Failed Experiment

Weimar Germany
Promise and Tragedy
Eric D. Weitz
Princeton University Press, $29.95, 432 pp.

In 1950, when the East German authorities demolished the Royal Palace in the center of Berlin, they retained a single piece of the façade that was incorporated into the new Foreign Ministry. This allowed them to preserve the balcony from which, on November 9, 1918, Karl Liebknecht proclaimed the short-lived German Workers’ Republic. A few blocks away, but on the other side of the line that divided East and West Berlin, a plaque marked the spot where, on that same...

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About the Author

James J. Sheehan, professor emeritus of history at Stanford University, is the author of Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?: The Transformation of Modern Europe, among other books.