Research & Teaching

Elimination of Jews from cultural life in the »Third Reich«

Researcher: Dr Jörg Osterloh

The object of the research project is the elimination of Jews from cultural life in National-Socialist Germany. The Nazi party’s cultural policy objectives after the party was founded in 1920 as well as its cultural policy requirements after it was refounded in 1925, always accompanied by riots, are analysed against the backdrop of the development of »modern« anti-Semitism since the late 19th century. One of the project’s main focal points is the comparison of the development, on the one hand, in German states with Nazi government participation (such as Thuringia and in Oldenburg) and in the other states (particularly Prussia), on the other.

Moreover, the project examines the »revolutionary« interventions in cultural life, the dismissal and expulsion of Jewish artists, as well as the first legal measures taken against Jews after the Nazi takeover of power. It focuses on the creation of central cultural policy institutions under the Nazi regime (Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and the Reich Chamber of Culture). The project proceeds to explore the Reich Chamber of Culture’s systematic elimination of all »non-Aryans« and »Aryans married to Jews« from 1935. Prerequisite to this was first laborious recording of information by the individual chambers of the Reich Chamber of Culture. The project concludes by focusing on the developments from the November pogroms until the end of the Nazi regime.