“In the Spirit of a Millennial Inheritance:” The Nazi Ambition to Regenerate German Civilization through the Visual Arts
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
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.
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Lloyd, Marco J., "“In the Spirit of a Millennial Inheritance:” The Nazi Ambition to Regenerate German Civilization through the Visual Arts" (2023). Student Publications. 1081.
History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology Commons, Holocaust and Genocide Studies Commons
Written for HIST 418: Nazism