Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories, is a novel about the changing pace of Germany during the late Weimar Republic. Set in 1931 the story follows Isherwood’s alias, William Bradshaw, and his relations with Arthur Norris, who is a member of the German Communist Party. As their friendship blossoms the reader is introduced to Berlin slowly under Nazification, through meeting many of Bradshaw’s acquaintances.
The book particularly shows an evolving Germany in the sense of the modern state that we have been examining.… Read the rest here
In 1920 the newly created Nazi party had to create a platform to stand for. To do so they wrote a 25 point program conveying their goals and demands that they saw as necessary to the future of Germany. The program expressed many changes for the German people, forefront among them ideas of socialism, expansionism, statism, and racism. In our discussion of the modern state I see another great step forward from fascism with the German extreme nationalism in this document.… Read the rest here
In Joseph Stalin’s Industrialization of the Country, 1928, the main argument of the article is to push forward the ideology of communism through the agrarian ways of the Soviet 1920s. It commonly sites the failures of capitalism to fairly protect the farmers, as well as the previous Tsarist government to modernize in technology and political rule over the 1920s and 1930s. In Stalin’s piece he goes over the failure of the new agricultural policy in an attempt to reform it within collectivization and the new Soviet style.… Read the rest here
In Benito Mussolini’s What is Fascism, the dictator attempts to define Fascism by casting it against what he sees as changing world politics. He describes Fascism to be the new man’s type of government, a drastic shift away from the 19th and 20th century’s swing towards liberalism and democracy. He breaks Fascism also from the supreme left of Marxism. He goes on to describe Fascism as a fast, warmongering – along with an exceedingly nationalistic core – belief system.… Read the rest here
The excerpts from the primary source documents from the Weimar Republic show a Germany in reconstruction. The post war period for Germany was full of rough times of economic downturn and international repression; however the sources demonstrate a great national promise of growth a changing into modernity. Two, of many, very large themes within most of the works are the changing cultural identity of German people, and the modernization of the German state.
In many of the pieces discussing films or alternative forms of entertainment the “Future of the Feature Film in Germany” these themes are exemplified.… Read the rest here
The Futurist Manifesto of 1909 and the Surrealist Manifesto of 1925 both demonstrated a radical turn from the desired 19th century social standing of workers and intelligentsia. Written first in Bologna Italy prior to World War I, the Futurist Manifesto promoted the new speed of machinery, activism of people in revolts and revolutions, and overall economic and social modernism taken place in the early part of the century. The short Surrealist’s piece was backing many of the personal rights that surrealists were previously not allowed to have.… Read the rest here
Leora Auslander wrote, in “National Taste? Citizenship Law, State Form, and Everyday Aesthetics in Modern France and Germany, 1920 – 1940,” how the concept of European national citizenship developed in the years between the world wars. She theorizes that the concept of citizenship is inextricably linked to the cultural understanding an individual’s everyday life, and that this link is traceable through the evidence of not political but anthropologic sources. Specifically she examines how the French and German citizens developed from regional to national citizens focusing on cultural norms and uniformity.… Read the rest here
The first four chapters of Mark Mazower’s Dark Continent serve as a well-written history of the changing bureaucracy, nationalism, economic and political shifts in Europe during the first half of the twentieth century. Within the book he critically examines the cultural roots leading to the political outcomes and ravaging effects seen throughout the changing countryside. He argues that the First World War and Treaty of Versailles lead to a new Europe of revolutions, reform and public uprisings that eventually lead to economic disaster.… Read the rest here
The Treaty of Versailles ending the First World War in 1919 forces a major change in European politics specifically Franco – German relations. The continent is drastically altered in a way that had never been done on such a grand or modern level. However the classic historic understanding that the Versailles treaty was an idiotic plan is a poor and simplistic hindsight history. Delving deeper into the precedence for the treaty and complex reasons for why its effect was so imposingly bad leads to a more adept understanding of history.… Read the rest here
The 1925 film The Battleship Potemkin by Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein portrays a 1905 mutiny of the Russian naval ship Potemkin based on a true story. Set outside Odessa during the 1905 revolution Eisenstein shows the narrative of the social cultural history of time through a settled Soviet Russia viewpoint. Mark Mazower’s Dark Continent follows many of same issues of the Russian revolution and later political instabilities of Europe discussed through the film.
The causes of the mutiny portrayed in the film track the themes but not completely time specifics of Mazower’s history of the Russian revolution.… Read the rest here