Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2023

Department 1



This paper intends to explain the complex and seemingly contradictory implementation of Nazi cultural policy regarding the visual arts by understanding Nazi cultural ideology. By examining the writing and speeches of Adolf Hitler and his ideological predecessors, it is apparent that the Nazis did not object to many modern art styles for purely aesthetic reasons. Instead, they associated the perceived degeneration of art with the degeneration of German society due to the influence of Jews and political opponents. Therefore, the Nazi hope to regenerate German civilization informed the policy of removing “degenerate art” from public display and purifying the art world of the perceived subversive elements. They attempted to replace them with authentic German art. While various individuals and artworks took inspiration from neoclassical, modern, and other styles, Hitler did not put forward a specific Nazi style. Instead, he intended for German art to reflect Nazi ideals and serve as the cultural foundation for a utopian German future.


Written for HIST 418: Nazism

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.