The Weimar Years: A Culture Cut Short by John Willett (1984)

Books & Boots

This is a large format Thames and Hudson paperback (27 cm by 23 cm) which relies on photos and images rather than text. After a short 10-page introduction, almost the whole book consists of assemblies of original images from the avant-garde of the Weimar culture with only a small amount of accompanying commentary. It is a visual history. Just to recap the main events, as they’re important for the arts, the period falls into three parts:

  1. 1918-1923 Economic and social chaos
  2. 1924-1929 Peace and stability
  3. 1929-1933 More economic and social chaos, leading to the appointment of Hitler chancellor in January 1933

The three periods of the Weimar Republic

1. The First World War ended in November 1918. The Kaiser abdicated to be replaced by a civilian government. The two commanding generals Ludendorff and Hindeberg made sure that this civilian government signed the peace thus allowing them forever afterwards to blame civilians for stabbing…

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