Third Reich Gleichschaltung of Cultural Life

Third Reich Gleichschaltung of Cultural Life

Hitler seizes control: The "Gleichschaltung" of cultural life (Notes for an oral presentation)


- soon after appointment of Hitler as chancellor of Germany in Jan 1933 G. (coordination) of German culture began - Nazis extended policy of Gleichschaltung of state and society - included all parts of cultural life - all cultural activities brought in line with Nazi goals - had to show Nazi ideas, should help to extend Fuehrer cult - Sep.1933: "Reich Chamber of Culture" set up - supervised by Propaganda Ministry headed by Propaganda Minister J. Goebbels - divided in 6 chambers - each a president, appointed by Goebbels - task: „Neuordnung u. Vereinheitlichung des Gesamten künstlerischen Schaffens" - make sure that all cultural activities show Nazi beliefs - inform the people about relationship race and art - nothing that was published was to offend the state - easy to reach: artists only keep or get a job if they are member in one of the chambers of the RKK - only Aryans with Nazi opinion have a right to do so - all others banned from their profession

Art (including painting, sculpture and architecture) - for Hitler: one of the most important element to strengthening the Third Reich and "purify" the German nation - used to get political messages across Task of art: shape the population's attitudes; ensure people's loyalty to the regime - political aims and artistic expression became one - soon all kinds of art controlled - artists: no chance to develop, express their own opinion - all paintings, drawings ,sculptures by Jewish, Communist or other artists ,who didn't fit into the Nazi ideals banned and destroyed - works by artists unacceptable to Nazis called "Degenerate Art" ("Entartete Kunst") - Hitler's process of "purification" began with raids on museums and galleries - paintings and sculptures removed - from thousands of works 5 000 pieces burned, others sold to...

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