Z Online Class: A Zoom invitation link will be sent one day before each session begins.
The 21st century world is largely a product of two towering influences of the last century: Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union. Both systems raise key questions for our time about society and human nature. We will look at various aspects of both societies in the 20th century: the roles of culture, minorities, and women and the family; ‘scientific’ thought and racism; and ideas about what constituted a proper individual human, citizen, and nation. Our presenter will discuss the ideas of Nazism and Communism under Hitler and Stalin, and to what extent the concept of totalitarianism is useful in describing the two countries. How much was leadership – or a mass following – key to establishing Nazism and Communism in Europe? What parallels might we find in today’s politics? As a distillation of these two societies, we will consider the Holocaust and the Second World War, whose repercussions are still being felt in Europe and around the world today.
Gene Homel has taught history and politics since 1973 at universities and colleges in Ontario and British Columbia. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and has written and presented extensively on history and culture.