Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last blog before break....

Let's make this one a free-for-all.  Write about anything we have discussed over the past week--Nazification, the movie, Hitler's rise, anything.  Give me a paragraph.  :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OK, we have a dictatorship, now what?

After the Enabling Act, after the Night of the Long Knives, when Hitler moves from Chancellor to Fuhrer, how does his vision for a greater Germany manifest itself?  Consider his economic and foreign policies as well as his controversial Nurenburg laws?  Which policies seemed plausible?  How are other countries regarding Germany at this point?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What is legal?

I know that the readings over the past few days have more or less been different accounts of the same events.  By now, you should realize that a number of events/attitudes are responsible for Hitler and the Nazi party's rise--both tangible events and more abstract strategies.

To you, what was the "game changer"--either the specific event or the general strategy/tactic that solidified the Nazification of Germany?  More importantly...was it legal?  What constitutes what is legal when the Weimar Republic declines and the Third Reich grows?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hitler's Rise

In in a paragraph, discuss how your section of the reading relates to these themes (your reading may not touch on all of them):

Be prepared to discuss the following themes in class on Monday – underline, make marginal notes as you go—the blog will be related to this material
  • Individual characteristics about Hitler – what about the man appealed to Germany
    • o Pay particular attention to his public personality, personal experiences (Mein Kamf), the idea of masculinity, etc.
  • The historical happenings in Germany that allowed for the Rise of Hitler and the Third Reich (pay particular attention to the reaction against the Treaty of Versailles)
  • What strategies Hitler and the Third Reich used to eliminate the opposition
Notes on these ideas will also be helpful to you so that you can expand your discussion in class tomorrow.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The conditions for a dictator

Hi everyone, As you are reading, please consider and comment on at least THREE (3) of the following ideas as they relate to the reading, or your own background knowledge:

  • What makes authoritarian and single party states unique to the 20th century (what sets it apart from previous dictatorships – i.e. Napoleon, Louis XVI, and other earlier forms of absolute power
  • How dictatorships are mentioned in literature, film, and other forms of cultural media (i.e. George Orwell’s 1984)
  • How conflict, chaos, and other forms of contribution lend themselves to authoritarian rule
  • Why certain countries turn to dictatorships and others do not (i.e. the US resists)
  • The idea that all dictatorships are alike – whether communist, fascist, etc.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Laughing our way through dark times

I am glad that you are enjoying Way out West so far. Now that you have seen most of the film, and read about other films of the period, consider what the purpose of the film was. In addition to seeing the film as escapist through its slapstick comedy routine, why is the film's context important? What do you think the West was supposed to symbolize? What do you make of the characters Stan and Ollie--especially the notion that two men who are different, not only physically, but psycholically, but still such close friends? While you may never never heard of Laurel and Hardy before today, their films are classic and timeless. It is not a coincidence that I watched them throughout my childhood, and they are just as enjoyable to us now as they were when they were initially released. Why might it be that these films enjoy a lasting legacy, while others that were mentioned in the reading, resonated more simply with the time that they were created?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Harmless escape and Dose of Reality

The art produced during the Great Depression comprised a variety of forms (photography, film, theater, music, etc.) and served a dual purpose. Some forms were meant to expose the grim realities of the Depression, while others offered forms of escape for those who suffered. Comment on one of each of these forms--one that helped distract the public from the grim realities of the everyday, as well as one that displayed them. To what extent do we rely on art for these purposes today?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Langston Hughes said it best...

"The free? Who said the free? Not me? Surely not me? The millions on relief today? The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay?" We began the school year discussion notions of freedom, and many of us were critical of the notion--I still think of Mikey's "mountain man" comment as particularly poignant here. So how do we define freedom after doing this reading? What is freedom for African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, and other minorities? Consider 2-3 examples from the reading to add substance to your point.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Depression and Gender

On the one hand, the Depression could have empowering effects on women, such as how they could take on more leadership roles in the family and new careers. But, this sense of empowerment was also deemed as a major threat to those who were bearing the brunt of the depression. So, what, in your mind, made women stand out in this time? Note a handful of the documents from the reading to highlight your discussion.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Your Life and the Union

When I opened up this collection of documents just now to prepare the blog, at first I was kicking myself, thinking, "Unions?! This won't inform my class about society!" My instant instinct was to dismiss unions as mainly economic and political, but after thinking more carefully, it is difficult NOT to see how unions were integral to the social development of the Americas during the Depression. So, in your thoughts--what is the connection, if any, between labor unions and social status?