Nazi Art & Culture Policy

nazi cultureHitler’s policy of “Gleichschaltung” or forcible coordination, amounted to nothing less than a massive, state-wide program of thought control, whereby the complete ideological coordination of all political, social, and cultural activities would ensure that every element of German life would become part of the National Socialist machine under Hitler’s illustrious leadership.”High Culture” played an important political role in Hitler’s Germany.

 

References to music, history, philosophy, and art formed a key part of the Nazi strategy to reverse the symptoms of decline perceived after World War I. Hitler presented himself not only as a ‘man of the people’ and a soldier with frontline experience but also and above all as a man whose artistic experience constituted the best guarantee of his ability to mediate the collective spirit of the people, and turn it into the ‘perfect Third Reich. The revival of a culturally rich Germany as the so-called Third Reich, however, would be achieved only once those whom the Nazis considered its enemies were all destroyed. So war and culture went together in the National Socialist agenda. Art, said Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, “is no mere peacetime amusement, but a sharp spiritual weapon for war.”

How the Nazis destroyed diversity in art
Deutsche Welle

When Hitler Defined Art
Deutsche Welle

Gleichschaltung
Wikipedia

CULTURE IN THE THIRD REICH: DISSEMINATING THE NAZI WORLDVIEW
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

PURGES, EXCLUSIONS, AND LIMITS: ART POLICIES IN GERMANY 1933-1949
Cora Goldstein
Cultural Policy Center
The University of Chicago

Joseph Goebbels: Art, Culture and the Nazi State
The Jewish Magazine

Art Under Fascism
Music and Film

Gottbegnadeten list
Wikipedia
Selected names from the 36-page list of artists considered crucial to Nazi culture. The list was assembled in September 1944 by Joseph Goebbels, and Adolf Hitler.

Art in Nazi Germany
Smart History

Reichskulturkammer
Reich Chamber of Culture
Wikipedia

Extracts from the Manual of the Reich Chamber of Culture (1937)
German History in Documents and Images (GHDI)

Nazi art dealers and Jewish persecution
History Learning Site

The Arts in Nazi Germany:
A Silent Debate
PAMELA M. POTTER
School of Music
University of Wisconsin – Madison
An article that questions some of the previously held assumptions about the role of ideology in the cultural life of Nazi Germany

Homogenous Nazi Art? A Bold Reading from 1994
Book Review:
The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany, by Eric Michaud
H-Net

Nazi Ideology and the Visual Arts
Diffusion
University of Central Lancashire

Culture War
HOW THE NAZI PARTY RECAST NIETZSCHE
Humanities

Book Excerpt:
Censorship and Mythmaking in Nazi Germany
Hamida Bosmajian
Project Muse

Joseph Goebbels
Wikipedia
Goebbels was Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.

Reichs Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
Wikipedia

Dr. Goebbels and his Ministry
by Hans Fritzsche
German Propaganda Archive
Hans Fritzsche, the author of this essay, was a leading Nazi radio broadcaster. Here he praises Goebbels and outlines the nature of the newly-founded Reich Ministry for People’s Enlightenment and Propaganda. He makes the interesting argument that Goebbels is promoting a higher form of artistic freedom in attempting to guide art from his position as propaganda minister.

Joseph Goebbels
Jewish Virtual Library

GOEBBELS’ PRINCIPLES OF PROPAGANDA
PsyWarrior

Joseph Goebbels: Two Speeches on the Tasks of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (March 15 / March 25, 1933)
German History in Documents and Images (GHDI)

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