THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
•Went into effect in January
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1920, with 42 members.
•Eventually 63 governments
joined the League, but total
membership at one time
never exceeded 58.
•The United States never
•Germany joined in 1926,
and the Soviet Union in 1934.
•Before the League came to
an end, Japan, Italy,
Germany, and 14 other
states, mostly Latin
American, had withdrawn,
and in 1939 the Soviet Union
•The League depended
heavily on arbitration, judicial
settlement and international
law, in which global leaders
had great faith in the early
•The League established the
Permanent Court of
THE GREAT DEPRESSION (1930s)
Inflation in Germany:
1914: $1 = 4.2 marks
1923: $1 = 4.2 trillion marks
Unemployment, 1920s and ’30s:
Overproduction in Europe:
Tariffs; no free trade
Use of oil: slump in coal industries
Drought in parts of the US: New Deal
Nipomo, California. 1936.
In the early 1930s,
Lange began taking
pictures of the
waterfront strikes of
Francisco. In 1935
Lange began her
landmark work for the
Southern sharecropper family, 1938
RUSSIA IN THE LATE NINETEENTH AND
EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
17th century – enserfment
1861 – Emancipation of serfs; local councils of serfs;
rise in urban labor
1860s to 1880s – Railways; factories
Rise of intelligentsia – anarchists (1860s); Bolsheviks
1905 – defeat by Japan; march to Winter Palace;
Tsar Nicolas II grants civil liberties and creates Duma
By 1907 – Reversal of gains of 1905, curtailment of
1914-1917 – 2 million Russian troops dead in World
War 1, 4-6 million captured/wounded
March 1917 – strikes in Petrograd; provisional
October 1917 – return of Lenin in April; spread of
Workers’ militia gathers in
Occupation of the
Winter Palace, 1917
March 8, 1917.
With 2 million
Russian troops dead
in the war, Russian
women chose the
last Sunday in
February to strike
for "bread and
peace". Four days
later the Czar was
forced to abdicate
and the provisional
women the right to
vote. March 8 is now
Comrade Lenin Sweeps the Globe Clean, 1920
Mikhail Cheremnykh and Victor Deni
Festivities marking the opening of the second congress of the Comintern, 1921
The Tsars exiled convicts to remote territories in the Russian north, where winters last nine months
and lakes freeze into solid blocks of ice. The trickle became a flood as Stalin’s regime built a vast
network of labor camps. At its peak in the 1930s and '40s, the system held millions of people.
Prisoners were made to build towns, industries and railroads.
Today, the grand Soviet plan to industrialize the Arctic is a fading memory. A World Bank-supported
project seeks to relocate thousands of people from collapsing Arctic cities to new homes further south.
Russian peasants going to the
kolkhoz, or collective farm
Forced collective farming led to
(especially in the Ukraine), and the
death of many millions
The murder of socialist leaders in Germany in 1919 was followed by the rise of the Weimar Republic
END OF WEIMAR REPUBLIC
November 1918: Military defeat of Imperial
Germany, revolution breaks out.
1919: New German government forced to sign
Versailles Treaty. Few Germans accept the new
"German Republic", despite a constitution which
promises all citizens equal rights and social welfare
1926: Germany becomes member of League of
1920s: Berlin is a major center of art and science in
Europe. National Socialists are gaining support and
1930s: Depression. In 1932, six million unemployed
in Germany. Inefficient government because of
unstable coalitions. Demonstration in Berlin, 1930. The Reichsbanner, an
organization independent of political parties,
1932: Chancellor Franz von Papen drives continually calls on citizens to demonstrate for the
democratic government of Prussia (largest state) Republic. Its membership in the 1920s included about
out of office, no resistance. three million members from every party of the Weimar
Coalition loyal to the Republic, particularly from the
1933: President Hindenburg appoints Hitler
ranks of the Social Democrats and labor unions.
Chancellor. At first, Hitler's opponents do not see
through the pseudolegality of the "seizure of
power". By the time they realize that the National
Socialist government is pursuing the permanent
destruction of the republic, Hitler has already
obtained the decisive instruments of power for
establishing a dictatorship.
The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by
the Jew…Today he passes as 'smart,' and this in a certain
sense he has been at all times. But his intelligence is not
the result of his own development … For what sham
culture the Jew today possesses is the property of other
peoples, and for the most part it is ruined in his hands …
there has never been a Jewish art … above all the two
queens of all the arts, architecture and music, owe
nothing original to the Jews … the Jew lacks those
qualities which distinguish the races that are creative and
hence culturally blessed.
The Jew has always been a people with definite racial
characteristics and never a religion; only in order to get
ahead he early sought for a means which could distract
unpleasant attention from his person. And what would
have been more expedient and at the same time more
innocent than the 'embezzled' concept of a religious
community? For here, too, everything is borrowed or
NAZI PROPAGANDA AGAINST THE DISABLED
This frame from a filmstrip shows that the money needed to support a person with a
hereditary disease can support an entire family of healthy Germans for the same
amount of time.
KRISTALLNACHT, NOVEMBER 9, 1938
Left: A Jewish-owned store in Berlin. November 10, 1938. Right: Jews arrested during
Kristallnacht line up for roll call at the Buchenwald concentration camp. November 1938.
Left: A chart of signs to distinguish different
inmates of concentration camps. Signs were
sewn or attached to prisoners’ clothes.
Above: A boy shows his identification tattoo.
When the number of deaths rose, some camps
started tattooing identification numbers on sick
and old prisoners, so they could be identified
regardless of clothes.
Above: A victim of Nazi
A victim of a Nazi medical experiment is A prisoner in a
Below: Dr. Josef
immersed in icy water at the Dachau compression chamber
Mengele, the physician in
concentration camp. SS doctor Sigmund loses consciousness
charge of experiments.
Rascher oversees the experiment. Germany, (and later dies) during
1942 an experiment to
determine altitudes at
which aircraft crews
could survive without
Martin Niemöller, pastor
(January 14, 1892 - March 6, 1984)
"When the Nazis took away the
Communists, I was silent;
I wasn't a Communist.
When they locked up the Social
Democrats, I was silent;
I wasn't a Social Democrat.
When they took away the labor
unionists, I was silent;
I wasn't a labor unionist.
When they took away the Jews,
I was silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they took me away, there
was no one left to protest."
THE “BANALITY OF EVIL”
Hannah Arendt Adolf Eichmann
Evil occurs not because of the presence of hatred, but because of the absence of
those imaginative capacities that can make the human and moral aspects of our
activities clear to us. Eichmann failed to exercise his capacity of thinking, which
would have permitted self-awareness.
Thinking is different from knowing. Thinking persistently makes us ask questions
that cannot be answered from the standpoint of knowledge, questions we cannot
refrain from asking. Thinking does not yield positive results that can be considered
settled; rather, it constantly returns to question again and again the meaning that
we give to experiences, actions and circumstances.
Adapted from Majid Yar (2001), http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/a/arendt.htm