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HI136 The History of Germany Lecture 8 Weimar Society  and Culture
The Upper Classes <ul><li>No fundamental change to the social & economic structure after 1918 – no redistribution of wealt...
The Middle Classes <ul><li>Small businesses struggled to survive in the difficult economic climate of the 1920s and early ...
The Stinnes-Legien Agreement  15 November, 1918 <ul><li>An agreement between labour (represented by the trade unionist Kar...
The Working Classes <ul><li>Slow improvement in living standards after 1924. </li></ul><ul><li>Shorter working day, legal ...
Education <ul><li>Weimar Constitution: the state committed to providing free compulsory education. </li></ul><ul><li>Unive...
Gender I <ul><li>New educational and employment opportunities for women. </li></ul><ul><li>Young middle-class women increa...
Marlene Dietrich (left), Josephine Baker (right), and Louise Brooks (below).
Gender II <ul><li>All women over the age of 20 can vote after 1918. </li></ul><ul><li>36 female Reichstag deputies by 1924...
‘ Weimar was Berlin, Berlin Weimar’ <ul><li>Under the Weimar Republic Berlin became Germany’s premier cultural and social ...
Patrons of the Eldorado, Berlin’s notorious transvestite bar. The Potsdammerplatz by night. Six-day bicycle races. Marlene...
Crime & Policing <ul><li>Chaotic conditions in the early and later years of the Republic a breeding ground for crime. </li...
Above: Peter Lorre as the child murder in  Fritz Lang’s  M  (1931) Ernst Gennat (1880- 1939), head of the Homicide divisio...
Weimar Cinema <ul><li>The war freed German cinema from foreign competition and provided a captive audience for home-grown ...
Notable German Films, 1918-33 <ul><li>Der Golum  (1920) </li></ul><ul><li>Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari  (1920) </li></ul><u...
Notable Directors and Actors <ul><li>Directors </li></ul><ul><li>Fritz Lang </li></ul><ul><li>F. W. Murnau </li></ul><ul><...
Expressionism <ul><li>Expressionism  is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect; it is a subj...
Expressionist Architecture The Einstein Tower in Potsdam (1919-20), designed by Erich Mendelsohn The Chilehaus in Hamburg ...
Expressionist Film Scenes from  Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari  (1920) Still from  Nosferatu  (1922), directed by F. W. Murna...
Expressionist Theatre <ul><li>Expressionist theatre was strident and hostile, “eccentric in plot, staging, speech, charact...
Dada <ul><li>An international cultural movement founded in Z ürich in 1916. </li></ul><ul><li>first and foremost a respons...
 
The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920
Neue Sachlichkeit   (New Objectivity) <ul><li>An Outgrowth of and in opposition to expressionism. </li></ul><ul><li>A new ...
Gro ßstadt (Metropolis) Triptych  (1927-28) by Otto Dix
The Pillars of the Establishment  (1926) by George Grosz Three Whores  (1926) by Otto Dix
Satires of middle class family life:  Industriebauen  (1920) by Georg Scholz and  Deutsche Familie  (1932) by Adolf Uzarski
Neue Sachlichkeit  Film Posters for  Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt  (1927) and  Der Letze Mann  (1924)
Walter Gropius (1883-1969) <ul><li>Director of the Bauhaus between 1919 and 1928. </li></ul><ul><li>His aim was to bring t...
The Bauhaus <ul><li>Established standards of excellence and workmanship. </li></ul><ul><li>Created products for mass produ...
The Bauhaus The Bauhuas building in Dessau (1925-26) Cantilever “Cesca” Chair by Marcel Breuer.
Conclusion <ul><li>No redistribution of wealth or nationalization of industry, but still a great deal of social change und...
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Geschiedenis weimar society and culture

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  1. 1. HI136 The History of Germany Lecture 8 Weimar Society and Culture
  2. 2. The Upper Classes <ul><li>No fundamental change to the social & economic structure after 1918 – no redistribution of wealth, no nationalization of industry. </li></ul><ul><li>But some social change: </li></ul><ul><li>The aristocracy (at least temporarily) dislodged from their dominant position. </li></ul><ul><li>Aristocratic ranks and titles banned after 1918 – many families incorporate their titles into their surnames. </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, industrialists and landowners still powerful and the old elites represented in the Reichstag by the DVP and DNVP. </li></ul><ul><li>The Officer Corps of the Reichswehr more aristocratic than the old Imperial Army: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>25% of regular officers came from old military families in 1913, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>this number had risen to 67% by 1929. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The Middle Classes <ul><li>Small businesses struggled to survive in the difficult economic climate of the 1920s and early 30s. </li></ul><ul><li>Many middle class families continued to fear a loss of status and the threat of revolution and the extreme left. </li></ul><ul><li>Also a lack of identification with the new Republic. </li></ul><ul><li>Even those who came to accept it often had little love for it – they came to be known as Vernunftrepublikaner , ‘rational republicans’. </li></ul>Family of the Lawyer Dr Fritz von Glaser (1920) by Otto Dix.
  4. 4. The Stinnes-Legien Agreement 15 November, 1918 <ul><li>An agreement between labour (represented by the trade unionist Karl Legien) and capital (represented by industrialist Hugo Stinnes) reached on 15 November 1918. </li></ul><ul><li>The Unions agreed not to interfere with private ownership. </li></ul><ul><li>In return, they were granted them full legal recognition and an 8 hour working day. </li></ul><ul><li>Achieved long-standing aims of the labour movement. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Working Classes <ul><li>Slow improvement in living standards after 1924. </li></ul><ul><li>Shorter working day, legal Union representation and higher wages. </li></ul><ul><li>SPD government in Prussia invested in public works – affordable housing, increased benefits, education etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of adult education aimed at workers. </li></ul><ul><li>But curriculum designed to raise class consciousness, not improve employment prospects or provide re-training. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Education <ul><li>Weimar Constitution: the state committed to providing free compulsory education. </li></ul><ul><li>Universities controlled by central government, primary and secondary schools the responsibility of state governments. </li></ul><ul><li>Hoped that education will create a sense of civic responsibility, foster a commitment to democracy and provide greater social mobility. </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to reform secondary education in Prussia – more opportunities for girls, raised the age at which testing took place, and allowed for more movement between educational streams. </li></ul><ul><li>But resistance from the Centre Party and from within the educational establishment. </li></ul><ul><li>Many teachers and professors, recruited from the middle classes, remained hostile to the Republic and old educational methods – learning by rote etc. – remained standard. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Gender I <ul><li>New educational and employment opportunities for women. </li></ul><ul><li>Young middle-class women increasingly employed in secretarial and other ‘white collar’ jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>More disposable income & interaction with the outside world freed them from family influence. </li></ul><ul><li>Wages spent of consumer goods and entertainment – fashion, cosmetics, cinema etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of young men brought about changes in sexual attitudes/behaviour. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Marlene Dietrich (left), Josephine Baker (right), and Louise Brooks (below).
  9. 9. Gender II <ul><li>All women over the age of 20 can vote after 1918. </li></ul><ul><li>36 female Reichstag deputies by 1924 – more than in any other parliament in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>But these criticized for confining their activities to ‘women’s issues’ – child care, social policy, family issues etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine (BDF) = the largest women’s organization with over 900,000 members. </li></ul><ul><li>But a split in the women’s movement along age and class lines. </li></ul><ul><li>Debate over reproductive issues and the campaign to legalize abortion highlights these differences. </li></ul>
  10. 10. ‘ Weimar was Berlin, Berlin Weimar’ <ul><li>Under the Weimar Republic Berlin became Germany’s premier cultural and social centre. </li></ul><ul><li>A hub for European travel. </li></ul><ul><li>1924: Tempelhof Airport opened. </li></ul><ul><li>Berlin had a population of 4 million by 1925 & grew by 80-100,000 people a year. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1928 Berlin was the world’s 3 rd largest city after London and New York. </li></ul><ul><li>1926: Funkturm Radio Tower built. </li></ul><ul><li>1928: Kempinski Haus Vaterland amusement park opened. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Patrons of the Eldorado, Berlin’s notorious transvestite bar. The Potsdammerplatz by night. Six-day bicycle races. Marlene Dietrich as the cabaret singer Lola Lola
  12. 12. Crime & Policing <ul><li>Chaotic conditions in the early and later years of the Republic a breeding ground for crime. </li></ul><ul><li>Prostitution – the police estimated that there were 25,000 full time prostitutes in Berlin in 1929. </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized Crime – extortion, illegal gambling, protection rackets etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Murder: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fritz Haarmann, the ‘Butcher of Hanover’, killed 24 tramps and male prostitutes between 1919 and 1924. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karl Grossman murdered perhaps as many as 50 women before he was arrested in Berlin in 1921. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peter K ürten, the ‘Vampire of Düsseldorf’, was convicted of 9 murders and 7 attempted murders in 1931. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>By 1929 50,000 crimes being reported annually in Berlin alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Policing effective – the uniformed Schutzpolizei (Schupo) and the plain clothes Kriminalpolizei (Kripo). </li></ul><ul><li>Berlin police well trained and well educated, with a high success rate: 39 out of 40 reported murders solved in 1928, while culprits brought to trial in all 20 cases of attempted murder. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Above: Peter Lorre as the child murder in Fritz Lang’s M (1931) Ernst Gennat (1880- 1939), head of the Homicide division of the Berlin Kriminalpolizei (1925-39) and originator Of the term ‘serial killer’ ( Serienm örder ). Left: Peter K ürten (1883-1931), ‘the Vampire of Düsseldorf’.
  14. 14. Weimar Cinema <ul><li>The war freed German cinema from foreign competition and provided a captive audience for home-grown products. </li></ul><ul><li>1917: The German High Command force a merger of German production companies to form Universum Film A.G. (Ufa). </li></ul><ul><li>1918: The state withdrew its stake in Ufa, which continued as a private concern and Germany’s largest production company. </li></ul><ul><li>Technological innovations, high production values and a strong aesthetic sense put Weimar cinema at the fore-front of the European avant-garde. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Notable German Films, 1918-33 <ul><li>Der Golum (1920) </li></ul><ul><li>Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920) </li></ul><ul><li>Der m üde Tod (1921) </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Mabuse, der Spieler – Ein Bild der Zeit (1922) </li></ul><ul><li>Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) </li></ul><ul><li>Der letze mann (1924) </li></ul><ul><li>Die freundlose Gasse (1925) </li></ul><ul><li>Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (1926) – the world’s first feature length animated film. </li></ul><ul><li>Metropolis (1927) </li></ul><ul><li>Der blaue Engel (1930) </li></ul><ul><li>Westfront 1918 (1930) </li></ul><ul><li>Die Dreigroschenoper (1931) </li></ul><ul><li>M (1931) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Notable Directors and Actors <ul><li>Directors </li></ul><ul><li>Fritz Lang </li></ul><ul><li>F. W. Murnau </li></ul><ul><li>G. W. Pabst </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst Lubitsch </li></ul><ul><li>Josef von Sternbeg </li></ul><ul><li>Billy Wilder </li></ul><ul><li>Walter Ruttmann </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Leni </li></ul><ul><li>Arnold Franck </li></ul><ul><li>Actors </li></ul><ul><li>Conrad Veidt </li></ul><ul><li>Emil Jannings </li></ul><ul><li>Rudolf Klein-Rogge </li></ul><ul><li>Marlene Dietrich </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Lorre </li></ul><ul><li>Max Schreck </li></ul><ul><li>Werner Krauss </li></ul><ul><li>Leni Reifenstahl </li></ul>
  17. 17. Expressionism <ul><li>Expressionism is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect; it is a subjective art form. </li></ul><ul><li>Art movement very influential in Germany since the turn of the century ( Die Brücke , der Blaue Reiter ). </li></ul>Wassily Kandinsky, Der blaue Reiter (1903)
  18. 18. Expressionist Architecture The Einstein Tower in Potsdam (1919-20), designed by Erich Mendelsohn The Chilehaus in Hamburg (1922-24), designed by Fritz H öger
  19. 19. Expressionist Film Scenes from Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920) Still from Nosferatu (1922), directed by F. W. Murnau The ‘Tower of Babel’ from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927)
  20. 20. Expressionist Theatre <ul><li>Expressionist theatre was strident and hostile, “eccentric in plot, staging, speech, characters, acting, and direction.” (Peter Gay). </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst Toller, Die Wandlung ( Transformation , 1919). </li></ul><ul><li>George Kaiser, Die Koralle (1917), Gas (1918) & Gas II (1920). </li></ul>The director and impressario Max Reinhardt (1873-1943) did much to popularize an Expressionist aesthetic in the theatre of the Weimar Republic
  21. 21. Dada <ul><li>An international cultural movement founded in Z ürich in 1916. </li></ul><ul><li>first and foremost a response to the madness of war. </li></ul><ul><li>To the Dadaists, progress (including reason and logic) had led to the disaster of world war. </li></ul><ul><li>They believed that the only way forward was through political anarchy, the natural emotions, the intuitive and the irrational. </li></ul><ul><li>A fore-runner of Surrealism. </li></ul>Germany: A Winter’s Tale (1917-19) by George Grosz
  22. 23. The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920
  23. 24. Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) <ul><li>An Outgrowth of and in opposition to expressionism. </li></ul><ul><li>A new naturalism in art, literature and cinema. </li></ul><ul><li>A style and aesthetic, rather than a movement. </li></ul><ul><li>Encompassed ‘Verists’ who used the style to comment critically on society and ‘Classicists’ who merely favoured a representation and realism over abstraction. </li></ul><ul><li>“ What we are displaying here is distinguished by the – in itself purely external – characteristics of the objectivity with which the artists express themselves” (Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub, 1923). </li></ul><ul><li>Rejection of sentimentality and emotional agitation of Expressionism. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Gro ßstadt (Metropolis) Triptych (1927-28) by Otto Dix
  25. 26. The Pillars of the Establishment (1926) by George Grosz Three Whores (1926) by Otto Dix
  26. 27. Satires of middle class family life: Industriebauen (1920) by Georg Scholz and Deutsche Familie (1932) by Adolf Uzarski
  27. 28. Neue Sachlichkeit Film Posters for Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (1927) and Der Letze Mann (1924)
  28. 29. Walter Gropius (1883-1969) <ul><li>Director of the Bauhaus between 1919 and 1928. </li></ul><ul><li>His aim was to bring together all creative efforts into one whole, to reunify all the disciplines of practical art — painting, sculpture, handicrafts and the crafts. There should be no distinction between monumental and decorative art. </li></ul><ul><li>He believed that the student must know the crafts — each student had to work in the workshop to familiarise themselves with materials and construction in order to learn how to design properly. </li></ul>
  29. 30. The Bauhaus <ul><li>Established standards of excellence and workmanship. </li></ul><ul><li>Created products for mass production. </li></ul><ul><li>Chief aesthetic principle was to simplify the design of all objects. </li></ul><ul><li>The modernist palette tended to emphasize white and grey accented with black or primary colours. </li></ul><ul><li>Ornamentation had to be integral to the materials of construction. </li></ul><ul><li>Made use of the latest technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Stressed lightness and transparency. </li></ul><ul><li>Art and technology were fused in an effort to improve overall quality of design. </li></ul>
  30. 31. The Bauhaus The Bauhuas building in Dessau (1925-26) Cantilever “Cesca” Chair by Marcel Breuer.
  31. 32. Conclusion <ul><li>No redistribution of wealth or nationalization of industry, but still a great deal of social change under the Weimar Republic: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shorter working week, legal recognition of trade unions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State authorities in Prussia tied to provide better living and working conditions, raise social mobility through educational reform. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New opportunities for women. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Growth of Berlin & identification with Weimar culture. </li></ul><ul><li>New styles and media: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expressionism, Dada, New Objectivity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film & Radio. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But many Germans still feel alienated from the Republic and its culture. </li></ul>
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