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Censorship in Nazi Germany was extreme and strictly enforced by the governing Nazi Party, but specifically by Joseph Goebbels and his Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Censorship within Nazi Germany included control of all forms of mass communication, which included newspaper, music, literature, radio, and film.The same body also produced and disseminated their own literature which were solely devoted to furthering Nazi ideas and myths. Anti-semitism lay at the core of their works, including 1940 films such as Jud Süß and The Eternal Jew. The ministry promoted the cult of Adolf Hitler by sponsoring early films such as Triumph of the Will of the 1934 rally and The Victory of Faith made in 1933, and which survives now as a single copy recently discovered in the UK. It was banned by the Nazis owing to the prominent role of Ernst Roehm, who was murdered by Hitler on the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.
The ministry tightly controlled information available to their citizens. Almost all Modernist art, such as Impressionism and Expressionism, was considered degenerate art by the Nazi regime, and much modern music such as Jazz and Swing was also barred as degenerate music. Jewish composers like Mendelssohn and Schoenberg were also banned. Amongst those authors and artists who were suppressed both during the Nazi book burnings and the attempt to destroy modernist fine art in the "degenerate" art exhibition were:
Artists such as
Composers such as
Philosophers, scientists, and sociologists were suppressed by Nazi Germany:
Politicians suppressed by Nazi Germany:
To avoid censorship of books they were often given an innocent looking cover, so called Tarnschriften.
Gleichschaltung, or in English co-ordination, was in Nazi terminology the process of Nazification by which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party successively established a system of totalitarian control and coordination over all aspects of German society and societies occupied by Nazi Germany "from the economy and trade associations to the media, culture and education".
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Adolf Hitler's closest and most devoted associates, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deeply virulent antisemitism, which was evident in his publicly voiced views. He advocated progressively harsher discrimination, including the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust.
Degenerate art was a term adopted in the 1920s by the Nazi Party in Germany to describe modern art. During the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, German modernist art, including many works of internationally renowned artists, was removed from state-owned museums and banned in Nazi Germany on the grounds that such art was an "insult to German feeling", un-German, Jewish, or Communist in nature. Those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions that included being dismissed from teaching positions, being forbidden to exhibit or to sell their art, and in some cases being forbidden to produce art.
Degenerate music was a label applied in the 1930s by the Nazi government in Germany to certain forms of music that it considered harmful or decadent. The Nazi government's concern for degenerate music was a part of its larger and better-known campaign against degenerate art. In both cases, the government attempted to isolate, discredit, discourage, or ban the works.
Adolf Ziegler was a German painter and politician. He was tasked by the Nazi Party to oversee the purging of what the Nazi Party described as "degenerate art", by most of the German modern artists. He was Hitler's favourite painter.
The propaganda used by the German Nazi Party in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany (1933–1945) was a crucial instrument for acquiring and maintaining power, and for the implementation of Nazi policies. The pervasive use of propaganda by the Nazis is largely responsible for the word propaganda itself acquiring its present negative connotations.
The art of the Third Reich was the government-approved art produced in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945. Upon becoming dictator in 1933, Adolf Hitler gave his personal artistic preference the force of law to a degree rarely known before.
Fritz Hippler was a German filmmaker who ran the film department in the Propaganda Ministry of Nazi Germany, under Joseph Goebbels. He is best known as the director of the propaganda film Der Ewige Jude .
Censorship in Germany has taken many forms throughout the history of the region. Various regimes have restricted the press, cinema, literature, and other entertainment venues. In modern Germany, the Grundgesetz guarantees freedom of press, speech, and opinion. Censorship is mainly exerted in the form of restriction of access to certain media to older adolescents or adults only. Furthermore, the publication of works violating the rights of the individual or those considered to be capable of inciting popular hatred (Volksverhetzung) may be prohibited. Possession of such works, however, is generally not punishable. Germany has been consistently rated among the 20 most free countries on the Press Freedom Index.
The Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was a Nazi government agency to enforce Nazi ideology.
The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the German Student Union to ceremonially burn books in Nazi Germany and Austria in the 1930s. The books targeted for burning were those viewed as being subversive or as representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. These included books written by Jewish, pacifist, religious, liberal, anarchist, socialist, communist, and sexologist authors among others. The first books burned were those of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky.
Cultural Bolshevism, sometimes referred to specifically as "art Bolshevism" or "music Bolshevism", was a term widely used by Nazi German-sponsored critics to denounce modernist movements in the arts, particularly when seeking to discredit more nihilistic forms of expression. This first became an issue during the 1920s in Weimar Germany. German artists such as Max Ernst and Max Beckmann were denounced by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party and other nationalists as "cultural Bolsheviks".
The Reichsmusikkammer was a Nazi institution. It promoted "good German music" which was composed by Aryans and seen as consistent with Nazi ideals, while suppressing other, "degenerate" music, which included atonal music, jazz, and music by Jewish composers. The Institute was founded in 1933 by Joseph Goebbels and the Reichskulturkammer, and it operated until the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
The Reich Chamber of Culture (Reichskulturkammer) was a government agency in Nazi Germany. It was established by law on 22 September 1933 in the course of the Gleichschaltung process at the instigation of Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels as a professional organization of all German creative artists. Defying the competing ambitions of the German Labour Front (DAF) under Goebbels' rival Robert Ley, it was meant to gain control over the entire cultural life in Germany creating and promoting Aryan art consistent with Nazi ideals.
Negermusik was a pejorative term used by the Nazis during the Third Reich to signify musical styles and performances by African-Americans that were of the jazz and swing music genres. They viewed these musical styles as inferior works belonging to an inferior race and therefore prohibited. The term, at that same time, was also applied to indigenous music styles of black Africans.
The Militant League for German Culture, was a nationalistic anti-Semitic political society during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era. It was founded in 1928 as the Nationalsozialistische Gesellschaft für deutsche Kultur by Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg and remained under his leadership until it was reorganized and renamed to the National Socialist Culture Community in 1934. Its aim was to make a significant imprint on cultural life in Germany that was based on the aims and objectives of the inner circles of the Nazi Party. Upon its reorganization, it was merged with the Deutsche Bühne, connected with the establishment of the official body for cultural surveillance, the "Dienstelle Rosenberg" (DRbg) and was later known as the Amt Rosenberg.
The nineteenth century introduced a change in economic circumstances in Germany. The rise of industrialization and urban expansion introduced a new marketplace for music. Individuals were able to participate within the music culture as small social clubs and orchestras were easily able to purchase sheet music and instruments. Out of this developed an extensive network of music among German citizens. The spawned more localized concert halls and orchestras, greatly increasing the circulation of both German and Jewish compositions. Yet as the music culture grew the Nazi regime found it necessary to step in and control these cultural music products. Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda, famously decreed the radio to be "the most influential and important intermediary between a spiritual movement and the nation, between the idea and the people". He put much effort into the proliferation of radio technologies amongst German citizens regardless of socioeconomic status, introducing a low-cost people's receiver. As the music industry of Nazi Germany grew, institutions within the regime devoted their efforts to promote Aryan ideologies through heavy censorship and cultural control. From blacklisted Jewish compositions to banned concert hall performances, Nazi intervention was obvious. The regime issued strict authoritative control of these mediums in order to promote nationalism through cultural unity.
The Degenerate Art Exhibition was an art exhibition organized by Adolf Ziegler and the Nazi Party in Munich from 19 July to 30 November 1937. The exhibition presented 650 works of art, confiscated from German museums, and was staged in counterpoint to the concurrent Great German Art Exhibition. The day before the exhibition started, Hitler delivered a speech declaring "merciless war" on cultural disintegration, attacking "chatterboxes, dilettantes and art swindlers". Degenerate art was defined as works that "insult German feeling, or destroy or confuse natural form or simply reveal an absence of adequate manual and artistic skill". One million people attended the exhibition in its first six weeks. A U.S. critic commented "there are probably plenty of people—art lovers—in Boston, who will side with Hitler in this particular purge".
Hans Severus Ziegler was a German publicist, theater manager, teacher and Nazi Party official. A leading cultural director under the Nazis, he was closely associated with the censorship and cultural co-ordination of the Third Reich.
Rainer Schlösser was a German journalist and writer who held (1933-1945) the governmental post of Reichsdramaturg in the Ministry of Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda headed by Dr. Joseph Goebbels and also President of the Reichstheaterkammer or Reich Theatre Chamber, the state governing body for drama. This was an even more important and high-profile position. The equivalent body in the world of music, the Reichsmusikkammer, was headed by the world-famous composer Richard Strauss from 1933 to 1935.