NAZI CULTURE: INTELLECTUAL, CULTURAL AND SOCIAL LIFE IN THE THIRD REICH
Hitler honored Adolf Ziegler's "The Four Elements" by placing it over the mantelpiece of his own room in the "Fuhrer's house" in Munich. This technically accomplished painting, which was also shown in the 1937 Exhibition of German Art, is an example of an artistic realism which leaves nothing to the imagination. Ziegler was president of the Reich Chamber of Art and organized the exhibition of "degenerate art."
The ideal Aryan family as represented on the cover of the calendar the "New Volk," issued by the office of racial politics of the NSDAP.
Poster art played an important role in Nazi propaganda. This poster, produced by the German Workers' Front, reminds the workers that the comradeship of the soldiers at the front must be carried over into the "battle for production." The workers were laboring in the shadow of those who had sacrificed all for the Fatherland.
The Honor Cross of the German Mother, modeled after the Iron Cross.
Adolf Ziegler's "The Judgment of Paris," illustrating ideal Aryan types
Richard Klein's "Awakening," which was shown in the 1937 Exhibition of German Art, combines the realistic with the sentimental. Klein was one of the publishers of the official NSDAP journal of art, Kunst im dritten Reich, and director of the Munich Academy of Applied Art.
This painting of the ideal German girl, by Paul Keck, was included in the 1939 Exhibition of German Art.
Reality often failed to correspond to the desired ideal, as this 1936 film advertisement shows.
Arno Brecker was one of Hitler's favorite sculptors. His "The Party" flanked one of the entrances to the new Reich Chancery. In this sculpture classical realism has been employed to represent the "ideal type" which appears throughout Nazi painting and poster art.
"The Guardian," by Arno Brecker, a good example of the idealized Germanic hero popular in the Third Reich.
A mural by Jurgen Wegener, idealizing active youth.
These two pictures were reproduced side by side in a German art book in order to illustrate the superiority of "true" Nazi art over the "degenerate art" which satirized the front-line soldier. The confrontation pits George Grosz, the Republic's leading left-wing painter, against Elk Eber, an old party member and designer of Nazi propaganda posters.
In practice, adhering to the eternal verities often meant copying ancient models. This peasant house would seem to date back to the Middle Ages; it was, in fact, built after 1933 and was praised as "completely modern" while representing a "soil-bound" style.
This "shrine of honor" of the Hitler Youth (in memory of their heroes and martyrs) is a faithful copy of an ancient Germanic hall, complete with the heathen symbols of the "forefathers."
The House of German Art in Munich. Designed by Hitler's favorite architect, Paul Ludwig Troost (1878-1934), it is an example of the imitation of classical forms in monumental public buildings.
One of Hitler's own paintings, in which he has merely copied an historic building. It affords some insight into his artistic tastes.
Hitler as the "friend of children." This photograph accompanied the story reproduced from the children's primer.
"If all of German youth looked like this, we would have no need to fear for the future." A class in uniform from the NSDAP Standarten Kalender 1939.
The Bund Deutscher Madel was indoctrinated with "Faith and Beauty," which often involved acting out supposed ancient Germanic customs. These girls are in the dress of the Bronze Age.
Open-air theaters were especially popular because of their romantic and natural settings, most appropriate for theatrical presentations of the Nazi ideology. This theater was named after Dietrich Eckart, an influential friend of Hitler in the early days.
The famous actor Werner Krauss portraying the typical Jewish stereotype in the Nazi film Jew Suss (1940), which dealt with the rise and fall of a Jewish financier in the eighteenth century.
Lothar Muthel in the role of Schlageter, from the first performance of Hanns Johst's drama (1933).
Hermann Otto Hoyer called this mythological painting of Hitler speaking to his early followers "In the Beginning Was the Word." It was included in the 1937 Exhibition of German Art.
These monumental structures were designed as a setting for mass meetings and parades at the Nuremberg Party Days. They are the work of Albert Speer, architect who became Inspector-General of Buildings for Berlin and, later, Minister of Armaments and War Production.
Advertisements such as this one were common in the Third Reich. Here the people are exhorted to observe the weekly "one pot" meal, which was supposed to conserve food, especially meat. The legend reads: "the meal of sacrifice for the Reich."
Hitler addressing a Party Day meeting in Nuremberg (1935).