Category Archives: Weimar

Is Russia following the path of Weimar Germany?

Russia and the West: The Unpopular Prospect of World War III

A plain extrapolation of recent political developments in Russia leads one to regard outright war with NATO as a still improbable, yet possible scenario. It is not unlikely that Russian public discourse will, during the coming years, continue to move in the same direction in, and with the same speed with, which it has been evolving since 2000.

What is in store for the world is not only a new “cold,” but also the possibility of a “hot” and, perhaps even, nuclear war.

The example of the Weimar Republic illustrates the dangers that a conspirological view of the world has among a country’s population.

Read More…

Post-Soviet Russian Anti-Americanism and the Post-War German Experience

Since the publication of Alexander Yanov’s 1995 book After Yeltsin: ‘Weimar’ Russia (Moscow: KRUK; New York: Slovo-Word), a number of Yanov’s predictions for the post-Yeltsin period have come true. Above all, during the last years, sections of the Russian elite have adopted a paranoid vision of the outside, above all Western, world which, in the 1990s, had been a minority view held by the extreme right and paleocommunists. Whether this makes Yanov’s sweeping equation of developments in post-Soviet Russia and inter-war Germany justified or not: It remains a fact that, in spite of relative political stabilization and impressive economic growth during the last years, ultra-nationalism, rabid anti-Americanism and a Russian equivalent of the Dolchstosslegende (legend of a stab in the back) have become major intellectual and political trends in the Russian Federation, and are reminiscent of the Weimar Republic. Like many German politicians, academics and literati after World War I, numerous Russian leaders, publicists and journalists today think that their country’s loss of territories, reduced role in international affairs, and, in general, miserable state of affairs in the 1990s was the product of a Western-inspired conspiracy in which a few “democratic” traitors became an American “fifth column,” sold out national interests, and led the country to the abyss of a loss of native culture, traditions and identity through total Westernization.

Read More…


How Hitler Won Over the German People

There were still many Germans who were skeptical of Hitler when he became chancellor in 1933. But Führer propaganda and military success soon turned him into an idol. The adulation helped make the Third Reich catastrophe possible. By Ian Kershaw more…

The Story behind Hitler’s Rise to Power

Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s attainment of power. It took the Führer just 12 years to plunge Europe into the darkest chapter of its history and unleash the Holocaust. But how did a failed painter manage to bring all of Germany under his dictatorial thumb? By Charles Hawley in Berlin more…

Germany still wrestles with Adolf Hitler’s legacy
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom - 12 hours ago
By Harry de Quetteville in Berlin Germany is going through an unprecedented wave of self-recrimination as it marks the 75th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s
75 years on: Hitler’s legacy lingers on Radio Netherlands
75 Years Since Hitler Rose to Power The Associated Press
The Story behind Hitler’s Rise to Power Spiegel Online
Straight GoodsScotsman
all 121 news articles »

A child of Hitler

Holocaust Hypocrisy

Anti-Semitism destroyed 6 million Jews in World War II. Today, a subtler yet similarly dangerous anti-Semitism pervades the international community and threatens to end the Jewish state.

Read More…

Historian Says Weimar Republic Holds Potent Lessons for Today

Seventy-five years ago, Hitler came to power, ending the Weimar Republic. Did Germany’s experiment with democracy between 1919 and 1933 ever stand a real chance? Eric Weitz, a US historian and author, has the answers.

Read More…

Surviving Russia’s drift to fascism

Contemporary Russia is remarkably similar to post-World War I Germany. Both countries emerged from imperial collapse and regime change and experienced massive economic hardship and political chaos. Their populations felt humiliated and their imperial identities were battered, and they responded by blaming their enemies, former colonies, disloyal minorities — and democracy. Both countries turned to nationalist, chauvinist, revanchist and neo-imperialist rhetoric, and embraced charismatic leaders promising to reestablish national glory, rebuild state power, and command international respect. Both rulers promptly abandoned democracy — to the applause of the majority of their populations.

These similarities suggest that it may be time to abandon such terms as managed or sovereign or hybrid democracy for today’s Russia. Even the term “authoritarian” may not be fully adequate. There are good reasons to think that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is acquiring all the characteristics of a fascist state.

Read More…

What is Fascism?

Fascism is typified by totalitarian attempts to impose state control over all aspects of life: political, social, cultural, and economic, by way of a strong, single-party government for enacting laws and a strong, sometimes brutal militia or police force for enforcing them. Fascism exalts the nation, state, or group of people as superior to the individuals composing it. Fascism uses explicit populist rhetoric; calls for a heroic mass effort to restore past greatness; and demands loyalty to a single leader, leading to a cult of personality and unquestioned obedience to orders. Fascism is also considered to be a form of collectivism.

Read More…

Exploring the “Weimar Russia” Analogy

The “Weimar Russia” analogy is based on a comparison between the failures of the Weimar Republic in Germany (1918-33) and the current problems of post-Soviet Russia. The premise of the analogy is that initial advances toward democracy and economic stabilization might fail and that an authoritarian leader might assume power, rearm, and destabilize the Eurasian continent. The comparison has been the subject of academic conferences, books, journal articles, news stories, and miscellaneous comments. This thesis examines the following elements of the comparison: Defeat in War: Revolution as the Internal Cause; Loss of Territory and Resources; Economic Turmoil; Political Systems, Governments, and Leaders; Decline of the Military; The Diaspora and the Desire for an Ethnically-based Nation-State; Revanchism and Irredentism; and Fascism and Anti-Semitism. While some analysts question the validity of the comparison, the “Weimar Russia” analogy commands attention from experts in Russian affairs and government officials concerned with the future of Russia.

Thompson Files: Weimar America?

These findings are consistent with other polling data placing the popularity of the president and Congress at the lowest levels recorded in modern times. Presidential approval has fallen to levels not seen since the Watergate scandal, while the Gallup Poll finds 18 percent approval of the Congress and 76 percent disapproval. The disaffection with political institutions is approaching a point where America seems more like Weimar Germany than Jefferson’s Republic. How can this be happening at a time when the economy is growing and American culture is admired around the globe?

Read More…

Is Putin the bully leading Russia into fascism?

There is a nasty smell of Weimar in Russia nowadays. All the talk is of Russia’s need to reassert itself and show the world it is still a great power. On the streets, skinheads and racists beat up foreigners and attack dark-skinned Caucasians. Gays are attacked, liberals jeered and opposition protests forcibly disbanded. At home there is growing intolerance of anything except the government line, while abroad President Putin picks quarrels with his neighbours and threatens his erstwhile Western allies.

Is Putin leading Russia into fascism?

Read More…

Reviving the evil empire

Seven years ago, the economist Brigitte Granville and I published an article in the Journal of Economic History titled “Weimar on the Volga,” in which we argued that the experience of 1990s Russia bore many resemblances to the experience of 1920s Germany.

No historical analogy is exact, needless to say. Russia’s currency did not collapse as completely as Germany’s did in 1923, though the annual inflation rate did come close to 300% in 1992. Our hunch, nevertheless, was that the traumatic economic events of the 1990s would prove as harmful to Russian democracy as hyperinflation had been for German democracy 70 years earlier.

Read More…

Post-Weimar Russia? There Are Sad Signs

Since the publication of Alexander Yanov’s 1995 book After Yeltsin: ‘Weimar’ Russia (Moscow: KRUK; New York: Slovo-Word), a number of Yanov’s predictions for the post-Yeltsin period have come true. Above all, during the last years, sections of the Russian elite have adopted a paranoid vision of the outside, above all Western, world which, in the 1990s, had been a minority view held by the extreme right and paleocommunists. Whether this makes Yanov’s sweeping equation of developments in post-Soviet Russia and inter-war Germany justified or not: It remains a fact that, in spite of relative political stabilization and impressive economic growth during the last years, ultra-nationalism, rabid anti-Americanism and a Russian equivalent of the Dolchstosslegende (legend of a stab in the back) have become major intellectual and political trends in the Russian Federation, and are reminiscent of the Weimar Republic.

Read More…

Look back at Weimar and start to worry about Russia

In 1997, I published an academic article – co-written with the Russian economic expert Brigitte Granville – entitled Weimar Germany and Contemporary Russia. I can still remember being teased by one of my brightest undergraduates – himself a German – that this was excessively pessimistic, at a time when Russia’s economic recovery appeared to be gathering momentum. I had to remind him just how long the Weimar Republic took to dissolve into Hitler’s dictatorship.

Read More…

Look back at Weimar and start to worry about Russia

By Niall Ferguson

(Filed: 01/01/2005)

Link to this Article

In 1997, I published an academic article – co-written with the Russian economic expert Brigitte Granville – entitled Weimar Germany and Contemporary Russia. I can still remember being teased by one of my brightest undergraduates – himself a German – that this was excessively pessimistic, at a time when Russia’s economic recovery appeared to be gathering momentum. I had to remind him just how long the Weimar Republic took to dissolve into Hitler’s dictatorship.

Born in 1919 in the wake of Germany’s humiliating defeat in the First World War, the Weimar Republic suffered hyperinflation, an illusory boom, a slump and then, starting in 1930, a slide into authoritarian rule, culminating in 1933 with Hitler’s appointment as chancellor. Total life: slightly less than 14 years.

Born in 1991 in the wake of the Soviet Union’s humiliating defeat in the Cold War, today’s Russian Federation has suffered a slump, hyperinflation and is currently enjoying a boom on the back of high oil prices. Its slide into authoritarian rule has been gradual since Putin came to power in 1999. Is it going to culminate – 14 years on – in a full-scale dictatorship in 2005? That is beginning to look more and more likely.