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Aspects of Nazi Ideology in Art

home Brief History Aspects of Nazi Ideology in Art "Degenerate Art" & Artists

     Adolf Hitler and his advisors were aware of what an enormous impact art has on society and the way people behave. Hitler wanted to instill the idea that the Aryan race was to be the creaqtor and the prime contributor of all things that involved German culture. Hitler believed art should be eternal instead of modern or expressionisticc, which he made clear in his speech at the opening of the Great German Art Exhibition in 1937. He compared modern art to fashion: "There was a new fashion alost every year. One year Impressionism, then Futurism, Cubism, but perhaps also Dadaism, etc... National Socialist Germany, however, means to have a German art again, and this... must and will be an eternal art" (Cuomo, p. 17).

     Hitler believed the Aryan race to be a stronger and harder working race. He found a connection between clasical Greek and German art, which one can easily recognize in the strong herioc looking statues from both of those eras. Yet, Hitler's interest in art is not about the basic styles and techniques of the art discpline, he aimed to use art as propaganda to promote and encourage Nazi values such as health, hardwork, family, and community.

     Genuine German art prompted beauty and courage. Most were genre paintings depicting goodlooking Germans, working hard, connecting with the land. Some were meant to be inspiring, encouraging German citizens strive to obtain these perfect Aryan charecteristics. Others were meant to inspire citizens to fight for their country. All of these works of art conveyed a clear message without making the observer think for himself.