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Culture in the Third Reich

Moritz Follmer



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Oxford University Press
09 July 2020
'It's like being in a dream', commented Joseph Goebbels when he visited Nazi-occupied Paris in the summer of 1940. Dream and reality did indeed intermingle in the culture of the Third Reich, racialist fantasies and spectacular propaganda set-pieces contributing to this atmosphere alongside more benign cultural offerings such as performances of classical music or popular film comedies. A cultural palette that catered to the tastes of the majority helped encourage acceptance of the regime. The Third Reich was therefore eager to associate itself with comfortable middle-brow conventionality, while at the same time exploiting the latest trends that modern mass culture had to offer. And it was precisely because the culture of the Nazi period accommodated such a range of different needs and aspirations that it was so successfully able to legitimize war, imperial domination, and destruction.

Moritz Foellmer turns the spotlight on this fundamental aspect of the Third Reich's successful cultural appeal in this ground-breaking new study, investigating what 'culture' meant for people in the years between 1933 and 1945: for convinced National Socialists at one end of the spectrum, via the legions of the apparently 'unpolitical', right through to anti-fascist activists, Jewish people, and other victims of the regime at the other end of the spectrum. Relating the everyday experience of people living under Nazism, he is able to give us a privileged insight into the question of why so many Germans enthusiastically embraced the regime and identified so closely with it.
By:   Moritz Follmer
Imprint:   Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 224mm,  Width: 142mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   440g
ISBN:   9780198814603
ISBN 10:   0198814607
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   09 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Moritz Foellmer is Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Amsterdam, and the author of a number of books and articles on identity and culture in twentieth century Germany, including most recently Individuality and Modernity in Berlin: Self and Society from Weimar to the Wall (2013).

Reviews for Culture in the Third Reich

Moritz Foellmer's artful and nuanced study of culture in Nazi Germany explores a wide range of topics, including not only official Nazi culture as reflected in the work of Leni Riefenstahl and Albert Speer, but also subjects such as Jewish cultural life, the exile experience, and Nazi art plundering. Foellmer shows the myriad ways in which culture matteredfrom indoctrination and an effort to legitimize the war, to satisfying a desire for entertainment, among other reasons. Situating culture in the broader socio-political history of the Third Reich, Foellmer has produced a tour de force. * Jonathan Petropoulos, author of Artists Under Hitler: Collaboration and Survival in Nazi Germany * Hermann Goering is famous for supposedly having said, When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my revolver. In fact, the quote originated elsewhere. It would have been surprising if the case were otherwise, since the Nazis, being Germans, could hardly regard culture as something to be ignored or suppressed. Quite the contrary, they had their own complex and contradictory ideas about it - as [this] book explores in rich detail. * Mark Falcoff, The Critic * Culture in the Third Reich is readable and convincing. Engagingly and meticulously translated, it can only be recommended. * Bill Niven, History Today * A fascinating work. * All About History * An impressively researched and steady-handed account ... Foellmer deepens our understanding of how National Socialism shook up the German psyche in a radical way but in such culturally conservative terms. * Niall McGarrigle, Irish Times * [Foellmer] applies a sharp cultural lens to metropolitan life, politics and individual strivings and pastimes as the backdrop to disaster falling on Germany. * Anne McElvoy, The Observer *

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