What can we learn from the financial crisis that brought Hitler to power? How did diplomatic deadlock fuel the rise of authoritarianism? Tobias Straumann shares vital insights with 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler (Oxford University Press, 2019). Through his fast-paced narrative, Straumann reveals how inflexible treaties created an inescapable debt trap that spawned Nazism. Caught between investor confidence and domestic political pressure, unrealistic agreements left decision makers little room for maneuver when crisis struck. 1931 reminds us of hard lessons relevant to designing resilient agreements today.
Tobias Straumann is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Zurich and teaches economic history both to historians and economists. His research interests span numerous contributions to contemporary European business, monetary, and financial history. 1931 is his fourth book.
Ryan Stackhouse is a historian of Europe specializing in modern Germany and political policing under dictatorship. His book exploring Gestapo enforcement practices toward different social groups is nearing completion under the working title A Discriminating Terror. He also cohosts the Third Reich History Podcast and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Staxomatix.