Know thy enemy. That's what the wisdom of history teaches us. And Adolf Hitler was surely the greatest enemy ever faced by modern civilization. Over half a century later, the horror, fascination, and questions still linger:
How could a man like Hitler and a movement like Nazism come to power in 20th-century Germany – an industrially developed country with a highly educated population?
How were the Nazis able to establish the foundations of a totalitarian regime in such a short time and hurl all of Europe - and the world - into a devastating war that would consume so many millions of lives?
Professor Childers has designed this gripping 12-lecture course to shed light on these and other questions that have plagued generations. You'll start by looking at the catastrophic impact World War I had on Germany, and how the war and the humiliating Treaty of Versailles crippled the Weimar Republic. From there, you'll turn to the Third Reich – Nazism in power – with an investigation of how Hitler and his henchmen systematically and ruthlessly broke resistance, taking over the major institutions of state power and creating a totalitarian system of terror, propaganda, and pervasive regimentation. You'll also examine Hitler's foreign policy between 1933 and 1939, and discover how and why he puzzled the world by entering into an accommodation with his deadly enemy, Stalin, on the eve of World War II. In the final lectures, you'll focus on Hitler's war against the Jews from Mein Kampf to Auschwitz, dissecting the horrifying racial ideas of the Nazis and the policies adopted to transform those ideas into reality. Finally, you'll learn how Hitler's evil empire was destroyed by Allied might.
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Forewarned is Forearmed
Important, current and terrifying
“Forewarned is forearmed.” These are the last words of this lecture series and it sums up perfectly why this lecture should be listened to. In the course of 12 thirty minute lectures, Professor Thomas Childers of the University of Pennsylvania does an incredible job of explaining how the Nazi party rose to power in Germany. Beginning with the catastrophe of World War I, he guides the listener through the terrible economic conditions which confronted Germany. He then discusses how these abrupt changes left the German people looking for a “strong man”, someone who could not be any worse than the Social Democrats of the Weimar Republic. Unfortunately, they found the very worst.
Overall, one of the best lectures from The Great Courses series that I have listened to and would recommend to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of how the Nazis rose to power in such a cultured, sophisticated country as Germany.
I was very impressed with Professor Childers and found his manner of speaking to be incredibly easy to listen to and the entire lecture felt entirely conversational. While I wish the lecture was longer because I was enjoying it so much, I still felt like the material was covered in great detail. I made notes throughout the lecture to guide my future reading on the topic.
The last two lectures which detailed the Holocaust were very moving and Professor Childers was very respectful of the subject.
Great lecture! Greater lecturer!
- Dana Keish
Informative, but hard to hear
The presenter had a very low voice, and he got quiet at times, so it was hard to hear in my car. Very good otherwise
- James Francis