• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
  • PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
  • RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
  • INVASION OF RUSSIA
  • HITLERS PLANS FOR EUROPE
  • TURNING OF THE TIDE,
  • THE HOME FRONT
  • THE RESISTANCE
  • PHILIP MELANCHTHON
  • D-DAY TO DEFEAT NAZI GERMANY
  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
  • DENAZIFICATION
  • POLITICAL PARTIES AND TRADE
  • LOCAL STATE FORMATION
  • PARLIAMENTARY COUNCIL AND THE
  • ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
  • T
  • ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM
  • BUNDESTAG ELECTION AND
  • REGAINING SOVEREIGNTY AND INTEGRATION
  • RECONSTRUCTION AND THE ECONOMIC
  • TRANSITIONAL YEARS AND
  • THE GRAND COALITION AND YOUTH
  • THE SOCIAL-LIBERAL COALITION
  • OSTPOLITIK (FOREIGN POLICY
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • SCHMIDT ERA: SOCIAL UNREST,
  • PRINTING AND MEDICINE
  • THE KOHL ERA, 19821998
  • T
  • UPRISING OF JUNE 17, 1953
  • ECONOMIC SYSTEM
  • SOCIETY, EDUCATION, AND
  • RELATIONS WITH THE FEDERAL
  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
  • UNIFICATION POLITICS AND ITS
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
  • Abwehr
  • Adenauer, Konrad
  • Afrika Korps
  • Agadir Incident
  • Agrarian League
  • NEED FOR CHURCH REFORM
  • Agricola, Rudolf
  • Air Force
  • Albert (Albrecht) of
  • Albert V
  • Algeciras, Conference of
  • Allied Control Council
  • Alsace-Lorraine
  • Altdorfer, Albrecht
  • Amiens, Battle of
  • Anabaptists
  • P
  • Anglo-German Naval Treaty
  • Anschluss
  • Anti-Comintern Pact
  • anti-Semitism/Jew hatred
  • anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Socialist Law
  • Ardennes, Battle of the
  • Arendt, Hannah
  • Armed Forces (Wehrmacht)
  • Armed Forces (Bundeswehr):
  • LUTHER AND MELANCHTHON
  • Army (Prussian to 1860)
  • Army (Second Empire,
  • Asylum Law
  • Atlantic, Battle of the
  • Auerstadt, Battle of
  • Augsburg, Diet of
  • Augsburg, Religious Peace of
  • Augsburg, War of the League
  • Augsburg Confession
  • Augspurg, Anita
  • LUTHER AND ZWINGLI
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Austerlitz, Battle of
  • Austria
  • Austrian Succession, War of
  • autarchy
  • autobahns
  • Axis, The
  • B
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Ballin, Albert
  • CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE
  • KNIGHTS REVOLT AND GREAT
  • Barbie, Klaus
  • Barmen Declaration
  • Barth, Karl
  • Basic Treaty
  • Bauernschutz
  • Bauhaus
  • Baumer, Gertrud
  • Bavaria
  • Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)
  • Bavarian Succession, War of
  • REFORMATION AND THE TOWNS
  • Bayer AG
  • Bayreuth
  • Bebel, August
  • Beck, Ludwig August Theodor
  • Beckmann, Max
  • Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van
  • Benjamin, Walter
  • Benn, Gottfried
  • Bennigsen, Rudolf von
  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
  • Benz, Carl Friedrich
  • Bergen-Belsen
  • Berghof
  • Berlin
  • Berlin, Battle for (Fall of)
  • Berlin, Congress of
  • Berlin-Baghdad Railway
  • Berlin Blockade
  • Berlin Conference
  • Berlin Wall
  • CALVINISM IN GERMANY
  • Bernstein, Eduard
  • Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald
  • Biedermeier
  • Biermann, Wolf
  • Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold
  • blank check
  • Bleichröder, Gerson von
  • Blenheim, Battle of
  • Blomberg, Werner von
  • Blücher, Gebhard
  • CHARLES V AND THE REFORMATION
  • Böll, Heinrich
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
  • Bonn
  • Bormann, Martin
  • Born, Max
  • Borsig, August
  • Bosch, Robert
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brahms, Johannes
  • Brandenburg
  • C
  • Brauchitsch, Walther von
  • Braun, Eva
  • Braun, Karl Ferdinand
  • Braun, Otto
  • Braun, Wernher von
  • Brecht, Bertolt
  • Bremen/Bremerhaven
  • Brentano, Elizabeth Bettina
  • Breslau
  • The Bridge
  • THE THIRTY YEARS WAR
  • Britain, Battle of
  • Brüning, Heinrich
  • Buchenwald
  • Bülow, Bernhard von
  • Bundesrat
  • Bundestag
  • Burschenschaft
  • C
  • Canisius, Peter
  • canton system
  • A
  • Carlsbad Decrees
  • Celtis, Conrad
  • Center Party
  • Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
  • Charles V
  • Charles VI
  • Charles VII
  • Charlottenburg, Palace of
  • Christian Democratic Union
  • Christian Social Union
  • LITERATURE
  • Civil Code, German (Revised
  • Clausewitz, Carl von
  • Concordat of 1933
  • Condor Legion
  • The Confederation of the Rhine was a
  • Confessing Church
  • Congress of Vienna
  • conservatism
  • constitutional traditions
  • Counter-Reformation
  • MUSIC
  • Cranach, Lucas, the Elder
  • cultured elites
  • D
  • Daimler, Gottlieb
  • Danish War
  • Danzig
  • Dawes Plan
  • D-Banks
  • D-Day
  • Degenerate Art
  • SAXON AND SALIAN DYNASTIES,
  • SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
  • denazification
  • Denck, Hans
  • Depression, The Great
  • Depressions
  • détente
  • Diesel, Rudolf
  • Dietrich, Josef Sepp
  • Diplomatic Revolution of 1756
  • Dix, Otto
  • Döblin, Alfred
  • GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ
  • Dönitz, Karl
  • Dresden
  • Droste-Hülshoff, Annette
  • Dual Alliance
  • Dürer, Albrecht
  • Düsseldorf
  • E
  • Edict of Toleration
  • Ehrlich, Paul
  • Eichendorff, Joseph von
  • PIETISM
  • Eichmann, Adolf
  • Eicke, Theodor
  • Einsatzgruppen
  • Einstein, Albert
  • Eisner, Kurt
  • El Alamein, Battles of
  • Elbe River
  • Ems Telegram
  • Enabling Act
  • Engels, Friedrich
  • ROCOCO
  • ENIGMA/ULTRA
  • Enlightenment
  • Erasmus, Desiderius
  • Erfurt Program
  • Erhard, Ludwig
  • Ernst, Max
  • Erzberger, Matthias
  • Eugene, prince of Savoy
  • European Coal and Steel
  • European Defense Community
  • A
  • European Economic Community
  • European Union
  • euthanasia
  • expressionism
  • Falkenhayn, Erich von
  • F
  • Fatherland Party
  • Federal Constitutional Court
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Federation of German Industry
  • TURKISH WARS
  • Federation of German Womens
  • feminism, 18151945
  • feminism, 19452005
  • Ferdinand II
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas
  • Fichte, Johann Gottlieb
  • Final Solution
  • Fischer, Josef Joschka
  • Fischer von Erlach, John
  • Fontane, Theodor
  • WARS OF AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION
  • Four Year Plan
  • Francis II
  • Frank, Anne
  • Frank, Hans
  • Frankfurt am Main
  • Frankfurt Parliament
  • Frederick I
  • Frederick II, The Great
  • Frederick III
  • Frederick III, The Wise
  • STATE REFORMS
  • Frederick William
  • Frederick William I
  • Frederick William II
  • Frederick William III
  • Frederick William IV
  • Free Corps
  • Free Democratic Party
  • Freemasonry/Illuminati
  • French Revolutionary Wars
  • Freytag, Gustav
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND KAUNITZ
  • Friedrich, Caspar David
  • Fritsch, Werner von
  • Fugger, Jacob the Rich
  • Führerprinzip
  • G
  • Galen, Clemens August von
  • Gellert, Christian
  • General Directory
  • Genscher, Hans-Dietrich
  • Gentz, Friedrich
  • JOSEPH II AND REFORM
  • German Christians
  • German Communist Party
  • German Confederation
  • German Conservative Party
  • German Democratic Party
  • German Democratic Republic
  • German Labor Front
  • German National Peoples
  • German Peoples Party
  • German Progressive Party
  • HOHENSTAUFEN DYNASTY,
  • VIENNA AND ARCHITECTURE
  • German Reich (Imperial) Party
  • German Womens Bureau
  • German Workers Party
  • Germany Treaty
  • R
  • FREDERICK III
  • FREDERICK WILLIAM I, THE
  • FREDERICK THE GREAT
  • SEVEN YEARS WAR
  • S
  • ECONOMY
  • POLITICAL DECENTRALIZATION
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • HABSBURG DYNASTY
  • CULTURE
  • THE ENLIGHTENMENT
  • LITERATURE AND DRAMA
  • PHILOSOPHY
  • SECRET SOCIETIES
  • T
  • R
  • THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT
  • NATIONALISM AND LIBERALISM
  • EARLY INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  • CITIES AND CRAFT GUILDS
  • REVOLUTIONS OF 1848
  • ARMY REFORM AND PARLIAMENTARY
  • O
  • THE DANISH WAR, 1864
  • AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR, 1866
  • THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR,
  • COLLAPSE OF THE SECOND FRENCH
  • I
  • N
  • ART AND ARCHITECTURE
  • ORIGINS OF CAPITALISM
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND WOMEN
  • EDUCATION
  • T
  • POLITICAL PARTIES
  • THE KULTURKAMPF, SOCIALISM,
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND ALLIANCE
  • BISMARCKS DISMISSAL
  • WILHELMINE GERMANY
  • T
  • THE QUESTION OF
  • LATE MEDIEVAL CULTURE
  • CONDUCT OF THE WAR
  • PEACE RESOLUTION, REFORM, AND
  • AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION
  • N
  • POLITICAL PARTIES UNPREPARED
  • A REVOLUTIONARY PATTERN
  • WORKERS AND SOLDIERS
  • KURT EISNER AND REVOLUTION IN
  • A REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED
  • A SEVERE ARMISTICE
  • T
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY
  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
  • INTERPRETATION OF THE
  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
  • TERMS OF THE TREATY
  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY

    Weimar culture gave birth to many modern cultural movements. The new

    ideas, styles, and movements included expressionism in drama, art, and literature;

    the Bauhaus school of architecture associated with the architect Walter

    Gropius; atonalism in music associated with composers Arthur Schönberg and

    Paul Hindemith; the physics of relativity formulated by Albert Einstein; the theory

    and practice of psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud; and the sociology of

    Weimar Republic 127

    knowledge formulated by Max Weber and Ferdinand Tonnies. Those who

    created Weimar culture believed they were living in a new age. The war and

    revolution had smashed the institutions, traditions, and values of Imperial Germany.

    For many there was a sense that all things could be created anew, or at

    least could be different. There was an eagerness to experiment, creating new

    art forms, styles, and values in order to improve the quality of life.

    Although expressionism in art and literature began during the latter phase of

    Imperial Germany, the world war, revolution, and the republic gave the expressionists

    with their utopianism and highly charged emotion a wider audience.

    The artists and writers had almost complete freedom, which they had lacked

    during the Empire. The shared experiences of war, revolution, suffering, hope-

    128 Germany

    A poster for the

    Bauhus movement,

    featuring a

    photograph of Walter

    Gropius (Library of

    Congress)

    lessness, and alienation were relived in their art, literature, and in film. They

    were concerned with societys problems, but they also were elitist and sometimes

    religious. One of the leaders of the expressionist movement was Max

    Pechstein, whose paintings communicated religious rather than political messages.

    Pechstein and Ernst Kirchner had been members of the prewar artist

    group known as the Bridge. Kirchners themes differed from those of Pechstein,

    who painted depressing and horrifying themes of the war and Berlin life. Max

    Ernst was early associated with the Dadaists but soon painted in the surrealist

    style. Otto Dix also had been associated with the Dadaists but, as an expressionist

    artist, memorialized the horrors of war in his painting War Cripples. Most held

    high expectations of the improvements in life that the revolution should have

    made possible. Some of the artists and many of the writers rejected the republic

    and its lack of idealism and longed for a restoration of the monarchy or some

    idealized future Reich. As a mass culture emerged, the culture of the intellectuals,

    however, was not what most Germans preferred or consumed. Most readers

    still favored the more commonplace entertainment of the adventure stories

    of Karl May, who wrote about the American West, or popular stories of the sea

    and patriotic themes. Thomas Mann, Erich Kästner, and Erich Maria Remarque

    did, however, make the list of best-selling authors. Intellectuals were faced

    by the challenge of mass culture, technological innovation, and mass consumption.

    The radio and film, for instance, were growing mediums of mass

    entertainment, and increased leisure time became available as wages rose.

    A revolution in manners and morals occurred during the 1920s. Churches

    experienced a weakening of their influence, partly due to general secularization

    and because of their excessively patriotic attitudes during the war. The

    challenge to parental authority by young people was commonplace. Youth

    were no longer deferential to parents or obedient to traditional codes of behavior

    and morality. The authority of teachers was less respected. Women experienced

    a liberation from traditional expectations of their roles as mothers and

    homemakers. More of them had entered the labor force during the war, and

    some 11 million worked full time during the republic. The constitution gave

    them the right to vote, and educational opportunities opened up. Female bodies

    no longer were expected to be corseted, and short new hair styles like the

    Bubikopf became fashionable. Taboos against the use of tobacco, liquor, and premarital

    relationships weakened. Yet most women probably were still guided by

    traditional conventions and morality, and there was considerable ambivalence

    even among liberated women. Even though some women were pleased with

    the weakening of the old moral conventions, most voted for political parties

    that opposed their freedom. One widely read writer, Ina Seidel, emphasized the

    traditional values of motherhood, family, home, and soil.

    Three identifiable phases of cultural expression emerged during Weimar. The

    time from November 1918 to 1924 was a time of experimentation, reflecting the

    revolution, civil war, foreign occupation, political murder, and fantastic inflation.

    Expressionism dominated in both art and theater. Between 1924 and 1929,

    when Germany enjoyed fiscal and political stabilization, prosperity, and renewed

    international prestige, the arts entered into the phase called New Objectivity

    (Neue Sachlichkeit) or matter-of-factness. The New Objectivity called for realism,

    Weimar Republic 129

    simplicity, clarity, and accurate reportage. Cynicism and resignation were the

    negative side of the New Objectivity. In the final phase, between 1929 and

    1933during the Depression and government by decree, decay of middle-class

    parties, and the resumption of violenceculture mirrored events rather than

    critiqued them.

    An important feature of Weimar cultural life was the hostility of its leading

    writers toward the government and parliament of the republic. In the ranks of

    this opposition were a good many journalists, writers, artists, professional men,

    and academics. Their political views were often too idealistic, naive, and muddled.

    Many of the expressionist writers and artists had entertained unrealistic

    expectations of the November Revolutions ability to change society. Having no

    real understanding of social forces, they were repelled by the compromises that

    helped solve the problems of the early republic. The left-winger Ernst Toller, for

    instance, expressed his personal feelings of outrage at the failure to destroy the

    old authoritarian bureaucracy, the old military caste, the prewar social system,

    and bourgeois ethical and moral standards. None of these alienated writers ever

    became convinced supporters of the republic. Some moved to extremes, such

    as Bertolt Brecht, who turned to communism. In his Threepenny Opera (1928)

    Brecht expressed cynical social satire. Hermann Hesse assaulted the middle class

    and its hypocrisy in Steppenwolf (1930). Both Hermann Hesse and Thomas

    Mann were fascinated by what they thought was the general decline of Western

    society and the corrupting influence of its materialism. Mann wrote of the

    conflict between anarchy and authoritarianism in an age of crisis in his novel

    The Magic Mountain (1924), which cast doubt on the ability of reason to sustain

    society. Hesse shared his doubts when he stated in Klingsors Last Summer

    (1920) that rationality had become madness and that all that was good and

    unique had died. More deliberate in their attacks upon the republic and its values

    and institutions were the writers who were associated with the New Objectivity

    movement. They exposed the weaknesses, injustices, and hypocrisies of

    their time and were pessimistic about possible improvement. In Alfred Döblins

    greatest novel, Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929), the main character is determined

    to reform himself, but is overwhelmed by forces beyond his control. Erich Kästners

    view of German society is even gloomier, and his opinion of the capital,

    Berlin, even worse. The best example of a merciless critic on the political left

    was the satirist Kurt Tucholsky. He fought against antidemocratic forces and

    was a merciless critic of the lack of civic virtue of the middle class. He was as

    intemperate as any critic from the right, condemning the Social Democratic

    leadership for defeating the revolution in 1918. Tucholskys attitude was a common

    one among left-wing intellectuals

    Right-wing ideologues joined in the criticism of the republic, but they also

    repudiated the Empire and presented an apocalyptic vision of a new revolution

    and a new Reich. They rejected rational political action and idealized violence;

    most were patriots, but they were also nihilists and certainly irrational. They

    foreshadowed the coming of the revolution from the right, that of Adolf Hitler

    and National Socialism. Among those on the radical right were Arthur Moeller

    van den Bruck and Oswald Spengler. Moellers epic The Third Reich denounced

    the republic and called for a neoconservative revolution. Oswald Spengler in

    130 Germany

    his Decline of the West predicted the end of European-American culture, the

    decay of democracy, and the replacement of technology by brainless brutal dictators.

    Both neoconservatives were cultural pessimists in the tradition of

    Friedrich Nietzsche, Paul de Lagarde, and Julius Langbehn. Both were opposed

    to modern capitalism and modern science, which they believed stifled freedom

    and individuality. Moeller, it should be noted, was the first and most influential

    preacher of the stab-in-the back theory.

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