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Weimar culture (1919 - 1933)

Related: 1920s - the jazz age - Germany - degenerate art - German Expressionism - swing kids of Weimar Berlin

Weimar Republic

The period of German history from 1919 to 1933 is known as the Weimar Republic. It is named after the city of Weimar, where a national assembly convened to produce a new constitution after Germany's defeat in World War I.

This first attempt at establishing a liberal democracy in Germany was a time of great tension and inner conflict and, ultimately, failed with the ascent of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1933. Although technically, the 1919 constitution was never entirely invalidated until after World War II, the legal measures taken by the Nazi government in 1933 that are commonly known as Gleichschaltung in fact destroyed all mechanisms provided for by a typical democratic system, so it is common to mark 1933 as the end of the Weimar Republic. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimar_Republic [Jul 2004]

Weimar Culture

Cultural life during the days of the so-called Weimar Republic (Germany from 1918 to 1933).

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimar_Culture [Jul 2004]

Weimar Culture

The Weimar Republic, however ailing in economic and political terms, was one of the most fertile grounds for the modern arts and sciences. Berlin, in particular, became a thriving center of many new art movements such as dadaism, expressionism, and new sobriety. Its status in the world of the arts resembled the place of New York after 1945. The Bauhaus school near Weimar, moreover, revolutionized architecture, and the theaters in Berlin and Frankfurt led to a revolution on stage. Thomas Mann explored the limits of modernist writing, Bertolt Brecht broke with old traditions of play writing, and Max Reinhardt and Erwin Piscator became world famous stage directors. --http://www.colby.edu/personal/rmscheck/GermanyD5.html [Jul 2004]

Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider (1968) - Peter Gay

Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider (1968) - Peter Gay [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

About the Author
Peter Gay is the author of more than forty books, including the best-selling Freud: A Life for Our Times and the National Book Award winner The Enlightenment.

A seminal work as melodious and haunting as the era it chronicles, now reissued with a new introduction. First published in 1968, Weimar Culture is one of the masterworks of Peter Gay's distinguished career. A study of German culture between the two wars, the book brilliantly traces the rise of the artistic, literary, and musical culture that bloomed ever so briefly in the 1920s amid the chaos of Germany's tenuous post-World War I democracy, and crashed violently in the wake of Hitler's rise to power. Despite the ephemeral nature of the Weimar democracy, the influence of its culture was profound and far-reaching, ushering in a modern sensibility in the arts that dominated Western culture for most of the twentieth century. Vivid and eminently readable, Weimar Culture is the finest introduction for the casual reader and historian alike. --Book Description via Amazon.com

Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin - Mel Gordon

Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin - Mel Gordon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

An intriguing cache of recently discovered erotica from 1920s Berlin (photographs, theater programs, guidebooks and pictorial magazines) is on display in Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin. U.C. Berkeley theater professor Mel Gordon (The Grand Guignol) enhances the compelling visual images with snippets of personal memoirs, interviews and other sociological accounts that describe a sexually charged city brimming with prolific prostitution, homosexuality and drugs in the heady days before the Nazis came into full power. --From Publishers Weekly via Amazon.com

Between 1921 and 1933, Berlin developed a reputation for debauchery unrivaled by any city before or since. Unlike European capitals like Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, where brothel districts were extensive but discreet, in Berlin sexual tourism was a primary industry. On any given evening, over 600 establishments, from massage parlors to sex clubs to cabarets to private torture dungeons, promised unique sights and pleasures. Using tourist guidebooks that appeared before the Nazi period, historical memoirs, and more than 400 specialized journals and books, Mel Gordon has put together a controversial exploration of Berlin's erotic demiworld and its relationship to the rise of Nazism. --Book Description via Amazon.com

Hot Girls of Weimar Berlin (2002) - Barbara Ulrich, Mel Gordon (Introduction)[Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

...evokes an era when sexual orientation was a laughing matter and cruel boots were not. --Playboy, February 2003

Fascinating snapshots and artworks of the women of that incredible time and place... Delicious, decadent and delightful. --Harry Eugene Baldwin, Frontiers, 2/28/03


  • From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film (1947) - Siegfried Kracauer [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    A landmark, now classic, study of the rich cinematic history of the Weimar Republic, From Caligari to Hitler was first published by Princeton University Press in 1947. Siegfried Kracauer--a prominent German film critic and member of Walter Benjamin's and Theodor Adorno's intellectual circle--broke new ground in exploring the connections between film aesthetics, the prevailing psychological state of Germans in the Weimar era, and the evolving social and political reality of the time. Kracauer's pioneering book, which examines German history from 1921 to 1933 in light of such movies as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M, Metropolis, and The Blue Angel, has never gone out of print. Now, over half a century after its first appearance, this beautifully designed and entirely new edition reintroduces Kracauer for the twenty-first century. Film scholar Leonardo Quaresima places Kracauer in context in a critical introduction, and updates the book further with a new bibliography, index, and list of inaccuracies that crept into the first edition. This volume is a must-have for the film historian, film theorist, or cinema enthusiast. --Princeton University

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