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The Swastika and the Stage
German Theatre and Society, 1933–1945


Part of Cambridge Studies in Modern Theatre

  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521122726

£ 31.99

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Strobl rarely pauses in his riveting account for explanatory asides, which no doubt contributes to its readability. The book is also thoroughly researched, drawing upon the archival record, contemporary journals, and newspapers. … The Swastika and the Stage is a welcome addition to the ever-growing literature on Nazi-culture.' Journal of Central European History

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    Product details

    • 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

  • Author

    Gerwin Strobl, Cardiff University

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