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Home Aspects of Nazi Ideology in Art "Degenerate Art" & Artists Related Links

Brief History

     After Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933, a rapid revolution of German culture the demise of modern art was set into motion. There were many appointments and dismissals of officials, rallies, speeches, and laws that paved the way for the Nazi regime in this culture change. All of these aspects were part of the underlying theme of how the Nazi's would instill their ideology and propoganda into the public's minds. Hitler realized that in order to win control over Germany he must wiin control over all cultural things including, radio, paintings, movie, and liturature.

     In March 1933 Hitler named Joseph Goebbels as minister of popular enlightenment and propoganda. Goebbels was a prime organizer in the burning of books ceramonies that took place in many university cities during May of 1933. A few months later, in July 1933, the Reich (Reichskulturkammer) Chamber of Culture was established. This chamber's stated mission was to "promote German culture on behalf of the German Volk and the Reich and to regulate the economic and social affairs of the culture professions" (Coumo p.24). This meant that any artist, musician, or journalist had to become a member of the Chamber of Culture in order to get support like funding, airtime, and exhibition space in thier field. Not only did the Nazi regime want to promote these approved artists but they also aimed to suppress and eliminate all cultural contributers that did not fit in with thier ideology. Therefore these artists were not admitted to the Chamber of Culture.

     In the fine art world, this helped the Nazis to define the separation of what they peceived to be genuine German Art and "degenerate art." Eventually, the Nazis began to focus on what they believed to be "bad art" just as much as what they felt was"good art." They established many degenerate art shows throughout Germany to display these banned artists and burned other works that they felt did not fit into thier idealism. In this web site, you will see how degenerate art did not promote Nazi idealism because it suggested a sense of individualism and encouraged the viewer to form his or her own opinion.