HIS 102
Unit 12:  Fascism

The German Reichstag.  The original building, which opened in 1894, functioned as the parliament of the German Empire (before World War I) and then the Weimar republic in Germany after 1918.  Shortly after Hitler legally became chancellor of Germany (30 January 1933) the Reichstag burned "to the ground" (27 February 1933).  Conflicting evidence points to the Nazis as the culprits behind the fire, but in any case, the fire provided the pretext for Hitler and the Nazis to blame communist insurgents and then to suspend constitutional rights and embark on a dictatorship.  Soon thereafter, 23 March 1933 the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act which essentially gave Hitler dictatorial powers.  The building was heavily damaged by the Red Army during the battle for Berlin in April 1945, and after the war the Reichstag remained basically a ruin in the Western sector of Berlin.  It was never completely demolished, and in the early 1960s reconstruction took place.  As a symbol of German unity, the official German reunification ceremony took place in the Reichstag on 3 October 1990.  In the late 1990s the building was completely gutted and rebuilt once again.  The seat of parliament returned to the Reichstag in April 1999.  Photo courtesy Colocho at Wikipedia Commons

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What you must do in this unit What you can do in this unit
  • Listen to some further information about this unit as a mp3 file.  You can also read the information as a txt file.
Some videos that you can watch for this unit Extra Credit Options
  • For a maximum of 50 points extra credit, write a short paper of one or two pages, Who was more prescient in their views of modern society, Franz Kafka or José Ortega y Gasset?  Please be sure to cite your sources.
  • There were other intellectuals who offered unusual interpretations of the modern world.  For a maximum of 50 points, write a short paper in which you comment upon their views.  Please be sure to cite your sources--You are not limited to these excerpts:
  • For a maximum of 50 points extra credit, write a one-page paper (maybe two pages if they are exceptional) that provides a detailed comparison of Hitler's ideas on national socialism and Benito Mussolini's What Is Fascism?
  • Be Brave!  For a maximum of 50 points extra credit, read Benito Mussolini (1883-1945): The Doctrine of Fascism?, 1932 and write a one-page paper explaining the main points of fascism as understood by Mussolini.
  • Watch Leni Riefenstahl's documentary film Triumph des Willens (Triumph of the Will) and answer the movie study questions for a maximum of 25 points extra credit.  Please write in formal, complete sentences.
  • For a maximum of 10 points extra credit, answer the Hitler study sheet questions.
  • For extra credit, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send the title of the site, the url and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.

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