Democracy in Crisis: Weimar Germany, 1929-1932 (Reacting to the Past(tm))
Democracy in Crisis explores one of the world's greatest failures of democracy in Germany during the so-called Weimar Republic, 1919-33--a failure that led to the Third Reich. For more than a decade after World War I, liberalism, nationalism, conservatism, social democracy, Christian democracy, communism, fascism, and every variant of these movements struggled for power. Although Germany's constitutional framework boldly enshrined liberal democratic values, the political spectrum was so broad and fully represented that a stable parliamentary majority required constant negotiations. The compromises that were made subsequently alienated citizens, who were embittered by national humiliation in the war and the ensuing treaty and struggling to survive economic turmoil and rapidly changing cultural norms. As positions hardened, the door was opened to radical alternatives.
In this game, students, as delegates of the Reichstag (parliament), must contend with intense parliamentary wrangling, uncontrollable world events, street fights, assassinations, and insurrections. The game begins in late 1929, just after the U.S. stock market crash, as the Reichstag deliberates the Young Plan (a revision to the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I). Students belonging to various political parties must debate these matters and more as the combination of economic stress, political gridlock, and foreign pressure turn Germany into a volcano on the verge of eruption.