Einsteins article “Science and Religion” explains the connection between knowledge (science) and religion. Einstein believes that knowledge is extremely important and must be taught at school, but that this knowledge cannot teach us anything beyond how facts are related and conditioned to each other. Religion is the missing key to this equation. Einstein states: “to make clear these fundamental ends and valuations, and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to perform in the social life of man”. … Read the rest here

The Role of Power and Youth in Triumph of the Will

Leni Riefensthal film, Triumph of the Will, depicts the rise of the Nazi party in 1934. The film portrays different excepts of speeches by various Nazi leaders to promote the goals and objectives of Nazism. The film was intended as propaganda to the German public.

Hitler, along with other Nazi leaders, have power over all the other party members. They use words of threat, but also powerful words and goals to make both the adults and youths be a part of the Nazi party and join the “working force”.… Read the rest here

Structure and Function of Gulag Historiography

Wilson T. Bell’s article on Gulag Historiography is very interesting. He talks about the many different terms of a gulag and how it is difficult to give the term a specific definition, since they vary so much. The three principal terms which define gulags revolve around economic, population politics, and social factors. Gulags differ from place to place, but Bell focuses on the gulags that are in the Soviet Union during the Stalin-era.

The economic aspect is in reference to Stalin’s Five Year plan and wanting to create rapid industrialization.… Read the rest here

Independent thought versus party politics in Bread and Wine

The novel, Bread and Wine, by Ignazio Silone follows the political battle of fighting off fascism and keeping Communism the political party in Italy. The novel follows the life of Pietro Spina, a communist party leader, who returns to Italy after being “abroad” for many years. He returns to Italy to transform the Italians. The idea of independent thought versus party politics was a reoccurring theme in this section. Much of Italy was adapting and accepting the new political movement of fascism.… Read the rest here

Metropolis: struggle between classes

Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s 1927 science-fiction movie, portrays a futuristic dystopian Weimar, Germany where the classes rebel and fight one another. The film follows Freder, the son to the city’s master, and Maria, a beautiful woman who works with children and belongs in the working class, as they try to diminish the vast separation between the two classes and bring them together. The distinction between the two classes is that the working class has to work long, hard hours, while the rich enjoy their lavish lifestyle above the city.… Read the rest here

Futurist Manifesto and Surrealist Manifesto

The futurist and surrealist manifesto came about in the early 20th century and took place in Italy. The futurist manifesto was written in 1909 by F.T. Marinetti and was based on the philosophy of rejecting the past and moving on to violence, hatred, and speed. It rejects all forms of knowledge and declares that we must use violence and aggression. It states that the only cure for the world is to glorify war. The surrealist manifesto was written in 1925 and was a declaration of the importance of thoughts and dreams.… Read the rest here

Pronatalism and the Soviet Union

Pro natalism

After the First World War, empires, both big and small, were trying to rebuild themselves to become stronger. Their economies were extremely weak and their population had greatly decreased due to all of the deaths during the war. Nations wanted their economies to be stronger by increasing industrialization and in order to do this, governments focused on family planning and parenthood.

All of Europe and the Soviet Union were focused on re-boosting their populations looking closely at birth rates.… Read the rest here

Social and Psychological issues surrounding the “Lost Children”

Tara Zahra’s book, The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II, describes the psychological impacts and social problems of war on displaced children. The psychological problems that occurred with children being separated from their families arose after the First World War, but became more of an issue after World War II. There was complete chaos in Europe with the children being in the center of social and political upheaval.

After World War I, families were separated and there were a lack of resources.… Read the rest here

Mazower’s Critical Summary (Chapter 1-4)

Mark Mazower’s first four chapters in his book Dark Continent illustrate the hardships, issues, changes, and efforts that nations had to endure post the First World War. These chapters are full of information and facts creating a clear picture of the social, political, and cultural problems occurring in Europe in the 20th century. Although Mazower clearly states important information, his text does seem to be lengthy.

Each of the four chapters depicts a different issue that occurred post WWI when Europe was trying to rebuild itself.… Read the rest here

Mazower and Battleship Potemkin’s Violent Overthrow in Russia

Mark Mazower’s book Dark Continent and the film Battleship Potemkin provide insights into the causes of the Russian Revolution and the victory of the Bolsheviks over the other political parties of the time.  Although the film does not go into as much depth as Mazower’s book, both address the motivations behind the violent overthrow that occurred in Russia after World War I.

Mazower details the different types of governments that succeeded each other during the interwar period in Europe, from the autocratic Tsarist Empire to Bolshevism to communism. … Read the rest here