Nazi-Soviet Pact/Stalin’s Speech

The first of Wednesday’s readings, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, was a document that created a mutually beneficial, albeit brief, truce between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. Although both countries had fundamentally different political systems and ambitions, Russia favored entering into a non-aggression pact because it knew that Germany was a highly industrialized, blossoming state that posed them a significant threat. Stalin knew that if Hitler chose to strike Russia, they would not be adequately prepared to defend themselves.… Read the rest here

The Proclamation of the Irish Republic

Author(s): Irish Citizen Army, Thomas J. Clarke, Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh, P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connolly, and Joseph Plunkett. Thomas J. Clarke was most responsible for the rising and the writing of the document. All seven signatories of the proclamation were later executed by the British military for treason in wartime (World War I).
Context: 1916, World War I. Members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood organized an insurrection in the spring of 1916, while Britain was involved in the war in Europe.… Read the rest here

Disillusionment and Fear Following WWI

Following the First World War, a sense of disillusionment fell over Europe, and Germany especially. In his 1920 film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Robert Wiene depicts the bewilderment of the German people after losing the war, as well as a general apprehension about change in the world. On the surface, Wiene’s film may seem like merely a horror movie, but it is, like all art, influenced by the ideas and events of the time, giving us a glimpse of interwar thinking.… Read the rest here