This month we are reading In the Garden of Beasts, by Eric Larson. We will meet in person to discuss the book at Arden Dimick Library on August 26, 2017 at 10:30AM.
In the Garden of Beasts describes the lives of the Dodd family, who were Ambassadors to Germany from 1933 to 1937. For your reference, here is a timeline of Hitler’s rise to power so you can see where the Dodd years fell in the development of the Third Reich. This timeline is condensed from a much more detailed one at Open Learn.
1920: Hitler becomes the head of propaganda for the German Worker’s Party and changes the party’s name to the Nationalist Socialist German Worker’s Party (NAZI).
1925 – 1926: Publishes Mein Kampf while in prison for political activities.
1930 – 1933: The Nazi Party rises in prominence.
1933: Enabling Act passed following the Reichstag Fire. This act gives Hitler full legislative powers for four years. Hitler bans all other political parties and trade unions.
1933: William Dodd appointed US Ambassador, stationed in Berlin.
1934: Paul von Hindenburg, Germany’s elected president, dies. Hitler names himself head of state with the support of the military.
1935: Hitler re-arms the military and introduces military conscription.
1937: Dodd leaves Berlin and resigns as Ambassador.
1938: Crystal Night, a night of terror which is often thought of as the beginning of the Holocaust.
1941: The United States of America enters WWII.