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Thursday, February 1

“Conversion Stories: Turning Communists into Nazis”
5:00 pm
Sabine Hake, University of Texas at Austin, German Literature and Culture
602 Cathedral of Learning
Announced by:
Center for Russian East European and Eurasian Studies and European Studies Center on behalf of

Historians have long argued about the relationship between the workers and the Nazis. Did the Nazis betray the German working class or did they offer solutions to their problems? Answering these questions as part of a larger debate about politics and emotions means to pay close attention to the grievances and resentments that made possible the shift from class to race as the main category of identification. This lecture uses a little-known genre from the early 1930s known as Bewegungsromane (novels about the Nazi movement) to reconstruct the social(ist) imaginaries mobilized in the name of National Socialism. Today these Nazi conversion stories not only shed light on the politics of emotion that turned Communists into Nazis; they also model the symbolic convergence of nationalism, socialism, and populism in modern mass movements.