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Based on extensive archival research, this is a comprehensive study of theatre in the Third Reich. It explores the contending pressures and ambitions within the regime and the Nazi party, within the German theatre profession itself and the theatre-going public. Together, these shaped theatrical practice in the Nazi years. By tracing the origins of the Nazi stage back to the right-wing theatre reform movement of the late nineteenth century, Strobl suggests that theatre was widely regarded as a central pillar of German national identity. The role played by the stage in the evolving collective German identity after 1933 is examined through chapters on theatre and Nazi racial policy, anti-religious campaigns and the uses of history. The book traces the evolving fortunes of theatre in the Third Reich, to the years of 'total war', and the resulting physical destruction of most German playhouses.Read more
- Includes a selection of period photographs, which were originally unavailable to publish
- A comprehensive and illuminating study in English of German theatre under Nazi rule
Reviews & endorsements
"...the stage under Nazi Germany was not a cultural black hole...Strobl gives this neglected fascist theatrical history its due, explaining the difficulty of producing theater under contradictory political and ideological institutions....a revealing look at all elements of theater in the Third Reich: playwrights, performers, critics, censors, theatergoers. No one else has offered, in English, such thorough scholarship by mining so much archival material. Including an excellent bibliography and index, this book counters the prevailing scholarly bias that regularly ignores cultural production under fascism. Highly Recommended. -R.C. Conrad, University of Dayton, Choice, September 2008See more reviews
"The first full-length study in English about the topic, this book finally fills an important gap in Third Reich and theater study...Strobl has successfully contextualized Third Reich theater...He skillfully combines close text readings with use of archival material, much of it discussed extensively for the first time, to uncover the role of theater in Germany society."
-Christelle Le Faucheur, University of Texas at Austin, H-Net
"The particular strengths of this first full-length book of its kind in English are its contextual focus and extensive use of published and archival sources to produce a social history of German theater under National Socialism...Strobl's thoroughly researched case studies help illuminate a crucial period in German theatrical history."
German Studies Review, Glenn R. Cuomo, New College of Florida
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- Date Published: November 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521122726
- length: 356 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.52kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Weimar: politics in the playhouse
2. Visions of national rebirth: Völkisch theatre reform
3. The uses of the past: from the Thingspiel to the Nazi history plays
4. Stages of aggression: theatre and the 'ethnic struggle'
5. 'The stream of heredity': theatre in the racial state
6. The faith of our forefathers: theatre and the Nazi assault on Christianity
7. The manacled muse: theatre and political domination
8. 'The final redoubt': theatre and propaganda
9. The age of Mephistopheles: theatre and power
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