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The centennial of the Versailles Treaty offers an opportunity to reflect on its legacy. The years between the cessation of fighting in November 1918 and the ascent of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in February 1933 were fraught. As things turned out, developments in Europe did not point to the aspired end of conflict. This was especially so in Germany, where the post-war years signaled a seemingly continuous struggle to make sense of politics, the economy, indeed of normal life. This lecture will concentrate on key years of post-war Germany (1918-1933), serving to provide a broader context and a better understanding of what ensued thereafter. Ironically, some of the conditions experienced in Germany may be seen reflected in other regions of the world and at different times, including our own.
Mark Szuchman took his doctorate in Latin American history at the University of Texas, Austin. He has been a professor in the departments of history at the University of Miami, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National University of Uruguay, and is professor emeritus at Florida International University. His publications – five books and over forty articles – focus on Argentina, urban and family history in Spanish America. He has been the recipient of grants from the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.