The Nazi Perpetrator
Postwar German Art and the Politics of the Right
Publication Year: 2012
Who was responsible for the crimes of the Nazis? Party leaders and members? Rank-and-file soldiers and bureaucrats? Ordinary Germans? This question looms over German disputes about the past like few others. It also looms over the art and architecture of postwar Germany in ways that have been surprisingly neglected. In The Nazi Perpetrator, Paul B. Jaskot fundamentally reevaluates pivotal developments in postwar German art and architecture against the backdrop of contentious contemporary debates over the Nazi past and the difficulty of determining who was or was not a Nazi perpetrator.
Like their fellow Germans, postwar artists and architects grappled with the Nazi past and the problem of defining the Nazi perpetrator—a problem that was thoroughly entangled with contemporary conservative politics and the explosive issue of former Nazis living in postwar Germany. Beginning with the formative connection between Nazi politics and art during the 1930s, The Nazi Perpetrator traces the dilemma of identifying the perpetrator across the entire postwar period. Jaskot examines key works and episodes from West Germany and, after 1989, reunified Germany, showing how the changing perception of the perpetrator deeply impacted art and architecture, even in cases where artworks and buildings seem to have no obvious relation to the Nazi past. The book also reinterprets important periods in the careers of such major figures as Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, and Daniel Libeskind.
Combining political history with a close analysis of specific works, The Nazi Perpetrator powerfully demonstrates that the ongoing influence of Nazi Germany after 1945 is much more central to understanding a wide range of modern German art and architecture than cultural historians have previously recognized.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
Download PDF (493.7 KB)
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (84.3 KB)
Download PDF (70.0 KB)
Download PDF (70.5 KB)
Introduction Political History and Postwar German Art
Download PDF (126.9 KB)
Germans, had a complicated and variable relationship to the Nazi past.1Born on January 10, 1923, in Trostberg an der Alz in Oberbayern, Schön-huber worked his way through the Nazi youth organizations, became aparty member in 1941 and willingly enlisted in the Waﬀen-SS. During thewar he helped train French Waﬀen-SS volunteers for a division called...
1 National Socialists and Art Becoming the Perpetrator
Download PDF (758.2 KB)
...became relatively easy to throw around. But who were these NationalSocialist perpetrators? Were their actions so clear and separate from thoseof other Germans who helped implement policies of oppression but wereperhaps less ardent, less committed, or less focused on the same ideologi-cal agenda? National Socialist leaders used alliances with a broad range of...
2 Gerhard Richter and the Advent of the Nazi Past The Persistence of the Perpetrator
Download PDF (508.9 KB)
...at the fateful moment in which the NSDAP consolidated its electoral vic-tories at the end of the Weimar Republic. His mother, Hildegard, enjoyedmusic and literature, while his father, Horst, pursued a career as a teacher.In 1936, after a period of unemployment, his father took a teaching jobin the small town of Reichenau, near the Czech border, moving the fam-...
3 Anselm Kiefer and the Ascendance of Helmut Kohl The Changing Perception of the Perpetrator
Download PDF (779.6 KB)
...and political age during the Nazi period. His own father had been mayorin the small town of Niederbuhl bei Rastatt before he ran afoul of the newregime in 1933 when he refused to replace the flag of Baden on the Rathaus(town hall) with the Hakenkreuz (swastika), an act for which he was brieflyimprisoned. Buckling under this pressure, Mayor Kiefer joined the NSDAP...
4 Daniel Libeskind and the Neo-Nazi Specter The Resurgence of the Perpetrator
Download PDF (644.5 KB)
Berlin opened its collection to the public in newly designed rooms in theOranienburgerstrasse on January 24, 1933, six days before Hitler came topower. Plans for a Jewish Museum in Berlin go back to the art collection leftto the Jewish community in 1907 by Albert Wohl, a Dresden jeweler. By1917, the community had opened an “Art Collection of the Jewish Com-...
5 The Nuremberg Party Rally Grounds and Local Politics The Historicized Perpetrator
Download PDF (894.4 KB)
...had already become a popular site for the rallies of the faithful of theNational Socialist German Workers Party. Almost as soon as Hitler cameto power, he chose the location as the permanent home of the annual ralliesand began his plans for the monumental architecture that would famouslyframe these events. Throughout the mid-1930s into the early years of war,...
Afterword The Nazi Past in Postwar Germany’s Cultural History
Download PDF (88.7 KB)
...century and the beginning of a new millennium, it is hard to say that wehave left the eﬀects of World War II and the Holocaust behind in our soci-ety. The latter is still the litmus test with which we subsequently judge allunfortunate other genocides.1 The war itself was obviously fundamental forthe ascension of the military and economic dominance of the United States,...
Download PDF (47.9 KB)
The arc of this book has a long trajectory. It began with the History of ArtDepartment at University College London, which invited me to give theTomás Harris Memorial Lectures in 2003. Those talks were the genesis ofthis book, and I am grateful for the kind invitation as well as the receptionof my colleagues at UCL. In particular, I thank Warren Carter, Tamar Garb,...
Download PDF (334.2 KB)
Download PDF (179.9 KB)
Download PDF (846.0 KB)
Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012