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Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, Weimar…
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Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, Weimar Centennial Edition (Original 2007; 2018. Auflage)

von Eric D. Weitz (Autor)

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351757,865 (3.87)6
Weimar Germany still fascinates us, and now this complex and remarkably creative period and place has the history it deserves. Eric Weitz's Weimar Germany reveals the Weimar era as a time of strikingly progressive achievements--and even greater promise. With a rich thematic narrative and detailed portraits of some of Weimar's greatest figures, this comprehensive history recaptures the excitement and drama as it unfolded, viewing Weimar in its own right--and not as a mere prelude to the Nazi era. Weimar Germany tells how Germans rose from the defeat of World War I and the turbulence of revolution to forge democratic institutions and make Berlin a world capital of avant-garde art. Setting the stage for this story, Weitz takes the reader on a walking tour of Berlin to see and feel what life was like there in the 1920s, when modernity and the modern city--with its bright lights, cinemas, "new women," cabarets, and sleek department stores--were new. We learn how Germans enjoyed better working conditions and new social benefits and listened to the utopian prophets of everything from radical socialism to communal housing to nudism. Weimar Germany also explores the period's revolutionary cultural creativity, from the new architecture of Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut, and Walter Gropius to Hannah Höch's photomontages and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's theater. Other chapters assess the period's turbulent politics and economy, and the recipes for fulfilling sex lives propounded by new "sexologists." Yet Weimar Germany also shows how entrenched elites continually challenged Weimar's achievements and ultimately joined with a new radical Right led by the Nazis to form a coalition that destroyed the republic. Thoroughly up-to-date, skillfully written, and strikingly illustrated, Weimar Germany brings to life as never before an era of creativity unmatched in the twentieth century-one whose influence and inspiration we still feel today.… (mehr)
Mitglied:jgentle
Titel:Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy, Weimar Centennial Edition
Autoren:Eric D. Weitz (Autor)
Info:Princeton University Press (2018), Edition: Weimar Centennial ed., 512 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:World War I aftermath, Germany, Berlin

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Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy von Eric D. Weitz (Author) (2007)

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מרתק. גם בגלל הנושא וגם בגלל הכתיבה. הסיפור של המקום והזמן המעניינים ביותר בתולדות הזמן החדש. עם זאת לא חסר מגבלות. חזרות רבות ומיותרות, חלקן מילולית. היצמדות גדולה מדי למספר קטן של אישים בתור דוגמה ודגש מוגזם על ארכיטקטורה. ( )
  amoskovacs | Jan 25, 2021 |
In his book, Weitz provides a very readable introduction to the Weimar period that tries to look at almost every aspect of the period. However, this is also it weakness. Weitz seems to have had more interest in the cultural topics of the period and in my opinion skimped on the history sections. This is not to say that Weitz has written a bad history but that he could have gone more in-depth on the actual historical outline of the period. One of the great things about Weitz’s book is by breaking up the book into topical chapters Weiz allows the reader to strategically choose what themes of Weimar Germany to read about. If you want to read about the visual arts there’s a chapter on that, while if architecture is your interest you can read about the great builders like Erich Mendelsohn and Walter Gropius. Yet I do wish he had gone into more detail about some of the Avant-garde painters like Otto Dix and George Grosz. Overall, even with my gripes I still appreciate what Weitz tried to do and am happy that there is more of an interest in Weimar other than as a stepping stone to WW2 and would recommend this book as a great starting place to learn about the period. ( )
  bakabaka84 | Nov 23, 2013 |
A generally very fine study of Weimar Germany. Weitz delights in the positive things about the Weimar Republic - its experimentation, its liberalism, its forward-looking society and its attempts to throw off the old. He also develops his theme, that it was precidsely that 'old' Germany that undermined the Weimar Republic and delivered it into the waiting hands of the Nazis.

There is much here that was new to me; the account of the fall of the German government in 1918, and the analysis of the German Right before the Nazis, for example. Weitz shows that the Nazis were merely the most effective of a series of right-wing parties and groupings, and that much of what we think of as Nazi terminology was actually the common political language of the day. The Nazis only succeeded because they set out to seize power at any cost, including the exercise of force. At the same time, they were expertly organised for growth, and they captured hearts and minds by appealing directly to the population and by acting in practical ways, by organising charitable appeals.

But this is more than just a book about Hitler (unlike so many other books about this period of German history). (Indeed, Hitler is just another bit-player in the last chapter; Third Reich fans will have to look elsewhere for their fix.) Weitz covers a range of different topics about life in Weimar Germany - politics, culture, city life, architecture, the media and sex are all covered in turn.

I have one reservation about this book. Chapter two, "Walking the city", is an exploration of Weimar Berlin partly written as a walking travelogue, depicting the sights, sounds and experiences of a typical Berlin citizen. But Weritz has chosen to write a part of this in the first person plural, present tense ("Perhaps we really want to hear some jazz...") and switches back to third person singular, past tense for explanatory sections without warning. This is an irritating enough literary device when it's used properly; but the sudden shifts of perspective did make me grit my teeth rather.

But that shouldn't take away from the importance of this book. It is probably the best exploration of the reasons behind the rise of the Nazis that I have come across, with the added bonus of a detailed and loving description of Weimar Germany at the same time. And we see the rise of the Nazis from their contemporary viewpoint, rather than looking back from our historical one and treating their history and rise as merely the personal history of Adolf Hitler. Some people make much of the supposed fact that Hitler was democratically elected: in fact, he merely led the largest party, rather than holding an outright majority. Our modern politicians would do well to ponder the implications of that fact. ( )
2 abstimmen RobertDay | Jul 22, 2011 |
A terrific walking-tour history of the Weimar Republic. ( )
1 abstimmen zenosbooks | Mar 19, 2009 |
Having read a fair amount about the Weimar Republic over the years this is one of those times where I actually enjoyed a book organized on a thematic basis, as Weitz considers area by area the great cultural explosion of Weimar, and the tragic failure of the effort to build a more open society for all Germans. The key point to Weitz is that, for all the travails of the republic, it didn't fall to disaster so much as it was pushed, with the assailants being the traditional elites who thought they could manipulate Hitler and his minions; we all know how that worked out. Weitz's fear is that too many do not understand this lesson, as he is under no illusions that democracy can necessarily trump the efforts of powerful factions with no commitment to democratic values. Or perhaps it's merely the case that Weimar society's biggest tragedy is that it could not produce great democratic political leaders to go with its great culture. ( )
2 abstimmen Shrike58 | Mar 18, 2009 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Weitz, Eric D.AutorHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Jönsson, Claes-GöranÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt

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Weimar Germany still fascinates us, and now this complex and remarkably creative period and place has the history it deserves. Eric Weitz's Weimar Germany reveals the Weimar era as a time of strikingly progressive achievements--and even greater promise. With a rich thematic narrative and detailed portraits of some of Weimar's greatest figures, this comprehensive history recaptures the excitement and drama as it unfolded, viewing Weimar in its own right--and not as a mere prelude to the Nazi era. Weimar Germany tells how Germans rose from the defeat of World War I and the turbulence of revolution to forge democratic institutions and make Berlin a world capital of avant-garde art. Setting the stage for this story, Weitz takes the reader on a walking tour of Berlin to see and feel what life was like there in the 1920s, when modernity and the modern city--with its bright lights, cinemas, "new women," cabarets, and sleek department stores--were new. We learn how Germans enjoyed better working conditions and new social benefits and listened to the utopian prophets of everything from radical socialism to communal housing to nudism. Weimar Germany also explores the period's revolutionary cultural creativity, from the new architecture of Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut, and Walter Gropius to Hannah Höch's photomontages and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's theater. Other chapters assess the period's turbulent politics and economy, and the recipes for fulfilling sex lives propounded by new "sexologists." Yet Weimar Germany also shows how entrenched elites continually challenged Weimar's achievements and ultimately joined with a new radical Right led by the Nazis to form a coalition that destroyed the republic. Thoroughly up-to-date, skillfully written, and strikingly illustrated, Weimar Germany brings to life as never before an era of creativity unmatched in the twentieth century-one whose influence and inspiration we still feel today.

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