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The German Revolution: False Hope or Missed Chance
Mon, May 29, 2017 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM$35 – $55
Revolutions Study Group
Four more Mondays, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Brooklyn Commons, May 29–June 19
(sliding scale: no one is turned away for an inability to pay)
In November 1923, with the Weimar Republic reeling from the French occupation of the Rhineland and the destruction of its economy by the Great Inflation, the Communist Party of Germany failed in its third attempt since 1919 to lead a workers revolution. Over the next nine years, while the German Left became more bitterly divided than ever, the extreme nationalist and revanchist element in Germany was coalescing around a new mass party, the Nazis, who found increasing numbers of powerful supporters in the army and among the capitalists. When the next potentially revolutionary moment occurred with the Great Depression of 1929, it was fascism that was poised to seize power. Taking off from our readings this past winter, the group will explore why and how this looming tragedy took over Germany, and looks for lessons for our own world.
Readings will include: Richard Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (1st two chapters; book is readily available in public libraries and reasonably priced as a paperback). Daniel Guerin, Fascism and Big Business (2 chapters; also readily available). L. Trotsky, The Struggle Against Fascism in Germany (Introduction by Ernest Mandel and essays 7,8, 10, and 19; can be purchased online; may be in some public libraries)
The Revolutions Study Group (originally at the Brecht Forum) has been meeting since 2009. Individual participants have come and gone, however the group has held together, studying in depth a wide range of history including the French Revolution, the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, the Mau-Mau Revolt in Kenya, the Haitian Revolution, the European Revolutions of 1848, the May movement in France of 1968 and the Hot Autumn of Italy the following year, the Spanish Civil War, the Mexican Revolution, the Socialist (2nd) International, and Russian Social Democracy prior to World War I.
Image: combo of two works by John Heartfield
- The Revolutions Study Group