Prof. Gordon Nazi Aesthetics
The regime of the Nazi party had an explicitly approved form of art. Unlike the other totalitarian regimes of the era, the approved forms of art were firmly integrated into their iconography and ideology, and excluded any other art movement, including those that were popular at the time. These approved forms of art held a limited number of themes, which were repeated as often as necessary, in order to portray the values the Nazis deemed relevant to their cause. These values were, of course, fundamentally nationalistic, and those themes approved by the government were meant to glorify not only the Aryan race, but specifically the ...view middle of the document...
The reason peasantry was held in such high regard by the Nazis, was that the peasant family was seen as a self-reliant, interdependent whole based on unity, that was portrayed as a symbol of strength and comradeship. Farmers were meant to be seen as a modest but proud people, being a fundamental part of the German population, or, to quote the German minister of works at the time, Richard-Walther Darré, “the raw material, and the foundation of the German race”.
What all this is meant to symbolize is, of course, the Nazi idea of racial superiority, which has long since become synonymous with the movement, and also the superiority of all that is German, including it’s people and landscape, even reaching as far as the German vegetation, which was also portrayed by the Nazis to be superior to that of the neighboring countries. The Nazi message always was that if a thing is German, it is superior to the equivalent non-German thing. The idea was that a German tree was supposed to be viewed as being superior to other trees, and German landscape was supposed to be more beautiful than the landscape of other countries, regardless of their actual qualities. All this was part of the Nazi propaganda, promoting the idea that all that is German is better than anything else.
The Family: This painting is not only a glorification of the German landscape, but also a glorification of the German family. This comes as no surprise, as a large family was praised in much the same way as farmers were, by the Nazis. A large family with many healthy children was seen as a good thing, and a patriotic one at that, in Nazi Germany. Married women were encouraged to bear as many children as possible by the government, and families were not portrayed as parents and children, but as united wholes. In the same way as the peasant family, the regular family was to be seen as a “united front” so to speak, and in fact the ideal German family was a farmer’s family.
The Freudian Possibility: “Wer Wissenschaft und Kunst besitzt, hat auch Religion; Wer jene beide nicht besitzt, der habe Religion!” J. W. Goethe. According to recently released files, on the Nazis agenda was the abolition of religion. Hitler has been quoted as saying that the Christian values upheld among the Nazis, were only there to keep the people calm and complacent, while otherwise not being necessary to Nazi rule. Although only officially released recently, it has been somewhat common knowledge for many years that the Nazis, and specifically Hitler, despised the Church.
Sigmund Freud used to say that religion was only a painkiller for unhappiness, and a form of escapism from the pain of our daily lives. In his writings he says, much in the vein of Schopenhauer, that art could...