Hitler & Nazi Germany: The Man and the Times; the challenge in the 20th century.

This is a 10-week workshop, starting on September 27th, 2017.

Moderator:              Glenn Swanson
Day and Time:        Monday 10:00AM-Noon
Format:                     Seminar
Location:                  Smith College Campuse Center Room 102
(parking permit required; provided to participants by moderator)


The 20th and now the 21st century has been dominated by this historical figure. Who was he and how did he achieve what he did? Why does his name and his movement continue to find their way into contemporary times?

This topic covers a wide range of material: a biography of the main character; a discussion of Nazism as a philosophy and then as a practice once in power; two world wars and their impact; the holocaust as a culmination. This will be a mix of history, biography, and philosophy, and we will address how these topics continue to find their way into the 2017 discussion of politics, both domestically and world-wide. While there is no required reading, participants will discover a vast resource of material.

Role of Participants:
Participants will have a wide range of topics from which to choose something to present in more depth. These movies are recommended as resources that can enhance a presenter’s understanding of the topic and serve as a visual stimulus to greater understanding. All Quiet on the Western Front, Max, Downfall, and Valkyrie are examples. Each topic should be a generator of class discussion.

Recommended biographies include Bullock’s biography, Hitler a Study in Tyranny, which remains a useful standard, but there is enough reading material available to satisfy the curious and the scholarly. Ian Kershaw’s biography, Hitler: A Biography, is probably the most comprehensive while both Joachim Fest and John Toland also have thorough biographies. There are a wealth of resources for the many topics that could be addressed in the seminar.

About the Moderator:
I taught a course on this subject for over 40 years, and it remains a fascinating topic that never ceases to generate discussion and opinions. As a history teacher for 46 years, I enjoy the process of teaching and learning.

Maximum number of participants: 18

Emeritus/a accepted: yes, up to 2