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Seminar Four (Week 9) - Revolution and the Aftermath of War

  • To what extent did the First World War contribute to the radicalisation of the German population?
  • Did the radical left or right pose a greater threat between 1918-23?
  • Why did the Germans react so hostilely to the Versailles peace settlement?
  • Which groups were worst-affected by the inflation of 1914-23 and why?
Background Reading

D. Blackbourn The Fontana History of Germany: The Long Nineteenth Century, Epilogue
W. Carr A History of Germany, ch. 11

The ‘Trench Community’

R. Bessel ‘The Great War in German Memory: the Soldiers of the First World War, Demobilization, and Weimar Political Culture’, German History, 1988, 20-34
I. Kershaw, Hitler, i: 1889-1936: Hubris, pp. 87-105
T. Nevin, Ernst Juenger and Germany: Into the Abyss, 1914-1945, ch. 2
E. Jünger Storm of Steel [novel by a proponent of shock infantry tactics]
E. Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front [novel by a pacifist voice]
J. Sheldon The German Army on the Somme, 1914-1916 on order

The Home Front

R. Bessel Germany after the First World War, ch. 1
R. Chickering* Imperial Germany and the Great War, 1914-1918
G. Feldman Army, Industry and Labor in Germany, 1914-1918 
O. Heilbronner ‘The Impact and Consequences of the First World War in a Catholic Rural Area: The Black Forest as a Case Study’, German History, 1993, 20-35
J. Kocka Facing Total War: German Society 1914-1918 

The 1918 Revolution

E. Kolb The Weimar Republic 
A.J. Nicholls Weimar and the Rise of Hitler 
D. Peukert The Weimar Republic 

The Left

W.T. Angress ‘The takeover that remained in limbo: the German experience 1918-23’ in T. Hammond (ed.), The Anatomy of Communist Takeovers 
A.J. Berlau The German Social Democratic Party 1914-21, chs 8-10
G.A. Craig Germany 1866-1945, ch. XI
B. Fowkes Communism in Germany under the Weimar Republic, chs 1-4
D. Geary ‘Radicalism and the Worker: Metalworkers and Revolution 1914-23’, in R.J. Evans/D. Geary (eds.), Society and Politics in Wilhelmine Germany 
D.W. Morgan The Socialist Left and the German Revolution, chs 4-10
R. Rürup ‘Problems of the German Revolution 1918-19’ JCH 1968
A.J. Ryder The German Revolution of 1918 

The Right

F.L. Carsten The Reichswehr and Politics 1918-33, pts. I & III-IV
G.A. Craig The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945, pt IX-X
H.J. Gordon Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch 
________ The Reichswehr and the German Republic 1919-26, 1-4
N. Jones Hitler’s Heralds: The Story of the Freikorps 1918-23 
R. Waite Vanguard of Nazism. The Free Corps Movement in Postwar Germany 1918-1923 

Reparations and Inflation

G. Feldman* The Great Disorder: Politics, Economics and Society in the German Inflation, 1914-1924 
W. Guttmann The Great Inflation: Germany, 1919-23 
K. Hardach The Political Economy of Germany in the Twentieth Century, ch. 2-3
C. Holtfrerich The German Inflation 1914-1923
K. Laursen The German Inflation 1918-1923
F. Ringer (ed.) The German Inflation of 1923
E.E. Rowley Hyperinflation in Germany: Perceptions of a Process
D.B. Southern ‘The Impact of the Inflation’, in Richard Bessel/E.J. Feuchtwanger (eds.), Social Change and Political Development in Weimar Germany