GERM 405

Culture in the Third Reich

Was National Socialism the incarnation of evil in the modern world? How could twelve years of Nazi control in Germany alter world history? Did its culture consist only of propaganda and party rallies? Why did the Nazi leadership consider art and culture so central to its political goals? In the past 25 years scholars have taken a serious look at Nazi culture and revealed a much more complex set of factors at work in all areas of cultural life. This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the often contradictory but fascinating historical, social, and economic conditions that led to cultural shifts when the Nazis came to power in 1933 and then examines how Nazi policies simultaneously and systematically influenced all aspects of life in Nazi Germany (Gleichschaltung). Students consider both the `lowbrow¿ culture and everyday life as well as the more traditional and sophisticated domains of `high¿ culture. Topics include: religion, youth education, the `camp system,¿ Fascism, environmentalism, racial theories, disability and discrimination, propaganda and entertainment films, music and theatre, art and architecture, gender roles and family, and consumer culture. Course taught in English.