R102| Irrational Enthusiasms:
Weimar Germany 1919-1933
| Phil Deely


11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.


6/8, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29

Four Sessions

This four-session seminar examines, at hyperspeed, Weimar’s agonizing birth, shaky adolescence, full formed adulthood, and eventual decrepitude.  A staggering amount of creative energy was crammed into this 14-year period; artistic movements encompassed Expressionism and Dada; in architecture the Bauhaus brought a new vocabulary of architect and design; music, film, and dance all pushed accepted boundaries of expression. A fragile democratic state was beset by the battling street armies of Reds and Nazis. The balance was tipped in 1933, when President Hindenburg anointed Adolph Hitler as Chancellor of the Germany-what followed was Germany’s real ‘stab in the back.’ Weimar’s internal contradictions and eventual demise have been employed as a lesson for today. Is the USA of the 21st Century a version of the Weimar Republic? Do subterranean forces threaten our increasingly fragile democracy?  Step this way, mein dammen und herren, and consider these questions as we step into the dazzling and troubling world of the Weimar Republic.

Phil Deely grew up in Stockbridge Massachusetts and received his BA at Hobart College in European History, and attended University of Chicago for his MA. Phil did additional post degree coursework at Harvard University, the University of Maine, and Exeter College-Oxford University. In the 1970’s and 1980’s Phil was a full time educator. Phil began teaching at Simon’s Rock Great Barrington MA and lectured at New York University. Subsequently he served as Principal of Emma Willard School Troy, NY, Associate Head and Academic Dean at the Ethel Walker School Simsbury, CT and History department chair Foxcroft School Middleburg, VA. In 1980 he was selected as a Klingenstein Fellow. From 1989-1998 Phil served as an associate director for the Norman Rockwell Museum Stockbridge, MA. He helped the museum reinvigorate and successfully conclude The Campaign  for Norman Rockwell to construct the new museum. Phil has been active in philanthropic efforts serving as chairman of Berkshire Country Day School, advisor to Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and board member of Laurel Hill Association.

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