Summer School 2021

The German predicament: Arminius to Merkel


Christopher Danziger, lecturer               

The Germans have for millennia been the most numerous, best educated and most prosperous people in Europe. However, politically, ever since Hermann (Arminius) defeated the Romans in AD 9, they have punched below their weight. For centuries they paid homage to an Empire with great prestige but little power. In early modern times the Germans were left behind when their neighbours developed into national states. In the nineteenth century politically at last they came into their own. It was so intoxicating that in the space of thirty years they tried twice – and failed –   to achieve world domination. It could have crushed and demoralised them. But they faced the catastrophic: they redefined themselves and emerged as a different but still formidable proposition.


  1. From barbarians to emperors: A.D. 0 to 1806
  2. From federation to nation: 1806 to 1870
  3. From empire to republic: 1870 to 1918
  4. From republic to Reich: 1918 to 1945
  5. From the ashes, a phoenix: 1945 to 2020

This course will be offered on Microsoft Teams. Participants will be sent a link.


Recommended reading

Carr, W.A. 1991. A History of Germany 1815–1990. London: Bloomsbury.

Craig, G. 1980. Germany 1866–1945. London: Oxford University Press.

Kershaw, I. 2000. Hitler: Profiles in Power. London: Longmans.

Taylor, A.J.P. 1985. Bismarck. Hamish: Hamilton


Date: 25 -29 January
Time: 11.15 am