The ideologues of the "Kampfbund" presented to the artists, as the goals for artistic creations, the renewal of the "German spirit" in art, the return to traditions and social hierarchy, the building of a vision of a harmonious life tied to the land, and consciousness of German culture.
In his next work, "Kampf um die Kunst" (Struggle for Art) published in 1932, Schultz-Naumburg emphasized the contributions of Nazism to the process of moral renewal of art and its national values as contrasted to cosmopolitanism and degeneration. In his activity directed against modern art, Schulz-Naumburg was the first to reach for the most radical, destructive means. It was on his initiative that in 1929 the frescos by Oskar Schlemmer in the old Bauhaus residence in Weimar were destroyed.
Within the boundaries of the Nazi movement, efforts were made to seize at last part of the accomplishments of contemporary German art. In 1933 in Berlin an initiative was undertaken under the slogan "Youth fights for German art." Its object was to demonstrate that German expressionism can become the official Nazi art. Otto Andreas Schreiber, active in this movement and Hans Weidemann, connected to Joseph Goebbels, created the "Der Norden" group of painters and the periodical "Kunst der Nation." On the pages of the latter, they sought to show existing links between modern German art and Nazism. Similarly, the well known poet Gottfried Benn took a critical position regarding Rosenberg's program for the elimination of German modernism. His book, Kunst und Macht," was an expression of sympathy to the idea of National Socialism converging with the watchwords of artistic modernity. At the same time, the book contained a defense of expressionism and a clear reference to the situation of Italian futurists who were collaborating with fascism.

based on Sztuka a systemy totalitarne (Art and totalitarian systems) by Waldemar Baraniewski.

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English translation by Peter K. Gessner of Polish original posted by Liga Republicanska
© 2000 Polish Academic Information Center, University at Buffalo. All rights reserved.


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