republic as the sharp juxtaposition of “bad” politics and “good” culture, epitomized in the often-used image of “a dance on the edge of a volcano.””
German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
Deadline: 31 March 2016
This new volume edited by Matthew S. Adams and Ruth Kinna sheds some much-needed light on the history of the Anarchist movement and its response to WWI: “Considerable research has been inspired by the failure of the mainstream European socialist movement to prevent hostilities in 1914, but virtually no work has been done on the anarchist response. This is despite the fact that all of the belligerents hosted anarchist groups and dissidents, and that anarchism dominated what Benedict Anderson called the self-consciously internationalist radical Left in the years leading up to the war’s outbreak. Anarchism 1914-1918 takes a first step toward filling this gap. Continue reading “New book on the history of Anarchism”