Democracy to Dictatorship: Transforming the German State

In a span of 15 years Germany experienced traditional monarchy, liberal democracy, and oppressive dictatorship. Shockingly, this final shift was accomplished in only 18 months. This five-week course will examine the conditions in Germany the weakened the Weimar Republic, the Nazi rise to power, and the decisive months where democracy was destroyed from the inside

February 29/March 1- Kaiser Reich to Weimar

This session will look at the final years of Germany’s Second Reich, the aftermath of WWI and the early days of the new democratic government. We will look at the domestic conditions within Germany and better understand the challenges faced by the Weimar Republic.

March 7/8- Putsch to Prison

Amid the troubled early years of the Weimar Republic, a fledgling fringe party attempted a governmental coup. Centered in Munich, it was intended to make its way to the capital of Berlin. Although Hitler’s violent seizure of power failed, he learned many valuable lessons about how to successfully take over the government. This session will look at that attempt and the lessons learned.

March 14/15-Radical to Reputable

Following the failed putsch and Hitler’s short stay in prison, the Nazi Party made strategic changes to become more mainstream. Once Germany was hit by economic disaster following the American stock market crash, the party saw its first wave of electoral success. This session will look at the ways the Nazi Party appealed to voters.

March 21/22- January to August

Once appointed Chancellor in January of 1933, Hitler moved quickly to make a number of transformative changes to the government and nation. Upon President Hindenburg’s death in August of 1934, Germany’s democracy had been destroyed. This session will look at these 18 critical months in which Hitler secured his dictatorship.

March 28/29- 1934 to War

After consolidating power and neutralizing potential opponents, the Nazi government spent the next years implementing societal changes and planning for war. This session will look at the polices enacted and the people impacted by this new state.

This is the fifth and final meeting of the Fall 2022 Lunch & Learn

In-Person Course

Thursdays 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
February 29 – March 28, 2024
Sessions will be held in person in the Board Room of the Jewish Community Center
Use the PayPal button below to register for the in person course.

Online Course

On Zoom
Fridays 12-1:15p.m.
March 1- March 29, 2024
Use this PayPal button to register for the online course.

This program is supported, in part, by an allocation from the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.

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