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Culture in Nazi Germany Reviews

Culture in Nazi Germany by Michael H. Kater

Culture in Nazi Germany

Michael H. Kater

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 2 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9780300211412

A fresh and insightful history of how the German arts-and-letters scene was transformed under the Nazis

4 stars out of 5
Roger Boyes
20 Apr 2019

"(a) richly researched, fluently written book"

Kater in his richly researched, fluently written book, sets out to recast the story of Hitler’s Germany. Some of the material will be familiar; there has been plenty of work on the stage management of the regime, on its use of radio and cinema, the dubious role played by Leni Riefenstahl and the artistic currents that emerged in the desperate aftermath of the First World War. However, this book seeks to do more than provide a chronicle; it sketches the contours of the relationship between culture and tyranny. The way, for example, that propaganda is used to shape national identity; the techniques used to exclude the “other”.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Max Hastings
14 Apr 2019

"A chilling study of the arts under the Nazis."

Kater’s book makes angry, authoritative reading for anyone interested in the Nazi era. Just as only a relative handful of Germans were willing to resist Hitler as late as July 1944, so only a small proportion of artists defied Nazism, even by choosing exile. The author’s peroration expresses a seminal point, relevant in the 21st century to Russia, China, Iran and a depressing number of other societies: “Whether or not culture is even possible in a dictatorship remains a ripe question. If the aesthetic, formal and ethical power of culture thrives on contradiction to prevailing social and political norms...then it will arguably always fail under tyranny.”