Literature and Film in the Third Reich (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)

  • Publish Date: 2003-12-23
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Karl-Heinz Schoeps

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This book is the first survey in English of literature and film in Nazi Germany. It treats not only works sympathetic to National Socialism, but also works of the so-called Inner Emigration, of the resistance, and those written in prisons and concentration camps. Much of this literature is not easily accessible in German, and not available at all in English translation. Historical and ideological context is provided in chapters covering influential works of the time such as Alfred Rosenberg's The Myth of the Twentieth Century and Houston Stewart Chamberlain's The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century. Schoeps also analyzes Nazi cultural policies, fascist histories of literature, and the role of German studies and Germanists in the Nazi movement. A major section of the book is devoted to film, then a relatively new medium of communication whose propaganda value was clearly recognized by Goebbels, the minister for propaganda and president of the Reich's Chamber of Culture. One of the most interesting areas of research in recent years is the relationship between Hitler's cultural commissars, in particular Goebbels, and the literature and film production of the Nazi years. This book is based on the revised and expanded second German edition, Literatur im Dritten Reich (1933-1945), but has again been revised and expanded, especially the chapter on film and Nazi policies toward the film industry. The chapter on cultural policies has also been expanded to include Himmler's efforts to meddle in this area. New also are sections dealing with Jewish entertainers in concentration camps (for example, Kurt Gerron) and activities of the Jewish Cultural League. Karl-Heinz Schoeps is professor of German at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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