The German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv) is building a new portal for primary sources of the Weimar Republic. It will be accessible from 2017 under the name “Weimar – Die erste deutsche Demokratie”. You can follow the developments on a dedicated blog called “Weimar – Wege zur Demokratie“.
Comparisons with Hitler’s rise in the Weimar Republic have been ubiquitous during the recent nomination of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election (see, for example, Eric Weitz‘s piece for Tablet. Jeffrey Herf has offered the best analysis of these historical comparisons).
Recently, Jill Stein, the US Green Party’s presumptive nominee, made a different sort of link to Weimar times: she suggested that it was known “for a long time ever since Nazi Germany” that putting someone like Clinton in the White House would only “fan the flames of this right-wing extremism” embodied by Trump. Continue reading
The journalist Pamela Hutchinson is regularly writing about the history of silent film and its stars. For her column “Silent but deadly!“, appearing fortnightly in The Guardian, she has covered Clara Bow, Lotte Reiniger, and Rudolph Valentino. She also writes for Sight&Sound and Silent London. An interesting resource for any scholars of silent cinema!
The new volume Germany 1916-23. A Revolution in Context, edited by Klaus Weinhauer, Anthony McElligott and Kirsten Heinsohn, puts the German Revolution “into a wider time frame (1916-23), and coheres around three interlinked propositions: (i) acknowledging that during its initial stage the German Revolution reflected an intense social and political challenge to state authority and its monopoly of physical violence, (ii) it was also replete with »Angst«-ridden wrangling over its longer-term meaning and direction, and (iii) was characterized by competing social movements that tried to cultivate citizenship in a new, unknown state.” Continue reading
Recently, the Weimar Studies Network has hosted a discussion about Weimar’s sexual reforms and the idea of a backlash against them that undermined the Republic itself. Edward Dickinson, author of Sex, Freedom, and Power in Imperial Germany, 1880-1914, has kindly agreed to add his view to the debate, arguing for a more detailed look at the different groups that engaged in Weimar-era sexual politics.
“Was there a backlash against Weimar’s sexual politics?”
Some further reflections
Edward Dickinson (UC Davis)
The editors of the Weimar Studies Network have asked me to comment on the exchange last November between Laurie Marhoefer and Julia Roos regarding what Marhoefer called the “backlash thesis” regarding the politics of sexuality in Weimar — the idea that the Weimar Republic was sabotaged by (among other things) controversies over the politics of sexuality. Continue reading