20th century

Election battles were fought ferociously in pre-World War One Germany, when most middle-class Germans still opposed formal democracy. Anti-democrats deployed many exclusionary strategies that flew in the face of electoral fairness.

Friday, June 24, 2016 12:00 am - Saturday, December 31, 2016 12:00 am EDT (GMT -04:00)

Waterloo Region Museum: City on Edge

Learn how a city was pushed to the edge during the First World War - to the point of changing its name from Berlin to Kitchener through a controversial and high-tension referendum.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 5:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

100 Years Since WWI: Dictatorship and Democracy in an Age of Extremes

Beginning with the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the last century saw the rise of Italian fascism and Soviet communism, the world economic crisis, and the rise of the Nazis to power in Germany, leading to the horrors of World War II.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 11:30 am - 12:50 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

The Dawn of Freedom—East Germany 1989

Twenty-five years ago and after protests and peaceful demonstrations, the Berlin Wall opened, the East German government resigned, and German unification was on the horizon. The year 1989 was an eventful year for East Germans: protests during the local elections in spring; the flight of thousands via Hungary and Czechoslovakia in summer; anti-government protests in Leipzig and other cities and towns in fall, and the fall of the Wall in November.

Mat Schulze, prof in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies, was a student in Leipzig in 1989. He will talk not only about the political developments that year but also give an eyewitness account of protests, civic rights actions, and demonstrations in Leipzig.

Monday, September 22, 2014 8:00 am - Friday, September 26, 2014 9:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes: Spotlights on the History of Europe in the Twentieth Century

Poster for photo exhibition, Dictatorship and Democracy

Revealing a total of 190 rare photographs, newspaper clippings and political cartoons from different European archives, the exhibition "Dictatorship and Democracy in the Age of Extremes" tells Europe's dramatic story of the 20th century – a past between freedom and tyranny, democracy and dictatorship.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:00 am - Friday, August 15, 2014 12:00 am EDT (GMT -04:00)

Bertha von Suttner, A Life of Peace - Concert and Exhibit

Bertha von Suttner, born in 1843, was in many ways ahead of her times. As an avid pacifist, this remarkable woman was the figurehead of a world-wide peace movement. She relentlessly fought nationalist fanaticism, aggressive militarism, anti-Semitism and recognized the dangers of hate breeding. As a writer and lecturer, she inspired her friend and benefactor Alfred Nobel to create a Peace Prize. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 for her most famous novel “Lay Down your Arms”.