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Lecture

Nazi Culture

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Department
History
Course
History 2147A/B
Professor
Julia Berest
Semester
Winter

Description
History - Art and Culture in Nazi Germany Transforming German Culture - Hitler understood that if culture was effectively controlled it could help him as much as propaganda - everything was to be controlled as much as possible - Nazis viewed themselves as a revolutionary unit so they wanted to completely transform everything - everything that was foreign was to be purged - national community - aspired to develop a culture that appealed to everyone as it was supposed to contained a shared sense of national community - creating new culture was the most difficult task because cultural taste is very individual - every nation has a few shared tastes passed down, but everything else is determined by the individual - cultural tastes are very resistant to change - people are more likely to accept the fact that Jews were the enemy (political views) than they were to give up records or books written by Jews - lenience to Nazi control over culture and leisure (due to the difficulties of controlling it) - non-totalitarian? German Art before 1933: modernism (avant-garde) - famous for modernism art - distorted notion of reality and their unorthodox method of presenting it - no such thing as objective reality European Influences on German Art - modernist arts could be found throughout Europe, travelled to Germany and was then further developed - often depicted the idea of big cities and loneliness Germany Art After WW1 - much gloomier, defiant and critical - many artists came out of the war traumatized by the warfare and the poverty that came after it - wanted to show Germany’s political and moral problems - ie. painting of 3 disabled veterans (badly disfigured) who are now only good for playing cards - wanted to compel public to see the ugly side of war - Nazis didn’t want to see this as they glorified war - another theme was prostitution Culture of Entertainment in Weimar Germany - very shocking paintings even today - people who survived the war and all it’s hardships wanted to live life to the fullest - anything goes attitude - democracy for the first time and there was the belief that there should be no censorship - people could now enjoy previously censored/forbidden activities - sexual fantasies (ie. prostitution) was rampant, street fights during the daytime, wild night life - contrast of these two lives gave eccentrics to the culture Art in Nazi Germany - wasn’t difficult to eliminate the gay and lesbianism as many Germans were still conservative themselves so they were complacent in that - Hitler enjoyed the old masters and the classical/traditional works so he denounced the new modernist styles - when he came to power he indulged his own tastes Exhibition of Degenerate Art,
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