Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How could it happen? / 4 / Weimar Republic

In trying to see some of the ingredients in the witches brew that caused such a disaster as National Socialism, we hear various things about the problems of the Weimar Republic, including that some people despised decadent liberalism.  Personally, I must confess to not knowing anything about it.  I believe we had one history lesson on it in grade 9.  In viewing the summary on Wikipedia, I see that I know the names mentioned mainly from postage stamps which we used to collect. -- I had no idea that Rosa Luxemburg was shot dead, for example.

We need to add one more book into the reading mix, here, therefore.  It's author is my cousin's husband;  therefore the book sits on the shelf in the exercise room. The subject is the life of Heinrich Mann, brother of Thomas Mann.  The Mann brothers were very much involved with the Weimar Republic, resulting in Heinrich Mann's exile in 1933, at the rise of Hitler.  If we have any questions about the book, we can go skype with my cousin's house.

We find a link to the book on   But my copy has a different cover.  It looks like this.

The time has come to read the book thoroughly, since I've only got to reading up to the year 1894 before.   At the next visit, God willing, I should be able to do my relatives the honor to be able to  speak about the book intelligently.  

It seems that the Weimar Republic days were extraordinarily tumultuous.  My grandfather told me about the inflation money and bequeathed some of it to me.  The cheaply made coins are denominated in the millions of Marks and bear the picture of Prometheus.  The choice of Prometheus for an image seems to bespeak a kind of melodramatic mood, and  likely had something to say about how people felt at the time--a nearly hopeless situation where radical solutions became attractive to some. 

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