November 1932. With the German economy in ruins and street battles raging between rival political parties, the Weimar Republic is on its last legs. In the halls of the Reichstag, party leaders scramble for power and influence as the elderly president, Paul von Hindenburg, presides over a democracy pushed to the breaking point. Chancellors Franz von Papen and Kurt von Schleicher spin a web of intrigue, vainly hoping to harness the growing popularity of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party while reining in its most extreme elements. These politicians struggle for control of a turbulent city where backroom deals and frightening public rallies alike threaten the country’s fragile democracy, with terrifying consequences for both Germany and the rest of the world.
In The Last Winter of the Weimar Republic, Barth and Friedrichs have drawn on a wide array of primary sources to produce a colorful, multi-layered portrait of a period that was by no means predestined to plunge into the abyss, and which now seems disturbingly familiar.
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About the Author
Born in 1980 in Hamburg, Hauke Friederichs studied social and economic history and wrote his PhD thesis on piracy in the Mediterranean. He has worked for publications including Die Zeit, Stern, Geo, Epoche, and P.M. History. He lives in Germany.
Table of Contents
The Gravediggers 1
Opening Credits: The Lie of the Land 3
The Brink: 17 November to 1 December 1932 5
The Plan: 2 to 15 December 1932 87
Silent Night: 16 December 1932 to 1 January 1933 153
In the Maelstrom: 2 to 29 January 1933 221
Taking Power: 30 January 1933 343
Closing Credits 363
Sources and Literature 369
The Making Of 370
Selected Further Reading 379