Art of Suppression (Hardcover)

Confronting the Nazi Past in Histories of the Visual and Performing Arts (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism #50)

By Pamela M. Potter

University of California Press, 9780520282346, 408pp.

Publication Date: June 28, 2016

List Price: 65.00*
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Description

This provocative study asks why we have held on to vivid images of the Nazis’ total control of the visual and performing arts, even though research has shown that many artists and their works thrived under Hitler. To answer this question, Pamela M. Potter investigates how historians since 1945 have written about music, art, architecture, theater, film, and dance in Nazi Germany and how their accounts have been colored by politics of the Cold War, the fall of communism, and the wish to preserve the idea that true art and politics cannot mix. Potter maintains that although the persecution of Jewish artists and other “enemies of the state” was a high priority for the Third Reich, removing them from German cultural life did not eradicate their artistic legacies. Art of Suppression examines the cultural histories of Nazi Germany to help us understand how the circumstances of exile, the Allied occupation, the Cold War, and the complex meanings of modernism have sustained a distorted and problematic characterization of cultural life during the Third Reich.


About the Author

Pamela M. Potter is Professor of German at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, author of Most German of the Arts: Musicology and Society from the Weimar Republic to the End of Hitler’s Reich, and coeditor of Music and German National Identity.


Praise For Art of Suppression: Confronting the Nazi Past in Histories of the Visual and Performing Arts (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism #50)

“[Potter’s] book unquestionably provides a ground-breaking historiographic foundation for understanding the mechanisms that stood behind the descriptions and analyses of the Third Reich and the cultural and artistic life of the Nazi state….She raises significant questions related to myths about the unrestricted power of authoritarian and dictatorial regimes in all matters related to culture. And, most important, she hints at anti-democratic, authoritarian trends found in liberal and Western societies today where cultural life is ostensibly immune to intervention and coercion.”

— Ha’aretz