9:30 am - 12:30 pm
The origins of the second world war in Europe appear deceptively simple. For some, the flaws of the Versailles Treaty led to a demoralized German nation and an unstable international system. This, in turn, led to the rise of Hitler to power and to his pursuit of Lebensraum, or “living space.” By 1960, however, that orthodoxy was being challenged by historians who began to question the assumptions, arguments, and evidence of the standard interpretation.New questions were—and continue to be—posed: was the Versailles Treaty a workable settlement? was Germany’s interwar position in Europe essentially advantageous? was the Third Reich simply the inheritor of Germany’s previous imperial foreign policy goals? or, was it a radical departure from Germany’s traditional strategic positions? what roles did domestic politics play in the decision-making processes of the great powers? what roles did geopolitical and economic factors play? Seminar participants will examine these questions and interpretations and how they shape our understanding of the second world war.
Seminar led by Eugene Beiriger, DePaul University
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