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Inhumanities

Details

  • 50 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 553 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.02 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 909/.09821
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: DD254 .D46 2012
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Nazi propaganda--Germany
    • Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei--Party work
    • VoĢˆlkischer Beobachter (Munich, Germany : 1920)
    • Fascism and culture--Germany
    • Germany--Civilization--20th century

Library of Congress Record

Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9781107020498)

Inhumanities
Cambridge University Press
9781107020498 - Inhumanities - Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture - By David B. Dennis
Frontmatter/Prelims

Inhumanities

Inhumanities is an unprecedented account of the ways Nazi Germany manipulated and mobilized European literature, philosophy, painting, sculpture, and music in support of its ideological ends. David B. Dennis shows how, based on the belief that the Third Reich represented the culmination of Western civilization, culture became a key propaganda tool in the regime’s program of national renewal and its campaign against political, national, and racial enemies. Focusing on the daily output of the Völkischer Beobachter, the party’s official organ and the most widely circulating German newspaper of the day, he reveals how activists twisted history, biography, and aesthetics to fit Nazism’s authoritarian, militaristic, and anti-Semitic world views. Ranging from National Socialist coverage of Germans such as Luther, Dürer, Goethe, Beethoven, Wagner, and Nietzsche to “great men of the Nordic West” such as Socrates, Leonardo, and Michelangelo, he reveals the true extent of the regime’s ambitious attempt to reshape the “German mind.”

David B. Dennis is Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of Beethoven and German Politics, 1870–1989 (1996) and other works on the intersection of German culture and politics.


Inhumanities

Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture

David B. Dennis


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Mexico City

Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9781107020498

© David B. Dennis 2012

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2012

Printed and bound in the United Kingdom by the MPG Books Group

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication data

Dennis, David B., 1961–
Inhumanities : Nazi interpretations of western culture / David B. Dennis.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-107-02049-8
1. Nazi propaganda – Germany. 2. Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-
Partei – Party work. 3. Völkischer Beobachter (Munich, Germany : 1920)
4. Fascism and culture – Germany. 5. Germany – Civilization – 20th century.
6. Germany – History – 1918–1933. 7. Germany – History – 1933–1945.
8. Civilization, Western. 9. Press and politics – Germany – History – 20th
century. 10. World War, 1939–1945 – Propaganda. I. Title.
DD254.D46 2012
909′.09821–dc23
2012015443

ISBN 978-1-107-02049-8 Hardback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party Internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


To Mariko and Cecilia


The worst readers are those who act like plundering soldiers: they take a few things they can use, dirty and tangle up the rest, and desecrate the whole.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Menschliches, allzumenschliches: Ein Buch für freie Geister, vol. 2, aph. 137

It is a fact of history that these ideas were embraced by many normal men. It is important to keep in mind that the Nazis found their greatest support among respectable, educated people.

George L. Mosse, German Jews Beyond Judaism, 1


Contents

List of Illustrations
xi
Acknowledgments
xiv
Introduction
1
Part I    Foundations of Nazi Cultural History
13
1         The “Germanic” Origins of Western Culture
15
2         Vox Volkish
37
3         The Western Tradition as Political and Patriotic
50
4         The Western Tradition as anti-Semitic
84
5         The Archenemy Incarnate
106
Part II   Blind to the Light
125
6         Classicism Romanticized
127
7         Intolerance toward Enlightenment
142
8         Forging Steel Romanticism
176
9         Romantic Music as “Our Greatest Legacy”
198
Part III  Modern Dilemmas
219
10        Realist Paradox and Expressionist Confusion
221
11        Nordic Existentialists and Volkish Founders
249
12        Music after Wagner
269
Part IV   “Holy” War and Weimar “Crisis”
287
13        Heralds of the Front Experience
289
14        Weimar Culture Wars 1: Defending German Spirit from “Circumcision”
307
15        Weimar Culture Wars 2: Combating “Degeneracy”
330
Part V    Nazi “Solutions”
359
16        “Honor your German Masters”
361
17        The Nazi “Renaissance”
383
18        Kultur at War
402
Conclusion
452
Notes
464
Index
533




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