Society and culture van Weimar
Embed Size (px)
Transcript of Society and culture van Weimar
HI136 The History of GermanyLecture 8Weimar Society and Culture
The Upper ClassesNo fundamental change to the social & economic structure after 1918 no redistribution of wealth, no nationalization of industry.But some social change:The aristocracy (at least temporarily) dislodged from their dominant position.Aristocratic ranks and titles banned after 1918 many families incorporate their titles into their surnames.Nevertheless, industrialists and landowners still powerful and the old elites represented in the Reichstag by the DVP and DNVP.The Officer Corps of the Reichswehr more aristocratic than the old Imperial Army:25% of regular officers came from old military families in 1913,this number had risen to 67% by 1929.
The Middle ClassesSmall businesses struggled to survive in the difficult economic climate of the 1920s and early 30s.Many middle class families continued to fear a loss of status and the threat of revolution and the extreme left.Also a lack of identification with the new Republic.Even those who came to accept it often had little love for it they came to be known as Vernunftrepublikaner, rational republicans.Family of the Lawyer Dr Fritz von Glaser(1920) by Otto Dix.
The Stinnes-Legien Agreement 15 November, 1918An agreement between labour (represented by the trade unionist Karl Legien) and capital (represented by industrialist Hugo Stinnes) reached on 15 November 1918.The Unions agreed not to interfere with private ownership.In return, they were granted them full legal recognition and an 8 hour working day.Achieved long-standing aims of the labour movement.
The Working ClassesSlow improvement in living standards after 1924.Shorter working day, legal Union representation and higher wages.SPD government in Prussia invested in public works affordable housing, increased benefits, education etc.Extension of adult education aimed at workers.But curriculum designed to raise class consciousness, not improve employment prospects or provide re-training.
EducationWeimar Constitution: the state committed to providing free compulsory education.Universities controlled by central government, primary and secondary schools the responsibility of state governments.Hoped that education will create a sense of civic responsibility, foster a commitment to democracy and provide greater social mobility.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.But resistance from the Centre Party and from within the educational establishment.Many teachers and professors, recruited from the middle classes, remained hostile to the Republic and old educational methods learning by rote etc. remained standard.
Gender INew educational and employment opportunities for women.Young middle-class women increasingly employed in secretarial and other white collar jobs.More disposable income & interaction with the outside world freed them from family influence.Wages spent of consumer goods and entertainment fashion, cosmetics, cinema etc.Absence of young men brought about changes in sexual attitudes/behaviour.
Marlene Dietrich (left),Josephine Baker (right),and Louise Brooks(below).
Gender IIAll women over the age of 20 can vote after 1918.36 female Reichstag deputies by 1924 more than in any other parliament in the world.But these criticized for confining their activities to womens issues child care, social policy, family issues etc.Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine (BDF) = the largest womens organization with over 900,000 members.But a split in the womens movement along age and class lines.Debate over reproductive issues and the campaign to legalize abortion highlights these differences.
Weimar was Berlin, Berlin WeimarUnder the Weimar Republic Berlin became Germanys premier cultural and social centre.A hub for European travel.1924: Tempelhof Airport opened.Berlin had a population of 4 million by 1925 & grew by 80-100,000 people a year.By 1928 Berlin was the worlds 3rd largest city after London and New York.1926: Funkturm Radio Tower built.1928: Kempinski Haus Vaterland amusement park opened.
Patrons of the Eldorado, Berlins notorious transvestite bar.The Potsdammerplatz by night.Six-day bicycle races.Marlene Dietrich as the cabaret singer Lola Lola
Crime & PolicingChaotic conditions in the early and later years of the Republic a breeding ground for crime.Prostitution the police estimated that there were 25,000 full time prostitutes in Berlin in 1929.Drugs.Organized Crime extortion, illegal gambling, protection rackets etc.Murder:Fritz Haarmann, the Butcher of Hanover, killed 24 tramps and male prostitutes between 1919 and 1924. Karl Grossman murdered perhaps as many as 50 women before he was arrested in Berlin in 1921.Peter Krten, the Vampire of Dsseldorf, was convicted of 9 murders and 7 attempted murders in 1931.By 1929 50,000 crimes being reported annually in Berlin alone.Policing effective the uniformed Schutzpolizei (Schupo) and the plain clothes Kriminalpolizei (Kripo).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.
Above: Peter Lorre as the child murder in Fritz Langs M (1931)Ernst Gennat (1880-1939), head of theHomicide division of theBerlin Kriminalpolizei(1925-39) and originatorOf the term serial killer(Serienmrder).Left: Peter Krten (1883-1931), the Vampire of Dsseldorf.
Weimar CinemaThe war freed German cinema from foreign competition and provided a captive audience for home-grown products.1917: The German High Command force a merger of German production companies to form Universum Film A.G. (Ufa).1918: The state withdrew its stake in Ufa, which continued as a private concern and Germanys largest production company.Technological innovations, high production values and a strong aesthetic sense put Weimar cinema at the fore-front of the European avant-garde.
Notable German Films, 1918-33Der Golum (1920)Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920)Der mde Tod (1921)Dr Mabuse, der Spieler Ein Bild der Zeit (1922)Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)Der letze mann (1924)Die freundlose Gasse (1925)Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (1926) the worlds first feature length animated film.Metropolis (1927)Der blaue Engel (1930)Westfront 1918 (1930)Die Dreigroschenoper (1931)M (1931)
Notable Directors and ActorsDirectors
Fritz LangF. W. MurnauG. W. PabstErnst LubitschJosef von SternbegBilly WilderWalter RuttmannPaul LeniArnold FranckActors
Conrad VeidtEmil JanningsRudolf Klein-RoggeMarlene DietrichPeter LorreMax SchreckWerner KraussLeni Reifenstahl
ExpressionismExpressionism is the tendency of an artist to distort reality for an emotional effect; it is a subjective art form. Art movement very influential in Germany since the turn of the century (Die Brcke, der Blaue Reiter).Wassily Kandinsky, Der blaue Reiter (1903)
Expressionist ArchitectureThe Einstein Tower in Potsdam (1919-20),designed by Erich MendelsohnThe Chilehaus in Hamburg (1922-24),designed by Fritz Hger
Expressionist FilmScenes from Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari (1920)Still from Nosferatu (1922), directed by F. W. MurnauThe Tower of Babel from Fritz Langs Metropolis (1927)
Expressionist TheatreExpressionist theatre was strident and hostile, eccentric in plot, staging, speech, characters, acting, and direction. (Peter Gay).Ernst Toller, Die Wandlung (Transformation, 1919).George Kaiser, Die Koralle (1917), Gas (1918) & Gas II (1920).
The director and impressario Max Reinhardt(1873-1943) did much to popularize an Expressionistaesthetic in the theatre of the Weimar Republic
DadaAn international cultural movement founded in Zrich in 1916.first and foremost a response to the madness of war.To the Dadaists, progress (including reason and logic) had led to the disaster of world war.They believed that the only way forward was through political anarchy, the natural emotions, the intuitive and the irrational.A fore-runner of Surrealism.Germany: A Winters Tale (1917-19)by George Grosz
The First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920
Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity)An Outgrowth of and in opposition to expressionism.A new naturalism in art, literature and cinema.A style and aesthetic, rather than a movement.Encompassed Verists who used the style to comment critically on society and Classicists who merely favoured a representation and realism over abstraction.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).Rejection of sentimentality and emotional agitation of Expressionism.
Grostadt (Metropolis) Triptych (1927-28) by Otto Dix
The Pillars of the Establishment (1926)by George GroszThree 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 FilmPosters for Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Grosstadt (1927) and Der Letze Mann (1924)
Walter Gropius (1883-1969)Director of the Bauhaus between 1919 and 1928.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.He believed that the student must know the crafts each student had to work in the workshop to familiarise