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

Walking in Berlin in 2017

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.

 

Journal Review: CEH, Dec. 2016

coverIn 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.””

CfP: The Ends of World War I and their Legacies

Call for Papers: Settlement and Unsettlement – The Ends of World War I and their Legacies

German Historical Institute, Washington, DC

Deadline: 31 March 2016

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New book on the history of Anarchism

9781784993412-199x300This 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

Weimar 2.0 in Berlin?

out-now_january2A slightly different take of the currently popular Weimar comparisons in the Berlin-based expat magazine Exberliner: “Our new issue looks at the impact that Weimar’s gay sexologists, expat authors, cabaret dancers and Dadaist visionaries had on today’s Berlin and asks: How close are we to Weimar 2.0?”

Surreal Objectivity at the Berlin Nationalgalerie

csm_ssg_deierling_selbstportraet_im_spiegel_1929_md_d903441e15There is no such thing as “surreal objectivity” – or is there? Based on works from the Nationalgalerie’s rich collection of paintings from the period between the two World Wars, the exhibition Surreal Objectivity. Works from the 1920s and 1930s from the Nationalgalerie takes a fresh look at the phenomenon of the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), from a perspective sharpened by the knowledge of Surrealism’s achievements. Continue reading

Journal Review: VfZ, 1/2017

s00425702In the January issue of the Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Dirk Blasius writes about the mutual influences between Carl Schmitt and historian Hans Rothfels during the Weimar Republic: “This article widens the scope in the debates about Hans Rothfels by assessing the significance of reviews within the political and intellectual culture of the Weimar Republic.
Rothfels as a reviewer showed an interest in the publications of Schmitt. The reviews of Rothfels are short essays which exhibit his own position on the Weimar constitutional system. They make clear the distinction between Rothfels and Schmitt. Continue reading