Inhumanities is an unprecedented account of the ways Nazi Germany manipulated and mobilized European literature, philosophy, painting, sculpture and music in support of its ideological ends. David B. Dennis shows how, based on belief that the Third Reich represented the culmination of Western civilization, culture became a key propaganda tool in the regime's program of national renewal and its campaign against political, national and racial enemies. Focusing on the daily output of the Voelkischer Beobachter, the party's official organ and the most widely circulating German newspaper of the day, he reveals how activists twisted history, biography and aesthetics to fit Nazism's authoritarian, militaristic and anti-Semitic world views. Ranging from National Socialist coverage of Germans such as Luther, Durer, Goethe, Beethoven, Wagner and Nietzsche to 'great men of the Nordic West' such as Socrates, Leonardo and Michelangelo, Dennis reveals the true extent of the regime's ambitious attempt to reshape the 'German mind'.
David B. Dennis is Professor of History at Loyola University, Chicago. He is the author of Beethoven and German Politics, 1870-1989 (1996) and other works on the intersection of German music and politics.
Introduction; Part I. Foundations of Nazi Cultural History: 1. The 'Germanic' origins of western culture; 2. Voxvolkish; 3. The western tradition as political and patriotic; 4. The western tradition as anti-Semitic; 5. The archenemy incarnate; Part II. Blind to the Light: 6. Classicism romanticized; 7. Intolerance toward enlightenment; 8. Forging steel romanticism; 9. Romantic music as 'our greatest legacy'; Part III. Modern Dilemmas: 10. Realist paradox and expressionist confusion; 11. Nordic existentialists and volkish founders; 12. Music after Wagner; Part IV. 'Holy' War and Weimar 'Crisis': 13. Heralds of the front experience; 14. Weimar culture wars i: defending German spirit from 'circumcision'; 15. Weimar culture wars ii: combating 'degeneracy'; Part V. Nazi 'Solutions': 16. 'Honour your German masters'; 17. The Nazi 'Renaissance'; 18. Kultur at war; Conclusion.