New book on culture in the Third Reich
Moritz Föllmer, Associate Professor of Modern History, has recently published “Ein Leben wie im Traum”. Kultur im Dritten Reich (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2016). This is simultaneously a scholarly synthesis and a narrative account for non-academic readers.
Culture was central to the Third Reich’s self-understanding and image. How Germany, a nation widely known for its cultural achievements, could go along with National Socialism has been a much-debated question ever since 1933. The growth of specialised literature on, among others, the arts, popular media and the politics of occupation in large parts of Europe warrants a new scholarly synthesis. At the same time, the considerable public interest in these matters suggests an accessible, narrative account.
In contrast to earlier attempts, the book discusses völkisch, bourgeois and popular strands; pays due attention to politics, especially the exclusion, persecution and murder of Jews; gives equal weight to the pre-war and the wartime years; and places German culture in its transnational contexts.
“Ein Leben wie im Traum” has already received positive reviews in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and on Deutschlandradio Kultur. The author has also been interviewed by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk.