Monday, October 3, 2011

The Artist of Doom


Hans Friedrich Blunck says of germany: 'yes, this government half of which consists of men who once aspired to serve the arts is conscious of the artists role as an intermediary'. 'This government born out of the opposition to rationalism, knows the peoples inner longings their boundless dreams, to which only the artist can give form.'

‘set in medieval rome’

'Failed artists were characteristic of the leadership of the third reich. several of the men nearest to hilter had made serious artistic endeavors.' '...hitler himself, a failed painter who dreamt of being a architect. he never abandoned the dream.'  hitler exclaims 'oh how i would love to stay here working with art' shortly before war breaks out. this shows you where his heart was. his heart was in art. "he is a artist, not a politician and as soon as the war is over he will retire and devote himself to art'.

Hitler was deeply moved by wagner's opera called 'reinzi' which was set in medieval rome in which reinzi, the peoples spokesman rises against the aristocracy. he wants to turn the clock back 15 centuries and re establish the roman republic of antiquity. in that spirit he lets himself be made tribune of the people but reinzi falls victim to a conspiracy. he fights his last battle in the capitol as it crashes burning around him.' of this opera hitler said 'this is where it all began' and from this hitler plans his own future and the future of his people. its no wonder this opera has striking parallels to hitlers rise and fall from power. 'this experience cemented three fixations in hitler that would never lose their grip on him: his fixations on linz (his home city), on antiquity and on wagner. "hitler said 'whoever would understand nazism must first know wagner.' 'wagners political tracts were early favorites of hitlers'. hitler was fascinated by 'operas scenic possibilities, the fantastic illusion, the flight from reality'. 'in wagner he saw his idol: creative artist and politician in one person. hitler borrowed wagners props: antisemitism, the cult of a nordic legacy, the myth of pure blood' which '...all gave contour to hitlers world view. from wagner came also notions of art as the fundament of a new civilization, and the artist/prince risen from the people, who will unite life and art to herald the advent of the new state. hitler found use for his artistic bent in political work. he created nazi props, everything from uniforms to flags and standards.' 'the nazi mass rallies were quasi art of gigantic proportions with hitler as scenographer, director and leading actor.'   

‘the peoples spokesman rises against the aristocracy’ and ‘lets himself be made tribune of the people’

In january 30, 1933 hitler seizes power and 'gains control over every level of german society'. the first thing to be regulated was the art of germany. 'art was of first rank importance to the nazis.' the art from the cultural bolshevism or in other words modern art was put under scrutiny for its 'skewed perspectives' and advent garde nature. this art to the nazis spoke of impending doom. 'to them the chaos they perceived in it was visible evidence of spiritual and intellectual depravity.' ' the offensive against modern art soon took on a hygienic character. modern artists works were said to show signs of mental illness; their creators were ripe for the madhouse.' nazi member and art theoretician paul schultze naumburg said 'in the world of german art, the struggle for the death rages, not unlike the struggle in politics and it must be fought with the same gravity and singleness of mind.' in a lecture to illustrate his vision of art hygiene he showed modern art side by side with pictures of people that resembled it, most often pictures of the deformed and demented. by this he tries to show a link 'between physical degeneration and artistic perversion'. in naumburgs view 'art is not only a mirror of racial health...' '...but has as its duty to be a representative expression of the peoples longing for racial fulfillment.' from this ideology sprung up a new law of forced sterilization on all the sick to eliminate future degenerate generations. now the physician becomes the esthetician who through the control of health beautifies the german race. nazi ideology speaks of how 'once long ago the world was beautiful but race mixing and degeneration had polluted it. only a return to earlier ideals could make mankind flourish again.' 

‘he wants to turn the clock back 15 centuries and re establish the roman republic of antiquity.’

The first thing hitler did after taking over france was visit the art in paris. it was hitlers life long dream to see paris. hitler was admired and fixed on the antiquity of different lands. he saw it as a model for the society he hoped to build. he says 'if we are asked about our forefathers we must refer to the greeks'. he described sparta as 'the most racially pure state in history' and of ancient rome he said was 'the most mighty republic that ever existed'. 'athens, sparta, rome' of hitler said ' if we can create a synthesis of the three our state will never perish'. at the epoch of nazi germany was a museum of art collection. in hitlers inaugural speech he says 'this exhibit represents the end of lunacy in art and the denial of the german peoples culture. henceforth we shall wage a relentless purgative war against the rear guard of our culture's disintegration.' but it didn't stop there. 'nazism's ambition to beautify included every area of life..' even workplaces. 'cleanliness was the gospel of 'the beauty of labor'. 'new buildings were erected in order to characterize this new awareness to aesthetics'. until war broke out hitler devoted most of his time to the architect of the new germany. 'the dome in germany would be the largest assembly hall in the world with seats for 180,000 people.’ ‘hitler envisioned linz as the new centre of culture. all of the jewish art in vienna was taken away.’ of special importance to hitler was 'the acquisition of the classical greek statue 'the discus thrower' by myron. he says 'let us percieve how splendid mans physical beauty once was, and how we may only speak of progress when we have not only achieved such beauty, but even surpassed it. may we find here a measure of the tasks which confront us in our time! may we strive as one for beauty and elevation, so that both our race and our art will withstand the judgement of the millennial!' this correlation between man and art showed what they had envisioned to be the creation of a new type of man. 

‘falls victim to a conspiracy’

Furthermore "mass murder was the ultimate consequence in hitlers ambition to create a new man". in christianity the old man must die before the new man would rise and for germany the old man was the jews. ‘the nazi cult of beauty functioned as a mental cosmetic behind which the murderers could pursue their craft'. 'murder took on the guise of hygienic measure'. 'the cosmetic of the nazi beauty cult finally found its way into the gas chamber. the killing was a biological mission, a holy tribute to 'pure' blood'. the death factories were anthropological sanitation facilities, instruments to beautify the world.' germany provided one of the most finest medical care centers although 'their most important method of therapy was murder! the physician was healing with one hand and killing with the other.’ 'physicians played a major role in the killing process. it was they who selected the victims and saw to it that the poison gas' was used. afterwards it was they who checked to see if the victims were dead. the victims were forced to carry out the killings so that the actual killers would be spared the remorse. on the forms given to sick patients the physician in giving his decision would either put a blue minus meaning life or a red plus meaning death which is quite odd since the swastika kind of resembles a red plus. the swastika being the symbol of nazi germany. it was a symbol of death, bad luck. the guardians of the patients were sent out three letters. one saying that they were removed on account of the war, the second saying that they had arrived safely and the third stating a 'factitious death'. all of the letters are signed by doctors with fake signatures so that they cant be charged. the extermination of the jews was the final solution of the german nazi war being that not only was it the back up plan for the future of germany but it was the inevitable action towards procuring the new germany that would embody racial purity and aryan beauty. the extermination of the jews to hitler was simply a means to the end of: art, beauty, racial purity, the new german man, the new germany.

‘One must reflect over the nature of hitlers antisemitism. he saw the jews as sub human, a cancer spreading itself over the world.’ of this he says "i feel like the robert koch of politics, he discovered a microbe and broke new ground for medicine. i have exposed the jew as the microbe that subverts society." "the discovery of the jewish microbe is one of the greatest revolutions the world has known. the struggles of pasteur and koch must be carried on by us today. countless diseases have but one microbe as their cause: the jew. we shall be healthy when we have eliminated the jews." if you tell a lie long enough people will believe it. what is the best method to broadcast disinformation: the media. so a propaganda film was made called 'the eternal jew' in order to depict jews in a extremely bad light. this was done right before the beginning of the exterminations. they depicted all jews as a pathogen, a virus, a contagion, a spreading disease latched upon society as visible as a mole. they likened the jews to rats spreading germs although looking at the word german if you remove the ‘an’ at the end you get germ and if you add ‘el’ to the word jew you get jewel. despite the fact they made jews into something evil, sinful, demonic. they demonized all jews. they likened jews to vile animals running in flocks as if maliciously and malevolent in intent. they believed the jew was incapable of understanding beauty that being the nordic beauty. they said the jew was rootless, has no organs and is degenerate so that anything he does isn't right. hilter considered most of jewish art as degenerate. that it reflected the people. if you look at a lot of the jewish art of that time it resembled a new wave of cultural art that was unconventional to antiquity and not exactly monna lissa or picasso style. now everybody is not leonardo da vinci or rembrandt. for example look at the art of jean-michel basquiat or vincent van gogh. their paintings are not exactly the standard form of art. in fact not all the art hitler liked was german. who is to say what art is but hitler saught to suppress the expression of art because he believed the paintings reflected the spiritual state of the people, namely jews and that it was having a affect upon the minds of the country. he believed in the power of art in the advancement of a society and he only wanted aryan art to be displayed during his rule. 

Another film was made called "war in miniature" which was on pest control. jews were likened to pests in which the only way to get rid of them was extermination by gas. this was a full fledged example of subliminal messages where they weaved together science and racial politics. jews were depicted as bacteria, insects and vermin. himmler said 'anti semitism is like being deloused, getting rid of lice is hardly a philosophical issue; it’s a matter of cleanliness. similarly anti semitism is a hygienic measure that we have been forced to endure. we shall soon be deloused.’ although in ‘pre concentration camps the jews made up of less than 1% of the german population and more than half of them fled the country.’ himmler still goes on to say ‘there are only 20,000 lice left. they will soon be extinct in all of germany." now if you do this to any person breaking them down to nothing but lice you can understand how easy it was to kill so many people. these movies led people up to accepting the extermination of the jews. they systematically showed how the deadly gas was made to exterminate the jews and how it would be carried out. all this came through the media art.

It was the arts that inspired hitler for world domination and therein lies the power of art, that a fictional story can become a reality to the world. not only did the fantasies of wagner have prominent influence upon hitler but the imaginative stories of karl may. 'karl may was hitlers favorite author.' hitler 'ordered every officer to carry, beside his sword, karl mays book on how to fight indians'.  karl may wrote books about indians and romantic adventures - tales set in exotic surroundings, richness in style and detail and a realism that evokes travel books are characteristics of his work: descriptions of the indians fire making techniques, details on weapons, clothing and provisions. karl may had never visited the places he wrote about nor had he come in contact with foreign people or influences. he shared this lack of real experience with the untraveled hilter. even as a adult hitler continued to read karl mays books. during the war he could cite karl may as proof it wasn't necessary to know the desert to command troops in africa. hitler was well aware of mays lack of experience, he did not regard may as a garrulous adventurer though but rather in all seriousness as a fount of wisdom. he saw in karl may a kind of armchair visionary, with a clairvoyant's access to distant realities. on another occasion hitler names may as a example of how someone with imagination and the power of insight does not need to know a certain people (even as may did not know bedouins or indians) to know their souls better than any anthropologist who had studied them. to hitler karl may was proof that one needn’t travel to know the world. hitler explicitly held the view that imagination could provide the basis for knowledge. thus he was betrayed by his inability to distance himself from the visions that crowded in on him. this lack of critical distance was particularly obvious in one area where hitler's experience was scanty: his assessment of unfamiliar peoples.’ just like 'how limited hitlers intellectual world was' revealed in his collection of art work’ which was devoid of any variety of culture. this is all typified by his attitude toward the jews – anti-semitism. 

There is a classical document called "the protocol of the elders of zion", which falsely ‘purports to verify a jewish conspiracy to rule the world’. this ‘struck hitler like a revelation, while the question of its authenticity paled by comparison'. the grip these ideas had on hitler is evident in his paradoxical strategies. the more futile the war against the allies became the more zealously the annihilation of the jews was pursued. despite the constant dearth of vital equipment and transportation, extermination of the jews had the highest priority. to understand this seeming lack of logic, but because the jew had preserved his own racial purity he was the aryans fiercest rival for world domination. in hitlers imagination a fight to the death was raging against the strongest and most dangerous of enemies. to wage war without fighting this primary enemy was unthinkable for hitler. the more casualties the war reaped the more important extermination of the jews became.

‘he fights his last battle in the capitol as it crashes burning around him’

'To hitler losing the war would not mean the end of nazism. a grandiose german fall would provide inspiration to coming generations. extermination of the jews would enable the temporary weakened german nation to raise itself once more from the ruins.' 'the shame of defeat will be offset by the glory of germanys fall. hitler says 'out of total defeat new grain will sprout forth' 'if the war is lost the german people are also lost.' 'it isn't necessary to be concerned about what the germans will need for elementary survival; after this struggle only the inferior will be left. the good will have perished." one would ponder that the jews were among the good that perished.

‘this is where it all began’

'defining nazism in traditional political terms is difficult mainly because its dynamic was fueled by something quite different from what we usually call politics. this driving force was to a great degree, esthetic; its ambition was to beautify the world through violence. from the first murders of mental patients to the mass murders of jews there is no real political motive. it was not enemies that were liquidated nor opponents of the regime, but innocent people whose very existence was in conflict with the nazi dream. the civilian character of the mass killings makes it unlike war crimes. these were civilian murders under a miliary guise. the obscure mental baggage, the bizarre political notions, which constitutes a kind of under vegetation in european culture suddenly saw the light of day with hitler. hitler went from words to deeds without restraint he transformed a absurd ideology into a hellish reality.' 

source of material

DVD: the architecture of doom
(all the quotes are from this movie)


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