Cultural Foundations of National Socialism, part 2.

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One characteristic of Hitler’s style of rule was straightforwardness; he shared his views honestly and had a talent for maintaining diplomacy even when discussing topics for which he felt unbridled passion. In his writings, chronicling his days of poverty as a youth in Vienna, he points out the lack of national pride among the city’s inhabitants, especially his fellow youth, and finds fault in the “bourgeois circles” for expecting such pride to emerge from the masses at their convenience.

Lacking fondness, to put it mildly, toward urban life altogether, in Mein Kampf Hitler hypothesizes a scene characteristic to that era in Germany, in which a young child, crammed in tight quarters, the “narrowness and congestion” of which lead to verbal and physical abuse, becomes “infected with moral poison” practically from birth, setting him on course to long term moral corruption, “national indifference,” and bitterness. He expresses the importance of establishing “healthy social conditions” which would include an educational system that exalts Germany and its historical achievements, arguing the youth lacked the mere opportunity to embrace their nation, as reverence for its history had been tarnished from curriculum of the schools altogether. 

Under his rule, the Hitler Youth and League of German Girls were established to further ‘cultivate’ the German youth and “educate [them] so desirable traits were stimulated and undesirable traits suppressed.” The schools of the Reich were also greatly reformed, physical fitness through athletic activity being an essential aspect, as well as the installment of “instinct and will.” Hitler looked down upon so-called “over-education” which created “enemies of action” out of young Germans.

Of course, Hitler recognized the importance of youth to a nation, exemplified by his famous quote: “he alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” But even before the beginning of his involvement in politics, Hitler observed a generation “to whom nothing [was] sacred” during the depression. Young men were spoiled out of the “mysteries of marriage” by prostitutes on the city streets and contracted syphilis at such young ages as fourteen and fifteen. Hitler condemned the worship of money in context to “the mammonizing of [the] natural instinct of procreation,” claiming that it could have the effect of working “havoc on [Germany’s] whole posterity. For instead of strong, healthy children, blessed with natural feelings,” the following generation of Germans would be riddled with “miserable specimens of humanity resulting from economic calculation.”

Fearlessly critical of the Weimar era state, Hitler succinctly explained the proper course of action, as he saw it, and what the result would be if combative action was not taken:

“Those who want seriously to combat prostitution must first of all assist in removing the spiritual conditions on which it thrives. They will have to clean up the moral pollution of our city culture fearlessly and without regard for the outcry that will follow. If we don’t drag our youth out of the morass of their present environment, they will be engulfed by it.”

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A loss in World War I culminated in the Treaty of Versailles, signed in Paris in 1919, which hoisted all blame upon the shoulders of Germany, similarly to the end of the Second World War, and also demanded reparations equivalent to “roughly $400 billion in today’s dollars.” A decorated veteran of the war himself, Hitler opposed the notion that their defeat was “in itself a cause” of the state of depression Germany found itself in following the war. Instead, he asserted the loss as “the consequence of other causes” which were longer in the making, claiming ultimately that a healthy nation would reinvigorate even after a military loss, and that “it was not the enemy who brought disgrace upon [Germany] but rather [its] own countrymen.”

It would have been easier to blame those who dictated the terms of the treaty, but it was in the spirit of his future party that Hitler avoided the concept of German victimhood, instead suggesting that German destabilization would be only the fault of its people. Yet, to avoid further destabilization after gaining power, Hitler violated the treaty by developing his military and ceasing to pay reparations. More importantly, in the years leading up to the invasion of Poland in 1939, the regaining of land which has henceforth been referred to as ‘greater Germany-’ that is, historically German land, populated by Germans, occupied by non-Germans under the terms of the Versailles treaty, was an essential undertaking of the National Socialists.   

The concept of Lebensraum, meaning ‘living space’ and directly translating to ‘habitat’ was crucial to the Blut und Boden or ‘Blood and Soil’ doctrine of the National Socialists, which exemplified their mission to adhere to the laws of nature as faithfully as possible. Essentially, it highlights the importance of the spiritual connection of a people to a land in spirit, and believes that only in union can this people wield the most prosperity. Hitler believed this to be true not only for Aryans of Germany, but native people of all lands, accusing the “white races” of “impos[ing] their will by force” in the example of the conquest of North America, “giving…those plagues of [Europe’s] own modern world- materialism, fanaticism, alcoholism and syphilis” to the natives there.

Similarly, a Marxist vision for the future is an attempted “conquest of nature:” a classless society working towards “the end of evolutionary struggle” and “the creation of a perfected, egalitarian, and peaceful humanity” which implies that “man would finally be able to transcend his animal origins.” Needless to say, the National Socialists considered this an impossibility. Hitler foretold that “one may defy nature for a certain period of time, but sooner or later she will take her inexorable revenge.”

So, in the practice of adherence to nature, the National Socialists sought to fulfill the concept of Lebensraum initially by uniting greater Germany, especially that which was lost in the Versailles treaty, and later by expanding the Reich as the war got underway for all Nordic peoples, or ‘Aryans,’ those with blood by which the soil thrives, so to speak. And while theoretically, the coinciding of race and nation was prevalent, an overwhelming majority of the peoples of the lands in question wished to reunite with Germany as well. In 1938, for example, 99.73% of Austrians voted in favor of merging with the Reich under Hitler, with similar sentiments expressed from Sudetenland, which had a German population of 90%.

Similarly to his views on art, being that the inferior quality of modern art enables the mass-production of it, Hitler noticed the greater rate in which so-called ‘inferior races’ reproduced, and thus Lebensraum under the Reich was the key to a safe space in which Aryan families could thrive. The family, in the traditional sense, is the backbone of any orderly society, and so traditional gender roles were venerated. Before his emergence to power, Hitler advocated for assuring the ability to marry young, and through his youth groups sought to refine young men and women in the image of traditionalism and ultimate health. But before the individual, National Socialism prioritizes the collective group, and in racial terms cares only for the blood of the nation to remain as pure, that is, unmixed with other races, as possible.Autobahnen 1930s

Yet, the concept of racial purity is not exclusively imperative to National Socialists, nor in the interest solely of Aryan peoples; while responsible for the first anti-smoking campaigns, the Third Reich was also the first regime to enact policies for the rights of animals and the preservation of nature. During the 6-year process of constructing Hitler’s extensive highway system, the Autobahn, it was seen to “that the new road system did not unnecessarily destroy either the German landscape, or wildlife habitats and forests.”

Moreover, because the National Socialists believed that the practice of racial purity in effect benefits the land, in that a pure race is most in touch with its Lebensraum, it was thereby implied that nature would reflect the purity of the people which it cradles. Notice the circularity of this cycle, and likewise the circularity of the changing seasons, and furthermore that of the pan-European worldview, and behold, the Swastika: the circular symbol adopted by the National Socialists.

In his speech at Nuremberg, Hitler said National Socialism is “not a movement for worship,” yet in the same speech practically contradicts himself, claiming there is indeed a point of worship for the National Socialists, and that is nature, “the divine laws of existence so far as they are known to us men,” proclaiming thereafter a mission statement for his regime, being “the courageous fulfillment of the duties arising from those laws.” This was his way of giving National Socialism God’s blessing, so to speak, as every nation banded under an ideology requires, in one way or another, to persist.

Yet, National Socialism was not a Christian movement. In fact, Hitler, later on in his life, separated himself from what was once a more assured Christian faith. Although many prominent National Socialists called themselves Christians, it seems any positive reference to Christ was but a reference to morality itself, as it had sort of manifested itself in Christ’s name over the centuries. Furthermore, some leaders in the party, or men with close affiliation to the party’s rise, namely Heinrich Himmler, commander in chief of the SS (the ‘protection squadron’ of the N.S.D.A.P.), Alfred Rosenberg, Dietrich Eckhart, and others, were anti-Christian and also members of the proto-National Socialist Thule Gesellschaft, a group with occult leanings which esteemed Indo-European religion and its relation with rural communities among Nordic peoples of antiquity. And, as revealed in private monologues published after the war’s end (as well as being quite evident in his rhetoric on nature), Hitler himself deemed Christianity “the worst repression that mankind could ever have undergone,” considering its practice “a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.”

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Native Germanic Religion greatly informed spirituality in the Reich.

The “doctrine of racial equality” and race-mixing is naturally welcomed by the Christian worldview, in that a person of any race could (and should, according to Christians) adhere to Christian teachings, and thereby become a Christian. Since clearly Hitler’s religious ponderings were in the interest of Aryans, perhaps the “unhealthiness” of the Christian worldview he detested, and which did indeed clash with the values of National Socialism, were the beginnings of a search for a religion which fit more accordingly with the concepts of Lebensraum and racial purity. After all, Christianity does indeed sprout from the same Abrahamic root of Judaism. Taking into account National Socialists’ condemnation of Judaism in general, it makes sense that a pamphlet of the SS, dated 1943, would admittedly state that “the Nordic spirit is struggling to free itself from the chains that the Church and the Jews have imposed on Germandom.”

But, in the midst of war, National Socialism would never evolve to having a defined approach to religion. Presumably, had more succinct effort been taken, the philosophy of the Thule Gesellschaft would have been recalled resulting in a ‘pagan’ (non-Abrahamic) revival reflective of that of the Indo-Europeans, from whom the Swastika was adopted, being a symbol that was used across Europe during antiquity (as well as by Hindus and Native Americans) and by the Thule Gesellschaft before its dissolution.  

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Ancient Sowilō runes used for SS.

The rise of National Socialism and its rural “Volkisch” philosophy rekindled a floundering German spirit in 1933. It built the foundation, by summoning the Indo-European gods of nature and their symbols, the runes and the swastika, for its early success in war and its prosperity on the home front. With Hitler’s defeat, however, the victorious ideologies of the war, American ‘democracy,’ capitalism, and communism, and their leaders, have demonized racialism and even German identity to the point where ethnic and cultural masochism isn’t uncommon in Germany, or any other white, Western nation for that matter.

A note on racial policy:

If Hitler was indeed an ‘Aryan supremacist,’ could the same not be said of Theodore Roosevelt for Anglo-Saxons, or Malcom X for Africans? “Pride in one’s own race – and that does not imply contempt for other races” Hitler said, in his last testament, “is… a normal and healthy sentiment.” Does a desire for racial purity, or merely homogeneity in a nation not exist in any racially conscious individual, especially Jews, whose citizenship requirements for Israel is racial? And could one not infer that so-called ‘racial supremacists’ of sound mind and reason would accept the reality of differing qualities among races, that is to say, each race has their own strengths and weaknesses? Is not every race ultimately superior/privileged in their own Lebensraum, their respective environments, climates, et cetera? Varg Vikernes makes the analogy of polar bears and brown bears, and how a polar bear would be at a disadvantage in the forest, and vice verca. If the brown bear was to mix with the polar bear, its offspring would be less likely to thrive in both environments. Could not similar notions be applied to man? Such is the racial doctrine of National Socialism; it promotes the well being and purity of the races in the respective races’ natural habitat.

Sources (for Parts I and II): 

Beat Müller. “Austria, 10 April 1938: Connection to the German Reich.” Database and search engine for direct democracy. Accessed May 6, 2017. http://www.sudd.ch/event.php?lang=en&id=at011938.

Gasman, Daniel. The Scientific Origins of National Socialism. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company, 1971.

Goebbels, Joseph. “German Propaganda Archive.” Edited by Randall Bytwerk. German Propaganda Archive.

Hitler, Adolf. “Hitler Speech on Art- September 1938.” World Future Fund. Accessed May 6, 2017. http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster.

———. “The Last Testament of Adolf Hitler.” Edited by L. Craig Fraser. Archive.org. Accessed May 6, 2017. https://archive.org/stream/TheTestamentOfAdolfHitler/TOAH_djvu.txt.

———. My Struggle. Translated by James Murphy. N.p.: White Wolf, 2014.

“Julius Evola Lost Interview with Subtitles.” Video file. YouTube. Posted May 29, 2015. Accessed May 6, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiCtdi5nCoA.

Mosse, George L., comp. Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life in the Third Reich. Translated by Salvator Attanasio. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1966.

Schmidt, Hans. “Living in Hitler’s Germany.” Accessed May 6, 2017. http://der-fuehrer.org/bucher/english/Living%20in%20Hitlers%20Germany.htm.

Steigmann-Gall, Richard. The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity 1919-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Treaty of Versailles 1919.” Holocaust Encyclopedia. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005425.

Return Tradition from the Museum to the Street.

Museoligicalisation – the transformation of a living tradition into a museum piece, which deprives it of an active meaning or significance.—Guillaume Faye.

On my first stroll through Belfast’s Cathedral quarter in Northern Ireland, this sticker popped up a few times:

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As seen in the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland

It criticizes the local university, even claiming its ‘destroying’ the city. I figured it had something to do with the massive, £250m construction project happening across the street from the school’s main building. Every morning I got off the bus, I was greeted by loud, mechanical chugs and the stench of progression.

The Orpheus, an Art Deco style building completed in 1932, was famous especially for its ballroom which peaked in popularity in the 1960’s. In efforts to protect not only the sentimental value of the building for locals, but the significance for Belfast’s fragile identity, the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS) has urged the University, after rejected offers on the property itself, to reconsider its demolition. The young city, after all, only began to blossom in the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite their efforts, the Orpheus building was torn down last year. In it’s place will be a new, modern style building for Ulster University, which has plans to converge campuses that are currently scattered throughout Northern Ireland into a single hub in Belfast.

It’s hard to ignore the aesthetic clash of Ulster’s main building with the majority of architecture in Belfast. With the University’s expansion and the shimmery-new, ultra-modern Titanic building raking in tourists and students from all over, one gets the sense that Belfast, although benefiting economically for now, is losing any sense of identity it might have began to acquire. The Titanic building itself it a museum, merely a container displaying glimpses of greatness from the past, sparks of flame which instead of fanning, we suffocate. According to the UAHS, more Art Deco buildings are under threat of demolition in the future, as they are not protected ‘by conservation area or listed status.’

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Titanic Building, Belfast

Robert Adam is a member of the Traditional Architecture group based in the UK. In a 2011 piece in The Guardian, Adam points out that “getting through an architectural college pursuing traditionalism is extremely unlikely.” Architects who wish to pursue work in a more old-fashioned vain are barred from expressing themselves in big projects because all the biggest are funded by those interested in modernism.

The politics I extract from this issue is the extraction of national identity from a city. In other words, modernism has a uniform aesthetic that promotes a singular global culture, the end that open-borders leaders strive for. No so-called ‘right-wing’ movement will have a lasting effect if it doesn’t reach the youth and influence culture the way the internationalists have since the 1960’s.

Architecture once complemented nature. Geographically, Belfast is almost valley-like; passed the cranes and construction zones, one can see green mountains. The impersonal geometry of modern buildings combat nature and distract one from it. Also, where’s the craft? At it’s root, European architecture has reflected ambition, persistence, even divine inspiration. Huge blocks of glass don’t reflect beauty in human nature- they reflect the atheistic quality of contemporary ‘art theory’. Nature will always win out in the end, so why fight against it? An international culture isn’t possible, to quote Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, it “always has National character and Roots.”

Masterful skill and divine image have been sacrificed for mass production (short-term capital) and international appeasement. If Modernism is really a style of ‘elegance’ than why is it the style of every home furnishing you can buy cheaply at Target?

What the issue comes down to is Tradition versus Modernity, Identity versus Sameness, respect for tangible roots versus praise for hypothetical fruit.

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Sources: BBC News, Belfast Telegraph, The Guardian, UAHS.org,

Nazi Art. Cultural Foundations of National Socialism, part 1.

At Nuremberg, Northern Bavaria in 1938, Adolf Hitler addressed in a speech the purpose of art and its relation to National Socialism. Recalling Hellenism, the culture of the Greeks, which he defined as “a proclamation of the Greek body and of the essential Greek spirit,” Hitler called for a German renaissance in the arts to achieve the same- to “herald the common view of life” among citizens of the Third Reich. His party, the N.S.D.A.P. (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) came into power five years prior. The Second World War had not yet commenced, therefore other matters were focused on, such as the revival and upkeep of German culture, which for the National Socialists was of utmost vitality. National Socialism is an all-encompassing ideology; that is to say, it extends from the political realm and has direct influence over every aspect of life among the citizens of the nation under its rule. Ultimately, it’s a racially conscious approach to politics, recognizing hierarchy among men and its differing races as one would to any other species of animal and variations among breeds.

In a world that had just undergone an industrial revolution, and suffered the horrors of World War I, the philosophy of National Socialism was a renaissance in itself- one that venerated rural life, sought glory only associated with golden ages of the distant past, and considered race, nation, and destiny, in a tribal sense, the most vital collaboration of elements that exist.

It was not an entirely new ideology, but an amalgamation of a number of schools which all shared a common root of affinity for German Romanticism. Ernst Haeckel, the German biologist and so-called ‘Volkisch prophet’ was active in the decade before Hitler’s rise to power and died in 1919. He “Insist[ed] on the literal transfer of the laws of biology to the social realm, and call[ed] for a religious reformation in German life” so the Germans would live closer in accordance with nature; he promoted, one would infer, a revival or semi-revival of the pre-Christian Germanic religion, which was venerated by another proto-National Socialist group, the Thule Society or Thule Gesellschaft. Ideas spawning from Haeckel, the Volkists, the Thule Society, and an array of historical German thinkers and innovators such as Martin Luther, Arthur Schopenhauer, and composer Richard Wagner are all cited as direct influences of National Socialism.

As World War II raged, beginning in 1939, the National Socialists continued to produce definitive texts, speeches, and other propaganda to ensure support on the home front and to avoid any inkling of “defeatism” in the public sphere. The sources emit an almost tangible urgency especially as Germany’s loss became more imminent, revealing their ‘true colors,’ so to speak, while assessing the war and criticizing their enemies without remorse. Naturally, the ideology formed to the mold of the circumstances it was born into and suffered (and continues to suffer) blows of scorn from its victors- however, before the depths of the war was upon Europe, and the fall of the Reich which coincided with Hitler’s suicide in 1945, National Socialism lifted Germany from depression into full bloom economically, culturally, and in spirit.

In order to give a fair verdict on the National Socialist worldview, which is fiercely demonized in the west today, one must examine the factors that it opposed in its conception; ideologically speaking it was Marxism, which the National Socialists viewed as the bane of mankind. The two worldviews share one main quality, which is their unforgiving nature. Because of this, they could be the two extremes of a political spectrum, which explains their equally fanatical bases. The Bolshevik revolution that occurred in Russia in 1919, which resulted in Communist Russia, was Germany’s main opponent in World War II; Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda said towards the War’s end that it boiled down to a conflict “between Christ and Marx.” Like the Social Democrats in Germany during the 1920’s, the Bolsheviks adhered to Marxist doctrine, which according to Hitler also informed Modernism in art and nihilism in men, and is the same force that gripped Germany during the era that prompted Hitler’s rise to power- that is, post World War I Germany in the Weimar Republic.

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1924

Although considered a time of creative and social achievement to many contemporary critics, German cities in the 1920’s, especially Berlin and Zurich, were breeding grounds for prostitution, venereal disease, economic depression, organized crime, and drug abuse. Hitler considered the elimination of what he called “moral pestilence” as necessary above all things. In his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf, penned while serving a jail sentence for treason against the democratic government in 1924, he explains without deviation the need to combat the cause of German decline, instead of attacking its individual symptoms, which he blamed almost entirely on the workings of “Jews…and their fighting comrades, the Marxists” and referred to as the process of the “Judaizing of [German] spiritual life.”

Vehement antisemitism also was nothing new in German thought, having been which endorsed by multiple reputable ideologues from Martin Luther, who published On the Jews and Their Lies in 1543, to Karl Lueger, founder of the Christian Socialist Party in Austria a generation before Hitler. Antisemetic literature could be found in political pamphlets in any city within greater Germany.

In his young adulthood, Hitler himself was highly skeptical of and anxious towards the topic of antisemitism until “the moment [he] discovered the Jewish activities in the press, in art, in literature, and the theater,” all of which he denounced as “poison…worse than the black plague of long ago.” As an artist within the classical realm himself, and having been an aspiring architect before becoming involved in politics, his distaste for the sexualization and abstraction of Modern art fueled his antisemitism, as such things might to both a creative and nationalistic individual. Giving credit to Jews for Modernism is intellectually reasonable when one also gives credit to Jews for Marxism; both schools similarly dismiss national and racial boundaries. The international rhetoric of Marxists, including global capitalists who would ‘desertify’ the world for profit, according to Hitler, was the same force that would spiritually desertify peoples of all races.

By the 20’s, Modernism in Europe had been burgeoning for decades. Even today, the philosophies and styles of the Bauhaus school of modern art, which in the architectural field is known as the ‘International school,’ born during the Weimar era, dominate today’s art world and curriculum in university. Regardless of its attachability to political doctrine, its offshoots such as Cubism, Futurism (an Italian movement), and Dadaism, stylistically and philosophically clashed with Hitler’s preference for objective beauty and classical skill in the European tradition. His artistic taste was sober, so to speak, in addition to being a man who never smoked or drank alcohol. By merely glancing at one of Hitler’s own paintings next to one of critical praise in Weimar Germany, or Modernist circles in the contemporary art world for that matter, one can clearly make the distinction between the differing spiritual approaches to each style.

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Adolf Hitler, Mother Mary with the Holy Child

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Entartete Kunst

Julius Evola, a Traditionalist philosopher who for a period contributed to the Dadaist and Futurist movements in Europe, describes his involvement as a result of “an existential crisis which emerged within me after the [First World] war,” the horrors of which “left no other alternative to choose” from at the time. In other words, the absurdist, provocative nature of Dadaism “had a deep existential dimension” for a young, creative individual returning home from the trenches without a true sense of purpose. However, instead of continuing down a road of existentialism, “commit[ing] suicide or withdraw[ing], as some Dadaists did,” upon feeling alleviation from his crisis, Evola naturally ceased to express himself by the same means he had while in the throes of said crisis.

While Evola went on to distance himself from both Italian Fascism and National Socialism, especially Hitler who he decried as having “dangerous” and “possessed” qualities, he admitted fellow feeling for the “discipline style within the nation” and its reconstruction of “hierarchical formation.” Furthermore, his involvement in the early Dadaist movement is a useful analogy for the widespread overcoming of the tightening grip of nihilism that National Socialism lead the German people out of in the mid-1930’s. The dismantling of the spirit of Dadaism, which is ultimately fashionable, arrogant, and apathetic, hard to comprehend, and therefore easily placed at high costs for the wealthy class who have lack “judgement of their own in art matters,” was a top priority at the start of the Third Reich.

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Nazi Art

Hitler called for abolishing of the “standard of yesterday and today, of modern and unmodern” and the adoption of “the standard of ‘valueless’ or ‘valuable,’ of ‘eternal’ or transitory,’” supporting this cause within the context of, instead of separate from, reformations in politics and economy. The platform of German Nationalism relies heavily on the longevity and glory of its culture which is created by and for Germans, having “intimate association with a people,” rather than being an ‘international experience’ of trends invented and peddled by so-called ‘intellectual’ bourgeois classes.

The reality of this moral threat was emphasized by the great mass of inferior works that could be produced because of “the lower the moral and intellectual level” they require to create. An initial step towards the “cultural cleansing” Hitler desired in the Third Reich was the National Socialist-hosted art show called “Degenerate Art” or Entartete Kunst wherein Modernist works were openly displayed to the public to satirize them and presumably to showcase a physical manifestation of what National Socialists considered decaying to the morality and spirituality of Germans.

By 1943, at the opening of the 7th German Art exhibition, Joseph Goebbels went so far as to claim that Germany and Italy (Fascist allies of the Reich) the “protectors of human culture,” citing both nation’s contributions to art over the ages, implying the importance of art to the consciousness of a people, and boasting German and Italian cities as “containing more eternal manifestations of Western culture than the entire North American continent-” an attack on their newfound American adversaries. This was during the later stages of war for Germany, and the beginning stages of their defeat in which Goebbels’ output would become more extreme- but now that they were engaged in total war with ideological opposition, the consequences of an Axis loss became more dire.

Still, he recited the new value of art in the Reich as it had been presented at conception of National Socialism, and ensured that “new pictures, sculptures, plays, novels, symphonies, and operas [would be] no longer of interest only to intellectual critics in the newspapers, as was once often the case,” and that “they must withstand the eye and ear of the people” instead. That German Expressionist films, made and praised in Weimar-era Germany, are still shown to university students with reverence suggests common influence on our culture that existed in Germany before National Socialism. M by Fritz Lang, a famous example of film from this time, in its apparent artistry, lacks any inherently German elements. Instead, it tells a story of high crime, gang violence, and kangaroo courts: all global subjects. Likewise, Modernist visual and performance art, as well as literature, ignores national and racial identity in favor of universality, much like Christianity.

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A ‘sculpture’ by Jessica Stockholder, presented to the student body during my art studies in Northern Ireland.

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Arno Breker in studio, the ‘Nazi’ sculptor.