Barry Jackisch

Kiley Kinnard

Headshot of Barry Jackisch

Barry Jackisch is an associate professor at the University of Toledo and Director of UToledo’s Roger Ray Institute for the Humanities. He received his Ph.D. in history from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo in 2000. He is an historian of modern central and eastern Europe with research interests (including one book and multiple articles) related to democracy, fascism, and communism in the mid-20th century. At UToledo, he teaches courses in modern German and Russian history, war and revolution in Europe, the age of world wars, the contemporary world, and the history of the Holocaust and comparative genocide.  

“Hitler’s Rise to Power: How Authoritarian Movements Can Destroy Democracy” 

This talk focuses on the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. It begins by exploring the basic features of the 1918-1933 German democracy frequently called the Weimar Republic. It then examines how a fascist political party under the leadership of an extremist demagogue worked to destroy German democracy and gain total power in one of the world’s most advanced countries. It concludes by reflecting on the significance of this historical example for our world today.  

“From the Nuremberg Laws to the Night of Broken Glass: Race, Law, and the foundations of the Holocaust” 

This presentation explores the increasing persecution of Jews and other targeted groups in Nazi Germany. Far from a random process, this persecution developed with the entire weight of the German state and legal system. Outsiders soon became legally excluded from German society on the basis of overt racial discrimination. This legal segregation allowed systematic violence against Jews and other groups in the Nazi regime, culminating in the nightmare of the Holocaust.  

“The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Historical Background and Global Consequences” 

This talk explores the illegal and disastrous Russian invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine. It begins by examining the historical origins of this conflict, including the complex nationalist and imperialist ambitions of the Russian state which have expanded under Vladimir Putin. We will then consider the current state of the Russian invasion and its larger significance for human rights, national sovereignty, and the global economy in the 21st century.