Nazi culture

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  • Created by: mawhite
  • Created on: 22-01-16 14:21


Its purpose was to mould public opinion. The Reich Chamber of Culture was supervised by the Propaganda Ministry.

Germany's cultural life in the Third Reich was to be another means of achieving censorship and indoctrination.

Culture was 'co-ordinated' by means of the Reich Chamber of Culture, which made provision for seven sub-chambers: fine arts, music, theatre, the press, radio, literature and films.

Nazi culture was dominated by a number of key themes reflecting Nazi ideology: anti-Semitism, militarism and the glorification of war, nationalism and the superiority of the Aryan race, the cult of the Fuhrer and the power of absolutism, anti-modernism and the theme of 'Blood and Soil' and neo-paganism and a rejection of traditional Christian values.

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Mahler and Mendelssohn, both great Jewish composers, were banned, along with most modern musical trends.

The new wave of modern classical composers, Schoenberg and Hindemith, were shunned for their atonal music.

Jazz and dance-band genres were labelled 'negroid'.

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Over 2500 of Germany's writers left their homeland during the years 1933-45. Among these were Thomas Mann (author and Nobel Prize winner), Bertolt Brecht (prestigious modern playright, who was a communist) and Erich Maria Remarque (author of All Quiet on the Western Front).

Their place was taken by a lesser literary group, who either sympathised with the regime or accepted the limitations.

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Visual arts

Many types of arts were censored. 'New functionalist' artists like Georg Grosz and Otto Dix were banned as their paintings had strong political and social messages. Also, the Bahaus style was banned.

The modern styles of art were resented by Nazism so much that in July 1937 two art exhibitions were launched called 'Degenerate Art' and 'Great German Art'. The first one was held to be mocked and many of the pieces were destroyed. The second one glorified major Nazi themes and celeberated classic styles and German Romanticism. Most admired were: the sculptor Arno Breker and the artists Adolf Ziegler and Hermann Hoyer.

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Jewis film actors and directors such as Fritz Lang were removed. The films made under the Nazi regime fell into three categories:

1. Overt propaganda - e.g. The Eternal Jew, a tasteless, racism film that portrayed Jews as rats.

2. Pure escapism - e.g. The Adventures of Baron von Munchhausen, a comedy based on an old German legend.

3. Emotive nationalism - e.g. Olympia (the docu-drama of the Berlin Olympics).

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Control of the press and radio was Goebbel's prime objective, but he gradually also took control of film, music literature and art.

Nazi propaganda succeeded in the sense that it: - Cultivated the 'Hitler myth' of him as an all-powerful leader- Strengthened the Nazi regime after Germany's political crisis, 1929-33

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