Sunday, January 24, 2010

Germany in Transition

“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” is a common phrase I say to myself whenever I know my life is about to get very difficult. This is what I’ve been saying to myself all week, since as the days go by I realize the magnitude of my semester.

With two senior classes, and three different history classes I will probably be averaging 300 pages a week of reading. So, I am going to pre apologize for the next few months, since I will probably be pulling a lot of material from my three history classes: Reconstruction and the New South, Ancient Israel and the World of the Bible and Europe in Crisis 1914-1945.

On the topic of Europe in Crisis, I was very happy to see a familiar topic happening this week. Perhaps it’s the exhaustion speaking, but I feel totally in my element seeing that Friday January 29 marks the anniversary of Hitler being appointed chancellor of Germany by von Hindenburg. Now, the next most interesting thing I found was that in 1858 the wedding march was played for the first time at Queen Victoria of England’s daughter was married.

Back to the subject of Hitler, which is a dark one indeed. His appointment to chancellor in 1933 signified his ultimate rise to power as the ultimate ruler of Germany. In fact, this week also signifies the anniversary of Germany and Poland’s non-attack peace treaty the two countries signed on January 27, 1934. The peace agreement stated the two countries would not attack one another for 10 years. One year later after he was appointed chancellor, and Europe was already worried about Hitler’s power in Germany. In fact, the peace would formally end in 1939 when Germany broke the peace agreement it had signed only five years earlier by invading Poland. This would also signify the formal start of WWII.

Do I really need to explain to everyone why this event is important to today? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone knows about Hitler, at least I would hope you know about him. His rise to power ultimately led to Germany gaining most of Europe either through treaties or war, and WWII, as well as the Holocaust. The ramifications of the war we still feel today; one of my favorite random bits of knowledge about the war is that after WWII many of the European countries drifted towards more liberal leaders. The Cold War between the USSR and USA also came about because of the war, leading to the Iron curtain in Europe until the 80’s.

I know, I kinda slacked this week. I am really lucky it is a topic I know well through personal interest and my WWII in Europe class last spring. Oh well, just my luck, and I’m not complaining! Until next week everyone.

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