From Weimar to Hitler: The Failure of Democracy in Germany

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9:30–11:30 a.m. 8-week course begins 3/9  

The demise of the Weimar Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler are events that led on to another European and World War, this one much more destructive than the last. That is one reason to understand Weimar. Another is to understand better why democracies succeed and fail. With these goals in mind, we will read and discuss two books (below). Both are page turners.

The first is by an up and coming young historian in New York. The second is a classic by one of the brilliant diaspora sent round the world (especially the Western world) as exiles by fascist Europe and soviet Russia in the 1930’s. We will meet eight times. Our two-hour meetings will be in two parts (A and B below): The first an interactive lecture which you are welcome to interrupt with questions and comments. The second will be more in the nature of an “open mike” discussion of selected, specific subjects about the general topic of the week. Lectures and discussion will be accompanied by slide shows and film.

Required reading: The two books you should obtain for the course are:

1. Benjamin Carter Hett, The Death of Democracy: Hitler’s rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic. This book is available to purchase in three versions:
a) pub. by St. Martin’s Griffin as a paperback, currently on Amazon for $11.19 ISBN 978-1-250-21086-9. The font is comfortable and the pagination identical to the hardcover editions.
b) pub. originally as a hardcover by Henry Holt. $30 in bookshops. ISBN 978-1-250-16250-2
c) rights bought by Heinemann and pub. as a hardcover. Currently $28 on Amazon. ISBN 978-1-785-15153-8.

2. Peter Gay, Weimar Culture. Orig. pub. 1968; now available to purchase in a Norton paperback of 2001. Currently available on Amazon for 11.96. ISBN 978-0-393-32239-2.

Robert Bunselmeyer has taught modern European history in four colleges and has taught at MSC seven times. MSC.

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