German Resistance to the Nazi Regime, 1933-1945

The German Resistance movement consisted of several disparate strands that were ultimately unable to bring Hitler down. Introduction The German Resistance refers to those individuals and groups in Nazi Germany who opposed the regime of Adolf Hitler between 1933 and 1945. Some of these engaged in active plans to remove Hitler from power and overthrow[…]

The SS Officer’s Armchair

The author is led to his ancestral shtetl and the extermination of its inhabitants by Nazi bullets or those of their Ukrainian accomplices. In 2011 an upholsterer in Amsterdam found a bundle of swastika-covered documents inside the cushion of an armchair he was repairing. The papers all belonged to Dr. Robert Griesinger, a lawyer from[…]

Guilds: Skilled Privilege in the Middle Ages

Introduction A guild is an association of artisans or merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as confraternities of tradesmen, normally operating in a single city and covering a single trade. They were organized in a manner something between a professional association, a trade[…]

Guilds from the Ancient to Medieval Worlds

Guilds secured the monopoly and the commerce of the cities, controlling the various activities and selling all kinds of goods. Already in the Roman era, associations of people practicing the same trade are attested: in the first century, they actively participated in the political life of the city (as shown by the electoral graffiti of[…]

Rulership and Justice: The Law Codes of Ancient Mesopotamia

Rulers used law codes either to justify their rule or to demonstrate examples of justice and due process during a successful reign. While most people know of Hammurabi as the author of his famous “law code,” few know that the tradition of the ruler as the guardian and administrator of justice began much earlier in[…]