The posts in this third “theme” roundup explore different aspects of the question: How did one of the world’s most advanced and cultured nations descend so rapidly into a state of utter barbarism, which was eventually curable only by the application of apocalyptic violence?
Book Review: The Road Back. This neglected novel by Erich Maria Remarque, best known for All Quiet on the Western Front, is a beautifully-written portrayal of the psychological impact of the First World War.
Western Civilization and the First World War. Cites some thoughts from Sarah Hoyt on the impact of the war, and excerpts a powerful passage from the Remarque book mentioned above.
An Architect of Hyperinflation. Central banker Rudolf von Havenstein, “der Geldmarshall,” although a well-meaning public servant, had much to do with the extreme inflation that proved so socially destructive.
Book Review: Wolf Among Wolves. Also by Fallada, this is an epic novel with many characters and many subplots, set a little earlier in time than Little Man, during the period of the great inflation.
Anti-Semitism, Medieval and Modern. Suppose you had historical information from the 1300s showing in which German cities pogroms had occurred…and in which German cities pogroms had not occurred. Would you think this data would be of any use in predicting the levels of anti-Semitic activity in various localities in the 1920s thru 1940s….almost six hundred years later?
Book Review: Herman the German. Gerhard Neumann, who would eventually run GE’s jet engine business, writes about growing up in an assimilated German-Jewish family (more stereotypically Prussian than stereotypically Jewish) during the 1920s and 1930s.
Book Review: Defying Hitler. Sebastian Haffner’s important memoir of growing up in Germany between the wars.
Who would be a Nazi? Writing in 1941, the American author Dorothy Thompson speculates about which of her acquaintances would and wouldn’t “go Nazi” in a “showdown.” The original post consisted of links to the Harpers and to a Chicago Boyz post by Michael Kennedy with ensuing discussion.