Spring 2012

Poli 388W - AR

Sammy Basu



WLT 134

Democracy and Nazism



SMU 317


What can we learn from the failed Weimar Republic and the consolidation of authoritarianism in the form of the Nazi Third Reich about the constitutive elements of democracy in general at the institutional, cultural, and cognitive levels?  In exploring the historical record, this course considers the nature of political and moral argument in relation to several modes of discourse: philosophy, art, worldview (Weltanschauung), propaganda, ideology, and deception.  In argumentative, ethical, aesthetic, and affective terms, what made agitation for the demise of Weimar democracy persuasive, and conversely, what legitimized participation in the Nazi racial state?  Finally, what insights can we apply to contemporary democratic politics?



Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Dropbox:p315ExNzpics:MKEng39.pdf



Student Learning Objectives



To better understand the subfield of political philosophy



Writing effectively and persuasively



Understand arguments, evaluate reasons, reflect on values




Graded Components



Weimar Exam



Nazi Exam



Final Exam – comprehensive, incl. student presentations



Term Paper



An argumentative paper (20-25pp) utilizing primary source material and evaluating competing theories to be presented using IT



Participation (incl. discussion leadership)



You should complete assigned Reading before the class.



If you miss class, regardless of the reason, you are required to provide a 250-word summary on the Readings of the day(s) missed.  To be handed in at next class.



Required Texts    



Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:lv:lvCr4pmjERCAGHgDDraeCk+++TM:-Tmp-:com.apple.mail.drag-T0x100520a80.tmp.tDtSGn:9780349118895.jpgMacintosh HD:private:var:folders:lv:lvCr4pmjERCAGHgDDraeCk+++TM:-Tmp-:com.apple.mail.drag-T0x100520a80.tmp.4KOjzF:Sebastian-haffner_book-cover.jpg

Joseph Roth.

What I Saw: Reports from Berlin, 1920-1933.  

[1920-33] (2003)

Sebastian Haffner.

Germany Jekyll & Hyde: A Contemporary Account of Nazi Germany [1939] (2008)



Stephen J. Lee.

The Weimar Republic (2010)

Stephen J. Lee.

Hitler and Nazi Germany (2010)



All additional material will be made available electronically





Mon 1/16



Introduction and Historiography

Wed 1/18

Can we Learn from Weimar and Nazi Germany?




Bookbinder, Paul, ‘Why Study Weimar Germany?’ and Facing History


Fritzsche, Peter. 1996. ‘Nazi Modern.’
 Modernism/modernity 3.1: 1-22.


Kershaw, Ian. 2004. ‘Hitler and the Uniqueness of Nazism.Journal of Contemporary History 39: 239-254.








Mon 1/23

Democratic Revolution and re-Constitution


Hugo Preuss, 1860-1925


Max Weber, 1864-1920

Source Material:

Prussian Constitution (1850)

The Weimar Constitution (1919)

BBC: Weimar Strengths and Weaknesses



Lee, Weimar, ch. 1: The German Revolution, 1918-1919


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 1: eg 1,  eg 2


Thomas Mann, ‘On the German Republic’ (1922) or in WISE


Berman, Sheri. 1997. ‘Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic.’ World Politics 49,3: 401-429.





Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1859-1941

Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Dropbox:p315ExNzpics:Hitler1914.jpg

Adolf Hitler in the Odeonsplatz, Munich partaking of the ‘spirit of ‘14’



Wed 1/25

War Aftermath: Trauma, Guilt, and Violence


Leif H, Nick T, Brett B, Lauren B

German war dead


Source Material:

BBC: Long-term underlying causes of war, problems 1919-1923, Opinions of Versailles

The Treaty of Versailles (1919)

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (48min, esp 4:15-10:40, 12:30-13:00)

Versailles and Ruhr: Make Germany Pay 1 and II



Lee, Weimar, ch. 2: Versailles and its impact, 1919-1933 Eg debt. eg 1, eg 2, eg 3


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 20, 29; eg 1 and eg 2


Bessel, R. ‘The Great War in German Memory: The Soldiers of the First World War, Demobilization, and Weimar Political Culture,’ German History, 6.1: 20-34.




Ziemann, Benjamin. 2003. ‘Germany after the First World War – A Violent Society? Results and Implications of Recent Research on Weimar Germany.’ Journal of Modern European History, 1.1: 80-95.







Ebert and NSDAP and KDP


Mon 1/30

PR and Multi-Party Politics: KPD, SPD, DDP, Z, DVP, BVP, DNVP, NSDAP

Byron H, Max F, Aaron O


Reichstag Party Representation


Source Material:

John Cleese on PR

Political Parties handout

Election footage

Electoral Geography 2.0: Germany

Hannah Hoch’s Cut with a Kitchen Knife I, II, III



Lee, Weimar, ch. 3: The Constitution and the party system, 1919-1933


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 30, 31, 32, 33


Feuchtwanger, Edgar. 1994. ‘The Weimar Republic - A Failure of representative institutions?’ Parliaments, estates and Representation 14.2: 159-170. Get from WISE

Geographic dist of vote



George Grosz, The Eclipse of the Sun, 1926

Howard Streseman



Wed 2/1

Authority, Celebrity, and Media

Katie H, Nichola G, Kate J, Nick T

Friedrich Ebert, 1871- 1925


Source Material:

The Bathing Suit Controversy

Hindenburg becomes President, 1925/1932, and 1933



Lee, Weimar, ch. 4: Chancellors and Presidents of the Republic, 1919-33


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 21, eg 1 and 2


Ross, Corey. 2006. ‘Mass Politics and the Techniques of Leadership: The Promise and Perils of Propaganda in Weimar Germany.’ German History 24.2:184-211.


Menge, Anna. 2008. ‘The Iron Hindenburg: A Popular Icon of Weimar Germany.’ German History 26.3: 357-382.


Frederick the Great 1712-1786

Otto von Bismarck 1815-1898        Kaiser Wilhelm II            Hindenburg




Hitler et al, Munich Putsch 1923

Mon 2/6

Polarization and Putsch


Garret B, Brett B

Ludendorff and Hitler, 1923

Erich Ludendorff 1865-1937

Source Material:

BBC: Weimar crisis of 1923

BBC: Nazi beliefs

BBC: The Munich Putsch 1923

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (10:40-12:30, 13:00-18:50, 20:00-20:30)


NSDAP 25 Point Plan (1920)

Inflation (1923)

Munich Beer-Hall Putsch (1923)

Hitler’s Final Trial Speech (27 March, 1924)


Gottfried Feder and Dietrick Eckhart and Anton Drexler


Lee, Weimar, ch. 5: Crisis and Recovery, 1920-23


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10



Orlow, Dietrich O. 1965. ‘The Organizational History and Structure of the NSDAP, 1919-23.’ The Journal of Modern History 37.2:208-226.


Madden, Paul. 1982. ‘Some Social Characteristics of Early Nazi Party Members, 1919-23.’Central European History 15.1:34-56.



Weimar children using banknote bundles as building blocks 1923





George Grosz, The City, 1917

Potsdamerplatz, Berlin



Wed 2/8

The Modern German Malaise

Andrew T, Nick T, Tori G, Lauren B


Metropolis, 1927


Source Material:

BBC: How did Weimar survive?

Berlin in the 1920s (3.07min)

Towards prosperity and hope (3.40 min)

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (20:30-22:00)


FW Murnau. The Last Laugh // Der letzte Mann (1924) (141min)

Doorman and Democracy.


Lee, Weimar, ch. 6: A period of stability, 1924-29?


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 16, 17, 18, 19


Costigliola, Frank. 1976. ‘The United States and the Reconstruction of Germany in the 1920s.’ The Business History Review, Vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 477-502.


Jones, Larry Eugene. 1972. ‘"The Dying Middle": Weimar Germany and the Fragmentation of Bourgeois Politics.’ Central European History 5.1:23-54.



The Last Laugh, 1924


scene from Last Laugh




Beckmann, 1919



Mon 2/13

Cultural Reactions to the ‘Golden Twenties’

Katie H, Nichola G, Aaron O, Amy M

Bauhaus 1923

Hitler, Mein Kampf 1926/7


Source Material:


The Culture of the Weimar Republic (3.49 min)

Tour Around Berlin in 1929 (3.28 min)

Understanding Hitler Through Mein Kampf Documentary (2:00-5:30)

Hitler the Artist (3:10)

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (22:00-23:10, 24:30-29:00)



Lee, Weimar, ch. 9: Social and cultural achievements, 1918-33


Roth, What I Saw, ch. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Roth, What I Saw, ch. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28


Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf : 3-17, 33-44, 53-60, 108, 150-3, 171, 180-1, 248-57-60, 287-99, 311, 316, 320, 327, 330, 337, 342-59, 366-367, 374, 384, 388, 411-18, 451, 466, 479-92, 510, 574-6, 577-83, 591-2, 614-21, 648-658, 701-711, 730-37 – Swastika, 767-72, 795-800, 824-835, 841-67, 886-93, 930, 973, 982, 992 in WISE.



Steinweis, Alan E. 1991. ‘Weimar Culture and the Rise of National Socialism: The Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur.’ Central European History 24.4:  402-423.


Kater, Michael H. 1988. ‘The Jazz Experience in Weimar Germany.’ German History 6.2: 145-158.


Robert Genin (1884-1943)

Otto Dix, ‘Grosstadt triptych,’ 1927



 Siegmund Breitbart, 1883-1925

‘Muscular Judaism’ 1900



Wed 2/15

Jews, ‘World-Jewry,’ and ‘the Jew’

Brett B, Nicole P, Aaron O, Tori G ppt

Max Nordau, 1849-1923



Source Material:

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (23:10-24:30)

Hitler on Jews and Christ (9.07 min)

Joseph Goebbels, Das Buch Isidor (1929) and Bernhard Weiss

Albert Einstein’s Zionism (1931)



Roth, What I Saw, ch. 2, 3, 4, 5, 34


Heilbronner, Oded. 2000. ‘From Antisemitic Peripheries to Antisemitic Centres: The Place of Antisemitism in Modern German History.’ Journal of Contemporary History 35.4: 559-576.


Jewish communities in pre-war Germany

 Walther Rathenau, 1867-1922

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01 Julius Streicher, 1885-1946






July 1932

Medieval depiction of ‘ritual murder’



Mon 2/20


Christianity and antisemitism

Nichola G, Michael A, Garrett B, Max F


Martin Luther, 1483-1546


St John Chrysostom, 347-407


Source Material:

Gerhard Hahn, Christuskreuz und Hakenkreuz (1934)



Martin Luther, On the Jews and their lies (1543)

Part I from start to “tomfoolery and trickery”

Part III from ‘blind Jews to mislead you’ to the end of III

Part VI from start to ‘harder than a diamond’

Part VII from ‘Eternal death’ to end of XII

Part VIII from ‘no remission of sin’ to the end of VIII

Part X from start to ‘fifteen hundred years’ and then last three paragraphs

Part XI entire (especially this one)

Part XII first two paragraphs

Part XIII final paragraph

St. John Chrysostom, Eight Homilies against the Jews (386-7)

Homily I from start (‘TODAY I HAD’) to ‘the dwelling of demons’
Homily IV from start (‘AGAIN THE JEWS’) to ‘action good or bad’
And from “But before I draw up’ to ‘Does not the Scripture treat … Jews in this way?’
And ‘Let then my battle with the Jews’ to ‘the Holy Spirit for ever and ever’
Homily V from ‘WE have said enough” to ‘God’s love and kindness’
And from ‘Are you Jews still disputing the question?’ to ‘world without end. Amen.’
Homily VIII from ‘If the devil is a murderer’ to ‘live with a bad conscience?’


Hastings, Derek. 2003. ‘How "Catholic" Was the Early Nazi Movement? Religion, Race, and Culture in Munich, 1919- 1924.’ Central European History, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 383-433.

Probst, Christopher J. 2009. ‘“An incessant army of demons”: Wolf Meyer-Erlach, Luther, and “the Jews” in Nazi Germany.’ Holocaust and Genocide Studies 23.3: 441-460.






Wed 2/22

Crises upon Crises

Amy M, Byron H, Nicole P, Katie H

Paul von Hindenburg, 1932

Source Material:

BBC: Hitler’s rise to power

BBC: Was Weimar doomed?

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (29:00-43:05) or here and here

The Hitler no one knows (1932)

Election Ballot (1932)

NSDAP Posters pre-1933 - as test of explanations


Unemployment in Germany, 1924-1932




July 31, 1932

October 31, 1932








Lee, Weimar, ch. 10: Crisis and collapse, 1929-1933


Wolfers, Arnold. 1932. ‘The Crisis of the Democratic Régime in Germany.’ International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1931-1939) 11.6:757-782.


Hitler 1932


July 1932





Mon  2/27

Democratic Capitulation


Michael A, Andrew T, Tori G, Leif H

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Alfred Hugenberg 1865-1951

Election results and fire etc (vid, 10min)

In brief

Wels-Hitler 1933

The Enabling Act and vid




Winkler, Heinrich August. 1990. ‘Choosing the Lesser Evil: The German Social Democrats and the Fall of the Weimar Republic.Journal of Contemporary History 25.2/3: 205-227.


Kolb, Eberhard. 1997. ‘Was Hitler’s Seizure of Power on January 30, 1933, Inevitable?’ German Historical Institute 18: 9-23.

Otto Wels 1873-1939


Hitler and Cabinet, 30 Jan 1933

27 Feb 1933



Wed 2/29

Weimar Exam - Weimar Summary


1933, election postcard

Day of Potsdam, 21 March 1933



Mon 3/5

Three Reichs don’t make a wrong




Source Material:

BBC: How Hitler consolidated power 1933-34

BBC: The structures of control in the Nazi state

The Nazis (1997). Episode 1: Helped into Power (4:15-11:00, 43:05-47.45)

Nazi Laughter



Lee, Nazi, ch. 1: The Rise of Nazism

Lee, Nazi, ch. 2: The Achievement & Consolidation of Power 1933-34


Haffner, Germany, Foreward


‘23 March 1933 Speech’ in Hitler Complete pp275-286 in WISE



1933, Nuremberg Party Rally







Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945

Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Dropbox:p315ExNzpics:Hitler1933.jpg

Hitler and NSDAP celebrating victory



Wed 3/7

The Hitler State


Max F, Garret B. Leif H, Byron H


Hitler with children


Source Material:

Hitler and National Leaders (postcard c.1934), 1933 speech, and 1934 speech (from Triumph)

Germany Awakes (1933)

AH: Pictures from the Life of the Fuhrer (1936) and in German

The Nazis (1997). Episode 4: The Wild East (30:45-35:00)



Lee, Nazi, ch. 3: The Nazi Dictatorship


Haffner, Germany, ch. 1: Hitler

Haffner, Germany, ch. 2: The Nazi Leaders


Eatwell, Roger. 2006. ‘The Concept and Theory of Charismatic Leadership.’ Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions, 7.2: 141-156.


Kershaw, Ian. 1993. 'Working Towards the Führer.' Reflections on the Nature of the Hitler Dictatorship.Contemporary European History 2.2: 103-118.






Alfred Rosenberg

Rudolf Hess                        Herman Goring                   Reinhard Heydrich









Mon 3/12

The Terror State

Nicole P, Nick T, Tori G, Matt B


Heinrich Himmler



Source Material:

Video: Gestapo and 2 (6 min each)

The Gestapo and its origins

BBC: Opposition

Edelweiss Pirates

The White Rose

August Landmesser

Concentration Camps



Lee, Nazi, ch. 5: The SS and the Gestapo

Lee, Nazi, ch. 6: Support, Opposition & Resistance


Haffner, Germany, ch. 5: The Disloyal Population

Haffner, Germany, ch. 6: The Opposition



Gellately, Robert. 1991. ‘Rethinking the Nazi Terror System: A Historiographical Analysis.’ German Studies Review 14.1: 23-38.



Nazi uniforms

risoners during Roll Call at the Oranienburg

Oranienburg, roll-call, 1 April 1933



Goebbels addressing crowd



Wed 3/14

The Brainwashed State

Matt B, Kate J, Lauren B, Aaron O




Source Material:

Bytwerk archive on Nazi Propaganda 1933-1945

Nazi Posters (1933-1945)

US Holocaust Memorial Museum on Propaganda

The Power of Nazi Propaganda (5.46 min)



Lee, Nazi, ch. 4: Indoctrination and Propaganda


Haffner, Germany, ch. 3: The Nazis

Haffner, Germany, ch. 4: The Loyal Population


Welch, David. 2004. ‘Nazi Propaganda and the Volksgemeinschaft: Constructing a People’s Community.’ Journal of Contemporary History 39.2: 213-238.

Joseph Goebbels


     Robert Ley (1890-1945)             Max Amann (1891-1957)       Baldur von Schirach (1907-1974)







Nazi Plan for Munich

Speer with Hitler



Mon 3/19


The Beautiful State

Amy M, Nichola G, Michael A, Matt B


Richard Wagner 1813-1883


Source Material:

Wagner, The Mastersingers of Nuremberg (1933)

Bayreuth and Max Lorenz (1930s)

Bayreuth (1943)

Berlin (1936, 1.44min)


Nuremberg Party Rallies


The Triumph of the Will (1935, 102 min)

Closing speech (1935, 9.00min)

Leni Riefenstahl 1902-2003 Albert Speer 1905-1981


Degenerate Art Show, 1937

Great German Art Exhib 1937

The ‘Degenerate’ Art Show (1937)

Nazi architecture

For amusement (4:00min)



The Degenerate Art Show Brochure (1937)

Get ‘DegenerateArt_49-79%2C356-390.pdf’ from WISE

Also get ‘Barron1’ from WISE

Werckmeister, O. K. 1997. ‘Hitler the Artist.’ Critical Inquiry 23.2: 270-97.

Basu, Sammy. 2012. ‘’He Laughs Loudly,’ Hitler, Nazism, and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg,’ in History 1933-1948: What We Choose to Remember. Pp. 357-86.




Wed 3/21


The Happy State

Byron H, Leif H, Kate J, Brett B



Source Material:

BBC: Economic policies and benefits

Nazi economic success (1936)

German house (1937)

The volkswagen (1938)

Family Magazine (1939)

A Beautiful World (2.20min)



Lee, Nazi, ch. 7: The Nazi Economy


Imhoof, David. 2009. ‘The Game of Political Change: Sports in Göttingen during the Weimar and Nazi Eras.’ German History 27.1: 374-94.


König, Wolfgang. 2004. ‘Adolf Hitler vs. Henry Ford: The Volkswagen, the Role of America as a Model, and the Failure of a Nazi Consumer Society.’ German Studies Review, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 249-268.




Spring Break








Mon 4/2


The Pure State (Greater Germany and then Europe)

Andrew T, Katie H, Amy M, Matt B


Source Material:

BBC: Women in the Nazi State and Persecution

Nazi antisemitic propaganda (1933-1945)

The Nazis (1997). Episode 4: The Wild East (3:40-11:45, 35:00-47:20)

The Nazi Woman (1.20)



Lee, Nazi, ch. 8: Outside the Volksgemeinschaft


Goebbels, Joseph. 1934 ‘German Women

Erna Günther. 1934. ‘We women in the Struggle for Germany’s Renewal.’

Wagner, Gerhard. 1936. ‘Race and Population Policy

H. Rodenfels. 1939. ‘Women who may not be allowed to become Mothers.’


Rupp, Leila J. 1977. ‘Mother of the "Volk": The Image of Women in Nazi Ideology.’ Signs 3.2:362-379.






Macintosh HD:Users:sbasu:Dropbox:p315ExNzpics:CCamp.jpg



Wed 4/4


The Antisemitic State and the Holocaust

Garret B, Nicole P, Lauren B, Kate J




‘Die herrlichsten Grüße von der Austellung sendet Euch Lenni’ [Sending you magnificent greetings from the exhibition Lenni]

Source Material:

Leading Figures of the System’ (1936)

Museum Exhibit: The Eternal Jew (1937) and Book: The Eternal Jew (1937) also

The Evian Conference (1938, July)

Kristallnacht (1938, Nov 9)

Film: Der Ewige Jude (1940, The Eternal Jew) (65 min), Stills: Der Ewige Jude

Holocaust education: site and in general

The Nazis (1997). Episode 5: The Road to Treblinka (48min)

Anne Frank Timeline (1945)


Auschwitz through the SS lens



Kurt Hilmar Eitzen, “Ten Responses to Jewish Lackeys [Zehn Knüppel wider die Judenknechte]” Unser Wille und Weg (6) 1936, pp. 309-310

Hornshoj-Moller, Stig on Der Ewige Jude

Nazi Review of Der Ewige Jude


Herf, Jeffrey. 2005. ‘The “Jewish War”: Goebbels and the Antisemitic Campaigns of the Nazi.Holocaust Genocide Studies 19.1: 51-80.


Steiner, John M. 2000. ‘The role margin as the site for moral and social intelligence” The case of Germany and National Socialism.’ Crime, Law & Social Change, 34:61-75.






Mon 4/9


The War (to the Death) State

Michael A, Andrew T


Source Material:

BBC: Hitler’s aims and actions

BBC: Who was to blame

Nazi war propaganda (1939-1945).

Nazi war art (1940-1944)

The Nazis (1997). Episode 6: Fighting to the End (48min)

Here is Germany (7.52 min)



Lee, Nazi, ch. 9: Foreign Policy

Lee, Nazi, ch. 10: Germany at War


Schuman, Frederick L. 1934. The Third Reich's Road to War. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 175, The Shadow of War (Sep., 1934), pp. 33-43.








 urope in April 1944




Wed 4/11




Lindenfeld, David F. 1997. ‘The Prevalence of Irrational Thinking in the Third Reich: Notes toward the Reconstruction of Modern Value Rationality.’ Central European History 30.3: 365-385.


Page, James S. 2008. Deconstructing the Enduring Appeal of the Third Reich. Journal of Intercultural Studies 29.2: 189-196.




 Using Information Technology


a.      Ahead

b.     Google docs

c.      Prezi

d.     280 slides

e.      Voicethread

f.       Wix




Mon 4/16

No Class - meet with Professor this week




Wed 4/18

No Classes - SSRD









4/23, 4/25, 4/30

Student Presentations


5/4 1-3pm

Final Exam Review




 Sat 5/5 2-5pm