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Trump and Weimar Germany

donald_trump_25218642186The 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”

Provincializing Weimar Culture

On 25-26 April 2024, Utrecht University hosts the international conference “Provincializing Weimar Culture Global and Local Perspectives on Interwar Germany”, with support from the Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam. This conference brings together scholars advancing new approaches to the cultural history of the Weimar era. It takes its inspiration from Dipesh Chakrabarty’s call to “provincialize Europe”, in the sense of historicizing and criticizing modernity’s claims to universality to uncover its colonial heritage. In this vein, the scholars approach the subject from a transnational or postcolonial perspective and in its global context. However, the conference also employs the idea of “provincializing” in a second, more literal sense, focusing on cultural life outside of Berlin and other urban centres of Weimar Germany. These two perspectives – the global and the local – are not mutually exclusive, but rather dialectically intertwined.

More information here.

Moderate Modernity: The Newspaper Tempo and the Transformation of Weimar Democracy

Focusing on the fate of a Berlin-based newspaper during the 1920s and 1930s, Moderate Modernity: The Newspaper Tempo and the Transformation of Weimar Democracy chronicles the transformation of a vibrant and liberal society into an oppressive and authoritarian dictatorship. Tempo proclaimed itself as “Germany’s most modern newspaper” and attempted to capture the spirit of Weimar Berlin, giving a voice to a forward-looking generation that had grown up under the Weimar Republic’s new democratic order. The newspaper celebrated modern technology, spectator sports, and American consumer products, constructing an optimistic vision of Germany’s future as a liberal consumer society anchored in Western values.

Continue reading “Moderate Modernity: The Newspaper Tempo and the Transformation of Weimar Democracy”

Book presentation: Das Handbuch der Weimarer Republik

If you find yourself in Berlin on 5 September, make sure to join Nadine Rossol and Benjamin Ziemann at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung for a presentation of their new book Aufbruch und Abgründe. Das Handbuch der Weimarer Republik. This edited volume features an international team of experts giving a new perspective on the history of Germany, 1918-33.

More info about the event here: https://www.fes.de/geschichte/veranstaltungen/lehren-aus-der-weimarer-republik

The Oxford Handbook of the Weimar Republic

The Oxford Handbook of the Weimar Republic is a multi-author survey of German history from 1918 to 1933. Covering a broad range of topics in social, political, economic, and cultural history, it presents an overview of current scholarship, and will help students and teachers to make sense of the contradictions and complexities of Germany’s experiments with democracy and modern society in this period. The contributions emphasize the historical openness of Germany’s first republic, which was more than just the coming of the Third Reich. Continue reading “The Oxford Handbook of the Weimar Republic”

#FindingGerty

The Wiener Library’s summer exhibition showcases the remarkable work of German Jewish photographer Gerty (Gertrud) Simon, and features many of her original prints from the 1920s and 1930s. Simon was a once-prominent photographer who captured many important political and artistic figures in Weimar Berlin, including Kurt Weill, Lotte Lenya, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Liebermann and Albert Einstein. In the 1930s, as a refugee from Nazism in Britain, Simon rapidly re-established her studio, and portrayed many significant individuals there, such as Sir Kenneth Clark, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Aneurin Bevan. Continue reading “#FindingGerty”

Weimar at German Historical Museum

The Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin has opened the flagship exhibition of this year’s Weimar centenary celebrations.

WEIMAR: THE ESSENCE AND VALUE OF DEMOCRACY runs until September and highlights the central challenges in politics and society faced by contemporaries of the Weimar Republic. The exhibition is expressly addressed at “current debates about the crisis of liberal democracy” and features a Democracy Lab, aiming “to build awareness for the fact that this form of government lives on the participation and engagement of all citizens, is marked by the continuous negotiating of different opinions and positions, and in this way is constantly able to further develop itself.”

A new cultural history of the Weimar Republic

Sabina Becker, expert on the “New Objectivity” movement and the long-standing editor of the Jahrbuch zur Kultur und Literatur der Weimarer Republik, has published a new cultural history of the period 1928-33. Experiment Weimar presents the culture of the Weimar Republic in its manifold forms, from sport and mass culture to avant-garde theatre and modern art, seeking to explain these aspects not with the endpoint of National Socialism in mind, but with WWI as its starting point. 

The Flapper cartoons of the New Yorker

The New Yorker has published a short text about the brilliant 1920’s flapper cartoons by illustrator Barbara Shermund, reflecting a changing image of femininity: “The women in Barbara Shermund’s New Yorker cartoons seemed to be in charge of their lives and talked about their dreams and ideas. They were confused, too, because the roles for women were changing, often not fast enough.”

Bauhaus centenary programme

In 2019 Germany celebrates 100 years of Bauhaus. The centenary year is packed with events and exhibitions, including the opening of two new museums, a Bauhaus festival, and even a major TV series based on the romantic relationship between Walter Gropius and Dörte Helm. 

There is a dedicated website listing all events all over Germany, from Ulm to Weimar.

Die Dame returns

Last year, 75 years after is ceased publication, the legendary Weimar magazine Die Dame returned to German newsstands. Since then, the magazine has been published only three times, with the fourth issue due to appear on 22 November.

According to the Axel Springer publishing company, which took over all Ullstein titles after WWII, the magazine combines ‘the elegance and intelligence, the spirit and extravagance of 1920s Berlin with the attitude and culture, the style and the fierceness of today.’

Weimar Portal of the Federal Archives

The German Bundesarchiv (Federal Archives of Germany) has launched the portal Weimar: Die erste deutsche Demokratie. The portal is a one-stop-shop for all Weimar-related sources held by the Archives, from government records to sound recordings of Ebert’s speeches, posters, newsreels and  historical maps.

The HREF blog, run by the GHI Washington, has interviewed Vera Zahnhausen, the project leader of the portal at the Bundesarchiv, who explains the various uses of the new website.

Weimar centenary portal

The Haus der Weimarer Republik – an initiative that seeks to build a permanent museum and information centre about the history of the Weimar Republic – has launched a portal for the centenary celebrations, including a collection of all related celebrations and events. 

During the anniversary year, they also present a primary source covering each day of the tumultuous founding of the Weimar Republic 100 year sago.

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