Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

German

Major Professor

Adrian Del Caro

Committee Members

Stefanie Ohnesorg, Daniel Magilow

Abstract

This thesis is a translation project to mark the centennial of the Weimar Republic’s founding in 1918 – 1919. The period of turmoil which began during the November Revolution set the tone both for Germany’s national and political development (even into the 21st century) and for the way that people talk about the Weimar Republic and its ultimate demise.Through the translation of two essays on the Weimar Republic first published in former West Germany, an English-speaking audience may be introduced to certain elements which inform discussions of the Weimar Republic; some of these issues are explored in “An Introduction to Linguistic and Historical Factors Which Influence the Translation of Weimar Research.” In “The Political Culture of the Weimar Republic,” Kurt Sontheimer delineates the problems that scholars encounter when trying to argue the existence of a predominant political culture in Germany at that time. Finally, Klaus Schwabe abridges the ten most functional years of Weimar’s legislative and executive branches in “The Path of the Republic from the Kapp Putsch of 1920 Until the Collapse of Müller’s Cabinet in 1930” in order to demonstrate the extent of the strained relations between Weimar’s many political parties and leaders.Framed from the viewpoint of translation, Sontheimer and Schwabe’s essays help to define a discursive space wherein multiple perspectives can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the Weimar Republic. These perspectives require an analysis of language as it has functioned at different points in time, of relationships with the past, and of the fact that Germans’ modern framing of the Weimar Republic is based on how the Republic was handled discursively and rhetorically both during its own time and during the early years of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Comments

Portions of this document were previously published in anthology "Die Weimarer Republik, 1918-1933: Politik, Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft" (1987) and are re-published in translation here with the permission of the original authors or their legal representatives.

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