Timothy Snyder

Gott ist Russe

Der Russe blickte dem Teufel ins Auge, er legte Gott auf die Couch des Psychoanalytikers und begriff, dass seine Nation die Welt erlösen kann. Ein gequälter Gott erzählte dem Russen eine Geschichte vom Scheitern. Am Anfang war das Wort, Reinheit und Vollkommenheit, und das Wort war Gott. Doch dann beging Gott eine Jugendsünde.
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The Road to Unfreedom. Russia, Europe, America

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread …
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United Europe – Divided History

This research project seeks to overcome divisions among national historiographies and between East and West through scholarly history conceived in a novel way.
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The Reichstag Warning

The Reichstag fire shows how quickly a modern republic can be transformed into an authoritarian regime. There is nothing new, to be sure, in the politics of exception. The American Founding Fathers knew that the democracy they were creating was vulnerable to an aspiring tyrant who might seize upon some dramatic event as grounds for the suspension of our rights. As James Madison nicely put it, tyranny arises “on some favorable emergency.” What changed with the Reichstag fire was the use of terrorism as a catalyst for regime change. To this day, we do not know who set the Reichstag fire: the lone anarchist executed by the Nazis or, as new scholarship by Benjamin Hett suggests, the Nazis themselves. What we do know is that it created the occasion for a leader to eliminate all opposition.
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On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or a party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, …
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20 Lessons from the 20th Century

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.
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Timothy Snyder was Awarded “Man of the Year” Prize by Gazeta Wyborcza

Gazeta Wyborcza, the first Polish independent broadsheet established in 1989, celebrated its 27th anniversary and awarded its “Man of the Year” prize to Timothy Snyder, Professor of History at Yale University and a Permanent Fellow at the IWM.
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Poland vs. History

Perhaps the greatest surprise in the Polish government’s decision is the implicit alliance with current Russian memory policy. The move to limit the Polish history of World War II to the week-long engagement with Germany at Westerplatte in 1939 follows a Russian script that is entirely on the record. In a speech at Westerplatte in 2009, Vladimir Putin accepted that Poland, and not the USSR, was the first victim of German aggression. But there was an important proviso, which he has amplified several times since. The German attack on Poland, Putin asserts, was a consequence of Poland’s own dealings with Nazi Germany before the war, rather than a result of the Soviet-German alliance of 1939.
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Warnings from Another Refugee Crisis

The last world war began amidst a refugee crisis. In discussions of refugees today, many European politicians neglect to mention how exclusion led to murder the last time around.
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Black Earth. The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth. The Holocaust as History and Warning New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2015 In this epic history of extermination and survival, Timothy Snyder presents a new explanation of the great atrocity of the twentieth century, and reveals the risks that we face in the twenty-first. Based on new sources from eastern Europe and forgotten …
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