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New German 

il of Germanic Studies 

The Intersection of 


German Literature 

A Festschrift in honor of 

Professor Emeritus 

Ehrhard Bohr 

te&f. ^> --'« 

Vol. 1 9 : Special Issue 


New German 

A Journal of Germanic Studies 

Vol. 19: Special Issue 
2003 - 2004 

Tischbein, J.H.W. Goetl'ie m clei Cairiiu. 
164x206 cm. Ol auf Leinwand. 1786/87. 
Frankfurt a. M., Stadelsches Kunstinstitut. 

Professor Ehrhard Bahr 


The Intersection of Politics 


German Literature: 

A Festschrift in honor of 

Professor Emeritus 

Ehrhard Bahr 

UCLA Department of Germanic Languages 

Papers presented at a conference in honor of Professor Ehrhard Bahr spon- 
sored by the UCLA Center for for 1 7"'- and 1 8"'-Century Studies, the Will- 
iam Andrews Clark Memorial Library, and the Department of Gennanic 
Languages, UCLA 

Conference arranged by Professor Andrew Hewitt 

Friday, May 1 7, 2003 at the Clark Library, 2520 Cimarron St., Los Angeles 


New German 

Volume 1 9: Special Issue, 2003 - 2004 

Guest Editor 

Thomas P. Saine 
University of California. Irvine 

Executive Editors 

Victor Fusilero Claire Whitner 

Assistant Editor 

Corina Lacatus 

Anita Polkinhom 

Teut Deese 

Copy Editor 

Susanne Kelley 

Cover Art 

Tisciibein, J. H.W. Goethe in der Campagna. 
Frankfurt a. M. Stadelsches Kunstinstitut. 
yVfvv German Review is published by graduate students of the Department of Germanic 
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New Gennan Review 
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Copyright (c) 2003 by the Regents of the University of California. 
All rights reserved. 

Table of Contents 


Thomas p. Saine 9 

University of California, Irvine 


The Political Uses of "Goethe" during the Nazi Period: 
Goethe Fictions between 1933 and 1945 

JensKruse 12 

We I /es ley College 

Vom Essen und von Zionismus: Sammy Gronemanns National- 
Jiidisches Anekdotenbuch "Schalet. Beitrage zur 
Philosophic des 'Wenn schon'" 


Hebrew University 

National Socialist Realism: The Politics of Popular Cinema 
in the Third Reich 

Mary Beth O'Brien 40 

Skidmore College 

Goethe as a Catalyst for Germauistik at Harvard 

Michael P. Olson 66 

Han'ard University 

Composing for the Films: Adomo and Schoenberg in Hollywood 

LisaParkes 90 

University of California. Los Angeles 

The Wagner Industry and the Politics of German Culture 

Nicholas Vazsonvi 103 

University of South Carolina 


Keynote Address 

The Historians' Mann and Mann's Historian: 
Thomas Mann and Erich Kahler 

HansR. Vaget 117 

Smith College 


Works by Professor Ehrhard Bahr 142 

Books 142 

Editorships 143 

Articles 144 

Abstracts 159 

Translations 159 

Published Works Translated by Others 159 

Bibliographies 159 

Dissertations Supervised 160 


Thomas P. Saine 

University of California, Irvine 

It is an honor to be asked to contribute a preface to this volume 
of papers celebrating Ehrhard Bahr's retirement; and it is a very special 
pleasure to express my own appreciation for the role Ted has played as a 
friend and colleague for nearly thirty years, sometimes even, I am sure, 
without my knowledge, and beginning already before I arrived in 
California in 1975. Of course I have no monopoly on Ted's friendship: I 
am only one of many whose lives and careers have been touched by this 
superb teacher, mentor, and colleague, and for them too 1 offer this 

The field of German Studies in America was stimulated and 
broadened in the 1930s and 1 940s by the large influx of European scholars 
who were transplanted to universities in the New World by the upheavals 
of the Nazi era and World War II. It is no secret that they — like many 
other exile writers, thinkers, and artists who were not positioned in 
universities and had to struggle even more for lack of opportunities and 
support — often found it difficult to acclimate and to act as though they 
were fully at home in America. Many, especially of the non-university 
folks, and some of them after unpleasant experiences of the political 
climate after the war, returned to Europe at the earliest opportunity. Ted 
belongs to a post-war generation of scholars and intellectuals who, 
surveying what the world had to offer in the 1950s and 1960s, after 
studying both here and in Europe, chose to take their degrees and embark 
on their careers in this country. As a result of this twofold grounding he 
has developed and maintained many interests and connections on both 
sides of the water, while acting primarily as an American-based scholar 
and participating fully in American scholarly and university life. He has 
supported students and colleagues generously, far beyond the call of duty, 
and also devoted a great deal of time and energy to administrative and 
community-building activities, i.e., being a good citizen of the university. 
(It is only fair to mention my good friend Hans R. Vaget, the keynote 
speaker at the symposium, as another outstanding example of this 
phenomenon, whose career is similar to Ted's in many respects.) 

The breadth of Ted's scholarly interests from the Enlightenment 

and the Goethezeit to twentieth-century and contemporary literature, from 
Lessing and Goethe to exile writers and Thomas Mann, Jewish authors, 
and the Holocaust, is truly remarkable, and he is rightly admired for the 
comprehensiveness and mastery which he displays throughout his work. 
The papers published here in his honor reflect many of the issues and 
problems that have occupied him (and his students) over the years, but 
they hardly do justice to the full range of his achievements. Just as 
impressive as the scope of his knowledge and the range of his interests is 
the diversity of publishing venues and scholarly genres with which Ted 
has involved himself over the course of his career. He has published widely 
in both English and German; in addition to the regular production of 
"research" articles and treatises through the years, he has published 
monographs on twentieth-century authors such as Georg Lukacs, Ernst 
Bloch, and Nelly Sachs. He has been a prolific producer of encyclopedia 
and handbook articles — even including one on German literature from 
Enlightenment to Post-Classicism for the on-line Encyclopedia 
Britannica — and has found the time also to bring forth a multitude of 
book reviews (many people cannot be bothered to review books at all!). 

Ted has also not shied away from the often laborious task of 
editing important and useflil volumes, such as his collection of eighteenth- 
century essays debating the question Was ist Anjklariing? and the texts of 
Goethe's Wilhehn Mew/er novels, along with commentaries, documents, 
and bibliographies of the literature devoted to them (for the Reclam 
Verlag). He collaborated with Walter K. Stewart to produce first an 
international bibliography of dissertations on Goethe, and then a North 
American bibliography in several installments for the Goethe Yearbook. 
He has served on the executive and editorial boards and as an officer of 
numerous scholarly organizations, including the Lessing Society and the 
Gemian Studies Association. He has never lost sight of the political, 
cultural, and social contexts in which literary life and production take 
place, and while remaining on good temis with the more theoretically 
inclined, he has also worked to further understanding, collaboration, and 
mixing between literary and historical scholars (those who still go to the 
archives) and has been a prime mover (along with Peter Reill of UCLA 
and Thomas Brady of Berkeley) of the ongoing system-wide UC 
Colloquium on Early Modern Central Europe from which both faculty 
and students have profited over the years. 

All of this by itself would suffice to make Ted's a remarkable 
record, but of course 1 have to now barely mentioned what at least by my 
reckoning has to be considered his most lasting contribution: his work on 
and for Goethe. His very first articles were published in the Weimar and 
Vienna Goethe yearbooks, and his published dissertation on Die Ironic 


im Spdtwerk Goethes of 1972 has long since established itself as a 
foundational work of modem Goethe studies. He has never "finished" 
Goethe and has come back to him again and again in his research while 
initiating generations of students into the work of this most important 
"modem" German writer and advocate of "Weltliteratur." Ted has not 
just "presented" Goethe but has "represented" him superbly as well; this 
is the part of his career which has most impacted my own and for which 
I am especially thankful. He was a co-founder (along with Hans Vaget 
and a handful of others) of the Goethe Society of North America in 1979, 
lending informed and enthusiastic support to a goal which had until then 
never been realized in North America. As the GSNA's first Executive 
Secretary he worked indefatigably to establish the Society's viability and 
its communications with the rest of the North American scholarly world, 
while at the same time maintaining its uniqueness and independence vis- 
a-vis the established Goethe societies in Europe (especially in those days 
before reunification when Goethe was still an important political/ 
propaganda object for the Germans). After ten years as Executive 
Secretary (1979-1989) he rested, then came back to serve first as Vice 
President, then as President of the GSN A from 1 995- 1 997, and continues 
to take an active role in its efforts. I am proud to celebrate Ted Bahr's 
career by awarding it a summa cum laiuie, and to wish him well in his 
retirement, which will be as active as he wishes. 


The Political Uses of "Goethe" 

during the Nazi Period: 

Goethe Fictions between 

1933 and 1945 

Jens Kruse, Wellesley College 

Let us say you are a writer remaining — for whatever reason: by 
choice, by necessity, or something in between — in Nazi Germany after 
the Machtergreifung in 1933 and stay there until the end in 1945. What 
does Goethe have to offer you? Do you find him useful if you want to 
co-opt him for literature affimiing Nazi rule? Does he provide a haven 
for aesthetic retreat? Can he be a kindred spirit in internal exile? Does he 
offer opportunities for camouflaged critique of the regime? 

In order to seek answers to these and similar questions, 1 would 
like to examine a peculiar sub-genre of novels and novellas in which 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is the protagonist or a significant supporting 
character. Such "Goethe fictions" are not peculiar to the Nazi period. 
They develop soon after Goethe's death and are still thriving today. During 
these 171 years, more than 100 Goethe narratives were published and 
many of them were issued several times. Therefore, it seems safe to assume 
that their readership was much larger than that of, say, most scholarly 
articles and books on Goethe. These novels and novellas thus have had a 
significant influence on the broader cultural image of "Goethe" among 
the educated German reading public. And yet, the burgeoning sub-field 
of Goethe reception studies, which has explored the history of the 
scholarly treatment of Goethe, theater productions, Goethe parodies, 
literary adaptations and re-creations, Goethe celebrations, and much more, 
has largely ignored these texts.' 

This is regrettable because an examinadon of Goethe fictions 
may provide us with a prism through which to observe trends in the cultural 
and political uses of Goethe. In this essay, I therefore would like to 
examine the Goethe fictions published inside Nazi-Gennany in the period 
from 1933-1945. It is with some regret that I exclude from our 
consideration Goethe fictions written in exile, if only because doing so 
banishes Thomas Mann's Lotte in Weimar, the most well-known of all 
Goethe fictions. But my aim here is to examine how writers within Nazi 
Germany interacted with the figure of Goethe under the conditions of 


Given the fact that Nazi cultural politics — especially initially — 
found Goethe difficult to assimilate to its purposes,- it is of some interest 
that there is no noticeable diminution in the production of Goethe fictions 
from 1933 to 1945.^At least ten ofthem are published during the 12 years 
of the 1000-year Reich. Many of these texts are continuations and 
precursors of the relatively routine business of Goethe fictions: such titles 
as Eduard Dansky's Des Heirn Geheunrats letzte Liebe; Goethe und 
Ulrike and Joseph Lux's Goethe: Roman ewer Dichterliebe are curious 
mixtures of love stories and hagiographic tracts that rehash episodes of 
Goethe's life as commercial potboilers.'' One of the consistent and enduring 
features of the sub-genre of Goethe fictions is that a sub-set of these 
novels are authors' and publishers' attempts to ride the wave of Goethe's 
fame to healthy bottom lines. This phenomenon is, of course, particularly 
pronounced during Goethe celebration years. 

But some of the Goethe fictions of the Nazi period bear its marks 
in interesting and revealing ways. These can be viewed as a curious sub- 
group of the genre of historical novels, which flourished during this time.'' 
Authors of such novels usually had one or more of the following 
motivations for embracing their material: to cobble together a historical 
tradition leading to Nazi rule, particularly in the co-optation of previous 
leader figures; to elaborate alternative forms of rule under the cover of 
historical periods and personages; and to re-imagine historical epochs as 
a way of escaping the pressures of the time.'' Here, I would like to examine 
three Goethe fictions more closely in order to trace the political uses of 
"Goethe" during the Nazi period. 


Robert Hohlbaum's Hewische Rheiureise — a novella published 
by Cotta in 1 94 1 and later integrated into Hohlbaum's large Goethe novel 
Sonnenspektnim (1951) — is the clearest example among these texts of 
an attempt to instrumentalize Goethe in the service of the Nazi regime. 
Hohlbaum ( 1 886- 1 955 ) held positions as the director of important libraries 
in Vienna, Diisseldorf, and Weimar, and was a prolific writer and publicist. 
He was one of the most widely read authors of the period between the 
two world wars.^ During his lifetime, his 28 novels, 26 collections of 
shorter prose fictions, 1 1 volumes of poetry, four monographs and four 
plays sold more than a million copies.** 

In 1933 and 1934 Hohlbaum published two "Fiihrer-Romane": 
First, Der Mann aus dem Chaos: Bin Napoleon Roman and then Stein: 
Der Roman eines Fiihrers, which was printed in its entirety in the Berlin 
edition of the Volkischer Beohachter. His Hewische Rheinreise must 


very much be seen as an attempt to integrate Goethe into the mythical 
construction of the historical inevitability of Hitler as leader of the Gemian 
Reich. The novella imagines the chance encounter of Goethe with Stein 
and their spontaneous joint journey along the Rhine to Cologne during 
July of 1815. It starts by portraying Goethe and Stein as contrasting 
geniuses: the poet and the politician, the dreamer and the practical man, 
the idealistic seeker and the visionary realist. These polarities are 
encapsulated in the following dialogue: 

(Stein) "Ich will nicht suchen, nicht ewig suchen 

mussen, ich will endlich finden!" 

(Goethe) "Suchen ist Leben. Ertiillung kann Tod sein." 

(Stein) "FiirSie! Fiirmich nicht! Ich bin kein Traumer! 

Wenn ich das Ziel sehe, will ich gerne vergehen." 

(Goethe) "Ihr Ziel ist das Reich. Das Deutsche Reich. 

Nur in seiner festen, irdischen Gestalt?" 

(Stein) "In welcher sonst? Jeder romantische Nebel 

ist mir verhasst. Das Reich im realen Sinne. Sollen 

wir Deutsche allein es entbehren? Sollen wir allein 

unfruchtbar sein, wahrend alle emten?" (47-8) 

Once they have amved in Cologne, Stein sits in his room and 
sketches out the broad outline of the German Reich while Goethe 
meanders through the streets and encounters the Dom as a momentous 
manifestation of aesthetic power: 

Jene Kraft, die Mittler war zwischen Erde und Himmel. 
Die den Menschen hob, dass er ohne Furcht aufsteigen 
durfte, von lieber, enger Besinnung gewannt, in die 
kiihle Hohe. Was er ersehnt hatte, hier war es, aus Stein 
geweckt und geworden, groB und beherrschend, aus 
tiefer Erde wachsend, die Erde erschuttemd mit einer 
Kraft, die hoch und fern war wie der Himmel; hier war 
die Tat. (70) 

Finally, when Stein, too, has been drawn to the center of Cologne by this 
power and encounters first the Dom and then Goethe, we read: 

Vor Steins Seele, vor Steins Blick wuchs der Bau. [ . . . ] 
Aus der tiefen Erdkraft der Grundmauem strebte er in 
uberreicher, verzweigter. alle Buntheit der Erde 
tragender Fiille zur Hohe. Aus schwerer Tat, durch die 
Vielfalt reicher Gedanken in den kronenden Traum. 

Musste nicht auch sein Werk vom Traum gekront 
werden, musste nicht Traum segnend iiber der Tat 
schweben, als Mittler zwischen Erde und Evvigkeit? 
Damit das Reich fest in der Erde ruhe, aber den 
Widerschein des Ewigen trage in die kuhnsten Hohen 
seines Aufstiegs?! 

Nun erst sah er den Andern. der wie er im Bann des 
steinemen Wunders stand und aufsah wie er. Und Stein 
war es, als konne er das Gliick des letzten Erkennens 
nicht allein tragen, als miisse er die Halfte der herrlichen 
Last auf helfende Schultern laden, in schoner 

Langsam ging er auf den Andern zu. Wie leise 
Glockenschlage hallten die Schritte. Stumm griisste 
ihn Goethe, als hatte er ihn erwartet. Gemeinsam 
stiegen ihre Blicke zur Hohe. 

"An Ihrem Faust", sagte Stein endlich leise, "bauen Sie 
ein ganzes reiches Leben lang. Es war Traum. Aber 
am Ende wird es Tat sein." 

"An Ihrem Werk", sagte Goethe noch leiser, "bauen die 
Jahrhunderte, von Tat zu Tat. Moge es am Ziel, in der 
letzten Vollendung, sich auch den Traum bewahren!" 
Der Sichelmond senkte sich. Aber in seinem Lichte 
ruhten noch einmal in sicherer Form die beiden 
Menschen und der ewige Dom. (74-77) 

Thus Goethe's unfinished Faust and the unfinished Cologne cathedral 
are merged into a synthetic manifestation of the unfinished business of 
German national aspirations which — as this novella so obtrusively 
suggests — have finally come to triumphant completion in the form of 
Hitler's Third Reich. 


Gertrud Baumer ( 1 878- 1 954) — together with Helene Lange one 
of the giants of the Gennan women's movement of the early 20"" century — 
had a distinguished career as a politician during the Weimar Republic. 
She was a member of the constitutional assembly and later of the 
Reichstag. As the first German Ministerialratin, she worked on issues of 
education and youth in the Interior Ministry and was delegate to the League 
of Nations. Even though the Nazis removed her from her position in the 


Interior Ministry and in spite of the GJeichschaltimg, she continued as 
editor of the major Gemian women's magazine Die Fran. But after her 
removal from this position in 1936, and particularly after the beginning 
of World War II. she devoted her energies to a career as a writer of cultural 
and historical novels and essays."* 

This is neither the place nor is there the space to adequately 
present Baumer's ambivalent and problematic position during the Nazi 
period. In spite of her unceremonial dismissal and her at times courageous 
critique of the ruthlessness of the Nazis' methods, she generally supported 
their goals in foreign policy and approved their nationalist agenda. Given 
the complexity and ambivalence of her political position during the Nazi 
years it should not come as a surprise that her writings, too, display a 
complex mixture of all the possible types of writing under the Nazi 
dictatorship: historical contextualization of Nazi rule, alternative models 
of leadership, escapism and camouflaged critique seem to co-exist, 
overlap, and at times appear indistinguishably mixed. 

This is certainly the case for Gertrud Baumer's Goethe novel 
Eine Woche im May, published in 1944. On the one hand, the context of 
the publication of this novel suggests that it can easily be understood as 
a vehicle of escapism and as such at least in part of support for the 
regime. One of her publishers, Hermann Leins, nominates the book (prior 
to its publication) to a prize competition of the Werhe- imd Beratimgsaint 
fur das deutsche Schrifttum. He argues that the manuscript is an exemplary 
instance of what the competition attempted to attract and support: books 
which would give the reader joy and relaxation, escape from the "Sorgen 
und Note des AUtags."'" And clearly Baumer does conceive of the novel 
as a kind of "Trostbuch," even in a very specific individual and personal 
sense. In her dedication, Baumer makes clear that the novel was: 

Geschrieben fur den 
Schwerverwundeten Gefreiten 
Eckart Ulich, 
gestorben im Lazarett 
am 28. April 1943 
an seiner vor El Alamein 
am 1 . September 1 942 
empfangenen Wunde. 

Eckart Ulich was the son of a close friend. Baumer casts her vivid account 

of an important week in Goethe's life shortly after his arrival in Weimar 
in May of 1776 — recollected by the old Goethe in May of 1827 — as a 


monument to Ulich. The young vivacious energetic Goethe is held up as 
a shining exemplar of all that is good about young German men. 

To this extent Eiue Woche im May not only offers light 
entertainment and escapism but also works to make the novel's fictional 
image of Goethe congruent with the predilections of the regime. This is 
further underscored when Goethe is portrayed as preferring his Gotz (a 
text commonly singled out favorably in the Nazi reception of Goethe) to 
Werther. We find him musing about: 

Caesar, Mahomet. Prometheus, Egmont, Faust — Was 
alles hatte er begonnen? Eine neue. die heldische Welt 
der Menschheit war in ihm aufgestiegen: der 
Staatsmann, der Prophet, der Gotter stiirzende Titan, 
der Held, der Obennensch — unermessene Tiefen. kaum 
geahnte riesige Umrisse der menschlichen 
Daseinsformen. Wurde er ihnen Gestalt geben? (99) 

Here, Goethe, the writer and poet becomes part creator, part soul brother 
of heroes, gods, and super-humans, both singer and precursor of the leader. 
And as the friend, educator and guiding spirit of his Duke Karl August he 
is pointedly portrayed as a mentor not just in intellectual and cultural but 
also in military matters: 

Er nimmt [...] ein militarisches Werk vom Tisch, das 
ihm der Herzog gegeben hat [...] Er fiihlt die 
Verpflichtung. den jungen Herzog auf alien seinen 
Wegen zu begleiten, um unmerklich seine vielseitigen 
Begabungen in die Bahnen der Arbeit zu lenken. Seine 
lebhaften militarischen Neigungen bergen die Gefahr 
in sich, dass er den gegebenen Rahmen des kleinen 
Landes aus den Augen verliert. Das groBe Beispiel 
Friedrichs von PreuBen stachelt ihn. [...] Er ist eine 
soldatische Natur, soldatisch und musisch neben 
einander. (192-3) 

in this passage, affirmation of the mythologies of the regime and subtle 
critique of it seem to be curiously mixed. On the one hand, Karl August 
(and indirectly Goethe) is strongly associated with Frederick II; on the 
other hand the young Duke's military proclivities are mentioned with the 
clear concern that he would lose sight of the "gegebenen Rahmen des 
kleinen Landes." 


Given these aspects of the novel. Baumer's own ambivalence 
and contradictory relationship to the regime, and the limited openings a 
controlled publishing situation could afford, we need to be triply careful 
about wanting to see camouflaged criticism of the regime in this text. 
However, it should be noted that Baumer chooses as one of the climactic 
episodes of her novel Goethe's and the Duke's actions during a 
catastrophic fire in Neckeroda. One does wonder how readers in 1944, 
having suffered and still suffering some of the most devastating 
bombardments of the war, would have reacted to the following description 
of the results of the Neckeroda fire: 

Aus den schwarzen Umrissen seiner Mauerreste schaut 
das vemichtete Dorf wie aus gliihenden Geisteraugen. 
Ein unruhiger Wind treibt iiber die Brandstatte. Unter 
seinem Anhauch fahren immer von neuem Flammen 
aus der Glut oder brechen aus scheinbar erloschenen 
Balken hervor. [...] In dem MaB, in dem das Knattem 
der Flammen. das Prasseln zusammenstiirzender 
Mauern aufliort, dringen andere Gerausche zu ihm 
hinauf Das Briillen des Viehs, [...] dann und wann ein 
Schreckensruf, das Weinen von Frauen und Kindem. 
Gibt es ein groBeres Ungliick als solch ein Feuer? [...] 
das Schicksal der kleinen Bauem, denen hier Haus und 
Hof abgebrannt ist, [nimmt] seine Gedanken immer mehr 
gefangen. Was bedeuten die Sorgen der Grossen gegen 
ein solches Ungliick ! (3 1 0- 1 1 ) 

One wonders what might be more (at least potentially) subversive in this 
description: the vivid account of the devastating destruction which in 
some of its intensity and painfulness may owe more to Baumer 's and her 
readers' recent experience than to the well-known episode of Goethe lore; 
or Goethe's reflection on the existential separateness — no 
Volksgemeimchaft here — of the peasant victims of this fire and their great 
masters, like Goethe and Karl August. Ironically, even to the extent that 
Karl August is portrayed as one with his people in this section of the 
novel the implicit comparison to top Nazi leaders, particularly Hitler, is 
not flattering. Here is Goethe's impression of the Landesherr: 

Fur einen Augenblick fullt sich Goethes Herz ganz mit 
dem einen ergreifenden Eindmck: der Landesherr — 
eins mit seinen Untertanen — der im Ungliick, ob er 
helfen kann oder nicht, zu ihnen gehort. Dieser Trost 


seiner Anwesenheit, der den geschwarzten, 
verschwitzten Mannem mit den versengten Haaren und 
den Brandblasen in Gesicht und Handen aus den Augen 
leuchtet! (308-9) 

Here is a ruler who is one with his subjects, but he is one with them in 
practical activity not in a mythical Volksgemeinschaft . And he is with 
them, among them, in the moment of catastrophe, this in stark contrast to 
Hitler and other top Nazi leaders who usually kept their distance from 
the people in bombed out cities. 


Georg Schwarz's Geheinwis in Weimar: Roman uni Goethe unci 
Napoleon is perhaps — pardon the pun — the most mysterious of these 
Goethe fictions. Georg Schwarz (1896-1943) worked as editor of the 
workers' paper Der Abend in Essen. He then moved to Berlin to work as 
an employee for Biichergilde Gutenberg and as a journalist for a nuinber 
of different publications, for which he authored articles about the Ruhr 
worker's and vagabond's literature." He published KohJenpott: Ein Buch 
von der Ruhr in 1931. While his activities up to this point suggest that he 
at least sympathized with the Communist Party his Volker, horet die 
Zentrale: KPD bankrott. printed in 1933 by a nationalist publishing house, 
is a devastating critique of the failings of the German Communist Party 
and seems to signal his rapprochement with right-wing politics. '- 

Schwarz's subsequent publications under the conditions of Nazi 
rule are: Der Diamantenherzog. Geschichte eines Prdtendenten ( 1935), 
Geheimnis in Weimar: Roman um Goethe und Napoleon (1937), Die 
Karawaue nach Santa Fe (1939), and Ernst Schweninger. Bismarck's 
Leiharzt (1941). It is hard to escape the impression that here an author 
whose political roots, regardless of how much he may have changed his 
views in 1933, make his position in Nazi Germany highly precarious, is 
trying to eke out a living by writing relatively safe things: a historical 
novel, a Goethe fiction in the guise of a detective novel, an adventure 
story for young readers, and the biography of the personal physician of 
the hero of Germany's national aspirations, the founder of the second 
German Reich. 

In Geheimnis in Weimar (1937), two Englishmen on a routine 
educational tour of Europe visit Weimar in the early fall of 1808. Mr. 
Woodwick who is interested in all things criminal and his younger 
companion Doug Bartles visit Goethe and encounter a mystery'. Goethe 
tells them that the manuscript of his Trinklied "Rechenschaft" has 


disappeared. The Englishmen's investigations reveal a convoluted plot 
involving both an intrigue at the Ho/theater and a plan to assassinate the 
emperor Napoleon during his visit to Weimar on October 6. It turns out 
that the interest of the conspiratorial thieves in the manuscript was not 
the Trinklied as such but the fact that Goethe had outlined the program 
for Napoleon's visit in Weimar on the back of the manuscript page. The 
Trinklied itself, however, also plays a role in the conspiratorial plot: a 
characteristically altered whistling of the melody of the refrain serves as 
a kind of code, a password of sorts for the conspirators. 

Shortly before the plot to assassinate Napoleon reaches the 
moment of decision, the conspirators are overheard in heated debate: 

"Es sind ja auch Menschen, sterbliche Menschen, nur 
viel kleiner als er, ohne GliJck und ohne Genie. Und 
darum zielen wir auf ihn." 

"Nein, weil er uns ins Ungliick gebracht hat, weil er 
uns hohnt und knechtet! Was geht mich seine Grosse 
und sein Genie an? Er ist ein Teufel, ein Fluch fiir alle 
Lander. Weil er nicht Ruhe geben kann, weil er krank 
ist nach Macht, darum muss er fort." 
"Was wissen wir denn? Wenn euer PreuBen nicht so 
lahm und morsch gewesen ware, hatte ihm auch sein 
Ehrgeiz nichts geniitzt. Er verachtet euch. Aber haben 
Sie vergessen, wie eure Festungen fielen ohne 
Kanonenschuss, wie man ihn in Berlin empfmg, wie 
alles floh oder kroch?" 
"Nicht alle! Bliicher nicht, Stein nicht!" 
"Gewiss. Ein paar waren da, es musste ja noch ein paar 
Manner geben in Friedrichs Staat. Wir alle in 
Deutschland hatten ja auf PreuBen gehofft. Aber 
Bliicher wurde gefangen und Stein musste gehen. 
Hofmtrigen. Ranke der Beamten. Ein schwacher, 
verratener Konig. Ein geschlagenes, verschrecktes 
Volk, das 'Vive I'Empereur!' schreit, weil es leben muss 
und endlich einen Starken sieht, der in dem kranken 
Europa wieder Ordnung schafft. Wie konnten die 
wenigen Manner dagegen an? Wem ist damit gedient, 
wenn wir jetzt Europa den Kopf abschlagen? Die 
Verwirrung wird nur noch groBer. Und PreuBen?" 


It is difficult to determine how this dialogue would have been read in 
1937. However, at least some readers must have sat up and paid puzzled 
attention when conft"onted with a discussion of the reasons for the 
assassination of an all-powerful leader. More specifically, the analysis 
that a weak Prussia had perhaps as much to do with its catastrophic defeat 
as a strong Napoleon might cause suggestive reverberations in the minds 
of readers who remember a weak Weimar as just as responsible for the 
catastrophe of German democracy as a strong Hitler. Further, a sentence 
like: "Ein geschlagenes, verschrecktes Volk, das 'Vive TEmpereur!' schreit, 
weil es leben muss und endlich einen Starken sieht, der in dem kranken 
Europa wieder Ordnung schafft" would not be difficult for any reader to 
mentally transform into; "Ein geschlagenes, verschrecktes Volk. das ['Heil 
Hitler'] schreit, weil es leben muss und endlich einen Starken sieht, der in 
dem kranken [Deutschland] wieder Ordnung schafft." 

Whether or not Schwarz intended such readings, how was it 
possible that such a discussion could appear in a novel in Nazi Gennany 
when it was impossible to stage Schiller's WilheJm Tell'V- The answer 
appears to me to be twofold. On the one hand the fact that the target of 
this plot is Napoleon inoculates author and reader from suspicion. Schwarz 
can rely on that thanks, in part, to Hohlbaum's Napoleon novel, which 
successfully built up the myth of the vast differences between the Romanic 
and the Germanic leader. The censors and cultural politicians of the 
regime might have been sufficiently convinced of their own propaganda 
of the stark differences between Napoleon and Hitler to be unconcerned 
about allowing an assassination plot in a piece of popular fiction. The 
fact that Stein is mentioned as the example of a heroic Gernian in the 
same breath again follows in the footsteps of Hohlbaum's contrastive 
figure of the exemplary German leader. 

But maybe even more powerful is the nimbus of Goethe that 
extends around and pemieates the action of the novel, it tends to render 
even this potentially risky and subversive plot line unthreatening and 
hamiless. Goethe is mostly portrayed as a genius operating in spheres far 
above the everyday, even the political and historical: 

Da stand Goethe, hn langen, blauen Rock, ein gesticktes 
Tuch um den Hals gebunden, das ergrauende Haar leicht 
gepudert und mit seinen groBen, gewaltig strahlenden 
Augen, die seinen Besuchem kurz entgegenblickten, 
um dann noch einmal zu den Papieren zuriickzukehren, 
die auf dem Stehpult vor ihm lagen. [ ... ] Als gabe es 
keinen Napoleon und kein politisches Spiel, das hinter 
Prunk und Festen mit Gewalt und Kriegslarm drohte, 


als gabe es kein Theater und keinen Klatsch, stand er 
friedlich versunken da und begriiBte sie dann hoflich. 


That this image of Goethe tends to minimize the importance of the 
assassination plot and thus renders it harmless, is, after all, borne out in 
the way he views the specific event triggering the narrative. Goethe (at 
least purportedly) was interested in a detective investigation of the 
purloined manuscript not because he was concerned about the loss of 
highly classified plans for the program of Napoleon's visit, but because 
it was the manuscript of a poem that is important to him even though it 
might seem to us as only a minor occasional piece: the Trinklied 
"Rechenschaft" that Goethe composed — at Zelter's request — for the 
celebration of Konigin Luise's birthday in 1810. 

But maybe Goethe's insistence on the importance of the poem 
does not just provide simple contextual cover for the assassination plot 
but is, in fact, a double camouflage. Maybe we should take the plot device 
of the song and melody as code seriously, should see Goethe's insistence 
on the importance of the text as a sign and actually read the poem which 
is — interestingly enough — declaimed from memory by Goethe early in 
the novel but nowhere provided as printed text. 

Zelter had asked Goethe for a "joyful song" and complained 
that during these times (after Prussia's catastrophic defeat by Napoleon 
and before the liberation of the Befreiiingskriege) one heard nothing but 
groaning and moaning from poets and others. Accordingly, Goethe's song 
alternates the refrain: 

Sollst uns nicht nach Weine lechzen! 
Gleich das voile Glas heran! 
Denn das Achzsen und das Krachzen 
Hast du heut schon abgetan. 

with stanzas in which various speakers give an account (Rechenschaft) 
of how they rejected such moaning, groaning, and generally negative 
attitudes. If one of Schwarz's readers felt sufficiently motivated by the 
hints of the song's importance to open a volume of Goethe and read the 
text he/she would have found among these stanzas the following: 

Einer wollte mich emeuen. 
Macht' es schlecht: verzeih mir Gott! 
Achselzucken, Kiimmereien! 
Und er hiel3 ein Patriot. 


Ich vertliichte das Gewasche, 
Rannte meinen alten Lauf. 
Narre, wenn es brennt, so losche. 
Hats gebrannt, ban wieder auf! 

This skeptical attitude toward patriotic renewal, fairly indicative of 
Goethe's position at the time, takes on a diiferent resonance in the context 
of the Nazi "renewal" of Gennany. if Schwarz intended a hidden critique 
here, he was ever so careful to open it only to the detective's skill. After 
all, this text makes its appearance only in an oddly reduced and truncated 
form. The manuscript's back page seems more important than the front, 
the melody is more prominent than the text, and even the melody is twisted 
and reduced to a mere code. And yet this camouflaged rejection of a 
nationalist Gennan renewal might indeed be the Geheimnis in Gehehnuis 
in Weimar. 


Seen in its totality, the corpus of Goethe fictions written in 
Germany during the Nazi period confronts us with a fascinating picture. 
Most of the texts that I have not presented in detail here illustrate that the 
100-year-long cultural wave of Goethe adoration rolls on nearly 
unimpeded through Fascist dictatorship and war. The three texts I have 
analyzed at greater length here share and continue some aspects of that 
trend, but differ from the others in that they interact with the conditions 
of the Third Reich in interesting and illuminating ways. 

Robert Hohlbaum's Heroische Rheinreise conforms to the topos 
of the great and good genius Goethe and works with the traditional 
elements of Goethe worship in many ways. But its desire to co-opt Goethe 
for the Nazi cause compels it to do so in the context of an explicit 
conjunction of the poetic with the political, of Goethe's worldview with 
a national idea transmogrified into nationalism, of Goethe with Stein, 
Goethe with the Fuhrer. Goethe is thus robbed of the uniqueness and 
singularity that is normally part of his mythology and cast as a collaborator 
in the cause of the Gennan, and hence in 1941, the Third Reich. 

In Gertmd Baumer 's Eine Woche im May; much more of the Goethe 
fictions' longstanding tradition of Goethe admiration is retained. Goethe's 
genius, all-encompassing creativity and productivity, and humanizing 
force are lovingly portrayed and celebrated in a text very much written by 
a member of the educated middle class for members of the educated 
middle class. Substantively, and even formally, this novel very much 
places Goethe back at the center of the action and the world. The week in 
May of 1 776 is framed by and presented as the recollections of the older 


Goethe in May of 1 827. Goethe is thus not only at the center of that week, 
but is also portrayed as the controlling recollector of and reflector on his 
life. It is not least this restoration of Goethe to a position of central and 
masterful presence in the narrative that allows Baumer to shape her novel 
into a wistfully consoling, protective, supportive and at times cautiously 
critical mirror of more humane times. 

By contrast, Georg Schwarz's Geheimnis in Weimar: Roman 
inn Goethe und Napoleon places Goethe on the periphery of a narrative 
that centers on a political plot contemplating the assassination of a 
powerful leader. "Goethe" — who is, for the most part, portrayed in this 
novel by an indirect and reflective method curiously pre-figurative of 
Thomas Mann's technique in Lotte in Weimar — frames and contains the 
potentially risky story of a political assassination with the legitimizing 
aura of his figure that renders moot any concerns censors or readers might 
have felt. And yet, while the figure of "Goethe" thus both makes possible 

and blunts any critique of the Nazi regime, Goethe's writing resonates 
through Schwarz's text. Written but not printed, declaimed but not read, 
whistled in the dark of night but not sung, Goethe's poetry functions as a 
potential instrument of liberation in a country subjected to tyranny. 


' One might argue that the modem phase of Goethe reception studies 
began with the path-breaking exhibit Klassiker infmsteren Zeiten 1933- 
1945 prepared by the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach in 1983 and 
its accompanying symposium recorded in Beschddigtes Erbe. Beitrdge 
ziir Klassikerrezeption injinsterer Zeit. At the symposium, Karl Robert 
Mandelkow opened a fascinating discussion by his Rezeptionstheoretische 
Reflexionen; at about the same time. Erich Kleinschmidt made an 
important contribution to the topic with his "Der vereinnahmte Goethe. 
Irrwege im Umgang mit einem Klassiker, 1932-1949." Mandelkow 's Goethe 
im Urteil seiner Kritiker and his subsequent Goethe in Deutschland. 
Rezeptionsgeschichte eines Klassikers remain themselves classics of 
the study of Goethe reception. Since then, a voluminous literature has 
sprung up on various aspects of Goethe reception. A recent example is 
Drews, Jorg (ed.). Mitwelt^Nachwelt— Internet. But the subgenre of 
"Goethe fictions" seems to have received almost no attention. See Kruse 

^ See Mandelkow 1989: 88-108 and Kemper, among others. 

-' During the period from 1933 to 1 945, the following Goethe fictions were 
published in Nazi Gemiany: Kolbenhever, E. G. Karlshader Novelle 
(1786). Munich: A. Langen, G. Mueller, 1934 (1st edition 1929); Servaes, 
Franz. Jahr der Wandlung. Goethes Schicksalswende 1775. 
Braunschweig: Friedrich Vievveg & Sohn. 1935; Dansky. Eduard. Des 
Herrn Geheimrats letzte Liebe; Goethe imd Ulrike. Novelle. Berlin: P. 
Zsolnay, \93)l;Franck,Hans. Letzte Liebe: Goethe und Ulrike. Hannover: 
Adolf Sponholtz Verlag, 1937: Lux. .Joseph A. Goethe: Roman einer 
Dichteiilebe. Wien: F. SpeideFsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1937; Schvvarz, 
Georg. Geheinmls in Weimar: Roman urn Goethe und Napoleon. Berlin: 
Frundsberg Verlag Foellmer & Esser. 1937; Bauer, Walter. Abschied imd 
Wanderiing: Orel Erzdhlungen urn Goethe, Hoelderlin iind Hebbel. 
Berlin: Propylaen Verlag, 1 939; Hohlbaum, Robert. Heroische Rheinreise. 
Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta, 1 94 1 : Huelsen. Hans von. August undOttille: Roman 
einer Ehe imter Goethes Dach. Miinchen: Piper. 1941; Hohlbaum, Robert. 
Symphonie in Drei Sdtzen. Novellen. Wien: Wiener Verlagsgesellschaft, 
1 943; Baumer. GertRid. Eine IVoche im May. Tubingen: Rainer Wunderlich 
Verlag, 1944. 

"* One of the consistent and enduring features of the sub-genre of Goethe 
fictions is that a sub-set of these novels are authors' and publishers' 
attempts to ride the wave of Goethe's fame to healthy bottom lines. This 
phenomenon is, of course, particularly pronounced during Goethe 
celebration years. 

■ The database section of the Projekt Historischer Roman web site (http:/ 
/histrom. literature. at ) documents an enonnous upsurge in the number of 
historical novels published in Nazi Germany, particularly in the immediate 
pre-war years and the first years of the war. In the period from 1935 to 
1941, the output of such novels more than doubles in comparison to the 
period of the Weimar Republic. 

'' See: Riegel, Paul, Rinsum, Wolfgang (eds.). Drittes Reich und Exil 
1933-1945. (Deutsche Literaturgeschichte, Band 10). Munich: Deutscher 
Taschenbuch Verlag. 2000: 99-100. 

^ See: Sonnleiter, Johann. Die Geschdfte des Herrn Robert Hohlbaum: 
Die Schriftstellerkarriere eines Osterreichers in der Zwischenkriegszeit 
und im dritten Reich. Vienna: Boehlau Verlag, 1989. 

"^ Sonnleitner characterizes Hohlbaum's role during the Nazi regime as 
follows: "Als Schrifsteller und Literaturstratege war Hohlbaum ein 


Erfiillungsgehilfe par excellence nationalsozialistischer Politik und 
Kulturpolitik, die ihn erst mit groBem publizistischen Aufwand zu groBerer 
Bekanntheit und hoheren Auflagenzahlen verhalf. Seine negative 
Einstellung zur parlamentarischen Demokratie und Sozialismus, sein 
radikaler Bruch mit der humanistisch-aufklarerischen Tradition, sein 
ausgepragter Rassismus und Ethnozentrismus (...) [veranlaBten ihn], den 
historischen Roman als unverfanglichen Ort ideologischer Indoktrination 
zu wahlen ( . . . )" 254. 

" See: Angelika Schaser, Helena Lange und Gertnid Bdinner. Eine 
politische Lebensgemeinschaft {Koln, Weimar, Wien: Bohlau, 2000) and: 
Werner Huber, Gertnid Bdiimer. Eine politische Biographie. Dissertation: 
Munchen, 1970. (Dissertationsdruck W. Blasaditsch, Augsburg.) 

'" Borsenblatt fiir den deutschen Buchhandel 109 (1942), Nr. 163: 145; 
quoted by Schaser 324. 

' ' See: Erhard Schutz, "Nachwort." in Georg Schwarz: Kohlenpott. Fulda: 
KlartextVerlag, 1986, 183-88. 

'- A contemporary reviewer ofKPD Bankrott notes: "Man spiirt, daB hier 
(...) [ein] einfacher Deutscher, der wahrscheinlich selbst einmal an die 
kommunistische Begluckungsformel glaubte, aus eigenem Sehen und 
Denken zu einer neuen Uberzeugung kam." Quoted by Schutz 1 88. 

'' See: Riegel/Rinsum 44. 

Works Cited 

Primary texts: 

Servaes, Franz. Jahr der Wandhmg. Goethes Schicksalswende 1775. 
Braunschweig: Friedrich Vieweg & Sohn, 1935. 

Dansky, Eduard. Des Herrn Geheimrats letzte Liebe; Goethe und Ulrike, 
Novelle. Berlin: R Zsolnay, 1937. 

Franck, Hans. Letzte Liebe: Goethe und Ulrike. Hannover: Adolf 
Sponholtz Verlag, 1937. 

Lux, Joseph A. Goethe: Roman einer Dichterliebe. WiQn: F. Speidel'sche 

Verlagsbuchhandlung. 1937. 

Schwarz, Georg. Geheinwis in Weimar: Roman um Goethe imd Napoleon. 
Berlin: Frundsberg Verlag Foellmer & Esser, 1937. 

Bauer, Walter. Ahschied und IVandening: Drei Erzdhlungen um Goethe, 
Holderlin iind Hehbel. Berlin: Propylaen Verlag, 1939. 

Hohlbaum, Robert. Hewische Rheinreise. Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta, 1941. 

Huelsen. Hans von. August und Ottilie: Roman einer Ehe unter Goethes 
Dach. Miinchen: Piper, 1941. 

Hohlbaum. Robert. Symphonie in Drei Sdt~en. Novellen. Wien: Wiener 
Verlagsgesellschaft, 1943. 

Baumer, Gertrud. Eine Woche im hday. Tubingen: Rainer Wunderiich 
Verlag, 1944. 

Secondary Literature: 

Bahr, Ehrhard (ed.). Geschichte der deutschen Literatur: 3. I bm Realismus 
biszurGegenwartsliteratur. Tubingen: A. Francke Verlag, 1988. 

Berghahn, Klaus. "Das Andere der Klassik: von der 'Klassik-Legende' 
zurjiingsten Klassik-Diskussion." Goethe Yearbook. 6 (1992): 

Buck. Theo et al. Von der Weimarer Republik bis 1945. Joachim Bork, 
Dietrich Steinbach and Hildegard Wittenberg (eds.). Stuttgart: 
Ernst Klett Verlag, 1985. 

Claussen. Horst and Norbert Oellers (eds. ). Beschddigtes Erbe; Beitrdge 
zur Klassikerrezeption in/insfererZeit. Bonn: Bouvier Verlag, 

Drews, Jorg (ed.). Mitwelt — Nachwelt — Internet. Vortrdge und 
Material ien zur Rezeption Goethes zwischen 1800 und 2000. 
Bielefeld: Aisthesis Verlag, 2000. 

Huber, Werner. Gertrud Baumer Eine politische Biographie. Dissertation: 
Munchen, 1970. (Dissertationsdruck W. Blasaditsch, Augsburg.) 


Kemper, Dirk. "Goethes Individualitatsbegriff als Rezeptionshindemis 
im Nationalsozialismus." Goethe J ahrhuch. 116(1999): 129-43. 

Kleinschmidt, Erich. "Der vereinnahmte Goethe. Irrwege im Umgang mit 
einem Klassiker 1932-1949." Jahrbiich der deutschen 
SchillergeseUschaft. 28(1984): 461-482. 

Kruse, Jens. "Goethe und Adenauer als Dioskuren: die Goethe-Fiktionen 
der Fiinfziger Jahre." Germanic Review 63 ( 1 988) 1 89-96. 

Mandelkow, Karl Robert (ed.). Goethe im Vrteil seiner Khtiker. Vol.4. 
Munich: C.H. Beck Verlag, 1984. 

— -. "Klassiker in fmsteren Zeiten: Rezeptionstheoretische Reflexionen." 
Beschddigtes Erbe; Beitrdge zur Klassikerrezeption infinsterer 
Zeit. (1984): 103-18. 

— (ed.). Goethe in Deiitschland. Rezeptionsgeschichte eines Klassikers. 
Vol.2. Munich: C.H. Beck Verlag, 1989. 

Riegel, Paul, Rinsum, Wolfgang (eds.). Drittes Reich und Ex i I 1933- 
1945. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2000. 

Schaser, Angelika. Helena Lange und Gertrud Bdumer Eine politische 
Lebensgemeinschaft. Koln, Weimar, Wien: Bohlau, 2000. 

Schiitz, Erhard. "Nachwort" in Georg Schwarz. Kohlenpott. Fulda: 
Klartext Verlag, 1986. 183-88. 

Sonnleiter, Johann. Die Geschdfte des Herrn Robert Hohlbaum: Die 
Schriftstellerkarriere eines Osterreichers in der 
Zw'ischenkriegszeit und im dritten Reich. Vienna: Boehlau 
Verlag, 1989. 

Zabka, Thomas. "Vom 'deutschen Mythos' zum 'Kriegshilfsdienst': 
'Faust' — Aneignungen im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland." 
Faust: Anndherung an einen Mythos. ( 1 995 ): 3 1 3-42. 

Zeller, Bemhard(ed.). Klassiker in finsteren Zeiten 1933-1945 . Vols. 1- 
2. Marbach: Deutsche SchillergeseUschaft, 1983. 

— . "Die Deutschen und ihre Klassiker 1 933- 1 945." Beschddigtes Erbe; 

Beitrage zur Klassikerrezeption infinsterer Zeit. ( 1 984): 9-28. 


Vom Essen und von Zionismus: 

Sammy Gronemanns National-Judisches 

Anekdotenbuch Schalet. Beitriige zur 

Philosophic des * Wenn schon ' 

Hanni Mittelmann, Hebrew University 

Fi'ir Ted. meinen Dokton^ater, der mir den Weg von Los Angeles nach 
Jerusalem erst ermoglicht hat. 

„Schalet" (west Jiddisch), Schulet (Tschechoslowakei, 
Boehmen) oder Cholent (Polen. ostjiddisch) ist das bekannte warme 
judische Mischgericht, das man, wenn auch unter verschiedenen Namen 
und in verschiedenen Zusammensetzungen sowohl in Osteuropa wie auch 
in Zentraleuropa am Schabbath Mittag aB. Es war und bleibt ein 
universales judisches Gericht, das glaubige Juden, die den Schabbath 
nicht durch Kochen entheiHgen wollen, zu sich nehmen, das aber auch 
von den weniger traditionsbewussten Juden nicht ungem gegessen wird — 
obwohl um den Tscholent oder Schalet und seine schwere Verdaulichkeit 
natiirlich Myriaden von jiidischen Witzen entstanden sind. 

Urkundlich zum ersten Mai erwahnt wird der Schalet im 13. 
Jahrhundert von Rabbi Isaac ben Mose aus Wien (1180-1250), dem 
Verfasser von „Or Zarua", dem umfangreichen Kompendium des 
Brauchlums und der Lebensweise der judischen Gemeinden in Europa 
im Mittelalter. Die Schiiler von Rabbi Israel Isserlein (1390-1460) 
beschreiben, wie im Osterreich des 15. Jahrhunderts die Juden den 
Cholent am Freitag Nachmittag in die Backerei brachten, wo er in einem 
Ofen langsam gekocht wurde bis er dann am Schabbath Mittag von einem 
Kind oder einer Dienstmagd abgeholt wurde. So entwickelte sich 
allmahlich ein Muster des kommunalen Lebens rund um den Schalet, 
das sich bis zum Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts erhalten hat. 

Sammy Gronemann, der im Deutschland der 20er Jahre bekannte 
zionistische Propagandist und humoristische Schriftsteller orthodoxer 
Oberzeugung, lieB sich nicht von ungefahr inspirieren vom Schalet, das 
er zum Titel wahlte fiir sein 1 927 erschienenes Buch unterhaltsamer und 
humorvoUer Anekdoten aus dem judischen Leben in Deutschland vor 
dem zweiten Weltkrieg. Wie dieses Mischgericht prasentiert auch 


Gronemann sein Buch als eine Mischung aus kleinen Geschichten und 
Anekdoten — es soil eine schmackhafte Speise werden. in der, wie er 
schreibt, ,.die Rosinen das Wesentliche sind" (11). Doch dieses Buch ist 
auch im Kontext der grossen Auseinandersetzung zwischen Zionisten 
und dem Assimilationsjudentum zu verstehen, die in Jener Zeit das 
Judentum beherrschte. Gronemann macht in seinem Buch den Schalet, 
dieses „jiidische Nationalgericht", zu einer Metapher fiir eine universale 
jiidische Kultur, aus der er seinem jiidischen Publikum die Logik der 
zionistischen Losung und die Folgerichtigkeit eines tradilionsbevvussten 
nationalen jiidischen Lebens in einem eigenen jiidischen Land in Palastina 
zu entwickeln sucht. wie er es schon in. seinen vorausgegangenen 
Btichem, dem Roman Tohuwabohu und Hawdoloh iinJ Zapfenstreich. 
Erinneningen an die ostjiidische Etappe 1916-1918 untemommen hatte. 
Als Motto des Buches vvahlte Gronemann Strophen aus Heinrich 
Heines bekanntem Gedicht „Prinzessin Sabbat" aus den „Hebraischen 
Melodien". Sie beziehen sich auf den Schalet: 

Schalet, schoner Gotterfunken, 
Tochter aus Elysium! 
Also klange Schillers Hochlied, 
Hatt er Schalet je gekostet. 

Schalet ist die Himmelspeise. 
Die der liebe Herrgott selber 
Einst den Moses kochen lehrte 
Auf dem Berge Sinai, 

Wo der Allerhochste gleichfalls 
All die guten Glaubenslehren 
Und die heilgen zehn Gebote 
Wetterleuchtend offenbarte. 

Schalet ist des wahren Gottes 
Koscheres Ambrosia — 

Mit dem Heineschen Gedicht als Motto sind bereits wesentliche 
inhaltliche Momente von Gronemanns Buch umrissen. Wie im Gedicht 
wird auch hier die Identifikation mit judischem Brauchtum 
hervorgehoben. Heine zeichnet — zumindest in diesem Gedicht — den 
jiidischen Gott nicht als den Gott der strengen und unnahbaren Halacha, 
sondern eher als einen liebevollen, der seinen Kindern das Kochen der 
besten Lebensrezepte beibringt. Es ist gerade die Halacha — „A11 die 


gulen Glaubenslehren/ Und die heilgen zehn Gebote" — , die der wichtigste 
Beslandteil des schmackhaften Mischgerichts ist, welches zur Metapher 
fiir die jiidische Kiiltur wird. Gronemann mochte seinen Lesem, und 
zwar hauptsachlich den assimilierten, das jiidische Brauchtum als eine 
schmackhafte Hausmannskost nahebringen. Die amiisanten Anekdoten 
seines Buches stellen die Halacha als Grundlage der Freuden des rituellen 
jiidischen Lebens und als unversiegbaren Quell einer jiidischen Folklore 
dar — und damit als Grundlage einer gemeinsamen Identitat, an der selbst 
die der Halacha fernstehenden Juden teilhaben. 

Wie Heine mit seinem Gedicht, so mochte auch Gronemann 
mit seinem unterhaltsamen Eintopf von Anekdoten und Geschichten aus 
dem jiidischen Leben sowohl Erinnerungen an die Zeit der jiidischen 
Wiirde und Selbststandigkeit im biblischen Herkunftsland 
herautbeschworen als auch das Elend der Galutexistenz vor Augen fiihren: 

Speist der Prinz von solcher Speise, 
Glanzt sein Auge wie verklaret, 
Und er knopfet auf die Weste, 
Und er spricht mit selgem Lacheln: 

„H6r ich nicht den Jordan rauschen? 
Sind das nicht die BriiBelbrunnen 
In dem Palmental von Beth-El, 
Wo gelagert die Kamele? 

Hor ich nicht die Herdenglockchen? 
Sind das nicht die fetten Hammel, 
Die vom Gileathgebirge 
Abendlich der Hirt herabtreibt?" 

Doch der schone Tag verflittert; 
Wie mit langen Schattenbeinen 
Kommt geschritten der Verwiinschung 
Bose Stund — Es seufzt der Prinz. 

1st ihm doch als griffen eiskalt 
Hexenfmger in sein Herze. 
Schon durchrieseln ihn die Schauer 
Hiindischer Metamorphose. 

Fiir Gronemann ist der Schabbatjude der wahre Jude, dessen tagliche 
„hundische" Galutexistenz, in der er den „Gassenbuben zum Gespotte" 


dient, einem Hexenspruch zii verdanken ist. Diesen „Hexenspruch" 
enttamt Gronemann als die Glorifizierung der Diaspora durch assimilierte 
wie orthodoxe Juden. Beide verschlieBen sich der vom Zionismus 
propagierten Riickkehr und verlangem so die „verhexte" Doppelexistenz 
des Juden ins Unendliche. 

Hannah Arendt zitiert dieses Gedicht Heinrich Heines als ein 
Beispiel seiner gelungenen Assimilation. Heine sei als einziger deutscher 
Jude beides geblieben, Jude und Deutscher. Er habe in einem rein 
deutschen Gedicht, einer Schillerschen Ode, ein rein jiidisches Gericht 
gepriesen (74). Wenn Heine jedoch in parodistischer Anlehnung der 
„Prinzessin Sabbat" an Schillers Ode „An die Freude" den Schalet zur 
Metapher fiir den „Mischaspekt" der jiidischen Kultur macht, in der sich 
angeblich das Deutsche, das Griechische und das Judische mischen, so 
distanziert er sich doch zugleich ironisch von dieser Mischung. In der 
Fortsetzung des Gedichts wird namlich „Das Ambrosia der falschen/ 
Heidengotter Griechenlands,/ Die verkappte Teufel waren," als ,.nur eitel 
Teufelsdreck" bezeichnet. wahrend das deutsche Element — deutlich — 
als verantwortlich gezeigt wird fiir das Elend der „hiindischen" jiidischen 
Existenz. Gronemann kniipft hier an einen Heine an, der den 
assimilatorischen Gedanken vom Weltbiirgertum ironisch relativiert und 
dagegen die Identitat des jiidischen Volkes zelebriert: „Schalet ist des 
wahren Gottes/ Koscheres Ambrosia — ". Auch in den Anekdoten und 
Geschichten von Gronemanns Buch vennischen sich die Welten des 
Jiidischen und des Deutschen. Aber diese Mischung priisentiert sich eher 
als „ZusammenstoB heterogener Welten und von Missverstandnissen" 
(Gronemann 30). Die Mischung von Heiterkeit und Ernst verdeckt nicht 
die „Botschaft des Bedrohtseins" (Schlor 230). Schliesslich ist der Kontext 
nicht zu vergessen, in dem dieses Buch 1927 veroffentlicht wurde. 
Schienen die ersten Jahre der Weimarer Republik in der Tat die Hoffnung 
der deutschen Juden auf Integration und ihre Fortschrittsglaubigkeit emeut 
zu bestarken, so gab es doch auch geniigend wamende Vorzeichen, dass 
dies eine Illusion sein konnte. 

Gelingt es Gronemann auch, der volkischen Hakenkreuz- 
bewegung und ihren „Rassenschniifflern" (229) komische Seiten 
abzugevvinnen und die Damonisierung von „Judas Stamm", der angeblich 
immer „auf der Lauer" (232) sitzt, ad absurdum zu tuhren, so enthiillen 
seine Anekdoten doch den Ernst der Lage und enthalten den 
uniibersehbaren Hinweis, dass es sich hier um keine harmonische 
Mischung handelt. Angesichts der bedrohlichen politischen Lage in 
Deutschland erschien es Gronemann dringlicher denn je, den Juden die 
Absurditaten der Galutexistenz vor Augen zu fiihren, sie mit Ernst und 
Humor von der zionistischen Losung zu iiberzeugen. 


Gegliickt scheint die Mischung im Hinblick auf die jiidischen 
Elemente. Gronemann macht das Schalet-Gericht zur Metapher auch 
fur das judische Volk, das trotz und wegen aller scheinbaren 
Unvereinbarkeiten sich zu einem „schmackhaften Gericht" 
zusammenfiigt. Diese „sonderbare Gemeinschaft von Menschen" (24), 
besteht nach Gronemann aus: 

[...] soignierten Propheten und schmierigen 
Weltmannem, Alleweltsversorger und Eigenbrotler, 
Narren und Weise jeder Art, Vereinsgewaltige, 
Parteifanatiker, Vorsanger, Reisende in Textil und 
Mikosch-Witzen, orthodoxe Lebemanner, freigeistige 
Bethausbesucher, Chauvinisten aller Lander, Zeloten 
und Zyniker, Manteltrager, Martyrer des Alltags, 
Filmhelden, Schlemihle, Dichter und Mitglieder des 
Verbandes nationaldeutscher Juden, die samt und 
senders in einem fort sich um ihre Selbstanalyse 
bemiihen [...] und damit „den babylonischen Turm zu 
einem Wolkenkratzer ausbauen" (25). 

Doch dieses Volk von Individualisten und Parteien gehort eben doch 
zusammen, und das will Gronemann seinen judischen Lesem kenntlich 
machen. Es ist, wie Herzl in seinem Judenstaat schrieb, „ein Volk, ein 

SchlieBlich, trotz aller Selbstanalysen, durch die die zahlreichen 
Individualisten dieses Volkes sich voneinander abheben mochten, kommt 
„Alles in einen Sack!" (25), was Gronemann gleich am Anfang mit einer 
hiibschen Anekdote illustriert: 

Auf dem Postamt in der DorotheenstraBe zu 
Berlin sieht ein guter Freund eines Tages mit Erstaunen 
abends um sieben Uhr, kurz vor SchalterschluB, wie 
ein Postbeamter mit einem groBen Sack an den 
Briefkasten herantritt, auf dem mit groBen Lettem 
geschrieben steht: „Sendungen nur fiir Berlin und 
Umgegend", die Briefe aus diesem Kasten darein leert 
und dann sich dem anderen Kasten zuwendet, der 
verkiindet, daB in ihn nur „Sendungen nach auswarts" 
geworfen werden sollen. Den Inhalt auch dieses Kastens 
fiillt er in denselben Sack, schiittelt ihn tiichtig, damit 
der Inhalt der beiden Kasten sich gehorig durchmischt, 
und schickt sich an, den Schalterraum zu verlassen. 


„Hallo!" schreit mein Freund. „ Was macht er denn 
da?! — WozLi sind denn da die Inschriften angebracht, 
vvenn alles in einen Sack kommt?" 

Mit der hohnlachelnden Uberlegenheit des 
wohlbestallten und pensionsberechtigten. seiner 
Dienstinstruktion sicheren preuBischen Beamten sieht 
der Gefragte ihn an, wirft einen Blick auf die groBen, 
schon schwarz auf weiB aufgetragenen Inschriften und 
spricht vemichtend: „Die Aufschriften sind nur furs 
Publikum da. Das soil zur Ordnung erzogen werden." 

Was Gronemann hier ausdriicken will ist das zionistische Credo, dass 
das Judentum eine kulturelle und nationale Gemeinschaft ist. 

Zugleich demonstriert Gronemann, dass die jiidische Tradition 
die eigentliche Grundlage dieser Gemeinschaft und ihrer Kontinuitat ist 
und dass selbst Versuche, mit dieser Tradition zu brechen, noch Teil dieser 
Tradition sind. Dass sie lediglich zu komischen Widerspriichlichkeiten 
tuhren, wird hier auf das unterhaltsamste dargestellt. Die Paradoxien 
der judischen Galutexistenz in Deutschland finden ihren wohl 
pragnantesten Ausdruck in der Geschichte, die Gronemann ,.in einem 
einzigen Satz ohne Parenthesen und Einschachtelungen", die er sonst so 
schatzt, wiedergibt: „Harold Cohn fand unter dem Weihnachtsbaum den 
Chanukahleuchter. den er sich so sehr gewiinscht hatte" (35). 

Ober alle Verwirrungen und Bedrohungen, denen die jiidische 
Galutexistenz ausgesetzt ist, hilft jene Philosophic des „Wenn schon" 
hinweg. der dieses Buch auch gevvidmet ist. Diese leichte. aber niemals 
leichtfertige Lebensphilosophie, die weder das Leben noch den Tod zu 
emst nimmt, zeigt Gronemann als die Grundlage jiidischer Existenz. Sie 
leitet sich aus dem jiidischen Geschichtsverstandnis her, das die temporale 
Existenz dem ewigen Leben in den kommenden messianischen Zeiten 
unterordnet. Der Optimismus des messianischen Erlosungsversprechens, 
dem Gronemann als glaubiger Jude vertraute. half ihm auch personlich, 
die schweren Zeiten des Krieges, der Emigration und des Neuanfangs in 
Palastina zu iiberstehen: „Es mag manch Peinliches, Retardierendes, 
Dummheit Fordemdes geben — wenn schon! Es geht vorwarts — es ist 
alles nicht so vvichtig! Das Schopfungsstadium des Tohuvvabohus, in 
dem wir uns befmden, wird eines Tages iiberu'unden sein, es wird Licht 
werden und vielleicht nahem wir uns merklich der Zeit der Offenbarung" 

Dieser Philosophic des „Wenn schon" stellt Gronemann die 
Philosophic des „Als ob nicht" zur Seite, mit der das gesetzestreue 
Judentum das vorlaufige Ende seiner staatlichen Existenz ignorierl und 


in seinen Gebrauchen und Gebeten weiter so tut, „als ob" dieser Staat 
nicht zerstort worden sei. sondem noch existiert. Doch wenn auch diese 
typisch judischen Philosophien immer iiber das Elend einer heimatlosen, 
ungeschiltzten Existenz hinvveggeholfen haben — Gronemanns Botschaft 
lautet: ,.Aber so geht's nicht weiter!'" (34). Und init seinen Geschichten 
und Anekdoten beweist Gronemann den Lesern, dass die exilische 
Existenz des jiidischen Volkes — entgegen alien Wunschvorstellungen — 
doch noch kein Ende gefunden hat. Die Flucht geht weiter: ,. So war's 
von den Zeiten Josephs von Agypten bis zu den Tagen Rathenaus" (33). 
Die Juden haben noch nicht zu sich gefunden. „und es wird noch eine 
gute Weile dauem, bis man sie kennenlemen wird. bis sie sich zeigen 
konnen. in eigener Art und auf eigenem Boden, w ie alle anderen" (228). 
Gronemann bemiihtesich darum. die Diskussionder judischen 
Problematik in der Galut in Gang zu setzen und fiir sie hellhorig zu 
machen, damit man der richtigen Losung auf die Spur kommt. Er schreibt: 

Wer dieses Buch etwa erstanden hat, um endlich einmal 
die Losung alier Weltratsel zu erfahren, mag es getrost 
aus der Hand legen. Da seien ihm die systematischen 
Handbiicher der Philosophic des ,Nu wenn schon' und 
die grundlegende Darstellung der Philosophic des , Als 
ob nicht' anempfohlen. deren Erscheinen ich mit 
Interesse entgegensehe. Bis dahin mag er sich mit der 
Lekture der judischen Geschichte begnUgen, der 
Geschichte des Volkes, das sich diese Philosophic seit 
Jahrtausenden zur Richtschnur genommen hat. (11) 

Auch dieses Buch Gronemanns war, wie schon seine friiheren 
Biicher, den Angritfen des assimilierten deutschen Judentums ausgesetzt. 
Der Hauptvorwurf bestand darin, dass seine „Witzeleien" den Antisemiten 
das Wort redeten. Sollte heiBen. er ,.machte Risches", lieferte den 
Judenfeinden Stofif. So fomiulierle Gronemann es im Buch. denn er hatte 
den Vorwurf schon vorweggenommen und Stellung bezogen. Aus der 
Position eines selbstbewussten Judentums verwahrte er sich dagegen, 
aus Angst vor BloBstellung eigene Schwachen bzw. objektive jiidische 
Probleme nicht in der Offentlichkeit zu behandeln: Die Antisemiten 
„warten namlich gar nicht auf den Stoff. Und der Antisemitismus griindet 
sich weit eher auf Tugenden als auf Laster der Juden" (53). Denn, so 
argufnentiert er weiter: 

[...] womit macht der Jude nicht Risches? 1st er sparsam, 
heiBt er geizig — ist er freigebig, gilt er als Protz — halt 


er sich zuriick. ist er feige — tritt er kiihn auf, ist er 
aufdringlich oder frech. Ist er im Handelsstand. na ja, 
der Schacherjude — vvird er Landwirt, miissen die 
Bauern ihr heiliges Land vor dem Eindringling 
schiitzen — kurz, er kann machen, was er will und wie 
er's will — er macht stets Risches. (53) 

Ziigleich benutzt Gronemann gerade die jiidische Angst vor der 
BloBslellung dazu, auf die prekare Lage der .luden in der Well hinzuweisen 
und die „Gleichstellung" der Juden in Deutschland als Selbstbetrug 
kenntlich zu machen; 

Und wir Juden haben das gleiche Recht auf Verbrecher, 
Idioten und Narren wie alie Volker. Wenn wir von 
diesem Recht nur einen sehr beschrankten Gebrauch 
machen, mag's angehen, aber von Gleichberechtigung 
kann man nicht reden, solange allenfalls ein Einstein 
oder Schnitzler, ein Disraeli oder Liebermann akzeptiert 
werden, solange aber man uns das Recht, auch 
widerwartige Leute zu produzieren, abspricht. (52) 

SchlieBlich, so meint Gronemann. 

[...] denkt man die Sache recht durch, wird man am 
Ende einsehen, daB es nicht die jiidische Art an sich 
ist, welche unangenehme und absonderliche 
Erscheinungen fordert, sondem die unnatiirliche Lage, 
in der sich die jiidische Gesamtheit befmdet. Der 
Chronist kiinftiger Tage wird vielleicht keine solchen 
Kuriosa zu berichten haben. (228) 

Das betont jiidische Geschichts- und Kulturbewusstsein. das aus 
Gronemanns Schalet sprach, brachte ihm heftige Kritik auch von deutsch- 
national gesinnter jiidischer Seite ein. Ein Rezensent der Zeitschrift Der 
Nalionaldeutsche Jitde schrieb: 

Es ist gerade die Philosophic des ,Wenn schon\ die 
Gronemann in seinem Buch propagiert, die den Juden 
an seiner langst verjahrten Ausgewahltheit festhallen 
laBt, die den Zom und HaB seiner Umgebung erweckt. 
Deshalb muB Ahasver, der ewige Jude. immer wieder 
sein Zelt abbrechen und den Wanderstab weitersetzen. 


Allein wenn der deutsche Jude sich von der Sippe des 
Ahasverus trennt, jenem Sinnbild, nicht des Juden an 
sich, sondern des Juden, der nicht vergessen kann und 
der nicht wahrhaben will, daB der Traum von der alt- 
neuen Heimat des ,judischen Volkes' langst 
ausgetraumt ist, wird jener HaB gegen den Juden 
verschwinden und der ewig wandernde Jude wird 
endlich seine Ruhe finden." ^ 

Welch tragische Ironie, dass den Juden Deutschlands schon bald 
die Sippschaft mit Ahasverus aufgezwungen und der Wanderstab wieder 
in die Hand gedriickt wurde. Gronemann hat seine enge Verbundenheit 
mit Deutschland niemals in Abrede gestellt, aber auch seine Distanz nicht. 
Eben jenes von dem Rezensenten kritisierte, dem Judentum eigentiimliche 
Gebol des Erinnems, welches das Geschichtsbewusstsein des Judentums 
bestimmt und das innere Zentrum seiner Existenz ausmacht, war es, das 
Gronemann die Lektionen der jiidischen Geschichte nicht vergessen lieB. 
Er verfolgte den Traum von der alt-neuen Heimat weiter, seine 
Verwirklichung erschien ihm angesichts der Zeitumstande immer 
dringlicher. Schalet war die letzte Buchveroffentlichung Sammy 
Gronemanns in Deutschland. 


' Es handelt sich hier um einen uberarbeiteten Auszug aus meiner 
Monographic iiber Sammy Gronemann, die im Friihjahr 2004 in der Reihe 
Campus Judaica im Campus Verlag, Frankfurt a. Main erscheinen wird. 

Works Cited 

Arendt, Hannah. The Jew as Pariah. Jewish Identity and Politics in the 
Modern Age. Ed. Ron. H. Feldman. New York: Grove Press, 

Gronemann, Sammy. Hawdoloh und Zapfenstreich. Erinnerungen an 
die ostjiidische Etappe 1916-1918. Berlin: Jiidischer Verlag, 

— . Schalet. Beitrdge ziir Philosophic des , Wenn schon '. Ed. Joachim 
Schlor. 2nd ed. Leipzig: Reclam, 1998. 


— . Tolunvabohu.lVelt-Verlag. Ed ioach'im SchloT. 2nd ed. Leipzig: 
Reclam, 2000. 

Schlor, Joachim. Nachwort. Schalet. Beitrage ziir Philosophie des , Wenn 
schon '. By Sammy Gronemann. Ed. Joachim Schlor. Leipzig: 
Reclam, 1998. 


National Socialist Realism: The Politics of Popular 

Cinema in the Third Reich 

Mary Beth O'Brien, Skidmore College 

In May 1 939, Der deutsche Film, the official journal of the Reich 
Film Chamber, published a special issue devoted to the question of what 
the public wanted from cinema, "a dream world or reality?" Two mottos 
framed the discussion and imparted the highest authority in the Third 
Reich. The Fiihrer was cited first: "Theater, film, literature, press, radio, 
they all have to serve the maintenance of universal values living in the 
spirit of our folk."' The second motto stemmed from Propaganda Minister 
Joseph Goebbels: "Film should not escape from daily hardship and lose 
itself in a dreamland that only exists in the minds of starry-eyed directors 
and scriptwriters but nowhere else on earth."- This special issue also 
contained surveys and scholarly articles, in which moviegoers, actors, 
directors, and critics all agreed that the film industry should make 
exemplary films about contemporary life in Nazi Germany. Critics 
lamented that "problem films," serious dramas dealing with social issues, 
seldom graced the screen. What the German public needed, they argued, 
was riveting stories about ordinary people with typical conflicts. Normal 
problems in everyday life were not supposed to be covered up with the 
fairy tales of pure fantasy or depressing stories drenched in hopelessness 
and despair. Viewers needed positive films about daily hardships to learn 
how to form realistic expectations and deal with disappointment. The 
consensus was clear: cinema should reflect reality. 

It is surprising that the trade press would argue so adamantly in 
favor of the problem film because the genre demands an honest discussion 
of society's ills in a way that National Socialism routinely rejected. With 
its emphasis on how "the individual confronts social contradictions (class 
difference, moral conventions, poverty) beyond his/her control and/or 
comprehension," the problem film casts a critical look at the world as it 
is and explicitly calls for change (Elsaesser 120). Although the public 
wanted serious movies about everyday life, the propaganda ministry 
required that Ihey demonstrate optimism and conflict resolution at any 
price, a prescription contrary to the very definition of the problem film. 


Thus Hitler and Goebbels were often disappointed with problem films 
they had originally promoted and were compelled to censor them exactly 
because they depicted the present all too realistically.^ 

Two films stand out as well-made movies that expose social 
problems National Socialism did not want to address openly or could not 
solve satisfactorily: Das Leben kann so schon sein {Life Can Be So 
Wonderful, 1938) and Der verzanberte Tag {The Enchanted Day, 1944). 
Both films were banned for presenting the national community in an 
unfavorable light, but it is not their status as censored films per se that 
makes them so interesting. Rather it is their ability as problem tllms to 
capture the spirit of the time and reveal its dilemmas in haunting images 
of unfulfilled passions, senseless brutality, and dissatisfaction with the 
status quo. Attached to these stories of wasted lives is an unconvincing 
happy end, an incongruity that beckons the viewer to contemplate 
alternatives. Das Leben kann so schon sein and Der verzanberte Tag are 
stylistically innovative, provocative in content, and illustrate particularly 
well both the aspirations and the limitations of cinema in the Third Reich. 
In this essay I explore how these problem films reflect a growing 
desperation with everyday life and lend insights into the debates over 
cinematic realism in Nazi Germany."* 

(I) Consumerist Fantasies 

Das Leben kann so schon sein is a serious film about a young 
couple whose marriage is nearly destroyed by financial troubles. 
Lighthearted moments and the casting of comedian Rudi Godden and 
girl-next-door Use Werner as the sympathetic couple helped to mitigate 
the film's critique of modern marriage, housing, and employment. The 
film initially passed the censor and premiered in Vienna on December 
23, 1 938.'^ When shown the film privately. Hitler broke off the screening 
and banned the film. He was reportedly enraged by the depiction of a 
housing shortage and the film's potential to sabotage population growth 
policies (Wetzel 90). 

The film opens in a hospital, where the salesman Hannes Kolb 
awaits word on the condition of his pregnant wife Nora. In a series of 
flashbacks, Hannes recounts their courtship and troubled marriage. The 
young lovers dream of owning their own home on a quiet lake, but their 
hopes are shattered by economic reality. Hannes convinces Nora that 
she will have to be a working wife and take a job as a seamstress in a 
clothing factory. Despite her wish for a modem apartment, he insists 
they rent a single room in a dreary boardinghouse. When Nora tells 
Hannes she is pregnant, he becomes paralyzed with fear. He neglects her 


to the point that she plans to leave him but falls down a flight of stairs. 
After the final flashback, Nora delivers a healthy baby boy, and Hannes 
agrees that she can quit her job and stay home with the baby in a bright 
new apartment filled with her own furniture. 

Director Rolf Hansen cautioned that Das Leben kann so schon 
sein would be a daring experiment in both form and content. The film 
would challenge viewers with its complex narrative told in flashbacks 
and with characters who suffered from daily hardship. Hansen recognized 
that his film might be a hard sell because it did not ofier the typical escapist 

It is always a difficult matter to show the public a film 
which leads them back into their own everyday life. 
And then so plainly and realistically as we are planning 
to do. After all, people want to be distracted and find 
some illusions when they go to the movies in the 
evening. [...] This film does not gloss over or 
romanticize life, let alone trivialize it, and its success 
can only depend on its realism and truthfulness.'' 

In striking contrast to contemporaneous films, Das Leben kann 
so schon sein deals frankly with the controversial themes of married 
working-women and the under-employment of men. ^ The main characters, 
a factory worker and a white-collar employee, are ordinary people with a 
typical problem: they cannot make ends meet. Their story represents the 
plight of many couples in the Great Depression trying to get by without a 
marriage loan, interest-free loans of 1 ,000 RM granted to couples on the 
condition that the wife quit her job.** 

Nora's job as a seamstress in a clothing factory is highly 
representative of female employment patterns in peacetime Germany. 
Working in the textile industry where women comprised about half the 
labor force, Nora only takes on a job because her husband's income is 
insufficient to cover living expenses.'' Despite Nazi propaganda 
trumpeting motherhood, the number of married working women actually 
rose from 35% in 1933 to 41% in 1939, with the vast majority taking on 
low-paid factory work (Weslennieder 71).'" As an insurance salesman, 
Hannes is a white-collar employee without sufficient financial security 
to start a family. His frantic concerns about money reflect the real-life 
adversity facing many workers. Despite the government's efforts to 
maintain stable wages and prices, the cost of living index rose by 6% 
between 1933 and 1938 (Barkai 256). 


Along with its critical look at employment, Hansen's film 
addresses the problem of housing. The film describes two radically 
different social environments: a single-family home in a suburban 
settlement and a boardinghouse in a downtown apartment building. The 
former is a cheerful private space beyond the economic means of the 
average worker, while the latter is a dismal communal space where the 
lower middle class must abide. The problem of suitable housing 
challenged the government's ability to balance between two apparently 
opposite domestic agendas, what Hans-Dieter Schafer has called "the 
divided consciousness" of the Third Reich. On the one hand, National 
Socialism presented itself as a meticulously organized system, which 
offered the masses a sense of wholeness through participation in communal 
rituals and threatened violent retribution against non-conformity. On the 
other hand, it promoted itself as an agent of continuity, which guaranteed 
the masses a private sphere in which to enjoy some degree of individualism 
and a wide assortment of consumer goods (Schafer 1 14-62). 

The construction of single-family homes in model settlements, 
like the one featured in Das Lehen kcvm so schou sein, was widely 
publicized but only comprised about one-tenth of all new housing." 
Despite this, the regime continuously promised that it would provide more 
and more Gemians with a detached house in a village setting.'- The Nazi 
government argued that settlement construction (Siedlungsbau) would 
raise the average worker's social status, level class differences, and 
dislodge the long-standing prejudice against the urban poor." The desire 
to own a home was not only a response to material necessity; it was also 
the need to retreat from a highly structured public sphere, a life centered 
on unifonns, party insignia, political organizations, social responsibilities, 
and the watchful eye of the Gestapo. While the Nazi regime refashioned 
German cities using massive architectural stmctures to reflect the state's 
hegemony, private individuals increasingly chose to decorate their homes 
in Biedermeier and traditional folk interior designs to gain a sense of 
homeliness and intimacy (Reichel 308-12; Peukert 190). An important 
aspect of the retreat into the home was the government's promise of 
affordable, high-quality household goods and a better standard of living 
(Schafer 122).'"* The government took full credit for Germany's rapid 
economic recovery and continually publicized that German industries 
were manufacturing everything from washing machines to vacuum 
cleaners. Despite periodic shortages and the high price of household 
appliances, the return to a pre-depression standard of living and the 
prospect of acquiring durable goods did much to bolster Hitler's popularity 
(Schafer 11 7). 


Das Leben kann so schon sein prominently features popular 
consumerist fantasies. Nora spends her days working in a factory and 
dreaming about decorating her home. She takes her husband window- 
shopping, because she longs for simple, well-made modem furniture. 
But this too is out of their reach, and Hannes convinces Nora that they 
must settle for less. His only concession is to give her a sewing box, a 
piece of furniture that symbolizes the domestication of her labor, her 
dream of sewing clothes for her family at home and not for strangers in a 
factory. The Ufa studio proposed an advertising campaign that would tie 
in consumer culture with the movie's plot. The studio advised theater 
owners to "make a deal with a furniture company to carry out an effective, 
reciprocal advertising campaign."'" In this early form of product 
placement, the Ufa studio hoped that it could channel the public's 
consumerist fantasies into interest in its own product. 

Hansen's film was intended to be a realistic tale of modem 
marriage but its male protagonist is so far from a positive role model that 
the film was doomed from the start. The depiction of a frightened young 
man, unable to accept financial or emotional responsibility for his wife 
and child, is a criticism that goes to the core of the carefully fashioned 
masculine identity in Nazi Germany. The triad hero image of the soldier- 
worker-farmer is a man of action and resolve. Hannes recognizes that he 
does not fit the mold and retorts, "We men only exist in your illusions! If 
you need them, go to the movies.""' In this striking moment of self- 
refiectivity, the film effectively illustrates how the media disseminate 
unrealistic images. 

The film concludes with a happy end so neat and clean that it 
stretches the limits of believability. When Hannes hears the news that 
Nora has given birth to a son, he becomes a changed man. Beaming with 
confidence and joy he marches off to see his wife and child. This happy 
end echoes the outlawed Social Democratic Party's assessment of the 
working class in Nazi Germany: "Strength through Joy seems to prove 
that the solution to social problems can be avoided, if one gives the worker 
more 'honor' instead of more wages, more 'joy' instead of more free 
time, more petty bourgeois self-esteem instead of better working and 
living conditions."''' 

(ii) Female Desire and the Gaze 

Peter Pewas's film Der verzaiiherte Tag tells the story of a young 
girl who wants to break free and experience life to its fullest. The film 
was shot at the Ufa studios in Babelsberg between June and October 
1943 and completed in the summer of 1944. The propaganda ministry 


repeatedly slated Der verzauberte Tag for changes, but it was never 
sufficiently edited and did not premiere in Nazi Germany."* 

Peter Pewas was considered a talented newcomer who could 
develop an innovative visual style and treat contemporary issues with the 
realism Goebbels wanted from the problem film. The young director 
was eager to create a new type of fiilm, one that would challenge viewers 
by demanding a critical distance reminiscent of Brechtian aesthetics. 
Pewas argued in favor of objective and analytical observation over the 
classical cinema's reliance on identification and its erasure of all evidence 
testifying to its status as constructed reality. He saw his film as pioneering 
work: ''Der verzauberte Tag should not distract but rather collect and 
stimulate. [. . .] We are creating a film here, which will bring a new view 
to scenery and photography. We should avoid glamorous delusions and 
love play. I resolutely want to steer away from any superficiality [. . .] It 
is a matter of illustrating the actions of a young person who has to be 
transported out of a petty bourgeois atmosphere."'*^ 

Der verzauberte Tag begins in a hospital where the young 
Christine Schweiger (Winnie Markus) lies unconscious with the artist 
Albrecht Gotz (Hans Stiiwe) at her side. A narrator sets the stage for her 
story, which is told in a single flashback. Christine works at a newspaper 
stand in the train station but dreams of having a more exciting life. She 
yearns for change and breaks off her engagement to the narrow-minded 
accountant Krummholz. One day she sees Albrecht Gotz staring at her 
from a train and their mutual gaze is so intense, she believes they are 
destined to fall in love. When she sees Gotz again the next day, she 
agrees to spend an enchanted day with him in the country and they make 
love that night. Afterwards Christine is devastated to learn that Gotz did 
not see her that first day at the train station; he was actually reading the 
letters on the newsstand to gauge the extent of an eye injury. Believing 
that fate has played a cruel trick on her, she runs away into the night, 
where she is accosted by a one-eyed man and then shot by Krummholz in 
a jealous rage. Returning to the present, Christine awakens and Gotz 
professes his love in a dramatic, if unconvincing, happy end. 

Startling images, remarkable lighting, and the skillful use of space 
dominate this film and take precedent over plot and dialogue. The film is 
both a fairy tale of desire and a sober tale of harsh reality. The characters 
live in their own world and rarely, if ever, connect with their fellow human 
beings. Like the numerous train tracks pictured in this film, there are 
many parallel realities that seldom intersect. The men and women need 
from each other exactly what the other is not willing or able to give. One 
man wants a sweet and innocent virgin, another wants a passionate carefree 
lover, and a third wants a faithful servant, but they all want a woman who 


meets their needs without making any demands of her own. The women 
worry about money and how to make ends meet, but they also crave 
romance and passion. Thus they waver between waiting for Prince 
Charming and settling for Mr. Right-Now. 

The young salesgirl Christine is caught in a restrictive social 
environment. Contained in her newsstand but surrounded by the allure 
of travel, she watches the trains go by and imagines being whisked away 
to another realm. Christine looks to the artist Albrecht Gotz for hope, 
but ironically, he is a man with distorted vision. His eyesight was nearly 
destroyed when a fonner lover threw acid in his face after he jilted her. 
Gotz, whose name is derived from Gotze meaning "idol," is the object of 
extreme devotion but a man who operates under fallacies. He needs to 
possess women both physically and as images, because for him "a woman 
is like nature, unfathomable, unpredictable, and full of secrets."-" 

Considering the emphasis placed on flawed male vision and 
image making, it is not surprising that Der verzaiiberte Tag also 
problematizes the female gaze. In a significant exchange of glances, 
Christine upsets the traditional gender-specific roles in the visual economy 
structuring sexual desire. In classical narrative cinema, as Laura Mulvey 
has argued, "pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and 
passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its fantasy onto the 
female figure, which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist 
role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their 
appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be 
said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness'' (Mulvey 19). Mary Ann Doane 
has demonstrated that when this order is reverted, when woman assumes 
agency of the look and its corresponding subjectivity, she "poses a threat 
to an entire system of representation." Doane maintains: "There is always 
a certain excessiveness, a difficulty associated with women who 
appropriate the gaze, who insist upon looking." Classical cinema often 
solves this dilemma by punishing the display of excessive female desire 
with violence and even death, because "the woman as subject of the gaze 
is clearly an impossible sign" ( Doane 50-5 1 ). 

At the train station, Christine is transformed from the enthralled 
viewer of a romantic spectacle to the active pursuer of her own desire. 
After watching a couple kissing passionately, Christine notices that a 
man (Gotz) is looking in her direction. She misreads the situation and 
thinks he is staring at her, so she returns his unwavering gaze. However, 
several shots from his point of view reveal that he does not see her at all 
and is reading an advertisement. The next day, the scene is repeated and 
again gendered ways of seeing cause confusion. This time Gotz sees 
Christine staring at him and believes she is openly seducing him. However, 


his first remark, "Have you ever been painted before?" highlights that 
Christine represents an untenable position, the subject of the gaze and 
the object of desire, the spectator and the image.-' Eventually disaster 
strikes because Christine fails to remain a passive image and refuses to 
accept her role as Fraulein Schvveiger, or Miss Silent One as her name 
means in English. Ultimately she will pay for her assertiveness by 
becoming the victim of a violent crime. 

Christine is swept away by Gotz's polished seduction and even 
flattered when he remarks that she will be his first "Christine." They make 
love off-screen to the sound of her breathing while the camera pans over 
his numerous artworks idealizing love and feminine beauty until it stops 
at a broken blossom on the glass table in front of her limp wrist. When 
Christine realizes that Gotz considers her a sexual aggressor, she takes 
flight into the rainy night, where her shame is narrated with a montage of 
falling trees, roaring waves, and trains superimposed upon a bleak and 
nearly suicidal scene. As Christine walks alone, a one-eyed man accosts 
her. When she defends herself, he retorts that a woman alone on the 
street at night must know what a man wants from her.-- Again marked a 
whore by a man with flawed vision, Christine runs home only to find 
Krummholz waiting for her. He orders her to stand still and when she 
refuses to be a captive image, he shoots her. Krummholz staggers 
backwards and breaks a window, smashing the portrait of a woman etched 
into the glass. Both Christine and the shattered image fall to the floor in 
ruins. However, tragedy is averted and all the loose ends are resolved. 
Krummholz is led off to prison. Christine awakens and says to Gotz: "the 
eyes," to which he replies: "Don't speak. I was blind, but now I see you 
as you are, as I love you."-^ Although the last shot shows the couple 
kissing, their relationship is predicated on the controlling male gaze and 
the silent woman. 

Unlike Das Lehen kann so schon sein, Der verzauherte Tag 
does not portray everyday life with the same type of details. Pewas' film 
does not cite exact wages, prices, or consumer products, nor does it refer 
to government programs like inarriage loans and settlement housing. The 
economic hardship of working women so typical of life in 1944 Gennany 
is presented in universal terms as part of the feminine condition. Christine 
learns from her widowed mother what it means to be the working poor, 
but there is no mention of such wartime burdens as ration stamps, 
shortages, or the conscription of women into the Reich Labor Service. 
Der verzauherte Tag depicts a different type of reality that is equally 
valid: the problem of living with unfulfilled desires in a period of scarcity 
with few outlets beyond daydreaming. In its proposed advertising 
campaign, the Ufa studio emphasized that Der verzauherte Tag presented 


ordinary people with ordinary problems but in a way that made the familiar 
seem extraordinary. Der verzauberte Tag was praised because it portrayed 
"people of our time, with our joys and troubles. And yet this film shows 
things that we do not see in everyday life. Here the mask falls from the 
faces as it were. The most subtle psychological stirrings are made visible 
and force us to participate in this destiny so gripping exactly because it is 
so commonplace."-^ The Ufa press package asserted that Pewas' film 
could help viewers to come to terms with a pressing, if elusive, social 

It is fine and useful that this film examines a problem 
whose occurrence cannot be denied simply because it 
does not appear visible in the everyday world. And it 
is equally fine that the young director Peter Pewas, 
who is presenting with Der verzauberte Tag his first 
major work, develops the problem of dangerous 
daydreaming to the last consequence and generates 
the solution in a natural way through the power of real 

In a post-war interview, Pewas maintained that Der verzauberte 
Tag was censored because of his directorial style and realism: "In those 
days when all the fronts were shaky, people did not want a collapse on 
the cultural front. They did not want any formal experiments. They 
wanted something tangible, people spoke of cultural bolshevism."-'' 
Ironically, the sophisticated visual style Goebbels routinely promoted 
transfomied a film with potential propaganda value into a subversive text 
that the National Socialists could not allow audiences to see. 

(iii) A Happy End? 

In May 1 939, Der deutsche Film posed the question: "What do 
you want to see in film: problems or entertainment without problems, 
destinies from real everyday life or from an improbable world in which 
all wishes are fulfilled, idle loafers in a rich milieu or working people in 
a working world?"-^ When faced with such a rigid either/or, dream world 
or reality, the vast majority of readers voted for reality. The public wanted 
to see movies about contemporary life, engaging stories with sympathetic 
characters that shed light on the times and offered strong identification 
opportunities. Moviegoers and critics generally agreed that great films 
were not made on the either/or principle; they needed equal parts of 
reality and fantasy. A faithful rendering of everyday circumstances 


without some measure of imagination could be journalism but ne\ er art. 
Popular actor Heinz Riihmann suggested an approach that offered a middle 
ground: "Reality as dream world! Film should show real life but in a more 
relaxed form."^* One viewer summarized the prevailing outlook: "Film 
should not be a pale imitation of reality but rather should idealize e\er}'day 
life, demonstrate the meaning of daily work, show our neighbors and 
ourselves in those moments in which we possess universal validity and 
become types. Accentuate stronger than reality does! Show our world 
very small and very great, heroism and brutality! But always our world: 
how it is and how it could be."-'^ 

While there was a general consensus that cinema should focus 
on reality, there was no consensus on what "reality" meant. Most writers 
wanted movies about the present, but they also demanded a highly 
optimistic approach to a difficult, if not grim, existence. One writer argued 
that the following story line reflected everyday reality in 1939 Germany: 
"An honest worker, who earns his daily bread with hard labor, is always 
satisfied and retires at seventy-five with a paltr>' old-age pension. He is 
nevertheless thankful to God or fate and certainly isn't naive but rather a 
philosopher of life, who is above wealth and the good life and is happy 
with what remains: forest, field, military, art. maybe even his laughter."^" 

The scenario of a happy worker struggling all his life to survive 
but content with his meager lot is a prescription for National Socialist 
Realism that may well have gained favor from both Hitler and Goebbels — 
if not Stalin. The Filhrer and the propaganda minister repeatedly called 
for films about the present, but they were by no means issuing an open 
invitation to criticize party ideology or social institutions. They wanted 
a selective form of realism, similar in many ways to the tenets of Socialist 
Realism articulated by Andrei Shdanov in 1934 and widely debated 
throughout the 1930s by such notable thinkers as Georg Lukacs and Bertolt 
Brecht." During the Congress of Soviet Writers. Shdanov declared that 
Socialist Realism "demanded from the artist a truthful, historically 
concrete depiction of reality in its revolutionar>' de\ elopment. At the 
same time this truthfulness and historical concreteness of the artistic 
depiction of reality must be combined with the task of ideological molding 
and education of the working people in the spirit of socialism" (Bahr and 
Kunzer 41). Like its unacknowledged predecessor. National Socialist 
Realism would include positive heroes, an optimistic portrayal of the 
working world, an innovative but easily understood style 
{Volkstiimlichkeit), tendentiousness, and films infused with the values 
inherent in a specific political agenda {Parteilichkeit). 

A comparison of various fonnulas for realism advanced in Nazi 
Germany and the Soviet Union would undoubtedly produce some 


surprising results. For example, although Joseph Goebbels and Georg 
Lukacs were committed to competing political ideologies, neither fully 
embraced (National) Socialist Realism as an unassailable cultural policy 
and they shared some fundamental ideas on the relationship between art 
and politics. Both the Nazi propaganda minister and the Marxist exiled 
literary critic recognized that their respective parties could benefit greatly 
from presenting themselves as the inheritor and guardian of bourgeois 
cultural traditions. Whereas Lukacs favored Shakespeare, Goethe, and 
Balzac as models for an emerging proletarian culture, Goebbels appreciated 
that National Socialism could win the hearts of the middle class by 
presenting itself as the torchbearer of the classical German heritage 
exemplified in the works of such luminaries as Goethe and Beethoven. ^- 
Most importantly, Goebbels and Lukacs questioned the notion that 
privileged partisanship over artistry in the appraisal of a masterpiece. 
Lukacs valued the royalist Balzac more than the radical Zola, because 
despite his political affiliations and beliefs, Balzac was a great realist who 
objectively reflected his times in a "portrayal of the overall process as a 
synthetically grasped totality of its true driving forces." (Lukacs, 
'Tendency ' or Partisanship? 42) In this "triumph of realism," the writer's 
sympathies were less important than his accurate depiction of society. 
Goebbels, in turn, praised Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925) as an 
unparalleled work of genius with a powerful hold on viewers. He warned: 
"Whoever is ideologically uncertain, could become a Bolshevik by 
watching this film. This proves that a work of art truly can be tendentious, 
and also that even the worst tendency can be propagated, if it is done 
through the medium of an exceptional work of art. "^^ Lukacs and Goebbels 
agreed that partisanship had to evolve from the narrative itself, from keen 
observation and character development, and was never completely 
successful if it were added on like a veneer. Goebbels remarked: 

I do not want an art that proves its National Socialist 
character merely by displaying National Socialist 
emblems and symbols; rather 1 want an art that 
expresses its attitude through National Socialist 
character and by addressing National Socialist 
problems energetically.. .The moment that propaganda 
becomes conscious, it is ineffective. At the moment, 
however, when it remains in the background as 
propaganda, as tendency, as character, as attitude and 
only appears through action, through time, through 
events, through contrasts between people, it becomes 
effective in every respect.^^ 


Despite Goebbels' caveats about the invisible nature of 
partisanship and his desire to promote motion pictures with artistic 
integrity, in the end a fihn's function within the totalitarian state was his 
primary concern. Along with providing light entertainment that distracted 
from the rigors of work and life's daily struggles, the propaganda minister 
wanted to give the German public films that taught coping strategies and 
"fulfilled a special mission: to steel our folk." Although the hardship of 
living in the midst of world war was clearly a motivating factor in 
Goebbels' push for serious tllms set in the present, adversity was at the 
core of the National Socialist worldview. The coordinated motion picture 
industry responded to the notion of life as an eternal battle for existence. 
An article in the fan magazine Filmwelt outlined the vital role cinema 
played in fulfilling the regime's ideological agenda: "Film no longer passes 
life by, it does not conjure up false pipe-dreams, nor does it avail itself of 
a magic lamp of false illusions. Hard und relentless like the present-day, 
aggressive and powerful like the courage and spirit of our folk, in its 
depiction of all true-to-life and contemporary questions the German film 
points to the future, to victory and the annihilation of the enemy.'"^ As 
Ehrhard Bahr has argued so convincingly, "the same principles operative 
in Nazi racial politics also determined their cultural politics" (Bahr, Nazi 
Cultural Politics 5-6). Cinema would contribute to the unified political 
agenda of supporting all that was defined as German and eliminating all 
that posed a threat to the Utopian ideal of homogeneity. 

It is this formula for realism that dominated Nazi cinema and 
explains why the problem films under discussion failed to reach a mass 
audience in the Third Reich. Das Lehen kann so schori seiu and Der 
verzaiiberte Tag do not present positive role models and a rosy, optimistic 
world where everyone is satisfied with their fate. Despite their different 
approaches and styles, these films showcase people who are desperate 
for a better life. The female characters are ordinary young women with 
ordinary jobs, but they display a restlessness and determination seldom 
seen in German motion pictures of the 1930s and 1940s. Above all their 
quest for autonomy, economic independence, sexual pleasure, and spiritual 
comfort, define them and capture the spirit of the times. These women 
express desires that are most often left unspoken in the cinema because 
they contradict the notion of a nation gladly sacrificing individual 
fulfillment for the good of the whole. The male characters also deviate 
from the standard role models found in feature films of the Third Reich. 
Rarely did viewers encounter young men who had lost all faith in the 
future and were paralyzed with fear or who lashed out and became vicious 
criminals. These men and women struggle against the monotony, 
conformity, and violence of everyday life in Nazi Germany, a struggle 


that does not easily comply with the state's ideological agenda or the 
popular image of social hannony found in so many motion pictures. 

Conflicts in these films are not resolved by any structural changes 
in society but by the sudden conversion of a single man who comes to his 
senses in the nick of time. In the last minute, Hannes recognizes his own 
foolishness and vows to start anew, Gotz sees Christine as if for the first 
time and falls madly in love with her. The contrived narrative closure 
contradicted the basic project of the problem film: to expose those areas 
of a failed social contract that required a collective far-reaching solution. 
The very concept of a happy end was widely debated in the trade press 
and closely linked to the consumer-driven Hollywood film industry. 
Writing for Licht-Bild-Buhne in March 1939, Hans Joachim Neitzke 
summarized the dominant critical stance: 

The term originally comes from America where it 
developed in film production from a catch phrase for 
the cheap concession to public taste to a business 
principle. For the Gemian public it became a measure 
of worth that contained a specific meaning: '"happy end" 
at all costs, even if it demonstrates the absurdity in the 
inner logic of the film events: the optimism of "keep 
smiling," even if the theme is serious and tragic. [...] 
The Gemian has never cherished a preference for such 
optimism, which transfigures everything in a rosy light, 
and today he is less likely to cherish it than ever before. 
Not because he is inherently a pessimist, but rather 
because he is actually an optimist. But an optimist 
based on a heart that remains intact, an unbroken 
vitality. He looks things straight in the eye, not to 
make conciliatory compliments but to discuss them 
seriously. He acknowledges the ethical battle 
conditions of life. -"^ 

The critics wanted well-crafted stories and argued that a 
harmonious resolution had to evolve out of the circumstances rather than 
be tacked onto the end of the film. However, they seemed to agree with 
the propaganda ministry's censors that motion pictures should provide 
positive role models, so that viewers could develop further their innate 
steely optimism and triumph over the "ethical battle conditions of life." 
Das Lehen kann so schon sein and Der verzauberte Tag failed on both 
accounts. The happy endings attached to these films are so incongruous 
with the main plot that they actually call attention to unresolved problems. 


Moreover, these films display a deeply rooted pessimism and portray 
men and women who are all too human, weak, desperate, obsessed, and 

The problem films discussed here reveal compelling social 
fantasies that were deemed too unruly to explore in their current form. In 
essence, they delivered the honest assessment of contemporary society 
that the genre promised. In 1938 the sense of impending disaster was 
overshadowed by an equally pow erful belief that with sufficient economic 
resources the individual could protect himself and his family from the 
outside world. Das Leben katm so schon seiti shows just how compelling 
National Socialism's promises were to the ordinary' man. The dream of a 
good job, consumer goods, and a home, was the reward for conformity. 
In exchange for the ability to retreat inward, the ordinary citizen implicitly 
promised to retreat from political engagement. By 1944 the effects of 
world war had left their mark on the cinematic imagination. Der 
verzauherte Tag expresses the longing for a world beyond the here and 
now. a place w here one can enjoy independence, freedom, and romance. 
This Utopian fantasy is nearly devoid of any specific references to life in 
the bombed-out cities of war-torn Gennany. The reality of 1 944 seemed 
to hold so little promise that it could only be accommodated by an urban 
fairytale. Both films voice the ardent wish to retreat into a private sphere, 
and as contemporary problems impinged more and more on the lives of 
individuals, the social fantasies became less and less anchored in a specific 
reality. As German cities were bombed and its armies were retreating on 
all fronts, the cinema of the Third Reich encouraged viewers to conjure 
up their own private world. The concluding remarks in Die 
Feiierzaugeubowie {The Punch Bowl, 1944) encapsulate the successful 
formula for popular cinema and for survival as the National Socialist 
world crumbled: "Truth is only in the memories we carry with us. the 
dreams we spin, and the desires that drive us. Let us be content with 



' "Theater, Film, Literatur, Presse, Rundfunk, sie haben alle der Erhaltung 
der im Wesen unseres Volkstums lebenden Ewigkeitswerte zu dienen." 
Adolf Hitler, March 23, 1933, mono, Der deutsche Film 3.1 1 (May 1939): 

- "Der Film darf also nicht vor der Harte des Tages entweichen und sich 
in einem Traiimland verlieren, das nur in den Gehirnen 
wirklichkeitsfremder Regisseure und Manuskriptschreiber, sonst aber 
nirgendwo in der Welt liegt." Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, 
motto, Der deutsche Film 3.1 1 (May 1939): 305. 

' Goebbels instituted a system of pre-censorship requiring the approval 
of treatments and scripts before shooting and careful oversight during 
the shooting and editing to avoid censorship after the completion of a 
film. These efforts, combined with post-censorship of the final product, 
a vigilant advertising campaign, and an orchestrated critical response, 
insured that only around two dozen completed films were banned between 
1933 and 1945. For an overview of censorship, see Felix Moeller, Der 
Filmminister: Goebbels imd der Film im Dritten Reich (Berlin: Henschel, 
1 998); and Kraft Wetzel and Peter Hagemann, Zensur: Verbotene deutsche 
Filme 1933-1945 (Berlin: Volker Spiess, 1978). 

■* This essay is based on a lecture presented at "The Intersection of Politics 
and German Literature, 1750-2000" (May 17, 2003), a conference in 
honor of Professor Ehrhard Bahr. It is a revised version of my study on 
the problem film in Nazi Cinema as Enchantment: The Politics of 
Entertainment in the Third Reich forthcoming with Camden House. 

** Das Leben kann so schon sein, Censor-Card 501 15, Bundesarchiv- 
Filmarchiv, Berlin. These censor cards provide a description of each 
scene but not the dialogues. In a chart listing the premieres outside the 
capital of Berlin, Licht-Bild-Biihne notes that Das Leben kann so schon 
sein premiered in Vienna at the Opemkino on December 23, 1938, but it 
leaves a conspicuously empty space for the date of the Berlin premiere. 
See "Voranlauf in der Provinz: Erstes Halbjahr der Spielzeit 1 938/39," I/W?^ 
Bild-Biihne 24, 2Hian. 1939. In 1949 director RolfHansen and screenwriter 
Jochen Huth reconstructed the film, which premiered in Hamburg on 
February 9, 1 950 under the title Fine Fraufiirs Leben (A Wife for Life), but 
which has not been commercially released in video format. My analysis 
is based on the reconstructed version Fine Fraufiirs Leben available in 


videocassette at the Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin. All dialogues are 
taken from the original filmscript available at the Hochschule flir Film und 
Femsehen "Konrad Wolf Potsdam-Babelsberg library. See Jochen Huth, 
Ein Mensch wird geboren: Ein Film von Jochen Huth nach Motiven aus 
seiner Komodie des AUtags Ultimo! (Filmscript, Berlin, [c. 1938,] n. pag.). 

^"Es ist immer eineproblematische Angelegenheit, dem Publikum einen 
Film zu zeigen, in dem es in seinen eigenen Alltag zuruckgefuhrt wird. 
Und dann so deutlich und wirklichkeitsnah, wie wir es vorhaben. 
SchlieBlich wollen die Menschen abends im Kino abgelenkt werden und 
einige Illusionen vorfinden." "Ein Film iiber dich und mich: Ultimo 
[Das Lehen kann so schon sein],"" Filmspiegel 31, 9 Sept. 1938. "[D]er 
wahre Erfolg eines solchen Films, der das Leben nicht beschonigt oder 
romantisiert. um nicht zu sagen verkitscht, [kann] nur von seiner 
Wirklichkeitsnahe und seiner Wahrhaftigkeit abhangen." "Sprung von 
der Reichsautobahn nach Brasilien: Drei neue Filme - Mannfiir Mann, 
Gh'ick aiifRaten [Das Lehen kann so schon sein^. Kaufschiik." Filmweh 
41, 7 Oct. 1938. 

'' Eine Fran wie dii (1939, Tourjansky), for example, features a factory 
social worker (Brigitte Horney) who with a few encouraging words can 
help workers and their families resolve conflicts. For a brief discussion 
of working women in Gernian films after 1938. see Boguslaw Drewniak, 
Der deutsche Film 1938-1945: Ein Gesamtiiberblick {Dusseldorf: Droste, 

** The Law to Decrease Unemployment from June of 1933 introduced 
marriage loans as a way to raise the birth rate and fight against "double- 
earners," families with both spouses working. Loans were not paid out 
in cash but in vouchers for household goods and automatically repaid 
with the birth of four children. By 1936 when the country reached full 
employment, women were not required to quit their job to qualify for a 
marriage loan. See Jill Stephenson, Women in Nazi Germany (New York: 
Barnes & Noble, 1975) 84-89, 99-100; and Annemarie Troger, "The 
Creation of a Female Assembly-Line Proletariat," When Biology Became 
Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany, eds. Renate Bridenthal, 
Atina Grossmann, and Marion Kaplan (New York: Monthly Review Press, 

"About half of the workers in the Bavarian textile industry were women 
and consumer goods industries in general employed a high percentage of 
female labor. In a large clothing factor>' in Upper Bavaria, seamstresses 


enjoyed a good wage, earning on the average 20-26 RM a week. Ian 
Kershaw, Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: 
Bavaria 1933-1945 (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1983) 15-16, 92. See also 
Norbert Westennieder, "Deutsche Frauen und Mddchen!" Vom 
Alltagsleben 1933-1945 (Dusseldorf: Droste, 1990) 66, 70. 

'" Whereas by 1 936 married women were encouraged to seek employment, 
in 1938 all single women under the age of twenty-five were required to 
fulfill a year of service in the agricultural sector or as domestic help. 
This year of duty {Pflichtjahr), instituted for men as early as 1935 and 
women after 1938, was administered by the Reichsarbeitsdienst . 

" In 1938-39 the housing shortage in Augsburg was estimated at 20% 
with similar shortages in Munich and Nuremberg. Kershaw, Popular 
Opinion 99; and Westennieder, "Deutsche Frauen und Mddchen! " 63. 

'- See Peter Reichel, Derschone Schein des Dritten Reiches: Fascination 
und Gewalt des Faschismus (Munich: Hanser, 1 99 1 ) 309. For a discussion 
of the discrepancy between Nazi propaganda and the actual housing 
construction, see also Barbara Miller Lane, Architecture and Politics in 
Germany, 1918-1934 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1968) 205-12. 

" For a detailed examination of National Socialist policy on settlements 
as well as extensive photographs and tloorplans, see Ute Peltz-Dreckmann, 
Nationalsozialistischer Siedlungsbau: Versuch einer Analyse der die 
Siedlungspolitik bestimmenden Faktoren am Beispiel des 
Nationalsozialismus (Munich: Minerva, 1978). 

'■* See also Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippemiann, The Racial 
State 1933-1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991) 288; and David 
Schoenbaum, Die braune Revolution: Fine Sozialgeschichte des Dritten 
Reiches, trans. Tamara Schoenbaum-Holtemiann (Berlin: Ullstein, 1999) 

^- "Mobelbesichtigung und Mobelkauf - das sind Dinge, die im Leben 
aller Heiratslustigen eine groBe Rolle spielen! Der Film schildert in einer 
ganzen Reihe von Szenen die Plane von Hannes und Nora, die immer 
wieder gerade um diese Dinge kreisen. Unter Beriicksichtigung dieser 
Tatsache durfte man mit einer groBen Mobelfirma bestimmt eine 
wirkungsvoUe Gegenseitigkeits-Werbung vereinbaren und durchfiihren 
konnen." "Praktische Werbe-Vorschlage," Das Leben kann so schon 
sein, Advertising materials (Berlin: August Scherl Verlag, n. d.) 6, Das 


Leben kann so schon sein. Document File 9596, Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv 

'^ Ellen: "Mit euch Mannem zusammenleben, ich danke. Die ganzen 
Illusionen gehen einem zu Teufel." Hannes: "Wir Manner bestehen 
iiberhaupt nur aus euren Illusionen! Wenn Sie die brauchen, gehen Sie 
doch ins Kino." Huth. Ein Mensch wird geboren. 

'^ "KdF scheinl zu beweisen. daB die Losung der sozialen Fragen 
umgangen werden kann, wenn man dem Arbeiter statt mehr Lohn mehr 
'Ehre\ statt mehr Freizeit mehr "Freude'. statt bessere Arbeits- und 
Lebensbedingungen mehr kleinbiirgerliches Selbstgeflihl verschafft," qtd. 
in Ralf Wolz. "'Mobilmachung," Heimatjront: Kriegsalltag in Deutschland 
1939-1945. ed. Jurgen Engert (Berlin: Nicolai, 1999) 25. 

'* Der verzauberte Tog premiered in Zurich in 1947 and was shown in a 
limited nm in West Germany in 1951. It was also featured at the Berlin 
Film Festival retrospectives "Forbidden German Films. 1933-1945" 
(1978) and "The Director Peter Pewas," (1981), both organized by the 
Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek, and at the film series "Filmic 
Nonconformity in the Nazi State" (1997). organized by the Freunde der 
Deutschen Kinemathek in Berlin. My analysis is based on the 35-mm 
film print of Der verzauberte Tag available at Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, 

" Peter Pewas (pseudonym for Walter Schulz. 1904-1984): ''Der 
verzauberte Tag soil nicht zerstreuen. sondem sammeln und anregen. 
[. . .] [Es] soil hier ein Film gestaltet werden, der in gewisser Hinsicht 
einen neuen AufriB in der Szenerie und in der Fototechnik bringen wird. 
Vermieden werden soil - und das mochte ich vorweg betonen - 
gleisnerisches Gaukel- und Liebesspiel. Ich will gegen jegliche 
Verflachung energisch ansteuem. [. . .] Es gilt, die Handlung eines jungen 
Menschen aufzuzeigen. dereiner spieBbiirgerlichen Atmosphare entriickt 
werden muB." W. B., "Fine Rechnung, die nicht aufgeht: Dreck oder 
Gold, sagt Peter Pewas zu seinem ersten Film." Newspaper article, 1 943. 
Peter Pewas. Personal File, Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv. Berlin. 

'" "Fur den Kunstler ist die Frau das interessanteste Objekt. Sie ist wie 
die Natur, unergriindlich. unberechenbar und voller Geheimnisse." Gotz 
describes women further as "Spekulanten auf ein moglichst bequemes 
Leben" and himself as "ein begehrtes Objekt." Viewing himself as the 
object of desire is another forewarning that the established system of 


sexual desire is overturned, indicating potential disaster. Der verzauherte 
Tag film dialogue. 

-' "Sind Sie mal gemalt worden?" Der verzauherte Tag film dialogue. 

-- "Wenn du dich nachts hier auf der StraBe herumtreibst, dann wirst du 
wohl auch wissen, was man von dir will." Der verzauherte Tag film 

-' Christine: "Die Augen." Gotz: "Nicht sprechen. Ich war blind, aber 
jetzt sehen sie dich so wie du bist, so wie ich dich liebe." Der verzauherte 
Tag film dialogue. 

-^ "Menschen unserer Tage, mit unseren Freuden und Sorgen stehen vor 
uns. Und doch zeigl dieser Film Dinge, die wir im Alltag nicht sehen. 
Hier fallt gleichsam die Maske von den Gesichtern. Feinste seelische 
Regungen werden sichtbar und zwingen zum Miterleben dieses in seiner 
Alltaglichkeit so ergreifenden Schicksals." Giinther Dietrich, "Hinter 
der Wirklichkeit: Ein Film aus dem Alltag - kein alltaglicher Film," Der 
verzauherte Tag: Presse-Heft (Berlin; Inland-Pressedienst bei der 
deutschen Filmvertriebs-GmbH, n. d.) 7, Der verzauherte Tag, Document 
File 18397, Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin. 

-^ "Es ist schon und niitzlich, daB sich dieser Film mit einem Problem 
auseinandersetzt, dessen Vorkommen nicht damit abgestritten werden 
kann, daB es in der Welt des Alltags nicht sichtbar in Erscheinung trete. 
Und ebenso schon ist es, daB der junge Regisseur Peter Pewas, der mit 
dem 'Verzauberten Tag' seine erste groBe Arbeit vorlegen wird, dies 
Problem des gefahrlichen Wunschtraumes bis zur letzten Konsequenz 
entwickelt und die Losung auf natiirliche Weise durch die Macht des 
wirklichen Lebens herbeifiihrt." Hennann Hacker, "Der gefahrliche 
Wunschtraum: Zu dem Terra-Film Der verzauherte Tag,'" Der verzauherte 
Tag: Presse-Heft (Berlin: Inland-Pressedienst bei der deutschen 
Filmvertriebs-GmbH, n. d.) 11, Der verzauherte Tag, Document File 
18397, Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin. 

-'' "Es war nur die Machart, denn der Stotf war absolut genehmigt, war 
befiirwortet worden von oben. Ich hatte immer das Gefuhl, die Leute 
woUten seinerzeit, wo die ganzen Fronten ins Wanken geraten waren, 
keinen Einbruch an der Kulturfront. Sie wollten keine Formversuche, 
keine akustischen Versuche, sie wollten Handfestigkeit, da fiel auch das 
Wort Kulturbolschewismus." Interview with Peter Pewas on January 6, 


1978, qtd. in Wetzel Ze?isiir 40. 

-'' "Was wollen Sie im Film sehen: Probleme oder problemlose 
Unterhaltung, Schicksale aus dem wirklichen Alltag oder aus einer 
imwahrscheinlichen, alle Wiinsche erftillenden Welt; MiiBigganger in 
einem reichen Milieu oder arbeitende Menschen in einer Welt der Arbeit?" 
Hans Spielhofer, "Wunschtraum oder Wirklichkeit: Eine Belrachtung iiber 
Notwendigkeit and Problematik ihrer Abgrenzung," Der deutsche Film 
3.11 (May 1939): 317. Seealso Walter Panofsky, "Was will das Publikum 
auf der Leinwand sehen?" FUm-Kitrier 224, 24 Sept. 1 938; and Theodor 
Riegler, "Traumbild iind Wirklichkeit," Fihmvelt 6, 9 Feb. 1 940. For an 
excellent in-depth analysis ot the realism debates in the Nazi film industry, 
see Sabine Hake, Popular Cinema of the Third Reich (Austin: U of Texas 
P, 2001) 172-88. 

-^ "Die Wirklichkeit als Wunschtraum! - der Film soil das wirkliche Leben 
zeigen, aber in einer aufgelockerten Form." Heinz Riihmann, "Kurz und 
biindig," Der deutsche Fihn 3.1 1 (May 1939): 314. 

-" These anonymous viewer remarks were considered so significant that 
they were quoted twice in the same issue oi Der deutsche Fihn: "Der 
Film soil kein Abklatsch der Wirklichkeit sein, sondern den Alltag 
idealisieren. den Sinn der taglichen Arbeit aufzeigen. unsere Nachbarn 
und uns selbst zeigen in Augenblicken, in denen wir Allgemeingiiltigkeit 
haben und Typen werden. Starker akzentuieren also, als es die 
Wirklichkeit tut! Unsere Welt ganz klein zeigen und ganz groB, Heroismus 
und Brutalitat! Aber immer unsere Welt: wie sie ist, wie sie sein konnte." 
Spielhofer, "Wunschtraum oder Wirklichkeit" 319; and also Frank 
Maraun, "Das Ergebnis: Wirklichkeit bevorzugt! Eine Untersuchung iiber 
den 'Publikumsgeschmack',"!)^/'*:/^///^^/??^///;/ 3.1 1 (May 1939): 308. 

^" "[Ein Zuschauer] wiinscht sich als Helden mal einen braven Arbeiter, 
der durch tagliche schwere Arbeit sein bescheidenes Brot verdient, immer 
zufrieden ist und mit 75 Jahren mil 60 RM Invalidenrente davon 
weiterlebt, trotzdem dankbar ist, Gott oder dem Schicksal, dabei durchaus 
nicht einfaltig zu sein braucht, sondern ein Lebensphilosoph, der iiber 
Reichtum und Wohlleben erhaben ist und sich iiber das freut, was 
iibrigbleibt: Wald, Feld, Militar, Kunst, vielleicht auch sein Lachen." 
Spielhofer, "Wunschtraum oder Wirklichkeit," 318. 

" See especially Lukacs's essays " 'Tendency' or Partisanship?" and 
"Reportage or Portrayal?" first published in 1 932 in Linkskurve, and 


"Expressionism: its Significance and Decline," first published in 
Internationale Literatur in 1 934. Georg Lukacs, Essays on Realism, ed. 
Rodney Livingstone, trans. David Fembach (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 
1981) 33-44, 45-75, 76-113. See also Brecht's essays "Uber den 
formalistischen Charakter der Realismustheorie" and "Volkstiimlichkeit 
und Realismus," both written in 1938. Bertolt Brecht, Werke, V^ ed., 5 
vols. (Berlin: Auftiau, 1981)5: 156-65, 176-85. 

" Ehrhard Bahr examines Lukacs's admiration of Goethe as a pivotal 
component in the realism and expressionism debates, "Georg Lukacs's 
'Goetheanism'": Its Relevance for His Literary Theory," Georg Lukacs: 
Theory, Culture, and Politics, eds. Judith Marcus and Zoltan Tarr (New 
Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 1989) 89-96. Bahr also evaluates 
the role of German classicism in Nazi Germany, reviewing the careers of 
George Kolbe, Wilhelm Furtwangler, and Gustaf Griindgens. He 
concludes: "performing Goethe's Fa?/5/ or conducting Beethoven's Ninth 
Symphony were not acts of resistance, but played into the hands of the 
Nazis who wanted to preserve this fagade of cultural respectability." 
Ehrhard Bahr, "Nazi Classicism: The Last Chapter of The Tyranny of 
Greece over Germany,'' unpublished essay. 

^3 "Wer weltanschaulich nicht fest ist, konnte durch diesen Film zum 
Bolschewisten werden. Dies beweist, daB Tendenz sehr wohl in einem 
Kunstwerk enthalten sein kann, und auch die schlechteste Tendenz ist zu 
propagieren, wenn es eben mit den Mitteln eines hervorragenden 
Kunstwerkes geschieht." Joseph Goebbels, speech in the Kaiserhof from 
March 28, 1933. Qtd. in Gerd Albrecht, Nationalsozialistische 
Filmpolitik: Eine soziologische Untersuchimg ilber die Spieljilme des 
Dritten Reiches (Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke, 1969) 439. 

'^ "Ich wiinsche nicht etwa eine Kunst, die ihren nationalsozialistischen 
Charakter lediglich durch Zurschaustellung nationalsozialistischer 
Embleme und Symbole beweist, sondem eine Kunst, die ihre Haltung 
durch nationalsozialistischen Charakter und durch Aufraffen 
nationalsozialistischer Probleme zum Ausdruck bringt. [. . .] In dem 
Augenblick, da eine Propaganda bewuBt wird, ist sie unwirksam. Mit 
dem Augenblick aber, in dem sie als Propaganda, als Tendenz, als 
Charakter, als Haltung im Hintergrund bleibt und nur durch Handlung, 
durch Ablauf, durch Vorgange, durch Kontrastierung von Menschen in 
Erscheinung tritt, wird sie in jeder Hinsicht wirksam." Joseph Goebbels, 
speech on the first anniversary of the Reich Film Chamber from March 
5, 1937, (Albrecht 456). 


^^ "[Der zeitnahe Film] erfiillt damit eine hohe Sendung: unser Volk zii 
stahlen [. . .] Der Film lauft nicht mehr am Leben vorbei, zaubert keine 
falschen Wunschtraume hervor, bedient sich nicht einer Wunderlampe 
der falschen Illusion. Hart und unerbittlich wie die Gegenwart, 
kampferisch und kraftvoll wie der Mut und Sinn unseres Volkes, so richtet 
der deutsche Film in seinem Erfassen aller lebensnahen und zeitnahen 
Fragen den Blick auf die Zukunft, auf den Sieg und die Vernichtung des 
Gegners." Hemiann Wanderscheck, "Der Film erobert die Gegenwart: 
Zeitnahe deutsche Spielfilme in Front," Filmwelt 22, 30 May 1 94 1 . 

''' "Aus Amerika iibemommen, wo er einst durch die Filmproduktion vom 
Schlagwort fiir die billige Konzession an dem 'Publikumsgeschmack'zum 
Geschaftsprinzip avancierte, wurde er beim deutschen Publikum zu einem 
Wertmesser, der eine bestimmte Bedeutung enthielt: 'gliickliches Ende' 
um jeden Preis, mochte es auch die innere Logik der Filmereignisse ad 
absurdum flihren: Optimismus des 'keep smiling', mochte die Thematik 
noch so emst und tragisch sein. Der deutsche Mensch hat fiir einen 
solchen, alle Dinge rosarot verklarende Optimismus noch niemals eine 
Vorliebe gehegt, und er hegt sie heute weniger denn je. Nicht weil er im 
Gmndzug ein Pessimist ware, sondem weil er selbst - Optimist ist. Optimist 
aber aus heil gebliebenem Herzen, aus ungebrochener Lebenskraft. Er 
blickt den Dingen ins Auge, nicht um ihnen konziliante Komplimente zu 
machen, sondem um sich emsthaft mit ihnen auseinanderzusetzen. Er 
erkennt die ethischen Kampfhedingimgen des Lebeus an."' Hans Joachim 
Neitzke, "Riickzug vor der Entscheidung: Happy end - ja oder nein?" 
Licht-BiJd-Bi'ihne 65, 17 Mar. 1939, emphasis in original. For further 
contemporaneous articles on the problem film and the happy end, see 
L.E.D. "Gibt der Film ein falsches Weltbild?" Licht-Bild-Biilme Beilage 
zur Nr. 25/26, 29 Jan. 1 938); "Problem-Filme? Ja!" Licht-Bild-Biilme 24, 29 
Jan. 1940; Walter Panofsky, "Die Sache mit dem happy end: Historische 
Beispiele zu einem oftdiskutierten Thema," FZ/w-A^i/r/er 108, 11 May 1942; 
and "Ein Grundproblem der Filmgestaltung: Uber den hannonischen 
AusklangeinesFilms,"F/7w-A^;//7t'/'9, 12 Jan. 1943. 

^^ "Wahr sind nur die Erinnerungen, die wir mit uns tragen. die Traume, 
die wir spinnen und die Sehnsuchte, die uns treiben. Damit woUen wir 
uns bescheiden." Die Feuerzangenbowle (1944, Helmut Weifi) film 


Works Cited 

Albrecht, Gerd. Nationalsozialistische Filmpolitik: Eine soziologische 
Untersiichimg iiber die Spielfilme des Dritten Reiches. Stuttgart: 
Ferdinand Enke, 1 969. 

Bahr, Ehrhard. "Georg Lukacs's 'Goetheanism'": Its Relevance for His 
Literary Theory." GeorgLnkdcs: Theory, Culture, and Politics. 
Eds. Judith Marcus and Zoltan Tarr. New Brunswick: Transaction, 

— . "Nazi Classicism: The Last Chapter of The Tyranny of Greece over 
Germany.'" Unpublished essay. 

— . "Nazi Cultural Politics: Intentionalism vs. Functionalism." A^^/Zowcr/ 
Socialist Cultural Policy. Ed. Glenn R. Cuomo. New York: St. 
Martin's, 1995. 

Bahr, Ehrhard and Ruth Goldschmidt Kunzer. GeorgLukdcs. New York: 
Frederick Ungar, 1972. 

Barkai, Avraham . Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theoiy, and Policy Trans. 
Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. New Haven: Yale, 1 990. 

Brecht, Bertolt. "Ober den formalistischen Charakter der 
Realismustheorie." lVerke,3"^Ed.5Vo\s. Berlin: Aufbau, 1981. 5: 

— . "Volkstiimlichkeit und Realismus." Werke, 3"' Ed. 5 Vols. Berlin: Aufbau, 

Burleigh, Michael and Wolfgang Wippermann. The Racial State 1933- 
1945. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. 

Das Leben kann so schon sein. Document File 9596. Bundesarchiv- 
Fihnarchiv Berlin. 

Der verzauberte Tag. Document File 18397. Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, 

Dietrich, Gunther. "Hinter der Wirklichkeit: Ein Film aus dem Alltag - kein 

alltaglicher Film." Der verzanberte Tag: Presse-Heft. Berlin; 
Inland-Pressedienst bei der deutschen Filmvertriebs-GmbH, n. 

d. 7. 

Doane, Mary Ann. "Film and the Masquerade: Theorizing the Female 
Spectator." Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Ed. Patricia Erens. 
Bloomington: Indiana, 1990. 

Drewniak, Boguslaw. Der deutsche Film 1938-1945: Ein 
Gesamtiiberblick. Diisseldorf: Droste, 1987. 

"Ein Film iiber dich und mich: Ultimo [Das Leben kanu so schon sein],"' 
Filmspiegel 31,9 Sept 1938. 

Elsaesser, Thomas and Michael Wedel, Eds. The BFI Companion to 
German Cinema. London: British Film Institute, 1999. 

Hacker, Hermann. "Der gefahrliche Wunschtraum: Zu dem Terra-Film Der 
verzauberte Tag."" Der verzauberte Tag: Presse-Heft. Berlin: 
Inland-Pressedienst bei der deutschen Filmvertriebs-GmbH, n. 
d. 11. 

Hake, Sabine. Popular Cinema of the Third Reich. Austin: U of Texas, 

Huth. Jochen. Ein Mensch wird geboren: Ein Film von Jochen Hiith 
nach Motiven aus seiner Komodie des Alltags Ultimo! Filmscript, 
Berlin, c. 1938. 

Kershaw, Ian. Popular Opinion and Political Dissent in the Third Reich: 
Bavaria 1933-1945. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1983. 

Lane, Barbara Miller. Architecture and Politics in Germany, J 91 8-] 934. 
Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1968. 

L.E.D. "Gibt der Film ein falsches Weltbild?" Licht-Bild-Biihne. Beilage 
zurNr. 25/26. 29 Jan. 1938. 

Lukacs, Georg. Essays on Realism. Ed. Rodney Livingstone. Trans. 
David Fembach. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1981 . 


— . " 'Tendency' or Partisanship?" Essays on Realism. Ed. Rodney 
Livingstone. Trans. David Fembach. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 

Maraun, Frank. "Das Ergebnis: Wirklichkeit bevorzugt! Eine 
UntersLichung iiber den Publikumsgeschmack." Der deutsche 

Film 3.\\. May \939. 

Moeller, Felix. Der Filmminister: Goebheh iind der Film im Dritten 
Reich. Berlin: Henschel, 1998. 

Mulvey, Laura. Visual and Other Pleasures. Bloomington: Indiana, 1989. 

Neitzke, Hans Joachim. "Riickzug vor der Entscheidung: Happy end - ja 
odernein?" Licht-Bild-Biihne 65. 17 Mar. 1939. 

Panofsky, Walter. "Ein Grundproblem der Filmgestaltung: Ober den 
harmonischen Ausklang eines Films." Film-Kiirier 9. 12 Jan. 

— . "Die Sache mit dem happy end: Historische Beispiele zu einem 
oftdiskutiertenThema."F/7m-A^2//7e'/- 108, 11 May 1942. 

— . "Was will das Publikum auf der Leinwand sehen?" Film-Kurier 224. 
24 Sept. 1938. 

Peltz-Dreckmann, Ute. Nationalsozialistischer Siedlungsbaii: Versiich 
einer Analyse der die Siedlungspolitik bestimmenden Faktoren 
am Beispiel des Nationalsozialismiis. Munich: Minerva, 1978. 

Peukert, Detlev J. K. Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and 
Racism in Eveiyday Life. Trans. Richard Deveson. New Haven: 
Yale, 1987. 

"Praktische Werbe-Vorschlage." Das Leben kann so schon sein. 
Advertising materials. Berlin: August Scherl, n. d. 6. 

Reichel. Peter. Derschone Schein des Dritten Reiches: Faszination iind 
Gewalt des Faschismiis. Munich: Hanser, 1991. 

Riegler, Theodor. "Traumbild und Wirklichkeit." F/7/;7Uf// 6. 9 Feb. 1940. 

Riihmann, Heinz. ^'Kurzundhundig.'^ Der deutsche Film 3.1 1 . May 1939: 


Schafer, Hans Dieter. Das gespaltene Bewufitsein: Deutsche Kiiltiir iiiid 
Lebenswirklichkeif. 3rd ed. Munich: Hanser, 1983. 

Schoenbaum, Da\ id. Die braune Revolution: Eine Sozialgeschichte des 
Dritten Reiches. Trans. Tamara Schoenbaum-Holtermann. 
Berlin: Ullstein, 1999. 

Spielhofer, Hans. "Wunschtraum oder Wirklichkeit: Eine Betrachtung liber 
Notwendigkeit und Probleniatik ihrer Abgrenzung." Der deutsche 
Film3.\\. May 1939. 

"Spmng von der Reichsautobahn nach Brasilien: Drei neue Filme - Mann 
fur Mann, Gliick auf Raten [Das Leben kann so schon sein], 
Kautschukr Fihmvelt 41.7 Oct. 1 938. 

Stephenson. Jill. Women in Nazi Germany. New York: Barnes & Noble, 

Troger, Annemarie. "The Creation of a Female Assembly-Line Proletariat." 
When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi 
Germany. Eds. Renate Bridenthal. Atina Grossmann, and Marion 
Kaplan. New York: Monthly Review Press. 1984. 

"VoranlaufinderProvinz: Erstes Halbjahrder Spielzeit 1 938/39." I/W/r- 
Bild-Biihne 24, 28 Jan. 1 939. 

Wanderdcheck, Hermann. "Der Film erobert die Gegenwart: Zeitnahe 
deutsche Spielfilme in Front." Filmwelt 22. 30 May 1941. 

Westennieder, Norbert. "Deutsche Frauen und Mddchen! " Vom 
Alltagsleben 1933-1945. Dusseldorf: Droste, 1990. 

Wetzel, Kraft and Peter Hagemann. Zensur: Verbotene deutsche Filme 
1933-1945. Berlin: Volker Spiess, 1978. 

Wolz, Ralf "Mobilmachung." Heimatfront: Kriegsalltag in Deutschland 
1939-1945. Ed. Jurgen Engert. Berlin: Nicolai, 1999. 


Goethe as a Catalyst 

for Germanistik at Harvard, 1825-1945 

Michael P. Olson, Harvard University 

Harvard, as much as any other American university, was the starting 
point for Germanistik. This was not predetennined, however. In fact, early 
on, Germanistik at Harvard resembled the meals served to the College's 
students. If we look at the situation at Harvard approximately 250 years ago, 
Germanistik in New England, like the phrase student food, was rather a 
contradiction in tenns. Students could neither study Gentian systematically 
250 years ago, nor could they enjoy what was meant to be food. As one 
unfortunate student said: 

The Provisions were badly cooked ... the Soups were 
dreadflil we frequently had Puddings made of flower and 
Water and boiled them so hard as not to bee eatable we 
frequently threw them out and kicked them about. 
(Morison, Three Centinies 1 1 7) 

Some forty years later, in 1 788, further displeasure was reported at the breakfast 
hall: "Bisket, tea cups, saucers, and a KNIFE thrown at the tutors" ( 1 75). 

Who knows today whether bad meals drove the Harvard students 
to such mischief or, on the other hand, the relative lack of Lernfreiheitl 
Whatever the reason, by the middle of the 1 9"' century dining at Hai^vard had 
obviously improved the students' spirits. For example, the annual supper for 
the class of 1 860 featured Bremen goose and Bremen ducks (Morisoa Three 
Centuries 318). Was it just a coincidence that Gemianistikal Harvard gained 
in prominence during the same period? 

Goethe's interest in Harvard launched the discipline of Germanistik 
in North America. Conditions 200 years ago were right for the transfer of 
Gemian models and influences to American education. John Quincy Adams 
was not only a Harvard alumnus and the sixth American president, but 
America's first ambassador to Prussia (Harding). From 1806 to 1813 the 
Continental Blockade made it difficult for books and letters from England to 
reach Gemiany. The defeat of Napoleon and the lifting of the Continental 


Blockade coincided with Madame de Stael's De I'Allemagne published in 
1813. Overseas travehng became safe and was prized by a number of American 

Before the Gottingen Seven — the seven professors who. in 1 837, 
were dismissed from the University of Gottingen for protesting the abrogation 
of the constitution of Hannover — Harvard had its own Gottingen Four: 
Edward Everett (class of 1 8 1 1 ), George Ticknor, Joseph G Cogswell (class 
of 1806) and George Bancroft (class of 1817). These men went abroad to 
study at Gottingen. then the site of one of Europe's finest universities. Their 
travels precipitated a gift to Harvard that, more than any other, jump-started 
the study of Gennan in New England. 

The Harvard-Goethe connection began when Goethe's friend 
George Sartorius introduced in a letter "a couple of North Americans, 
Mr. Ticknor and Professor Everett." The two Harvard men spoke "passable 
Gennan" and knew Goethe's writings "better than many Germans" (Mackall 
4). Goethe had had only one caller from America before, Aaron Burr, in 
1810. The novelty of visiting North Americans was evidently apparent to 
Ticknor and Everett during their meeting with Goethe on October 25, 
1816: "We were taken in as a kind of raree-show, I suppose, and we are 
considered ... with much the same curiosity that a tame monkey or a 
dancing bear would be. We come from such an immense distance that it is 
supposed we can hardly be civilized" (Long, Literary Pioneers 11). Everett 
was the newly appointed professor of Greek at Harvard. His impressions 
of Goethe were hardly charitable: "[Goethe was] very stiff and cold, not 
to say gauche and awkward. His head was grey, some of his front teeth 
gone, and his eyes watery with age." Goethe also "talked low and 
anxiously" and "with no interest, on anything" (Long, Litermy Pioneers 
69). Ticknor, soon to be appointed Harvard's first professor of French 
and Spanish, too was disappointed, seeing little "of the lover of Margaret 
and Charlotte, and still less of the author of Tasso, Werther, and Faiisr 
(Long, Literary Pioneers 28). While still in Gottingen, Everett — who would 
later become president of Harvard College — published a long review of 
Goethe's Dichtung iind Wahrheit. The review was the first significant 
contribution to Goethe scholarship in an American joumal (NAR 1121 7-62). 
The same joumal later featured Bancroft's review of the Cotta edition (NAR 

Everett introduced to Goethe Joseph Cogswell, who met Goethe 
on March 27, 1817. If Goethe was a catalyst for Harvard. Cogswell was 
a catalyst for Goethe to think about Harvard. Cogswell saw in Goethe "a 
grand and graceful form, worthy of a knight of the days of chivalry ... a 
real gentlemen ... in every respect agreeable and polite" (Long, Literaty 
Pioneers 80-8 1 ). Cogswell and Goethe met not in Weimar but in Jena at 


the Mineralogical Society, of which Goethe was president. They hit it off 
immediately. In the spring of 1 8 1 9, Cogswell spent an evening with Goethe 
in Weimar. Goethe was "in tine spirits and as familiar and playful with 
me, as if 1 had been the friend of his youth" (Long, Literaiy Pioneers 88). 
In July 1818, surely knowing of Everett's earlier attempt to acquire books 
from Goethe for the Harvard library, Cogswell wrote to Goethe, repeating 
the request for books. Goethe donated 39 of his own works, including the 
20-volume Cotta edition of 1 8 1 5- 1 9 to the Harvard library. His accompanying 
letter, likely translated by Cogswell, states: "The above poetical & scientific 
works are presented to the library of the University of Cambridge in N. 
England, as a mark of deep Interest in its high literary Character, & in the 
successful Zeal it has displayed thro' so long a Course of Years for the 
promotion of solid & elegant education. With the high regards of the 
Author, J. W.V.Goethe. Weimar Aug. 11. 1819" (Mackall 17). In return. 
Harvard's president wrote a fomial letter of thanks to the "celebrated writer," 
who possessed "so elevated a rank among the men of genius & literature in 
Europe" (Walsh 52). The bookplate reads: "The Gift of the Author, John 
W. von Goethe, of Gemiany, Dec. 8, 1819," while the Library catalog of 
1830 lists the books as the gift of "the celebrated Goethe of Germany." 
Goethe's books circulated. George Bancroft, who had also made the 
pilgrimage to Weimar and studied at Gottingen, must have used the Cotta 
edition while an instmctor at Harvard in 1822-23. Other borrowers included 
Charies (Kari) Pollen and Frederic Hedge ( A.B. 1 825, graduate of Harvard 
Divinity School 1828). 

German was not taught formally in New England until 1 825, when 
Harvard appointed Pollen instmctor of German. One student' described 
Pollen's first class at Harvard: "There were no Gennan books in the 
bookstore... r/je German Reader for Beginners, compiled by our teacher, 
was furnished to the class in single sheets as it was needed, and was 
printed in Roman type, there being no German type in easy reach. There 
could not have been a happier introduction to German literature..." 
(Hansen 38). By 1828, Pollen had 28 students in German. His handouts 
promoted his favorite authors, who he felt were appropriate for American 
students interested in political and social reform. His selections changed 
the taste of many New Englanders interested in German writers. Pollen 
favored Schiller's political engagement as superior to Goethe's 
philosophical abstraction. Still, Pollen included Goethe in his lectures and 
readings. Pollen's legacies remain the first German reader and the first Gennan 
grammar published in the United States.- 

The first Goethe course given at Harvard was a series of lectures on 
Part 1 of Faust, delivered in 1837 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 
Longfellow noted in his journal dated June 3, 1 835, just prior to teaching 


at Harvard, his question to Carlyle's wife in London: "I asked [Carlyle's] 
wife if he considered Gothe the greatest man that ever lived. 'Oh yes, I 
believe he does indeed. He thinks him the greatest man that ever lived, 
excepting Jesus Christ'," (Long, Goethe and Longfellow 149). A student- 
commented on Longfellow's first Faust lecture, which included a long 
introduction, "very flowery and bombastical indeed," but the "regular 
translation and explanation part of the lecture was very good" (Long, 
Goethe and Longfellow 158). Faust, Part 1, according to Longfellow, 
was not written for "weak and sickly minds, but for healthy, manly, and 
strong minds." This quote is especially interesting for its ideation of manliness, 
which would become a controversial issue at Harxard in the first years of the 
20* century (more below). Longfellow considered Part 2 oi Faust "every 
way inferior to the first. Notwithstanding the author's own opinions, you see 
the wrinkled hand of age upon it. The continuous power and glowing 
imagination of early manhood are no longer there" (Long, Goethe and 
Longfellow 165). Longfellow's Faust courses were popular, as reflected in 
the Har\ ard president's letter to Longfellow of March 1. 1 844: "Many, if not 
all [of the juniors] w ish to attend your lectures on Faust" (Walsh 53). 

With the influence of Carlyle's essays and the work of Longfellow 
and others, especially the contributors to the New England periodical 
Dial in the early 1 840s, Goethe became the central figure in German letters 
among informed New Englanders. German culture was featured prominently 
in the leading cultural journal of New England, the Boston Transcript, 
from 1830 to 1880 (von Klenze 1-25). In 1838, Harvard's own Emerson 
joked that "it produced some confusion when Leibnitz, Spinoza, Kant, 
Goethe. Herder. Schleiennacher and Jean Paul came sailing all at once into 
Boston harbor and discharged their freight" (Walz. German Influence 
59)." One of Goethe's enthusiastic admirers was Frederick Henry Hedge, 
about v\ hom more below. Margaret Fuller was an unofficial member of the 
class of 1829. She knew Hedge as a student, as well as her mentors 
Everett, Ticknor, FoUen and the German instructor Beck. Fuller's 4 1 -page 
essay on Goethe in Dial ( 1 84 1 ) used Goethe's female characters to shed 
light on the role of \\ omen in society. Fuller then followed many of these 
thoughts, especially that of Goethe's das ewig Weibliche, in her Woman 
in the Nineteenth Centuiy ( 1 844) (Slochower 1 30-44; Schultz 1 69-82). 

Goethe had taily served as a catalyst for a fomial Gennan studies 
program at Harvard. In an address in 1831 Follen had noted: "There are 
Gennan books and teachers in every place of importance in this country. In 
Boston, particularly, where, 1 am assured, about fifty years ago, not a Gennan 
grammar or dictionary was to be found, there are now a number of persons 
who speak, and a large number who read, and enter into the sense of the 
Gennan spirit. Many Gennan authors have already found a place in private 


libraries" (Follen 146). By 1 850 several professors taught Gennan at Harvard 
(although none full-time), and by the 1860s the study of German was 
mandatory for all sophomores. Frederic Hedge spoke at Harvard's 
Commencement in 1 866, calling on the graduates to use their new power 
to make Harvard first "among the universities, properly so called, of 
modem times" (Morison, Three Centuries 309). Hedge was speaking 
about the founding of graduate schools. Adopting the German-style 
seminar fonnat of Johns Hopkins University, Harvard's Department of 
Germanic Languages and Literatures established its own graduate program 
in the 1870s, and in 1880 the first Ph.D. in German was conferred. 

By 1 900, Harvard had developed from a college into a university. 
Its social elite became a cognitive elite, which fostered an intellectual 
meritocracy. Harvard was not only increasingly the locus oi Germanistik; 
it was drawing students and faculty whom Harvard alumnus David 
Halberstam would later call, in another context, the best and the brightest. 
The number of Gennan courses had increased to 30 by 1895, with a 
combined enrollment of 750 (Goldman 2). The increased interest in Gennan 
studies at Harvard was in keeping with the general growth of the discipline 
in the U.S. in the first quarter of the 20"' century. During this time 
Gerwanistik was, as Henry Schmidt carefully noted, "an apparently 
healthy, self-confident profession" (204) — the operative word being 
apparently. Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of high school students took 
German in 1 9 1 5, as opposed to nine percent who learned French and two 
percent Spanish (Schmidt 204). So in the usual manner of quantifying 
growth in numbers and assessing quality of education. Harvard's 
Department of Gennanic Languages and Literatures was unquestionably 
flourishing. The Department was bolstered by several factors: its 
personnel, innovative pedagogical models, and resources such as the 
Germanic Museum and the Harvard Library's growing Germanic 

All seemed well for German studies at Harvard. Harvard's 
professors influenced American Germanistik in the first half of 20"' century 
like no others.'' An obituary in the Germanic Review maintained that 
Hans Carl Giinther von Jagemann, president of MLA in 1 899 and a noted 
German professor at Harvard, trained "hundreds of men now holding 
academic positions all over the country" (Howard 279; Roedder 6-8) while 
Kuno Francke's career "was, in many respects, unparalleled in the history 
of our profession" (Burkhard 157; Fife 107-08). However, issues involving 
Gennany at Harvard had already undergone some ambivalence in the 
years leading up to 1914. In retrospect, it is not surprising that several 
issues exploded into controversy in Harvard Yard when the U.S. entered 
into the two world wars. 


Harvard's professors and administrators did not have it easy 
when the United States engaged Germany in two world wars. Harvard's 
professors and students in the Department of Germanic Languages and 
Literatures, like others at Harvard concerned with Germany, uneasily 
walked at least four tightropes: first, external and transnational (Germany 
"vs." the U.S.); second, internal and campus-wide (how to be a "man" at 
Harvard); third, practical (how to Americanize, in a period requiring great 
delicacy, the study of an intrinsically non-American culture); and fourth, 
professional — that is, how the Department led American Germanistik by 
providing scholarship and innovative pedagogical models. Each is worthy 
of discussion below, not least because each traces back to Goethe. 

In the quarter-century prior to 1914, the study of literature at 
Harvard, though beginning to flourish, had to withstand certain tests of 
what could only be termed "Harvard manhood." Proponents of this 
concept included Theodore Roosevelt, 26* president of the U.S. and class 
of 1880, who said of Henry James: 

Thus it is for the undersized man of letters, who flees 
his country because he, with his delicate, effeminate 
sensitiveness, finds the conditions of life on this side of 
the water crude and raw; in other words, because he 
cannot play a man's part among men, and so goes where 
he will be sheltered from the winds that harden stouter 
souls. (Rosenbaum 49) 

The Governor of Massachusetts, Curtis Guild, class of 1881, stated at 
Harvard's commencement in 1908: 

Whatever patriotism of American manhood comes to 
the fore. Harvard memory. Harvard ideals, instinctively 
rise, because Harvard is not merely Massachusetts, 
Harvard is not merely New England, Harvard is the 
ideal of America. (Townsend 9,16)^ 

Each Harvard professor — at that time there were no female professors — 
faced the pressure of measuring up to Harvard "manhood," which was so 
important at Harvard at that time. 

Students, too, felt the pressure to fiit into the mold of "Harvard 
men," who were more than likely to be relatively wealthy and to have a 
name that one would not think of as "foreign." The study of foreign cultures 
and civilizations was all well and good, yet the discipline of literature, and 
hence Gennanistik, underwent special scrutiny. One French professor at 


Harvard, Irving Babbitt, class of 1 889, opposed the elective system because 
students, while choosing to take classes leading to lucrative careers after 
graduation, were being encouraged to get on with the business of living 
and earning too quickly. Babbitt also pointed to a dichotomization of 
courses based on the stereotypes of men. In an age that honored the 
athlete on the field and the specialist (not the general humanist) in the 
classroom. Babbitt feared that young men would favor courses in the 
hard sciences and be ashamed to take literature seriously: The literature 
courses, indeed, are known in some of these institutions as "sissy" courses. 
The man who took literature too seriously would be suspected of 
effeminacy. The really virile thing is to be an electrical engineer. Babbitt 
could already envisage "the time when the typical teacher of literature 
will be some young dilettante who will interpret Keats and Shelley to a 
class of girls" (Townsend 24). 

Another Harvard professor. Hugo Miinsterberg, contrasted 
masculine, productive scholars with their more passive, or feminine, 
colleagues who merely "distributed the findings of others" (Townsend 
127-29). Munsterberg's descriptions of his future Harvard colleague 
George Santayana — "a strong and healthy man" and "a good, gay, fresh 
companion" (Townsend 146) — were mutually consistent then, however 
rich the ironies may be today (Munsterberg neither knew that "gay" would 
later mean "homosexual" nor knew that Santayana was homosexual). 

Amid these sentiments Harvard's Germanists already had two 
strikes against them: they propagated a field of study which was said to 
be effeminate (not manly) and foreign (not American). They faced not 
only an internal resistance to the study of German literature. In addition, 
important administrators at Harvard questioned and undervalued the 
research and methodologies implemented at Gernian universities, no 
matter what the discipline. Few administrators were closer to Harvard 
during this time than LeBaron Briggs, class of 1 875. Briggs taught English 
at Harvard for several decades, and was dean of the College from 1891 
to 1902 and president of Radcliffe College. Briggs had gone to Germany 
upon graduation from Harvard more because that was the thing to do 
than from any desire to study there. Returning to Harvard, Briggs said of 
the Gemians: "Of all scholarship theirs is the easiest to attain." According 
to Briggs, the teacher's first business was to teach — writing was a 
secondary affair (To wsend 136). Contemporaiy Harvard, it was implied — 
the Harvard of 1910 — was a university which would look less frequently 
to Europe for models; its own elite would provide them. 

This, then, was the general situation of the Harvard community 
at the outbreak of World War I — individual and collective ambiguity, 
confusion, and conflict on one hand, a sense of endless possibility and 

inevitable success on the other. The rhetoric of "the Harvard man" 
resLirged between 1914 and 1918. Harvard's Germanists received many 
mixed signals. What were they to think during the First World War (and 
indeed until 1945)? The Harvard administration betrayed double standards 
and inconsistencies, notably in its official and unofficial stance toward 
academic freedom and anti-Semitism. The "wait and w eigh" Harvard, as it 
was known, was a University that quite consciously chose not to take an 
official position on potentially divisive issues, or chose to be slower than 
its peers to do so. In the initial stages of World War I, Han. ard's w illingness 
to continue to embrace the classical works of German literature, coupled 
with its initial unwillingness to voice a standpoint relating to the First 
World War, was condemned on campus as pro-Gennan. 

Serving as a litmus test for the University was Kuno Francke. 
who came to Harvard in 1 884 as an instructor of German and later became 
Professor of the History of German Culture and Curator of the Germanic 
Museum. Francke's resume had been impeccable prior to the outbreak of 
the First World War: he contributed to the Moniimenta Germcmiae 
Historica (beginning in 1882); became an American citizen in 1891; 
authored Social Foixes in German Literature, later retitled A History of 
German Literature as Determined t>y Social Forces ( 1 896). w hich enjoyed 
12 printings; was editor-in-chief of Gerwow Classics of the XIX. and XX. 
Centuries (1912 ff); and. something which is never frowned upon at 
Harvard, he was an accomplished fund-raiser. The St. Louis brewer 
Adolphus Busch introduced Francke to his friends thusly: "Here is the 
professor. Every time he comes to see me. he wants a hundred thousand 
dollars. But I like him all the same" (Francke. Deutsche Arbeit 55). 

The Germanic Museum, founded in 1903 and to which Busch 
donated generously, is Francke's lasting monument. By 1897, Francke 
had persuaded his departmental colleagues to support the idea of a 
Germanic Museum. At that time, as Francke later wrote in his 
autobiography. New Englanders did not recognize e\ en the most major 
works of German literature, let alone German art. And German politics 
was more or less suspicious (Francke, Deutsche Arbeit 41).** Francke 
would appear to be disingenuous here, a common feature among people 
reaching to justify their requests by claiming a legitimate need (in Francke's 
case, locating major donors for the would-be Museum). In fact, as we 
have seen. German culture had not been unknown in New England. To 
his credit, however, Francke made his remark not in 1897 but in 1930. 
when his career was almost over and he had no reason to state anything 
other than what he saw as the real state of affairs. And he correctly 
differentiated the general public's relative ignorance of German culture 
with a few intellectuals' deep knowledge thereof Whether the public's 


ignorance was the fault of the academy or the public was not clear; but in 
a case of deja vu, Henry Hatfield, who succeeded Francke as a professor 
of Gernian at Harvard, wrote in 1948 that Gemianists in the U.S. had 
"failed, broadly speaking, to establish contact with the cultivated public" 

Francke's professional and personal mission was to bring 
German culture to Harvard students and Americans. His letter to the 
New York Times dated February 3, 1915 today reads like a manifesto: 

We have every opportunity in this country to make felt 
what is best in German character and life. Let us 
continue to do so; let us continue to have a prominent 
part in all endeavors for political, civic and industrial 
progress; let us stand for the Gennan ideals of honesty, 
loyalty, truthfulness, devotion to work; let us cultivate 
our language, our literature, and our art; let us fearlessly 
defend the cause of our mother country against 
prejudices and aspersions. 

Francke's desires, when the U.S. was not at war or in potential conflict 
with Germany, were agreeable to the Harvard community and many 
Americans. But Francke was criticized when he appeared to waffle in his 
support for the American cause. Germans living in America who 
encouraged each other to "defend the cause of our mother country," as 
Francke did in this letter to the New York Times, did not receive 
unequivocal sympathy during wartime. Moreover, Francke published pro- 
Gennan inspirational poetry in trade journals such as Monatshefte and 
leading general newspapers.'' Such poetry was disruptive, isolating 
Francke from longtime friends and neighbors (Francke, Deutsche Arbeit 

Francke embraced the American educational system and 
Harvard's academic freedom. He disagreed with an article in the Vossische 
Zeitimg\^h\ch criticized Harvard's treatment of Gennans (Meyer). Francke 
countered by saying that his achievements at Harvard had been fully 
supported by the administration, as had those of other Harvard professors 
with ties to Gemiany. Harvard, according to Francke, did not lead the way 
in promoting anti-German sentiment — quite the contrary. In fact, Germans 
at Harvard were made to feel as welcome as those of other nationalities 
(Francke, Deiitschamerikaner). 

Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell felt that it was more 
important to retain the principle of academic freedom than to dismiss 
controversial professors or accept their resignations. In a famous speech 


on academic freedom, Lowell said: 

If a university or college censors what its professors 
may say, if it restrains them from uttering something 
that it does not approve, it thereby assumes 
responsibility for that which it permits them to say. This 
is logical and inevitable, but it is a responsibility which 
an institution would be very unwise in assuming. (27 1 ) 

At around the same time, on February 13, Lowell wrote to Francke: "I am 
glad to hear that your arm is better, but I cannot conceive why you 
should have any thought of resigning. I hope it is not because you think 
war with Germany would make any difference in your position here, or 
in the respect and affection of your friends" (Papers ofKinio Francke). "' 

Like Francke, his friend (and Harvard psychologist) Hugo 
Miinsterberg viewed himself as a relayer of Gennan ideals to America (42- 
43). They became embittered by hostile reactions to their standpoints. 
Miinsterberg, bom and trained in Gennany, "was confessed by all to be 
one of the most brilliant Harvard professors of his time" (Morison, 
Development of Har\'ard 17). He enjoyed close ties to the Gennan- 
American community but did not become an American citizen. As a 
Gemian citizen Miinsterberg undertook (completely within his rights in 
a then-supposedly neutral countr>') to present the German case to Harvard 
and the American public. Rumors had it that he was in the German Secret 
Service, and owned carrier pigeons which took messages to other spies; 
these were nonsense. Certain students, collegaues, alumni and former 
friends demanded that Miinsterberg be dismissed, as they considered him 
to be a German propagandist, if not a spy; he was, they thought, a 
poisonous pro-German influence on the students. The Corporation, 
Harvard's governing body, steadfastly declined to do so. In London, 
Clarence Wiener '00 had allegedly threatened to withdraw a bequest to 
Harvard of S 10 million unless Harvard dismissed Munsterberg; his threat 
was ignored (Morison, Three Centuries 45 1-53). 

Miinsterberg differentiated the neutral stance of "official" 
Harvard (Lowell's Harvard) and the "unofficial" Harvard, which was pro- 
Allies and anti-German. He noted in the London Times dated April 8. 
1915a two-column letter from Boston on the situation at Harvard. The 
piece jubilantly reported that a census of Harvard would reveal anti- 
German sentiment totaling 99 percent. Miinsterberg wrote: 


I personally have worked incessantly for a quarter of a 
century to make America well understood in Europe 
and have spent all my energy to create European 
sympathy and respect for American universities and in 
particular for Harvard.... And yet in the passion of the 
day I have been treated by the unofficial Harvard and 
the upper layer of Boston Society as if I had been my 
life long an abuser of America and an enemy of Harvard. 

By April of 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I, the two most 
(in)famous Gemian professors at Harvard were no longer active: Francke 
stopped teaching at Harvard in 1916 and Miinsterberg died in the same 
year. ' ' 

By the 1920s the Department of Germanic Languages and 
Literatures had distinguished itself pedagogically in five ways. First, it 
emphasized things Germanic, not only German. Harvard students had 
the choice of enrolling in basic language courses, as well as in two 
advanced undergraduate courses, thirteen half-courses, one full graduate 
course, ten half-courses, and interdisciplinary breadth courses. The 
teaching was specialized: in academic year 1928-29, for example, 
professors offered courses on Schiller, German literature in translation, 
Gothic, Old High German, Middle High Gennan, Dutch, Old Norse, 
modern Scandinavian languages. Old Saxon and Old Frisian. And the 
professors were extremely versatile: Kuno Francke could speak about 
Flemish painting of the 1 5"' century as well as about many other topics of 
Germanic culture. 

Second, Germanistik at Harvard was viewed as an organism, as 
if the Gennan national development was a concept in which each course 
offered by the Department was one element interlocking with other 
courses. Only after amassing a number of courses — "Die deutsche 
kirchliche Skulptur des Mittelalters," "Deutsche Mystik und Malerei des 
15. Jahrhunderts," "Deutsche Kulturgeschichte von Luther bis zu Friedrich 
dem GroBen," "Deutsche Kulturgeschichte von der franzosischen 
Revolution bis zum Ende der Freiheitskriege" (courses all taught by 
Francke) — and putting in the due rigor could the student expect to attain 
comprehensive knowledge of the organism known as Gennanic culture 
(Francke, Deutsche Arbeit 22). 

Third, the Department sought to offer to its students modem, 
socially relevant topics. The goal was not to de-Gemianize the content 
being learned, but to bring to young Americans experiences with which 
they could empathize. Arthur Burkhard, a German professor who wrote at 

some length about the Department in 1929-30,'- found that "a student 
would continue reading German for himself., if I selected works for him to 
read that presented characters and problems with which he was able to 
identify himself, in which he could see his own life in part portrayed, in 
part revealed." Such works were "found most commonly among the 
writings of modem and contemporary authors" (Burkhard, Course 1 18). 
One of Burkhard's courses, "German Literature since 1900," featured 
Dehmel, George, Hauptmann, Hofmannsthal, Thomas Mann, Rilke, 
Wedekind, Werfel. and expressionist dramatists — although the writings 
of the expressionists were "practically incomprehensible to American 
undergraduates" (Co?//-^^ 133). 

Fourth, the elective course system at Harvard v\as such that 
students had a certain freedom in selecting their courses, while they 
always had an end goal in mind: passing a general written exam lasting 
seven hours. The exam, administered by the College, was a requirement 
for graduation. By the 1 920s both the curriculum and the expectations of 
the students were demanding indeed. The general written exam included 
the following: discussing, for 90 minutes, ten books of the Bible; for 
another 90 minutes, twelve plays of Shakespeare; for 60 minutes, the 
works of tv\o of the following: Homer, Sophocles. Plato. Aristotle, Cicero, 
Horace, Virgil; and for three hours, a special field of knowledge such as 
German literature. Rather than merely take courses indiscriminately. Harvard 
students now studied subjects systematically and rigorously. The 
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures administered the 
comprehensive exam covering German literature, which still approximates 
today the comprehensive written M.A. exam at many Gennan departments 
in the U.S. 

Also in the 1920s Harvard introduced the tutorial system which 
resembled the one in place at Oxford and Cambridge rather than at German 
universities.'^ Individual conferences between students and tutors 
(usually professors or full-time instructors) were held weekly, for 30 to 60 
minutes. According to Burkhard, the ideal tutor did not supply information, 
but told the student where to find it; he did not put ideas in the student's 
head but encouraged the student to develop ideas of his own (her own, if 
the student was from nearby Radcliffe College); he planted ambition where 
it did not exist and cultivated it where it did. The results of the tutorial 
system demonstrated that Harvard students knew their subjects 
appreciably better than before the system was implemented. According 
to Burkhard, the level of knowledge among Harvard's German 
concentrators (or majors) exceeded even that of Ph.D. s in German from 
other American universities. Similarly, the Harvard undergraduate theses 
on German literature were reckoned to be superior to many non-Harvard 


Ph.D. dissertations. Harvard had effectively raised the bar on itself: the 
requirements for the M.A. were increased because of the tremendous 
success of the tutorial system and the general written exams for 

Finally, Goethe tied everything neatly together at Harvard — 
beginning, as already noted, with the Harvard students who visited Goethe 
in the 181 Os and '20s, and continuing with the transcendentalists' interest 
in Goethe in the mid- 19"" century. From 1914 to 1945,as well, Goethe was 
the focus of Harvard's Germanists. A course first offered by Burkhard in 
the late 1920s surveyed German civilization from the HUdebrandsIied Xo 
the present day. This was a core class and well attended. According to 
Burkhard, the history of German culture was replete with contrasts and 
contradictions. The representative German was geographically northern, 
historically modem, and temperamentally individualistic. The German 
was torn between retaining these traits or becoming southern, ancient, 
and social. The real masters among the Germans, Burkhard maintained, 
achieved a compromise in these struggles. The "Gennan" Goethe ofGotz, 
Werther, and Urfaustwas an emotional, romantic artist. Later, the "Greek" 
Goethe returned from Italy and tried to become fomial and classic. Such 
a synthesis was exemplary; Durer and Beethoven had also attained variant 
forms. "Less sturdy" artists, in Burkhard's words, included Holderlin, 
Kleist, Nietzsche, and Wagner. Grillparzer, Meyer, and Thomas Mann 
stood somewhere in between.'"* 

The Department of Gennanic Languages and Literatures did not 
exist in a vacuum; all the while it needed to respond to events on campus 
and in the world. To Harvard's critics, the University continued its pro- 
German stance (sympathy to the Nazis) and anti-Semitism (enrollment 
quotas).'^ Ofcourse one could hardly predict in the 1920s and early '30s 
what would happen in the late '30s and '40s. Certainly no one would have 
known that Harvard's president James B. Conant, beginning his tenure in 
1933, would chip away at residual anti-Jewish practices at Harvard, to the 
extent that, as one biographer has noted, they had largely collapsed by 
the time Conant left Harvard in 1 953 (Hershberg 8 1 ). 

Certain Gennan issues from 1933 to 1936 placed Conant and 
Harvard directly in the spotlight (Tuttle 49-70). When an alumnus offered 
in 1934 to endow a fellowship limited to Kentuckians "preferably of 
predominantly white colonial descent, and necessarily of white 
northwestern European descent," Conant insisted that any Harvard 
fellowship must be awarded to "the most promising boys" regardless of 
other considerations — a stance contrasting with Yale's acceptance in 1 936 
of funds for a scholarship memorializing "the Anglo-Saxon race to which 
the United States owes its culture" and restricted to "sons of white 


Christian parents of Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, or Teutonic descent, 
both of whom were citizens of the United States and bom in America" 

At the time, two questions in particular tested Conant: ( 1 ) how 
strongly would Harvard oppose the Nazi persecution of universities in 
Germany, and (2) how fiercely would Harvard fight for its academic 
freedom? Conant generally favored freedom of speech and the right to 
widest differences of opinion, though this principle, when applied 
practically, brought controversy once again to Harxard. The Harvard 
Corporation did not have the University join the Emergency Committee 
in Aid of Displaced German Scholars, a coalition publicly backed by the 
presidents of Cornell, Princeton, Stanford, and other universities — viewed 
by critics as an ostrich-like non-gesture (Hershberg 84). 

Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein received honorary degrees 
in 1935. A year later, during Harvard's 300"' anniversary. Harvard sent a 
representative to Heidelberg University's SSO'*" anniversary, which to 
Harvard's embarrassment was yet another Nazi spectacle. At Harvard's 
Tercentenary, Conant conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Science 
upon Carl Jung, who, critics maintained, had condoned Nazi doctrines of 
"Aryan" superiority in the Hitler purges. The citation read "a mental 
physician whose wisdom and understanding have brought relief to many 
in distress." Einstein declined his invitation to attend. As he said in 1 949: 

The reason for me not to participate in the Harvard 
Tercentenary celebration was not so much the presence 
of Dr. Jung but the fact that representatives of German 
universities had been invited, although it was generally 
known that they were in full cooperation with Hitler's 
acts of persecution against Jews and liberals, and 
against cultural freedom in general. (Wagner 227-29) 

Perhaps the most notorious incident of those years was the return 
to Harvard of Hitler's press chief Ernst Hanfstaengl '09 for his 25"' class 
day reunion. Hanfstaengl had earlier animated Hitler by composing a 
march derived from a Harvard football cheer. 'That is what we need for 
the movement, marvelous," Hitler said. As the story goes, "Fight, Fight. 
Fight!" was converted into "Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil." Hitler had also hid 
from the police in Hanfstaengl's house after the botched 1923 Munich 
Beer Hall Putsch. 

Hanfstaengl's trip to Harvard in 1934 was a Nazi-glorifying 
publicity gambit. His visit divided Harvard. A right-wing faction of 
students and the conservative student newspaper urged the 


administration to confer an honorary degree on HanfstaengI in view of 
his high government post. When HanfstaengI attended the 1934 Harvard 
Commencement, police protected him. Protesters had placed anti-Hitler 
stickers on the buildings in Harvard Yard. His hat was stolen and 
readdressed to him "Care of Adolf Hitler, Berlin." On its crown, in Hebrew 
letters, were inscribed the words "Thou shalt not kill." Two girls chained 
themselves to a platform and, before they could be released, condemned 
Hitler, HanfstaengI, and the Nazis to the multitude assembled in Harvard 
Yard. Conant was criticized for allowing a man both mesmerized by Hitler 
and engaging in the most venomous anti-Semitism in the pages oi Collier 's 
to use Harvard for his purposes (HanfstaengI, My Leader 7-9).'^ 

This article would be remiss in not mentioning yet another 
explanation of the meaning and origin of the Third Reich, this time 
Hanfstaengl's inimitable definition as explained in 1934 to former 
Harvard president Lowell: 

You must realize how it started. We lost a war, had the 
Communists in control of the streets and had to try and 
build things up again. In the end the republic had thirty- 
two parties, all of them too weak to do anything of 
consequence and finally it was necessary to roll them 
up into a State party, and that was Hitler. If a car gets 
stuck in the mud and begins to sink deeper and deeper 
and the engine stops, and then a man comes along and 
pours something into the works which starts it up again, 
you don't ask what it was he put in. You set to and get 
the damned thing out. It may only have been 
Begeisteningsschnapps, a kind of psychological 
schnapps, but it is enough for the time being. 

To which Lowell is said to have replied: "This whatever-you-called-it 
may be all right to start with, but what happens when the driver gets 
drunk on it?" (HanfstaengI, Unheard Witness 258). If nothing else, 
HanfstaengI was a genius at dropping names, revising history, and being 
self-serving — all the more reason for the reader to question the veracity 
of this anecdote. 

Amid all this Goethe served as balm and corrective. As a New 
York Times editorial asked on April 11, 1938, one month after the 
annexation of Austria and seven months before Kristallnacht: "What better 
challenge to Hitlerism can there be than to get to know Lessing, Schiller 
and Goethe?" Harvard's Gemian professors disseminated their message 
on Goethe both internally, to their students, and externally, to their peers. 


Karl Victor wrote two monographs, Derjimge Goethe ( 1 930) and Goethe: 
DIchtung, Wissenschaft, We/thild (1949); Henry Hatfield wrote Goethe: A 
Critical Introduction (1963). John Walz, president of the Modern 
Language Association in 1941, admitted the Germanises difficulty in 
working in America "while a large part of the world, including our own 
Government, is demanding the destruction of [the German] government 
and the curbing of [the German] people." Yet Walz delivered his 
presidential address on what he called a suitable subject: the exemplary 
Goethe, to whom the Association could turn for "guidance and comfort" 
and "a guide to the future" (Walz, Guide 1 324). His 1 1 -page essay ends: 
"I am fimily convinced that at least some of Goethe's ideas must be applied 
in practice if the world is ever to attain a just balance." 

The many complicated German issues at Harvard from 1 9 1 4 to 
1945 indicate just how certain themes from that time and place remain 
aktuell, in altered form, in the U.S. today. Harvard did not have its first 
major student protests in the 1960s (Rosenblatt); Germany at war had 
prompted vehement and sustained protests on campus decades earlier. 
Harvard's study of the German national culture, founded at the Germanic 
Museum, continues today in Harvard's Program for the Study of Germany 
and Europe at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. Several 
similar programs and centers flourish today at other American universities. 
In conclusion, many of Harvard's concerns in the first half of this century — 
faculty to student ratio, patriotism, teaching vs. publishing, the canon, 
academic freedom, political correctness, and sexuality — remain very much 
a part of our national discourse. 


' The student was Andrew Peabody, A.B. 1826. 

- Deutsches Lesehuch fiir Anfdnger (Cambridge: Universitats Druckerei, 
1826) and A Practical Reader Grammar of the German Language 
(Boston: Hilliard, Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1 828). If that wasn't enough. 
Pollen was said to have been the first to bring the decorated Christmas 
tree to New England (see Ken Gewertz, "Professor Brought Christmas 
Tree to New England," Harvard University Gazette (Dec. 12,1 996) 24). 

^ The comment is Edward Everett Hale's. 


^ Emerson, in an address delivered before the Senior Class in Divinity at 
Harvard on July 1 5, 1 838, mocked slightly the authors J. W. Alexander and 
Albert B. Dod, whose 1 839 article in the Princeton Review, "Concerning 
the Transcendental Philosophy of the Germans and of Cousin and Its 
Influence on Opinion in This Country," discussed the "alarming symptom" 
and influence of Gennan philosophy on the American transcendentalists. 
See also Fred B. Wahr, "Emerson and the Germans," Monatshefle fiir 
Deutschen Unterhcht 33.2 { 1 94 1 ) 49-63. 

^ For a discussion of the Germanic Museum, see Goldman; Kuno Francke, 
Handbook of the Germanic Museum, 7"' ed. (Cambridge: Harvard 
University Press, 1929); Franziska von Ungem-Stemberg, Kidturpolitik 
zwischen den Kontinenten: Deutschland iind Amerika: Das Germanische 
Museum in Cambridge/ Mass., Beitrage zur Geschichte der Kulturpolitik, 
Vol. 4 (Cologne: Bohlau, 1994). Foradiscussionof Harvard's Germanic 
library collections, see Michael P. Olson, "Harvard's Germanic 
Collections: Their History, Their Future," Harvard Library Bulletin new 
series5.3(1994) 11-19. 

^ For a discussion of the professors, see Samuel Eliot Morison, ed., "From 
German to Germanic," The Development of Harvard University Since 
the Inauguration of President Eliot, 1869-1929 (Cambridge: Harvard 
University Press, 1930)81-85. 

^ See also Douglass Schand-Tucci, The Crimson Letter: Harvard, 
Homosexuality, and the Shaping of American Culture (New York: St. 
Martin's Press, 2003); and Dinitia Smith, "American Culture's Debt to 
Gay Sons of Harvard," A'evv York Tunes (May 29, 2003). 

** "Die deutsche Literatur selbst in ihren groBten Vertretem blieb dem 
durchschnittlichen Neuenglander schlieBlich doch etwas innerlich Femes; 
von deutscher Kunst wuBte er iiberhaupt nichts; und deutsche Politik 
erschien ihm mehr oder weniger verdachtig." 

^ Selected poems are in Francke; see also Schmidt 2 1 2. 

'" On July 14, 1915, the President of the U.S., Woodrow Wilson, had also 
sent thanks and support to Francke via a typed letter and handwritten 
signature (Papers of Kuno Francke, Harvard University Archives, HUG 
1404.5, 1915-1917, folder T-Z). 

" One postscript regarding Harvard's involvement in World War I: more 

than 1 1 ,000 then-current and former Harvard men had enlisted in the war. 
The walls of Memorial Chapel still list the names of some 375 causalities 
in service of the Allied Forces, along with three (it is sometimes said four) 
Harvard men who died in the German cause. This again created protest: 
Gennans were honored in World War I. while a Civil War memorial 
commemorated only Harvard's unionists, not its confederates (Morion, 
Three Centuries of Harvard 460). 

'- See Arthur Burkhard, "A Course in Contemporary German Literature," 
German Quarterly 3.4 (1930), p. 117-38; "An hitroductory Course in 
the Histor>' of Gennan Civilization," Gennan Quarterly 2A (1929) 122-36; 
and "The Harvard Tutorial System in German," Modern Language Journal 

In today's colloquial tenns, Burkhard was a culture \ ulture par 
excellence. He was thought to have set a record by attending 42 
consecutive nights of theater in Munich and Salzburg. Burkhard 
recuperated in Paris by going to the theater only 3-4 nights per week. 
(See "Harvard Professor Sets Record — Sees 42 Plays Straight in 
Gtrmonyr New York Herald Tribune JvmQ 14. 1936.) 

A sports fan as well, Burkhard attended the Winter Olympic 
Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Summer Olympics in Berlin 
(both in 1 936). The New York World-Telegram related the following from 
press headquarters in Garmisch-Partenkirchen: 

Dr. Arthur Burkhard. an American who is a 
professor at Harvard teaching Gennan culture to the 
young, dropped into the room to compose a few deep 
thoughts for the Christian Science Monitor and was 
denounced by a yellow-haired youth as an enemy of 
Germany. The young man told the Countess [von 
BemstortT. who organized the press headquarters] that 
on Thursday night at the hockey match, which Canada 
won from Gemiany, the professor had spoken of the 
German crowd as a mob. He seemed to think the 
professor was a German, and a disloyal one at that. 
and more or less put it up to the Countess to do 
something about it. although he didn't say what. 

The professor got sore and told the young 
man he would either have to prove his charge or defend 
himself in a suit for damages, and the squealer then 
began to hedge, saying he hadn't heard the professor's 
remark himself but that his girl friend had. 


"Well, then, bring her in," the professor said. 

The young man dragged in a not very 
toothsome wench in a somewhat flea-bitten leopard skin 
coat, who said she had not only heard this good Herr 
Doktor Professor call the crowd a mob but refer to the 
people as lowbrows and roughnecks as well. 

The Countess was disposed to laugh it off as 
a matter of no importance, but the professor seemed to 
think if he didn't clear it up at once it might get worse 
later on. The man and the woman eased out of the door 
to the crowd on the sidewalk, but the professor chased 
after them and renewed the fuss in public. 

It then developed that both squealers were 
German outlanders living in Czechoslovakia, who 
merely wanted to receive credit for turning in a traitor. 
That's all there was to it, and the Harvard professor 
came through the incident all right, but it was an 
interesting demonstration of the squeal, which seems 
to make life interesting in a country where a casual 
remark may assume the most solemn importance. 
(Pegler, Westbrook. "Fair Enough," New York World- 
Telegram, 18 Feb. 1936.) 

'^ On the exams and the tutorial system, see "The Harvard Tutorial 
System in German." 

'"* See "An Introductory Course in the History of Gennan Civilization." 

'-^ On the Jewish experience at Harvard in the early 20"' century, see Leo 
W, Schwarz, Wolfson of Harvard: Portrait of a Scholar (Philadelphia: 
Jewish Publication Society of America, 1978), especially 23-40; Morton 
Rosenstock, "Are There Too Many Jews at Harvard?" Antisemitism in 
the United States, ed. Leonard Dinnerstein (New York: Holt, Rinehart 
and Winston, 1971) 102-08; and Nitza Rosovsky, The Jewish Experience 
at Harvard and Radclijfe {Cambridge: Harvard Semitic Museum, 1986). 

''' On Hanfstaengl at Harvard in 1934, see Wagner, p. 227-29; and Hershberg 


Works Cited 

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14.4(1930): 269-84. 

— . "An Introductory Course in the History of German Civilization." 
German Quarterly 2.4 ( 1 929): 1 22-36. 

— . "In Memoriam, Kuno Francke." German Quarterly 3.4 ( 1 930). 

Fife, Robert Hemdon. "In Memoriam: Kuno Francke." Germanic Review 

Follen, Charles. "Inaugural Discourse Delivered before the University in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 3, 1831." Charles 
Fallen s Search for Nationality and Freedom: Germany and 
America ] 796-1840. By Edmund Spevack. Cambridge, MA: 
Harvard, 1997. 

Francke, Kuno. Deutsche Arbeit in Amerika: Erinnerungen. Leipzig: 
Felix Meiner Verlag, 1 930. 

— . "Die Deutschamerikaner, die Harvard Universitat und der Krieg." 4 
Apr. 1915.4 unnumbered pages. Papers of Karl I letor. Harvard 
University Archives, HUG 1404. 

— . Handbook of the Germanic Museum. 7* Ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 

— . Letter New York Times. 3 Feb. 1915: 10. 

Gewertz, Ken. "Professor Brought Christmas Tree to New England." 
Harx'ard Universit}' Gazette. 1 2 Dec. 1 996: 24. 

Goldman, Guido. A History of the Germanic Museum at Harvard 
University. Cambridge, MA: Minda de Gunzburg Center for 
European Studies, Harvard University, 1989. 


Hanfstaengl. Ernst F.S. "My Leader." Collier's. 4 Aug. 1934.7-9. 

— . Unheard Witness. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincotl, 1957. 

Hansen, Thomas S. "Charles Pollen." Harvard Magazine. Sept. -Oct. 
2002: 38. 

Harding, Anneliese. John Qiiincy Adams: German-American Literary 
Studies. Boston: Boston Public Library, 1979. 

Hatfield, Henry C. and Joan Merrick. "Studies of German Literature in the 
United States 1 939- 1 946." Modern Language Review 43.3 ( 1 948). 

Hershberg, James G. James B. Conant: Han'ard to Hiroshima and the 
Making of the Nuclear Age. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1 993. 

Howard, William Guild. "In Memoriam: Hans Carl Giinther von Jagemann, 
Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Harvard University." Germanic 
Review \.?>.{\92()): 219. 

von Klenze, Camillo. "Gernian Literature in the Boston Transcript."" 
Philological Quarterly 1 1 . 1 ( 1 932). 

Long, O.W. "Goethe and Longfellow." Germanic Review 7.2 ( 1 932). 

— . Literaiy Pioneers: Early American Explorers of European Culture. 
Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1935. 

— . "Goethe and Longfellow." Germanic Review 7.2(1 932): 1 49. 

Lowell, A. Lawrence. At War with Academic Traditions in America. 
Cambridge: Harvard, 1934. 

Mackall, Leonard L. "Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Amerikanem: 
Goethes Geschenk an die Harvard University." Goethe-Jahrbuch 
25, 1904. 

Meyer, Eduard. "Der Geist von Harvard." Vossische Zeitung. 1 Mar. 

Morison, Samuel Eliot. Ed. "From German to Germanic." The Development 

ofHwx'ard University' since the Inauguration of President Eliot, 
1869-1929. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1930. 

— . Three Centuries of Harvard: 1636-1936. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 

Munsterberg, Hugo. "To John Temple L. Jeffries." 1 May 1915. Papers 
of Hugo Miinsterberg, Harvard University Archives, HUG 1583. 

— . "Twenty-Five Years in America: The First Chapter of an Unfinished 
Autobiography" Centwy 94. 1 ( 1 9 1 7): 42-43. 

Olson, Michael P. "Harvard's Germanic Collections: Their History, Their 
FulUTQ.^" Han'ard Libraiy Bulletin New Series 5.3 (1994): 11-19. 

The North American Review and Miscellaneous Journal 1 1 .{ 1 8 1 7): 2 1 7- 

The North American Review 20. ( 1 824): 303-25. 

Papers of Kuno Francke, Harvard University Archives. HUG 1404.5, 1915- 
1917, folder G-L. 

A Practical Reader Grammar of the German Language. Boston: Hilliard, 
Gray, Little, and Wilkins, 1 828. 

Roedder, Edwin C. "Hans Carl Giinther von Jagemann: Ein Gedenkblatt." 
Monatshefte fiir deutsche Sprache und Pddagogik (1925). 

Rosenbaum, David. "How Harvard Went Butch." Boston Magazine. 
Dec. 1996. 

Rosenblatt, Roger. Coming Apart: A Memoir of the Harx'ard Wars of 
1969. Boston: Little, Brown, 1997. 

Rosenstock, Morton. "Are There Too Many Jews at Harvard?" 
Antisemitism in the United States. Ed. Leonard Dinnerstein. 
New York: Holt, Rineharl and Winston, 1 97 1 . 

Rosovsky, Nitza. The Jewish Experience at Harvard and RadcUffe. 
Cambridge, MA: Harvard Semitic Museum, 1986. 


Schand-Tucci, Douglass. The Crimson Letter: Harvard, Homosexuality, 
and the Shaping of American Culture. New York: St. Martin's 
Press, 2003. 

Schmidt, Henry J. "The Rhetoric of Survival: The Germanist in America 
from 1 900 to 1 925." America and the Germans: An Assessment of 
a Three-Hundred Year Histoiy. Vol. 2. Ed. Frank Trommler and 
Joseph McVeigh. 2 vols. Philadelphia: University of 
Pennsylvania, 1985. 

Schultz. Arthur R. "Margaret Fuller — Transcendentalist Interpreter of 
German Literature." Monatshefte 34.4 (1942): 1 69-82. 

Schwarz, Leo W. Wolfson ofHan'ard: Portrait of a Scholar Philadelphia: 
Jewish Publication Society of America, 1978. 

Slochower, Harry. "Margaret Fuller and Goethe." Germanic Review 7.2 

Smith. Dinitia. "American Culture's Debt to Gay Sons of Harvard." New 
York Times. 29 May 2003. 

Townsend, Kim. Matihood at Harvard: William James and Others. New 
York: W.W.Norton. 1996. 

Tuttle, William M. "American Higher Education and the Nazis: The Case 
of James B. Conant and Harvard University's 'Diplomatic 
Relations' with Germany." American Studies 20. 1 { 1 979): 49-70. 

Ungern-Sternberg, Franziska von. Kulturpolitik zwischen den 
Kontinenten: Deutschland und Amerika: Das Germanische 
Museum in Cambridge/Mass. Beitrage zur Geschichte der 
Kulturpolitik. Vol. 4. Cologne: Bohlau, 1994. 

Wagner, Charles Abraham. Harvard: Four Centuries and Freedoms. 
NewYork:Dulton, 1950. 

Wahr, Fred B. "Emerson and the Germans." Monatshefte fiir Deutschen 
Vnteiricht 33.2 ( 1 94 1 ): 49-63. 

Walsh, James E. and Eugene M. Weber. Goethe: An Exhibition at the 
Houghton Librmy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Library 
and Goethe Institute of Boston, 1982. 

Walz, John A. German Influence in American Education and Culture. 
Philadelphia: Carl Schurz Memorial Foundation, 1936. 

— . "A Guide to the Future." Publications of the Modern Language 
Association 56 Supplement ( 1 94 1 ): 1324. 

Permit me a personal note about Ehrhard Bahr. As a graduate 
student in UCLA's Department of Gennanic Languages in the 1 980s, I took 
several courses on Goethe with Ted. His courses were unifonnly brilliant 
and constituted my very best experiences as a student. Ted was (and 
remains) an excellent teacher: at all times fair, direct, organized, interactive, 
and infomied. 

Ted was an outstanding mentor in three other ways. First, he 
monitored my own teaching perfomiance in Gemian classes at UCLA, 
and offered welcome advice and suggestions for improvement. Second, I 
assisted Ted in his course on 20"''-century Gemian culture and civilization. 
His preparation and commitment were wonderful models. Third. Ted 
supervised the writing of my Ph.D. dissertation on Heinrich Boll. Ted was 
always accurate in telling me when certain passages of the dissertation 
were good and others — many others — needed improvement. 

As an editor of this journal in 1987, 1 had the happy occasion to 
interview Martin Walser, who incidentally knows Goethe's works quite 
well. Walser said to me that the American campus is the most privileged 
terrain ever organized by humans {der amerikanische Campus ist das 
priviligierteste Geldnde, das je von Menschen organisiert wurde). Walser 
had studied at Harvard in the 1950s, at Henry Kissinger's International 
Seminar, where he attended lectures by Eleanor Roosevelt, Thornton Wilder, 
and David Riesman. Such an experience, it seems to me, represents the 
best of the American university: the university as the locus of ideas. 
Viewed in this light, being associated with Ted continues to be my great 
privilege. My proudest professional moment was when "Professor Bahr" 
and "Mr. Olson" became "Ted" and "Mike." I am greatly indebted to Ted, 
who is without question the single most important person in my career in 
Germanic studies. Ted's professionalism and his very humane qualities 
continue to be my models. 

Ted, as always, all best wishes and congratulations on your 
magnificent career. 


Composing for the Films: 

Adorno and Schoenberg in Hollywood 

Lisa Parkes, University of Caiifornia, Los Angeles 

One of the more curious moments in musical history took place 
in Hollywood in 1 935, when Arnold Schoenberg was approached by Irving 
Thalberg at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studios to compose the music 
for a film based on Pearl Buck's novel The Good Earth.' Schoenberg, 
who had secured a professorship at the University of Southern California 
upon arrival in Los Angeles in 1 933 and subsequently, in 1 936, at UCLA, 
was financially more comfortable than many other exile composers, and 
therefore not dependent on what was commonly referred to as 
"Brotarbeiten," which was music for the films. All the more reason, then, 
for the general bafflement among some of his contemporaries, as is 
summed up nicely by one of his critics in 1935: "Only one thing more 
fantastical than the thought of Arnold Schoenberg in Hollywood is 
possible, and that thing has happened. Since arriving there about a year 
ago, Schoenberg has composed in a melodic manner and in recognizable 
keys. That is what Hollywood has done to Schoenberg. We may now 
expect tonal fugues by Shirley Temple" (Feisst 107).' Negotiations with 
the producer began, and Schoenberg started sketching some of the music. 
But Schoenberg then committed the blunder of demanding not only fifty 
thousand dollars — double what Thalberg had initially envisaged — but 
also full control of the soundtrack, including the dialogue. Schoenberg's 
terms were promptly rejected ( Vierlel 310-11). 

Although this and a number of other film music projects 
ultimately failed to materialize, the very juxtaposition of Schoenberg — 
the quintessentially "difficult" modem composer — with the industry of 
mass entertainment and its production demands encapsulates the peculiar 
and contradictory position into which many exiled German composers 
were thrown while in Los Angeles: namely, how to compose "bread-and- 
butter" film music without compromising their artistic integrity, and how 
to negotiate the tension between assimilation into and resistance to the 
Hollywood entertainment culture. Schoenberg's failure and subsequent 
disillusionment with the film industry is indicative of the 


uncompromisingly stringent film production procedures that involved 
much conflict between the competing divisions of labor. For even v\ ithin 
the music departments themselves there was a division of labor — between 
the composer, the arranger, the orchestrator, the performer, the recorder — 
that potentially stymied individual creativity, reducing the composer to 
just one more point on the assembly line of industrial film production. 

Perhaps less unexpected, in view of Schoenberg's dilemma, was 
Theodor Adomo's agreement nine years later to co-author with Hanns 
Eisler — another composer in exile and a fonner student of Schoenberg — 
a critical study on the composition and consumption of film music, which 
was completed in Los Angeles in 1944. Adomo was Schoenberg's greatest 
advocate, and the project promised to tackle precisely the kinds of 
problems suffered by Schoenberg in his various encounters with film 
producers. By investigating the relationship between the movie, music, 
original and synthetic sound, Adomo and Eisler hoped to counter these 
problems by suggesting new aesthetic possibilities for the film composer. 
But from its very inception the project was fraught with political 
complications. Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1939, the project 
first supported Eisler through his initial years in exile after having been 
forced to leave Gennany in 1938 on account of his left-wing and anti- 
fascist political activities (Schebera 64-102). Ironically, it was the 
association of Eisler with the same political activities that would later 
force him to leave the US, just after the book's publication in 1947, when 
Eisler was summoned for investigation by the House Committee on Un- 
American Activities. When the Committee tried to incriminate Eisler for 
being "the Karl Marx of communism in the musical field," Eisler's 
response, that he "would be flattered" by such a comparison, could hardly 
have helped his case (Hearings 25). Nor could it have helped that the 
Committee disliked his music [Hearings 59), and were not swayed by 
Eisler's argument that it was Fascism, not he, that had "destroyed art" 
(Hearings 36). Only after a considerable amount of protesting and 
petitioning on the part of prominent figures such as Charlie Chaplin, 
Thomas and Heinrich Mann, and Albert Einstein, was Eisler in a position 
to choose a "voluntary deportation" in 1948. when he left the US for 

What is significant for the project Composing for the Films- was 
that this episode had prompted Adorno to withdraw his name as co- 
author, and thus disentangle himself from such political implications. 
Thus began what would remain a rather murky history of the book's 
authorship. Adomo was not to be acknowledged as co-author until 1 969. 
when it was published by Rogner and Bemhard in West Germany. The 
subsequent quibbling on Adomo's part about who wrote how much of 


what continues to blur our picture of the exact division of labor between 
the authors; however, there is reason and evidence enough to assume 
that Adomo took responsibility for the more theoretical, Eisler for the 
more practical aspects of the project. Since arriving in the US in 1938, 
Adomo had already completed a number of related projects in New York, 
under the auspices of the Princeton Radio Research Program and the 
Frankfurt Institute of Social Research, that delved into topics such as 
'The Radio Symphony," "On Popular Music," and the "NBC Music 
Appreciation Hour"; Eisler, since his arrival in the US in 1938, had already 
started composing music for a couple of commercial and documentary 
films (Schebera 78-85).'* 

Nevertheless, the reader of Composing for the Films is still left 
with the uneasy task of surmising a fully coherent argument from what is 
the hybrid product of politically conflicting labors; indeed, Adomo's and 
Eisler 's political discord made for a potentially rocky collaboration. 
Relations between the two had become particularly strained ever since 
Eisler had abruptly abandoned his teacher Schoenberg (despite the fact 
that Schonberg waived his tuition fee!) along with his compositional 
techniques in 1 927 in favor of a more radical, Brechtian kind of "political" 
art. This move signaled a rebellion against what he regarded as the elitism 
of "new music" in its neglect of social conflicts. Renouncing "bourgeois" 
modernist art and its exponents, Eisler joined Bertolt Brecht in promoting 
a more politically engaged style intended to transform society: by 
synthesizing elements of "high" with popular genres and with modem 
technological resources, Eisler intended to create a new musical idiom 
that would speak to the aspirations of the working class. However, far 
less convinced of such didactic forms of art ("Zur gesellschaftlichen 
Lage" 730-1), Adomo argued that any art that does not enter into a 
dialectical relation with its social function loses, indeed obscures, its 
social-critical potential, as in the case with "Gebrauchsmusik," which 
orients itself to market demands and, ultimately, affmns the status quo 
(732-4). Genuinely "autonomous" art, he would argue, refuses easy 
communicability (hence Schoenberg); moreover, the truest reflection of 
our situation as alienated individuals within a late-industrial society is 
the non-identity not only between society and the art work but, more 
importantly, within the artwork itself and according to its own material 
and formal laws (734). For this reason, Adorno was the greatest advocate 
of Schoenberg's free atonality, which exemplified high modernism by 
resisting commodification while reflecting within the musical material itself 
the deterioration of the "organic" artwork. This also partly explains his 
rejection of the later 12-tone school, whose systematized "technique" he 
considered symptomatic of "commmodification." This skepticism about 


the later Schoenberg reflected Adomo's growing wariness of an uncritical 
endorsement of technological innovation in art because of its capacity 
for mechanical reproduction and thus commodification, mass 
dissemination and manipulation, the catastrophic results of which could 
be witnessed in Hitler's Germany, from which he and Eisler had just 
escaped. Indeed, much of what Adomo would write during his years in 
exile was motivated by what he considered the disastrous culmination of 
these tendencies in Nazi Germany, with its devotion to technological 
progress, mass entertainment and consumption. 

One work that lays much of the groundwork for his subsequent 
critique of Hollywood mass entertainment as the logical extension of his 
critique of fascism is his Versuch fiber Wagner of 1937-38. In this work, 
Adorno locates the gerni of German fascism in Wagner's compositional 
techniques, some of which manipulate and subordinate the individual to 
the illusory whole, and in the means by which Wagner integrates "high 
art" into popular culture. Wagner, so the argument goes, is the composer- 
conductor who aspires to control all possible effects: by calculating the 
effect of the music on its audience, Wagner subsumes the audience into 
the effect of the work, thereby closing the gap between audience and 
artwork and creating the illusion of totality and identity between audience 
and artwork, individual and whole (28). The musical experience manages 
to both whet and satisfy the listener's emotional appetite, thus endowing 
each individual with a false sense of spontaneity, or, in Adomo's terms, 
"pseudo-individuality." The audience is thus transformed into the 
conformed and objectified consumer of the artist's calculation; indeed, 
the audience derives pleasure from being beaten by Wagner's baton into 
submission and conformity (28). 

Adorno argues that Wagner's techniques realize their full 
"potential" in Hollywood where aesthetic concerns are predicated on an 
audience that has little to no critical or discriminating capacity. The present 
audience's listening habits are every bit as acute as its ability to choose 
from a standard restaurant menu: as long as items are recognizable, they 
are consumable. "Atomized" listening, or the popular custom of 
identifying a theme, was indicative of regressive listening and had now 
become identical with "musical appreciation," even with "fun" 
("Analytical" 352). "Commodity listening" ideally dispenses with all 
intellectual activity and is content with "consuming and evaluating its 
gustatory qualities— just as if the music which tasted best were also the 
best music possible" ("A Social Critique" 211). Indeed, this is the very 
ideal, Adorno continues, of "Aunt Jemima's ready-mix for pancakes 
extended to the field of music" ("Analytical" 211). In short, commodity 
and retrogressive listening, conformity, increasing standardization and 


musical fetishism are some of the tendencies Adomo identifies in the 
musical tradition ever since it had "gone to the market" at the end of the 
eighteenth century. 

It is in this context that Composing for the Films ought to be 
considered, for it is here that echoes of his Wagner text can be clearly 
heard. Furthermore, it picks up some important strains of Adorno's 
argument that infonn two other works central to his critical project in 
Los Angeles — Dialektik der Aujlkldrung (also of 1944) and his 
Philosophie der neiien Musik (completed in 1 947). The pivotal categories 
named above make their comeback in Composing for the Fihns, where 
Adorno redirects critical fire at many of the exiled German composers, 
such as Max Steiner, Franz Waxman, and Erich Korngold, whose 
successes in Hollywood he attributes to their alleged realization of 
Wagner's aesthetic program of the ''Gesamtkunstwerk" in an all- 
consuming Hollywood dream-work. 

Composing for the Fihns proposes that the most fundamental 
contradiction in sound-film is its false claim to immediacy. By insisting 
on its total, organic, singular and natural whole it masks the reality of its 
mediation of disparate, contradictory and reproducible elements. Far from 
a seamless and natural process, film production methods comprised a 
heterogeneous and highly rationalized organization and division of labor 
that illustrate its remoteness from the organic ideal. Commercial film 
music underscored and promoted the film's illusion of totality and 
immediate reality with a familiar musical idiom with which the audience 
could easily identify. Music would thus "round off any rough edges" of 
the mechanical reproduction and drown out consciousness of its mediated 
construction. It interposes the "human coating," the "cement" that "holds 
together elements that otherwise would oppose each other unrelated — 
the mechanical product and the spectators, and also the spectators 
themselves" (Eisler 59). Music, with its capacity to impress itself directly 
on the passive listener, turns the picture into a close-up, bringing it even 
closer to the public, "so as to mask the heartlessness of late-industrial 
society by late-industrial techniques" (Eisler 59). Motion pictures are, 
after all, "entirely divorced from that living contact with the audience ... 
[and] the alleged will of the public is manifested only indirectly through 
the box-office receipts, that is to say, in a completely reified fonn" (Eisler 
58). Music serves to amplify, motivate, and justify the visual component, 
endowing the action with so-called "spontaneity" by "supplying 
momentum, muscular energy, a sense of corporeity, as it were" (Eisler 
78). The ideological role of music, then, is to obscure the lack of humanity 
of the film industry, whose rationalized and mechanized modes of 
production indicate the irrelevance of the human individual. 


Adomo and Eisler continue to dismantle those aspects of film- 
scoring that enhance this ideological effect. First, they observe that the 
dominant methods of film-scoring derive from the familiar expressive 
idiom of late-nineteenth-century Romantic music, such as that of Wagner, 
Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss, which is intensively and excessively 
affective. But. in film, musical affect is rationalized as "cheap mood- 
producing gadgets" that produce the "Aha! Nature!" effect (Eisler 13), 
which is reminiscent of the popular practice of naming Wagner's various 
leitmotifs (such as the "Nothungsmotif or "Liebestodmotif) common 
in promotional and educational literature on Wagner. Repetition is the 
key here. Of Wagner, Adorno observes that it is the easy-to-remember 
leitmotiv that guarantees easy recognition and therefore intelligibility even 
to the fatigued, probably forgetful, perhaps even unmusical individual 
during re-creation time, who has no alternative but to capitulate ("Versuch" 
29). But in cinema music, Adomo continues, the sole function of the 
leitmotiv is to announce heroes or situations so as to help the audience 
orient itself more easily (44). The potential function of the leitmotif is fully 
audible in the Hollywood entertainment industry, where its commodity- 
function resembles that of an advertisement (28-9). In cinema, however, it 
loses any structural significance it might have had within the larger 
framework of the Wagnerian musical work. The visual cue in film 
rationalizes the musical motif by fixing its "meaning"; conversely, the 
music becomes a sort of musical stage prop enabling the listener 
instantaneously to understand the action. Thus, to the extent that music is 
supposed to ensure continuity rather than contradict the motion picture, 
music is at its best when it is unobtrusive. In short, the ideological effect 
of dominant film-music is the rationalization and management of the 
viewer's emotion. 

Adorno and Eisler propose ways to undercut the ideological 
effect of commercial film by employing music to expose rather than 
obscure these contradictions. Rather than promoting identity between 
the visual and aural, Adomo and Eisler v\ anted to direct attention to their 
non-identity, and to explore the fruitful tensions between them (Eisler 
122). This is what they called "genuine montage," according to which 
music would make audible the incompatibilities of the different media 
with techniques of musical interruption, counterpoint and affective 
distancing. By promoting a dialectical montage of sound and vision that 
complicates, rather than reafilmis, our understanding of the motion picture, 
the audience can no longer passively identify with the visual element but 
is forced to participate actively in the tensions of the film's construction. 

Eisler and Adomo ultimately aimed at a critique of the very 
mediated nature of the film and its reproducibility, which, for Adomo. 


was the culmination of fascist tendencies within the cuUure industry of 
late capitalism. How, then, was Eisler to put such theories of dialectical 
music into practice? As Ehrhard Bahr has noted (40-6 1 ), Eisler presented 
the results of the project at the Writers' Congress at UCLA in October 
1943 and again in 1944 with musical examples from his experimental 
and documentary film music. Most subsequent commentaries have 
concentrated on Eisler's non-commercial, experimental and documentary 
film scores, which seems beside the point. But what of his commercial 
film music — the kind of music he took to task in Composing for the Films? 
Eisler wrote the music for eight commercial films, two of which earned 
him nominations for an Oscar. Given the peculiar situation of the composer 
in exile who is critical of an entertainment industry that supposedly 
replicates formulas of fascist entertainment, how does Eisler negotiate 
commercial success with a critique of its methods from within the very 
medium that is its exemplary manifestation? 

This tension is best explored in the two commercial films for 
which Eisler was nominated for an Oscar and which were written around 
the same time as the project Composing for the Films: Fritz Lang's anti- 
Nazi film Hangmen also Die of 1943, and Clifford Odets' None but the 
Lonely Heart of \944. 

Music in Hangmen also Die is curiously absent for approximately 
130 of the film's total of 134 minutes. There is one moment of "genuine 
montage," however, that deserves our brief attention, when Heydrich's 
assassin makes his escape into a cinema run by their Nazi "protectors," 
in which the Czech citizens are enjoying some scenes from what is 
probably the river "Vltava" to the sound of Smetana's "Vltava" from the 
symphonic poem "Ma Vlast." This sequence frames a moment in which 
the viewer is made aware of the mediated nature of the motion picture; 
furthermore, the viewer is alerted to the fact that fundamental to this 
medium as Nazi entertainment is the constancy of sound as a form of 
distraction — another point that recalls Adomo's critique of Wagner. When 
interrupted by the announcement of Heydrich's assassination, we see the 
audience break out of their soporific state as the film and thus the music 
is silenced. Thereupon follows an eerie silence — in stark contrast to this 
frame within the film — that dominates much of the rest of the film. The 
scene that follows shows Heydrich the Hangman in a hospital bed, after 
the attempt on his life. Eisler takes the dripping of the blood as a point of 
departure, marking its effects in the pizzicato in the strings, a piano figure 
in a high register, and a playful figure on the piccolo to diminish sympathy 
with Heydrich's death (Eisler 27-8). 

Similar moments of "genuine montage" are audible in None hut 
the Lonely Heart, in which the tensions between the commercial demands 


of film music and a critique of such commercialism are played out within 
the film itself The film can be interpreted on at least two levels. On one 
level it is simply the story about Emie Motte, played by Gary Grant, who 
returns to his miserable mother and the general misery of London's East 
End, where he rekindles one fomier relationship with a cellist only to 
start up another affair with another woman, with whom he falls in love. 
His hopeful love affair, however, is doomed, as the woman in question 
returns to her former husband, a gangster who has recently taken over the 
local amusement park. Meanwhile, the strained relationship with his 
mother takes a turn for the better once Emie learns of her fatal illness, to 
which she eventually succumbs towards the end of the film. On this level, 
then, the film reads like a rather tepid story about the tensions between a 
mother and her son, accompanied by a standard sub-plot about a failed 
romance. The music is for the most part fittingly predictable, consisting 
of two love-themes, recurring on cue at moments of tenderness, verified 
in the warm texture provided by the strings. Emie Motte himself is 
endowed with a scherzando motif that suggests an almost mischievous 
side to his character, which encourages sympathy with his fate. And each 
time Ernie approaches his mother's house, he is accompanied by a 
descending full-tone scale played on the clarinet, oboe, and bassoon, 
underscored punctuated with violin pizzicato, that precedes a more serious 
musical moment that suggests the tension between him and his mother. 
This collection of motifs helps the viewer to understand the emotional 
content of the story. 

On a more subtle level, this movie offers a sharp social critique 
that operates on the level of narration and that is replicated in the music. 
First of all, the story is framed by a historical reference to the two World 
Wars, which is introduced at the beginning by a narrator who comments 
sardonically on the fate that lies behind and ahead of our "humble hero," 
Emie Motte. Musically, this scene is interesting in that it seems to carry 
out exactly what Eisler prescribed for effective film-score writing, as it 
negates the visual message. Ernie Motte is passing by a tombstone of an 
"Unknown Warrior" of WWI, whose alleged heroic glory is undercut by 
the bombastic and dissonant cacophony that inspires more fear than 
sympathy for the war hero. This more critical musical moment is 
subsequently inteirupted by the "Emie-Motte-retums-to-his-mother" motif 
that effectively trivializes the previous narration. From this moment, we 
can rely on the music to clarify, rather than complicate, our understanding 
of the story by providing appropriate cues. 

However, there is a crucial moment in the second half of the film 
where the story and the narrative come to musical blows, hi this scene an 
elderly woman tries to sell her bird, to which she is very attached, to Emie 


Motte but discovers that it has in the meantime died. Within the cacophony 
that accompanies her shock one hears a reference to the "Emie-Motte- 
retiims-to-his-mother" motif, the descending full-tone scale. The music 
thus attaches significance to the bird's death by relating it to his mother's 
imminent death, which will now trouble Ernie greatly. What this moment 
also does is refer us musically to the cacophony of the opening frame and 
thus to the futility of human endeavor, indeed of humanity itself, during 
the interwar years. Furthermore, there is a brief moment where diegetic 
(which is a child's piano lesson) and non-diegetic music (equivalent to 
narrative music) collide to produce a little more cacophony, alerting us 
not only to the difference between the film's story and the narrative but 
also to the mediated nature of the music. Again, this exemplifies the kind 
of genuine montage that Eisler saw as a critical tool for exploring, rather 
than concealing, the tensions between different media. 

There is one further point of significance in this moment for the 
story of Ernie Motte's struggle through the interwar years. Ernie Motte 
has perfect pitch, and everything is out of tune; even the mechanical piano 
in the amusement park is flat. Even more to the point, however, Ernie 
himself is out of tune with the times, for there is little use for his talents 
within a capitalist society that relies on mechanized techniques of 
reproducibility and that renders the perfomier, even the human individual, 
almost irrelevant. For this reason, Ernie chooses to fumble around in his 
shabby clothes on the fringes of society, naming the pitch of any object 
that can produce one. This movie is all about music — its title refers to a 
piece of music by Tchaikovsky perfonned by his fonner girlfriend on the 
cello — and articulates precisely the issues of stymied creativity within a 
rationalized social system that bear directly on Eisler's own work as a 
Hollywood film composer. 

None hilt the Lonely Heart is full of the tensions between 
performed and mechanized music. Most significantly, mechanized music 
is associated with the well-dressed rogues who capitalize on it in their 
amusement park, which is equipped with its own mechanical piano. If 
human endeavor is barely relevant in music, then it comes as no surprise 
that the main gangster refers to himself as a "machine" that kills whenever 
necessary for material gain. Indeed, technology seems to have invaded 
into all affairs of human existence, including the body: even Ernie Motte's 
mother explains her illness in terms of her "machinery wearing down." 
And when Ernie Motte's new beloved leaves him to return to her gangster 
husband, Ernie is seen contemplating the music box that was a gift to her 
from the gangster. Ernie loses out in both love and music to the capitalist 

Perhaps the most telling moment in the film, and one where 


these points converge, is the car crash that kills one of the gangsters; the 
new human "machines," in other words, fall victim to their own machinery. 
The horn of the crashed car sounds, a policeman stands to the side and 
blesses the victim, and Ernie Motte responds by simply naming the horn's 
pitch as an E-flat. The juxtaposition of Ernie Motte 's pointed commentary 
with the policeman's religious blessing serves to underscore once more 
the irrelevance of humanity in a world of machines. 

Here, it seems. None but the Lonely Heart visits the same 
polemical avenues mapped out in Composing/or the Films, namely, those 
surrounding the problem of modem human existence consumed by mass- 
technological appeal and under the grip of late-capitalism. But the question 
remains as to what extent Eisler reconciles his aesthetic and political 
demands with the demands of the film industry that he is scrutinizing, 
and how the political tensions between Adomo and Eisler pan out. That 
is to say, to what extent is Eisler successful in his immanent critique of 
the commercial film music? The box-otTice receipts would suggest that 
he was not terribly successful. (Weber) despite the fact that the film was 
voted "Best Picture of the Year" by the National Board of Review, 
(Fetrow). and placed eighth on the "Ten Best Films" list in the New York 
Times Film Reviews. The New York Times ( 1 6) commends Eisler for his 
"magnificent musical score" that had been "worked, with sound and image, 
into a symphonic entity" in what was "truly a specimen film, both in sight 
and sound"; but the review concluded, without explaining why, that this 
picture would "not be widely accepted just now." Possible reasons for its 
non-popularity are suggested in a review in Theatre Arts, however, 
according to which the soundtrack's contribution to the "total effect" of 
the film is hampered by weaker moments of rather tenuous "dramatic 
motivations of musical effects" — a complete reversal of Eisler 's and 
Adomo's objection to dominant film scores. Moreover, Odets' script 
reveals old "habits of theatre thought"; and, tellingly, "the natural 
development of the story is further disturbed by several unmoti\ ated and 
unnecessary attempts to relate the case of Ernie Motte to the larger 
problems of a world on the verge of a second world war" (Rev. of None 
but the Lonely Heart, 719-20). What this review reveals, in fact, is that 
the critical moments of the film and musical score are lost not only on the 
general public, but also on some of the critics themselves. 

Not all critics, however, were unaware of the film's critical 
design — albeit perhaps a less effective one. A review from Films in Review 
explains that "there is a considerable discrepancy between what Odets 
thinks he shows us — a hero unable to elude the too wary grip of the 
tyrannous Mordoni (and that whole 'machine' of which Mordoni is a 
part) — and what he really shows us, which is the human spirit ... on its 


knees for quite another cause" (32-38). If this is the case, then perhaps 
Adorno, and not Eisler, was on the right track after all when he suggested 
that audience "taste" and "appreciation" depended on recognition, easy 
comprehensibility, and self-identification with the "total effect" of the 
film. Eisler and Odets, it seems, had been too subtle; the film's reception 
indicates little patience for such subtleties. The social critique seemed to 
have fallen on deaf ears, and while the music did assist in organizing the 
audience's emotions to a certain extent, it failed to organize the right 
ones: the love story founders, the mother dies, and Ernie Motte seems 
destined to become another "Unknown Warrior" of the Second World 

But is it then necessary, even relevant, to infer from its lack of 
box-office success a conflation of the American culture industry and 
Gennan fascist ideology along the lines suggested by Adorno? And should 
one extrapolate from this study of the role of art within capitalist society 
an implicit critique of the German fascist culture? In other words, is 
Adorno 's implicit and what might be construed as a reductive equation 
of German fascism with the Hollywood film industry** adequate to the 
task of understanding the film-composer's critical task? While some 
Hollywood exiles might have had more success in exploring the musical 
means to question such an unproblematic linkage between fascism and 
the culture industry, as Koepnick has argued, Eisler's and Odets' project 
seems to align the rationalized principles of film music with those of 
fascism. Indeed, written during World War II, None but the Lonely Heart 
may imply precisely this sort of complicity on Hollywood's part. And the 
final scene that resumes the film's narrative frame seems to suggest just 
that: Ernie Motte ponders the futility of all existence as fighter planes are 
heard rumbling overhead towards the Second World War, in which the 
human soul, Emie suggests, will be destroyed in a mass technological 


' For more on this encounter, see Sabine M. Feisst, "Arnold Schoenberg 
and the Cinematic Art," The Musical Quarterly 83: 1 ( 1 999): 93- 1 13. Salka 
Viertel, who was working for MGM, and who arranged and attended their 
meeting, recounts the negotiation between Thalberg and Schoenberg in 
her Das unbelehrbare Herz: Em Leben in der Welt des Theaters, der 
Literatur unddes Films (Hamburg: Claassen, 1 970) 309- 1 2. 

^ Olin Downes, after a New York premier of the Suite for String Orchestra 

inG in October 1935. Cited in Feisst 107. 

^ I refer to its English title as it was first published in English by Oxford 
University Press ( 1 947). 

■* Between 1940-1941, for example, Eisler wrote music for documentary 
films such as Kinderszeuen in eiriem Camp, for John Ford's Grapes of 
Wrath, Herbert Kline's Foi-gotten Ullage, and Joris Ivens' Regen. 

■ See Lutz Koepnick, The Dark Mirror: German Cinema between Hitler 
and Hollywood (Berkeley: U. of California P., 2002), especially 1-19; and 
Andreas Huyssen, "Adorno in Reverse: From Hollywood to Richard 
Wagner," in After the Great Divide: Modernism. Mass Culture. 
Postmodernism (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1986) 16-43. 

Works Cited 

Adomo, Theodor. "Analytical Study of the NBC Music Appreciation 
How\' The Musical Quarterly. Vol. 78:2 (summer 1994): 325-377. 

— . "On Popular Music," Studies in Philosophy and Social Science 9. 
(1941): 17-48. 

— . "The Radio Symphony, an Experiment in Theory." Radio Research. 
Ed. Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Frank N. Stanton. New York: Duell, 
Sloan and Pearce, 1 94 1 . 11 0-39. 

— . "A Social Critique of Radio Music." ATe/n'ow^ev/evr. Vol. 7:2(1945): 

— . "Versuch iiber Wagner." Gesammelte Schriften. Vol. 13. Frankfurt: 
Suhrkamp, 1970-. 20 vols. 

— . "Zur gesellschaftlichen Lage der Musik." Gesammelte Schriften. 
Vol. 18. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970-. 20 vols. 

Bahr, Ehrhard. "Der Schriftstellerkongress 1943 an der Universitat von 
Kalifomien." Deutsche Exilliteraturseit 1933. Vol. 1. California: 
Bern, 1976.40-61. 3 vols. 

Eisler, Hanns. Composing for the Films. London: Athlone Press, 1994. 


Feisst. Sabine M. "Arnold Schoenberg and the Cinematic Art." The 
Musical Quarterly 83:1(1 999): 93- 1 1 3 . 

Fetrow, Alan. Feature Films 1940-49: A United States Fihnography. 
Jefferson: McFarland, 1994. 

Hearings Regarding Hanns Eisler Washington: U. S. Government 
Printing Office, 1947. 

Huyssen, Andreas. "Adomo in Reverse: From Hollywood to Richard 
Wagner." After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, 
Postmodernism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1986. 16-43. 

Koepnick. Lutz. The Dark Mirror: German Cinema bet^veen Hitler and 
Hollym'ood. Berkeley: U. of California, 2002. 

Rev. of None but the Lonely Heart, music Hanns Eisler. Theatre Arts 28, 
Dec. 1944. 

Schebera, Jurgen. Hanns Eisler im USA-Exil. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 

Viertei. Salka. Das unbelehrbareHerz: Ein Leben in der Weltdes Tlieaters, 
der Literatur und des Films. Hamburg: Claassen, 1970. 309-12. 

Weber, Horst. "Eisler as Hollyw ood Film Composer, 1 942- 1 948." Historical 
Journal of Film, Radio and Television. Oct. 1998. 


The Wagner Industry 

the Politics of German Culture 

Nicholas Vazsonyl University of South Caroiina 

The cover story from the August 26, 2002 edition of Der Spiegel 
inadvertently illuminates much that is contained in the concept I refer to 
as the "Wagner industry." The extensive article is actually devoted to a 
comparison of Chancellor candidates Gerhard Schroder and Edmund 
Stoiber (48-68). As such, it appears to offer a balanced view of the two 
candidates, with pictures of them both as young men, with family, touring 
recent flood damage in the East, both in their private jets even with similar 
captions. The similarity ends with side-by-side photos of both the Schroder 
and the Stoiber couples at celebrations during the summer of 2002. While 
the Schroders are shown at Otto Schily's birthday party, the Stoibers are 
pictured attending the Bayreuth Festival. No doubt the remainder of this 
essay could be devoted to analyzing the meanings conveyed by these two 
images, both in isolation and especially in their juxtaposition, especially 
how identifying Stoiber with the Wagner festival works to situate him in 
the politics of Gemian culture to say nothing of the culture of German 
politics. This one image conjures up a realm of associations which by 
inference put the chancellor candidate into questionable company. For 
the average voter, Stoiber is the elitist enjoying high culture; for many 
intellectuals (the elite, in other words), the picture implicates him with 
the darkest images of German nationalism and demagoguery. The photo 
also recalls the connection between Wagner and Bavaria — both Stoiber 's 
home state and that of Bayreuth. This reminds us of Stoiber 's predecessor, 
"mad" King Ludwig II, the then head of the Bavarian State,' who almost 
bankrupted the treasury' because of his relationship with Wagner; early in 
the 20th century Bayreuth itself, as the home of the Wagner circle, became 
a hotbed of racist nationalist ideology; then there is Adolf Hitler, of course, 
who idolized Wagner and whose national political career — like 
Stoiber's — began in Munich. 

I submit that no other photograph in a setting of Gennan "high 
culture" could have been so rich in political signs, contradictory ones 
especially. But my point here is not to belabor well-known points, which 
represent only a microcosm of the epic and continuing story of Wagner, 


Wagnerites, and Wagnerism, a story by no means confined to Gennany 
alone. What interests me generally is why Wagner has for over 1 50 years 
been such a persistent source of reference? He was surely not the greatest 
(Gennan) composer ever. He was by no means the only anti-Semite nor 
the only nationalist among nineteenth-century artists and intellectuals. 
Many intellectuals have dismissed, if not ridiculed, his writings, arguing 
that his essayistic style was mostly ponderous and unappealing, his 
dramatic texts not up to literaiy standards of the time. He wasn't even the 
only German icon appropriated by the Nazis: So why does the connection 
between him and Hitler remain so ingrained? More specifically, I am 
interested in how it is that Wagner functions simultaneously as a symbol 
of elitism and populism. It is this quality, I think, which makes what I am 
calling the "Wagner Industry" both an exemplary and a unique 

The simple answer, of course, is that Wagner created an 
unprecedented and, to this day. unique forni of musical-dramatic artwork, 
using an equally unprecedented mixture of sensuous sound and evocative 
imagery, which for different reasons have appealed to astoundingly diverse 
audiences, and not just in Gennany: There are currently 130 Wagner 
Societies in six continents. He wrote extensively about his aesthetic 
theories, also publishing essays on a range of political and ideological 
issues, many of which were scandalous then and now. Arguably, many of 
these essays would today be little more than a footnote, except that they 
were written by Wagner, and rescued from journalistic oblivion by Wagner 
himself, immortalized in his own Gesammelte Schriften imd Dichtimgen, 
a project he began in 1873, ten years before his death. Here, I think we 
come a little closer to understanding what I am calling the "Wagner 
Industry." We could also call it the "Wagner business": The 
commodification of Wagner, not just by those — fans and critics alike — 
who would profit from his name posthumously, rather, and even more 
significantly. Wagner's commodification of himself In the following, I 
would like to explore an early, perhaps even the first, example of this 
self-commodification, because it touches on Wagner's unusual position 
in what Bourdieu has called the "field of cultural production," wherein 
Wagner created a unique market niche for himself 

It begins with Wagner's purportedly ill-fated trip to Paris between 
1839 and 1842 when the composer was in his late twenties. Detennined 
not be a "deutscher Philister" any more, as he put it, he went to Paris with 
the purpose of "durchschlagen, und Ruf und Geld gewinnen."- In this 
same letter from 1834, he makes no secret of his intention to compose 
"eine franzosische Oper" for Paris. In other words, he found Germany 
provincial and wanted to make a commercial success in the opera capital 


of the world by conforming to the expectations of the Parisian audience. 
Though it is plausible that Wagner underestimated the nature of the Paris 
music scene, the respected Wagner biographer Ernest Newman goes 
further, explaining that Wagner "forgot that there was a business side to 
art" (269). This reflects a common tendency of scholars to categorize 
Wagner as a member of the non-commercial, autonomous, "pure art" 
movement, reflecting Wagner's own assertion of the same. 

As his own correspondence reveals, however. Wagner's 
moti\ ation to go to Paris had everything to do with career, success and 
money: precisely the business side to art. It was also a business decision 
which made him choose Paris in the first place. Whereas German opera 
houses paid a one-time licensing fee for performance rights no matter 
how successful the work turned out to be, the Paris Opera paid royalties 
for each performance, which is why the luminaries of the Paris opera 
scene like Meyerbeer made a fortune (Newman 258). Success in Paris 
also guaranteed performance back in Germany. A secondary, and often 
even more lucrati\e. market was controlled by music publishers, like 
Wagner's sometime employer. Maurice Schlesinger. who sold scores of 
playable hits to a growing middle class clientele of amateur music makers. 
Piano transcriptions of operatic and symphonic exceipts together with 
hit tunes became enormously popular commodities and represented 
perhaps the first stages of today's mass media market. All of this led the 
contemporary French composer Hector Berlioz to describe the 
commercialized Paris music scene contemptuously as an "industry,""* a 
tenn Wagner himself would come to use. There is little doubt that Wagner 
was initially drawn to this "industry'." had ever>' intention of writing within 
its parameters and looked forward to the day when he would be "w ie ich 
keineswegs zweifele. erstaunlich beruhmt."^ Scholars have offered a 
variety of reasons for Wagner's miserable failure to break into the music 
scene, but there is no disagreement about the consequences: Wagner and 
his wife Minna were desperately poor and in debt. Wagner narrowly 
avoided debtor's jail and utterly debased himself doing menial 
arrangements for publishers like Schlesinger and writing humiliatingly 
obsequious letters to raise funds and find work (Spencer 95- 1 02). In stark 
contrast to his dreams of success, one of Wagner's more shocking letters 
to Meyerbeer reads as follows: 

Ich bin auf dem Punkte. mich an jemand verkaufen zu 
miissen, um Hulfe im substantiellsten Sinne zu erhalten. 
Mein Kopf u. mein Herz gehoren aber schon nicht mehr 
mir, — das ist Ihr Eigen. mein Meister; — mir bleiben 
hochstens nur noch meine Hande iibrig; — wollen Sie 


sie brauchen? — Ich sehe ein, Ihr Sclave mit Kopf und 
Leib zu werden. . .Ich werde ein treuer, redlicher Sclave 
sein, denn ich gestehe offen, daft ich Sclaven-Natur in 
mir habe; mir ist unendlich wohl, wenn ich mich 
unbedingt hingeben kann, riicksichtslos, mit blindem 
Vertrauen. ("Letter to Meyerbeer, 3.V.1840" 385-9) 

As Katharine Ellis and Matthias Brzoska point out, Wagner was not alone 
amongst composers who were rejected by Paris, but they precisely 
misunderstand his exceptional response when they write: "He remains 
the only one who made a career by constructing his little Paris ("petit 
Paris") outside of France but nevertheless peopled by the Parisian elite," 
(36).' Of course, Bayreuth was not at all a "petit Paris" but, instead, its 
mirror image: a provincial Gennan town with almost no cultural tradition, 
no civilization, no commercial scene, visited by no one, stuck in the middle 
of nowhere.^' As an idea, Bayreuth thus became the model for today's 
summer music festivals held all over Europe, the U.S. and Canada. Most 
of these are located away from the city, hence in a more natural setting, 
where an audience of the truly devoted can attend freed from the social 
expectations and rituals characteristic of city-opera performances. In his 
own singular way, Wagner triuinphed over Paris by fonning his own 
counter-industry, an industry that appears not to be one. As yet, no one 
has examined the components of this success, in part 1 suspect, because 
we (even Wagner's most vituperous critics) continue to be manipulated 
by Wagner's self-promotional strategies. 

There is widespread agreement that Wagner's Paris experience 
was seminal, that, as Robert Gutman remarks: "in Paris, the great Wagner 
of history took his first steps" (70); Martin Gregor-Dellin concurs, though 
his observation, like that of Gutman and others, is limited to the aesthetic 
sphere. However, Wagner's initial failure in Paris was not an aesthetic 
one, nor were his "first steps" aesthetic, as I will show. Instead, he initially 
failed to understand how the market worked. Similarly, his "first steps" 
were, to use market-oriented terminology, to launch a PR campaign, 
exploiting his very failure as a selling-point. Since there was no 
"profitable" alternative to the Paris music industry, Wagner ultimately 
created his own autonomous business enterprise — he uses the word 
"Untemehmung"^ at least as early as 1851 and then consistently — albeit 
an enterprise devoted to an aesthetic "high art" concept ("Theater in 
Zurich" 342). 

Wagner profited from a modernist sentimentalization of the 
purportedly pre-modern separation between "high art" and money, 
characterized by aristocratic or church-sponsorship, where the exchange 


of money for the art was more discreet than the more directly consumerist 
payment characteristic of the modem economy. Even though connections 
between art and the marketplace became ubiquitous and unavoidable in 
modernity, we continue to be invested (to use a financial term) in the 
disinterestedness of the so-called pure aesthetic, based on the intuition 
that the aesthetic value of an artwork is diminished in proportion to its 
commercial appeal. Wagner's counter-industry is in many ways 
paradoxical, because it appears not as an industry but as its opposite, 
adopting a Kantian veneer of disinterestedness and trading in the Tart 
pour Part pose of the 19th-century avant-garde, to which Wagner belonged 
and which Wagnerism did much to fuel. 

Wagner's Paris years are crucial to understanding the Wagner 
Industry, because the reviews, journalistic pieces, essays, and short stories 
Wagner wrote and published there between 1840 and 1841. in order to 
earn money, establish the narrative under which Wagner's persona and 
subsequent dramatic works are to be consumed. These prose works, as 
well as the theoretical treatises he would write almost a decade later, 
function, in current advertising parlance, as part of a media blitz, 
establishing both a personality and preparing the ground for a product 
launch, for a product, that is, which as yet doesn't even exist. Elements 
of the persona include: Wagner as the patriotic German, the starving, 
misunderstood, embattled artist, with a distaste for money and a loathing 
of commercialism and commodification, serving only music, presented 
as consecrated artfonn. The product to be launched; The anti-opera, with 
a variety of product labels — "Gesamtkunstwerk," "music drama," 

Most of what Wagner wrote was not new; instead he exploited 
and combined elements discursively well-established in German culture. 
Wagner appropriated them, amalgamated them coherently and in a way 
that, over the last one and a half centuries, has allowed the diverse 
audiences I mentioned earlier to select elements of the image which 
addressed them most directly while ignoring the rest. It is, by the way, 
this selective attention to Wagnerian detail which plagues Wagner 
scholarship to this day, and fuels the acrimony of its most active 
combatants: Combat which is, of course, but another aspect of the Wagner 

Perhaps the most astonishing and enduring transfomiation was 
from Wagner the "deutscher Philister" to Wagner as "deutscher Musiker," 
where "deutsch" and "Musiker" carry independent import but, when fused, 
become mutually reinforcing signifiers. Wagner exploited his time on 
foreign soil to awaken and throw into relief his Germanness. This 
Germanness, what it means to be German, is central to the Paris essays. 


Thus in the aptly titled: "Pariser Fatalitaten fiir Deutsche" ( 1 84 1 ) he laments 
"Es ist wohl wahr im ganzen ist es das Ennuyanteste, in Paris Deutsche}' 
zu sein," (45-6). Wagner rehearses a number of tropes which, since the 
mid-eighteenth century at least, had become part of the rhetorical effort 
to construct a Gennan national identity. Chief among these were the 
dichotomy of French superficiality, dishonesty and interest in money 
versus German depth, sincerity, and disinterest in money:** for Wagner, 
the French are generally wealthy and the Germans, especially those in 
Paris, are poor: '\4nmit aber ist das groBte Laster in Paris," consequently: 
"ein Deutscher und ein dummer. schlechter — namlich ehrlicher, armer — 
Mensch [ist] zu einem. und demselben Begriffe geworden" ("Pariser 
Fatalitaten" 47). 

This purported disinterest in money — and the symbolic capital 
that attends to it — lies at the intersection of multiple strands of thought 
aesthetic, nationalist, and more broadly ideological and is the cornerstone 
of Wagner's enterprise: the hugely profitable not-for-profit organization. 

For those who associate Wagner more readily with extreme right- 
wing movements of the twentieth century, it may come as some surprise 
to understand how closely he and his project were tied to what then and 
now continue to be the politics of the left, specifically the critique of 
modernity, an ideological current running from Schiller to the Frankfurt 
School and beyond. The anti-modem discourse — which is of course 
deeply modem in that its ethics of "social justice" rest on certain aspects 
of the Enlightenment — contains both conservative and progressive 
elements, positing an idealized premodemity now ruptured through 
alienation, fragmentation, isolation, specialization, to be healed in the 
future through a variety of political, economic, sociological and aesthetic 
ways. While the mpture has affected the totality of existence, a common 
theme concems the impact of commerce, regulated by money and self- 
interest, which has altered the human condition, and altered it for the 

Disinterest in money also has a "German" nationalist component, 
stemming from Tacitus's juxtaposition of Gennanic ignorance of gold 
and silver with Roman decadence: national cultural stereotyping that can 
be followed from Luther to the 20th century. The meeting point between 
a national German distaste for money, and the left-wing intellectual 
resistance to the crass commercialism of modemity results in one of the 
most poignant and hard-to-unravel paradoxes. While many of the most 
eloquent critics of the capitalist dimension of modemity were Jewish, this 
anti-commercial anti-modem discourse also became central to the anti- 
Semitic movement in Germany, where Jews became synonymous both 
w ith the perceived evils of profit-making and its opposite, communism. 


Wagner had his part to play in this emerging discourse, thus unwittingly 
aligning himself with the anti-Semitic turn in German national politics.*^ 

It is fascinating how similar Wagner's definition of being Gemian 
and being a "true" musician are, both relying on the trope of tlnancial 
disinterestedness: "[...] was Deutsch sei, namlich: die Sache, die man 
treibt, um ihrer selbst. . .willen treiben; wogegen das Niitzlichkeitswesen 
[. . .] sich als undeutsch herausstellte" ("Deutsche Kunst" 320). hi "Uber 
deutsches Musikwesen" ( 1 840), he writes: "Der Deutsche hat ein Recht, 
ausschlieBlich mit 'Musiker' bezeichnet zu werden, — denn von ihm kann 
man sagen, er liebt die Musik inn ihrer selbst willen, — nicht als Mittel zu 
entziicken. Geld und Ansehen zu erlangen, sondem weil sie eine gottliche, 
schone Kunst ist, die er anbetet, und die, wenn er sich ihr ergibt, sein ein 

Music thus consecrated also serves to separate it from the world 
of commerce and is of course reminiscent of Luther's (Gennan) campaign 
to rid Christianity of (mainly Roman) profit-seekers. Again Wagner did 
nothing new, but adopted a 50-year-old discourse in German culture, 
reflected in the literary genre called the Musiknovelle starting at least as 
early as the Berglinger-episode in Wackenroder's Herzensergiefiungen 
eines kunstliebenden Klosterbruders ( 1 797) and reaching its zenith with 
E.T.A. Hoffmann's short stories." The Musiknovelle rehearses several 
tropes: music as a religious experience, the starving artist living for his 
art, resisting the commercial bourgeois world of philistine consumers, 
the dichotomy of easy "enjoyable," popular thus superficial music, versus 
the deep, complex, esoteric, accessible only to the select few, a dichotomy 
which suggests always that the artist who writes "difficult" music 
necessarily suffers financial ruin. This literary-musical discourse itself 
borrowed concepts from the earlier "Geniekult" of the Stumi und Drang, 
which saw the author as a "second Maker, a just Prometheus under Jove," 
to use Shaftesbury's formulation from 1711 (Shaftesbury 1 36). 

Nor did the ideals expressed in the Miisiknovellen remain 
confined to the literary sphere, as the examples of Robert Schumann and 
Franz Liszt — both slightly older contemporaries of Wagner — demonstrate. 
Schumann founded the still-running Neiie Zeitschrift f'iir Musik and 
penned articles and reviews, posing as different members of his imagined 
"Davidsbund" against the philistines. Liszt amended the medieval concept 
of ''noblesse oblige^' to ''genie oblige" thus participating in the elevated 
status of art and its creators (Walker 290-91 ). Perhaps the first example of 
a non-fictional composer raised to divine status during his lifetime is 
Beethoven. Count Waldstein once wrote to the young composer that he 
would "receive Mozart's spirit from Haydn's hands" (De Nora 83-84). 
This act of anticipatory canonization was later sealed in Grillparzer's famous 


funeral oration where Beethoven was described as "der letzte Meister 
des tonenden Liedes, derTonkunst holder Mund, der Erbe und Erweiterer 
von Handels und Bachs, von Haydns und Mozarts unsterblichem 

Wagner's contribution to the cult of Beethoven was a little 
Musiknovelle of his own titled: "Eine Pilgerfahrt zu Beethoven." This 
short story is actually the first piece in a collection titled: Ein dentscher 
Mitsiker in Paris. Novellen unci Aufsdtze (1840/41), produced, directed 
and starring Richard Wagner: in other words, it is a marketing and PR 
vehicle.'^ The narrator of this framed work, structurally reminiscent of 
E.T. A. Hoffmann, happens to be a Gemian musician in Paris. The collection 
is purportedly the narrator's way of memorializing a fictitious musician 
named "R," also a German musician who meets his end in Paris, making 
Wagner both the narrator and the described.'^ 

Hector Berlioz is famed for writing: "Ma vie est un roman qui 
m'interesse beaucoup" (my life is a novel which greatly interests me).'^ 
Wagner, by contrast, appears to write a novel that becomes the blueprint 
for his life or, as Eva Rieger recently suggested: "Fur ihn [Wagner] war 
jedoch das Leben eine Biihne und die Biihne stellte sein Leben dar" 
(Rieger 9). It is of course dangerous to use biographical details from the 
author's life to interpret his fiction. But in the case of Wagner, the fiction 
in many respects precedes the reality that followed. Nowhere is this more 
pronounced than in "Eine Pilgerfahrt zu Beethoven." The narrator of the 
novella is the now deceased "R" who comes from a "mittelmaBige Stadt 
des mittleren Deutschlands" with first letter "L" (Wagner was bom in 
Leipzig, by the way) ("Pilgerfahrt" 86- 1 1 2, 87, 92). This time, it is the poor, 
unknown, "R" who must himself undertake the pilgrimage, though this is 
nothing to be ashamed of since the divine Beethoven (like "R") was 
"auch ein amier, deutscher Musiker!" ("Pilgerfahrt" 88). 

"R's" journey to Beethoven is filled with all the tropes already 
discussed: in order to raise the necessary funds, "R" must prostitute himself 
and his ideals by composing hits - later in the novella, Beethoven even 
refers to these kinds of pieces as "Ware" (111) - for the new music 
industiy: "Ich schauderte; aber meine Sehnsucht Beethoven zu sehen, 
siegte; ich komponierte Galopps und Potpurris, konnte aber in dieser 
Zeit aus Scham mich nie iiberwinden, einen Blick auf Beethoven zu 
werfen, denn ich fiirchtete ihn zu entweihen" (Wagner, "Pilgerfahrt" 88). 
Once on the road, "R" happens on a group of traveling musicians, who 
gather under a tree to play the Beethoven Septet. An Englishman passing 
by throws them a gold coin, which none of the musicians take. Later that 
evening, the Englishman turns up again at the inn where "R" is staying 
and, again throwing him money, asks him to play some more. "Das verdroB 


mich;" reports "R," "ich erklarte, daB ich nicht fiir Geld spielte" (Wagner, 

"R's" meeting with Beethoven forms the climax of the novella. 
The conversation quickly turns to Beethoven's only opera Fidelio, which 
"R" had seen performed the evening before. Beethoven quickly concedes 
"Ich bin kein Opemkomponist," but adds this significant explanation: 

Wenigstens kenne ich kein Theater in der Welt, tur das 
ich gem wieder eine Oper schreiben mochte! Wenn ich 
eine Oper machen wollte, die nach meinem Sinne ware, 
wiirden die Leute davonlaufen; denn da wiirde nichts 
von Arien, Duetten, Terzetten und all dem Zeuge zu 
finden sein, womit sie heutzutage die Opern 
zusammenflicken, und was ich daflir machte, wiirde 
kein Sanger singen und kein Publikum horen wollen. 
(Wagner, "Pilgerfahrt" 107) 

Beethoven despairs that the composer of a real "musikalisches Drama" 
would be considered a fool, but "R" eagerly picks up on this new term 
and wants to know more. Although the theory is not yet worked out in 
the kind of detail which characterizes Wagner's groundbreaking book- 
length essay Oper und Drama written a decade later, the basic principles 
are introduced here in a handful of sentences: the need for a new kind of 
theater, the obsolescence of opera with its set pieces, and the necessity 
to reconceptualize the genre thoroughly. It is a project for which there is 
"today" (heutzutage) no audience, hence the need to create one: this, in a 
nutshell, will become Wagner's project for the remainder of his life. 
Nowadays we call this aspect of creating a consumer base "product 
placement": James Bond drives a car conspicuously showing the 
trademark BMW, maybe a model that isn't even available yet. In "Eine 
Pilgerfahrt zu Beethoven," Wagner creates the shelf-space and potential 
demand for his new product, and even has none other than Beethoven 
endorse it. 

There would be more to say about this novella, but I would like 
to close by mentioning another short story from the collection "Ein Ende 
in Paris," where the play between narrator and "R" - between ego and 
alter-ego - is at its most profound. The story ends with Wagner staging 
his own death, but not before he utters the famous last words: "Ich glaube 
an Gott, Mozart und Beethoven, in gleichem an ihre Jiinger und Apostel," 
an avowal Wagner then cites in his own "Autobiographische Skizze" of 
1843 ("Ende in Paris" 136; "Autobiographische Skizze" 111). Wagner 
sets up a new Holy Trinity of narrator, protagonist, with music as the 


Holy Spirit. The martyr's death from poverty which "R" suffers in Paris is 
suffused with Catholic imagery: "ich glaube an den heiligen Geist und an 
die Wahrheit der einen, unteilbaren Kunst ... ich glaube, dafi alle durch 
diese Kunst selig werden" ("Ende in Paris" 136). The moment of "R's" 
death and transfiguration is described by text that suggestively prefigures 
the musically sublime endings which would become a hallmark of 
Wagner's mature work: "so himmlisch verklart glanzte sein Auge, so 
entzuckt verblieb er in atemloser Stille." One can almost hear the final 
chords of Gotterdammerung, Parsifal, and above all Tristan. "Ich schloB 
seine Augen," the narrator adds, "und bat Gott um einen ahnlichen Tod" 
(Wagner, "Ende in Paris" 136). 

The irony, of course, is that the Wagner who died in Paris was, if 
anything, the "deutscher Philister" who went there to become hugely 
famous and make money, only to be reborn as Richard Wagner, the 
"deutscher Musiker," the apostle of "die heil'ge Deutsche Kunst" (to 
quote the last words from Meistersinger von Niirnberg) who used his 
new-found religion to achieve the same goal. He would die four decades 
later shortly after Parsifal, a "Biihnenweihfestspiel" consecrated by the 
composer himself, was premiered in his theater built for the purpose. 

Today, there are many Richard Wagners, from the emblem of 
Nazi horror boycotted by Israelis, to the composer of the "wedding march" 
played while American brides walk to the altar unaware of and 
disinterested in the music's origin, to the idol of paying pilgrims, seeking 
admittance to his hallowed Bayreuth theater which still stands, now with 
an eight-year waiting list, tickets readily available only to the mega-elite. 


' On the relationship between Wagner and Ludwig II, see most recently 
Dieter Borchmeyer, Richard Wagner: Ahasvers Wandhmgen (Frankfurt/ 
M: Insel, 2002), especially 427. 

^ Letter to Theodor Apel, 27. X. 1 834, Richard Wagner, Sdmtliche Briefe, 
Bd. I, hrsg. Gertrud Strobel und Werner Wolf (Leipzig: Dt. Verlag fiir 
Musik, 1967-) 167-8. See also Wagner's "AutobiographischeSkizze( 1843)" 
in Ausgewdhlte Schriften, hrsg. Dietrich Mack (Frankfurt: Insel, 1974): 
94-1 13,here 101. 

^ Hector Berlioz, Memoires, Vol. 2, ed. Pierre Citron (Paris: Gamier- 
Flammarion, 1969). Berlioz refers to "L'industrialismedel'art" (3 12). Robert 
Gutman describes it as "bringing the Industrial Revolution to music," see 


Robert Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind and His Music 
(New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1968): 69. 

"• Letter to Meyerbeer, 18.1.1 840, in Giacomo Meyerbeer, Briefwechsel imd 
Tagebiicher, hrsg. Heinz und Gudrun Becker (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1975) 3: 
229-32. Also in Sdmtliche Briefe 1: 378-79, though with extensive 

^ "II en restera le seul qui achevera sa carriere en se construisant son 
'Petit Paris' hors de la France main neanmoins peuple par Telite parisienne." 
They add, significantly, and quite rightly 1 believe: "11 est bien evident 
que le discours Wagnerien aurait pu prendre tout autre chemin si Wagner 
avait pu achever sa carriere comme tous ses contemporains; c'est a dire 
sur le pave parisien" (36). 

^ Wagner discusses Bayreuth's geographic and cultural-historical 
significance, describing the town as "das kleine, abgelegene, unbeachtete 
Bayreuth" (30), in his essay: "Das Biihnenfestspielhaus Bayreuth: Nebst 
einem Berichte iiber die Grundsteinlegung desselben," Dichtungen und 
Schriften. 10 Vols. Ed. Dieter Bore hmey er. Frankfurt/M.: Insel, 1983. 10: 

'' Wagner uses both "Untemehmung" and "Untemehmer." 

** This disinterest, a theme we can trace all the way back to Tacitus 
{Germania Chapter 5), suggests a certain national purity and moral 
superiority. After Tacitus, the boldest example of this German national 
trait is surely Luther's protest against the Papal fusion of religion and 
business and call to reform the faith, by ridding it of corruption. 

"^ Marc Weiner talks about many of these same issues, but only as they 
pertain to Wagner's anti-Semitism; see his Richard Wagner ctnd the Anti- 
Semitic Imagination (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1 995): 
46-54, 108-9, and 153-63. 

'"Author's emphasis. 

" There is a vast literature concerning this genre; for a good overview, 
see Karl Prumm, "Berglinger und seine Schiiler: Musiknovellen von 
Wackenroder bis Richard Wagner," Zeitschrift fiir deutsche Philologie 
105.2 (1986): 186-212. The genre continues beyond Wagner with 
Grillparzer's Armer Spielmann (1848), Moricke's Mozart aufder Reise 


nach Prag (1855), and reaches its diabolical apotheosis with Thomas 
Mann's full-scale novel Doktor Faustus (1947). 

'^ "Grillparzer's Grabrede 29. Marz 1 827," Liidwig van Beethoven: In Briefen 
imd Lebensdokumenten, ausgewahlt von Anton Wiirz und Reinhold 
Schimkat (Stuttgart: Reclam, 1 96 1 ) 2 1 2- 1 4, here 212. 

'^ Richard Wagner, Ein deutscher Mnsiker in Paris. Novel len nnd Aufsdtze, 

'"* Published in French translation in the Revue et Gazette musicale. Many 
of them also appeared simultaneously in the Gemian original in the 
Dresden Abend-Zeitimg. 

'" Letter to Humbert Ferrand, 1 2. VI. 1 833, see Hector Berlioz: A Selection 
from his Letters, selected and trans. Humphrey Searle (New York: Vienna 
House, 1973)53. 

Works Cited 

Berlioz, Hector. Memoires. Vol. 2. Ed. Pierre Citron. Paris: Gamier- 
Flammarion, 1969. 

Bore hmeyer. Dieter. Richard Wagner: Ahasvers Wandlungen. Frankfurt: 

Bourdieu, Pierre. The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary 
Field. Trans. Susan Emanuel. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1995. 

De Nora, Tia. Beethoven and the Construction of Genius: Musical 
Politics in Vienna, 1792-1803. Berkeley: U of California, 1995. 

Ellis, Katharine and Matthias Brzoska. "Avant-propos methodologique." 
Von Wagner zwn Wagnerisme: Musik. Literatur, Kunst, Politik. 
Ed. Annegret Fauser and Manuela Schwartz. Leipzig: Leipziger 
Universitatsverlag, 1999. 35-37. 


Gregor-Dellin, Martin. Richard Wagner: His Life, His Works, His Century. 
Trans. J. Maxwell Brownjohn. London: Harcourt, Brace, 
Jovanovich, 1983. 

Gutman, Robert. Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind and His Music. 
New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1968. 

Leinemann, Jurgen. "Das DuqW^ DerSpeigelTtS, 26 August 2002: 48-68. 

Newman, Ernest. The Life of Richard Wagner. Vol. 1. London: Cassell, 

Rieger, Eva. Minna iind Richard Wagner: Stationen einer Liebe. 
Diisseldorf: Artemis & Winkler, 2003. 

Shaftesbury, Anthony Earl of. ""Soliloquy or Advice to an Author." 
Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, etc. Ed. 
John Robertson. 2 Vols. 1st ed. 1900. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 

Spencer, Stewart. "Wagner behind bars?" Wagner 1 998, 3. 1 9: 95- 1 02. 

Wagner, Richard. "Autobiographische Skizze {\'&A2)).'"' Aiisgewdhlte 
Schriften. Ed. Dietrich Mack. Frankfurt: Insel, 1974. 94-1 13. 

— . "Das Biihnenfestspielhaus Bayreuth: Nebst einem Berichte iiber die 
Grundsteinlegung desselben." Dichtungen nnd Schriften. 10 
Vols. Ed. Dieter Borchmeyer Frankflirt/M.: Insel, 1983. 10: 21-44. 

— . "Deutsche Kunst und deutsche Politik." Dichtungen und Schriften. 
10 Vols. Ed. Dieter Borchmeyer. Frankfurt/M.: hisel, 1983. 8: 217- 

— . Ein deutscher Musiker in Paris: Novellen undAufsatze. Dichtungen 
und Schriften 5: S6-\93. 

— . "Ein Ende in Paris." Ein deutscher Musiker in Paris. Novellen und 
Aufsdtze, Dichtungen und Schriften 5: 112-137. 

— . "Letter to Meyerbeer, \S.\.\S40.'' Briefwechsel undTagebiicher. By 
Giacomo Meyerbeer. Ed. Heinz und Gudrun Becker. Berlin: de 
Gmyter, 1975. 


— . "Letter to Meyerbeer, 3.V. 1 840." ScimtUche Briefe, Bd I. Ed. Gertmd 
Strobel and Werner Wolf. Leipzig: Dt. Verlag fiLir Miisik, 1967-: 

— . "Letter to Theodor Apel: 27.X.1834." Sdmtliche Briefe, Bd 1. Ed. 
Gertrud Strobel and Werner Wolf. Leipzig: Dt. Verlag fur Musik, 

— . "Pariser Fatalitaten fur Deutsche." Dichtimgen iind Schriften. 1 
Vols. Ed. Dieter Borchmeyer. Frankftirt/M.: Insel, 1983. 5: 45-66. 

— . "Eine Pilgerfahrt zu Beethoven." Ein deutscher Miisiker in Paris. 
Novellen iind Aiifsatze, Dichtimgen und Schriften 5. 

— . "Ein Theater in Zurich." (1851) Dichtimgen und Schriften. 1 Vols. 
Ed. Dieter Borchmeyer. Franktlirt/M.: Insel, 1983. 6: 342-77. 

— . "iJber deutsches Musikwesen." Dichtimgen und Schriften. 10 Vols. 
Ed. Dieter Borchmeyer. Frankfurt/M.: Insel, 1983. 5: 151-70. 

Walker, Alan. Franz Liszt. Vohnne One: The Virtuoso Years 1811- 
1847. NewYork: Knopf, 1983. 

Weiner, Marc. Richard Wagner and the Anti-Semitic Imagination. 
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995. 


The Historians' Mann and Mann's Historian: 

Thomas Mann and Erich Kahler 

Hans R. Vaget, Smith College 

Thomas Mann has, on the whole, not fared well at the hands of 
professional historians. To be sure, historians of all stripes are fond of 
referring their readers to Mann's first novel, Budcienhrooks, as a key 
document of nineteenth-century social history, but far too many prefer to 
evade, or simply ignore, the historical importance of Mann's late novel. 
Doctor Faustus, even though that book, arguably, represents the most 
perspicacious attempt in all of German literature to focus on the hidden 
cultural and psychological roots of what Friedrich Meinecke has famously 
termed "die deutsche Katastrophe." 

The picture only gets worse when we turn to Mann's non- 
fictional comment and opinion. Mann produced a significant body of 
political writing that covers the four most terrible decades of European 
history, from 1914 to 1955, the year of his death. Mann had been drawn 
into the public arena by World War I, the "Urkatastrophe" of the twentieth 
century, and despite the unexpected outcome of the war, or perhaps 
because of it, Mann felt it incumbent upon himself in the face of the 
ensuing turbulent developments in Germany and Europe to remain in the 
heat of the battle and to accept the writer's responsibility for the welfare 
of the nation. From his notoriously nationalistic Kriegsschriften of 19 14' 
and his massive but conflicted wartime essay. Reflections of a NonpoliticaJ 
Man, through his speeches in support of the Weimar Republic, his 
vociferous opposition to the Third Reich and his propaganda-making for 
the Allies during his exile in the United States, all the way to his various 
utterances about divided Germany and the Cold War — Mann's political 
interventions have found surprisingly little favor with cultural and political 
historians. Ironically, it was Golo Mann, Thomas Mann's son and himself 
a professional historian, who provided the most damaging catch-phrase 
for all those who, on whatever grounds, have some quarrel with one or 
another of Mann's many political pronouncements. Writing in 1974 in 
the prestigious Frankfurter AUgemeine Zeittmg, Golo characterized both 
his father and his uncle, Heinrich Mann, as "unwissende Magier" — 
ignorant magicians of the word. Joachim Fest, the distinguished 
biographer of Hitler and historian of the Third Reich, used Golo's epithet 


as the title of a widely admired book, in which he all but dismisses the 
political writings of both Mann brothers as amateurish and unworthy of 
serious consideration. This view is now widely held by historians and 
Mann scholars as well. They argue that the author of Reflections of a 
Nonpolitical Man remained to the end, at heart, just that — a nonpolitical 
man; that he harbored a notion of democracy that was not tmly democratic; 
and that he opposed the Nazis for reasons that are suspect, since for three 
years he hesitated to declare himself, until, in 1936, he finally took a 
stand against Nazi Germany and burned all bridges to his homeland. 

What is generally missing from these snap judgments is balance. 
Mann's understanding of democracy was indeed insufficient by today's 
Western standards, but this deficiency is easily outweighed by his 
courageous and badly needed support of the Weimar Republic in 1922, 
at a time when virtually all intellectuals on both the Left and the Right 
were expressing disdain, if not scorn, for the new, unloved German 
Republic. Likewise, his admittedly tactical, but by no means 
compromising silence during the first three years of the Nazi regime in 
no way diminishes his impassioned opposition to and articulate critique 
of National Socialism both before 1933 and after 1936. And his obvious 
rootedness in the pre-World War I culture of the German 
"Bildungsbiirgertum" in no way disqualifies him as an analyst of the 
historical and psychological antecedents of the German catastrophe. 

Implicit in the disparagement of Mann's political writings is 
something more insidious and far-reaching — the denial of Mann's 
relevance to the political culture that emerged in Gennany after the defeat 
of the Third Reich. This, it appears, is the chief point in Aleida Assmann's 
reading of Mann in her important 1999 essay, Geschichtsvergessenheit, 
Geschichtsversessenheit, an analysis of the different ways in which 
German intellectuals, after 1945, constructed the past and assessed 
German guilt — an analysis that here requires careful consideration. 
Assmann observes that this oppressive historical task was for a long time 
hindered by two equally powerful, but conflicting psychological forces: 
the desire to forget histoiy, on the one hand, and the obsessive compulsion 
to return to it, on the other. Beginning with the 1998 debate between 
Martin Walser, the novelist, and Ignatz Bubis, President of the Central 
Council of Jews in Germany, Assmann retrospectively traces the various 
stages in the slow formation of German memory after 1945. She argues 
that in the waning years of the Bonn Republic and, after 1990, during the 
Berlin Republic, these debates have laid the foundation for a new political 
culture which is distinguished by an honest and complete accounting of 
the past and by a post-national, or rather trans-national conception of 
democracy. A decisive turning point was reached in 1 985 with President 


Richard von Weizsacker's address before parliament, commemorating the 
fortieth anniversary of the German capitulation — a speech Assmann 
identifies as the most conspicuous marker of a momentous historical turn 
when, according to the polls, a majority of Germans appeared ready to 
acknowledge German guilt and accept responsibility for the crimes of 
their fathers and grandfathers. Prior to that address to the German people, 
the victims' assertion of "This is your guilt" was resented as a constant 
reminder of German shame; after it, that assertion, according to Assmann, 
began to be accepted and internalized by a majority of Gennans who are 
now prepared to say "Yes, this is our guilt." 

The distinction between shame and guilt is crucial to Assmann's 
project, for it provides the decisive coordinates for German memory. In 
fact, she distinguishes between a Schamkultur and a Schuldkultm\ with 
the former, the culture of shame, favoring silence and forgetting, and the 
latter, the culture of guilt, favoring acknowledgement and responsibility. 
Since Schamkultur and Schuldkultur present two very different value 
systems, their repercussions in German political culture have differed 
greatly (Assmann 88). 

Assmann places Thomas Mann firmly in the camp of 
Schamkultur. Indeed, she views him as one of the decisive figures in the 
post-war discourse on German shame that continued long after 1945 and 
that surfaced again when Martin Walser, in his much debated Frankfurt 
address of 1 1 October 1998, complained about the "instrumentalization 
of our shame for present-day purposes" and confessed to an inner 
resistance against the "continuous presentation of our shame in the 
media."- Assmann's view of Mann is based on two texts: his famous 
Library of Congress address of 20 May 1945, "Germany and the 
Germans"; and an extended passage from chapter 46 of Doctor Faustus, 
in which the narrator reports on the liberation of the Buchenwald 
concentration camp and reflects on the incalculable implications of 
German crimes for "all that is Gennan." 

The latter passage speaks of "unsere Schmach" — "our 
ignominy," which "lies naked before the eyes of the world" (Mann, Doktor 
Faustus 505). Although the word "Scham" does not itself occur here, 
Assmann quite reasonably infers that the writer of comments such as 
these had to have been possessed of an overwhelming sense of shame. 
Now, normally, shame is caused by the realization of a moral failure. For 
the novel's citizens of Weimar, forced by an American general to march 
through Buchenwald and file by the crematoria, shame is caused by the 
coercion to look and to take note. Assmann believes that this fully applies 
to Mann's view of the German people as a whole, who are said to feel 
ashamed because in 1945 the whole world was watching them being forced 


to take note ot German crimes. (Here Assmann invokes Charles Darwin, 
who held that shame is caused not by a true sense of guilt but rather by 
the realization that others see one as guilty.) She then concludes that 
Mann, too, lacked a sense of individual guilt and subscribed rather to the 
convenient blanket notion of collective guilt, as did, apparently, the 
American general who liberated Buchenwald. Assmann finds proof of 
this in "Germany and the Gennans," and specifically in Mann's claim 
that the "good Gennany" and "evil Gemiany" are identical; that the "evil 
Germany" is merely the "good Germany" gone astray. 

This has far-reaching implications for Assmann's larger 
assessment of Mann's role in the emergence of a new political culture in 
post-war Germany. As Assmann sees it, Mann's position was an obstacle 
in Gennany's slow but in the end exemplary road from the post-war trauma 
through the student revolts of 1968 to the various public debates about 
recent German history in the 1980s and 1990s and, eventually, to the 
cunent enlightened state of affairs. As an exemplar of Schamkultiit\ Mann 
is deemed to have slowed the formation on both the individual and 
collective level of a politically mature German identity, which, given the 
model of cultural anthropology employed here, can be achieved only 
through public acknowledgement of individual guilt (Assmann 90f ). With 
his rhetoric of collecfive guilt, Mann is said to cling to that essentialist 
mind-set which has been a fundamental feature of anti-Semitism (90f.) 
Ultimately, Mann's attitude towards the Holocaust is here linked to an 
anachronistic aristocratic code of behavior, in which the exposure of one's 
Schande is experienced as a loss of honor and as a threat to one's fragile 
sense of identity (84). 

Assmann 's reading, it seems to me, largely echoes the arguments 
of the 1960s and 1970s when ideologically motivated denigrations of 
Mann from the Left had become routine, reaching a nadir in 1975, on the 
centenary of Mann's birth. At present, however, these views have lost 
what little plausibility they possessed at the time. In fact, in light of our 
significantly broadened and deepened knowledge of Mann and his times, 
they now ring downright false. 

Golo Mann's uncharitable view of his father's political 
pronouncements, while eagerly embraced by some, is by no means shared 
by all Mann experts, for it is obvious to students of the Mann family that 
Golo's relationship to his father was deeply conflicted (Reich-Ranicki; 
Bitterli) — so much so that his own, eventually quite successful writing 
career did not really take off until after his father's death. It is hardly 


surprising, then, that Golo should posthumously give in to a longstanding 
and dark desire to undermine his father's authority in precisely the field 
that he had chosen as his own: German history and political commentary. 
In light of this tangled family atTair, several noted Mann experts — among 
them T.J. Reed, Ehrhard Bahr, Martin Travers — have refused to take Golo 
Mann at his word. On the contrary, they have regarded Thomas Mann's 
political interventions as indispensable contributions to the new political 
culture in Germany, and their views have been emphatically endorsed by 
such political scientists as Kurt Sontheimer and Theo Stammen. To this 
small, but growing number of voices appreciative of Mann's political 
stances must now be added the name of Heinrich August Winkler, the 
distinguished Berlin historian and author of a magisterial, two-volume 
account of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Gennan history, Der lange 
Weg nach Westeu, published in 2000, in which the author examines 
German attitudes towards the political culture of the West and revisits 
the much debated question of Germany's Sondenveg — its deviation from 
the path followed by the West. Winkler argues that that deviation may be 
attributed primarily to the spectral after-life of the Reich as a political 
and, even more, as a meta-political idea. What Winkler terms the 
Reichsniythos survived the actual demise in 1806 of the Holy Roman 
Empire of the German nation by 139 years and served, after 1933, as a 
bridge between the educated middle classes and Hitler (II: 647). Nothing 
separated Germany from the West more decisively than her universalist 
ambition to be something different from and greater than the other 
European nations — to be a Reich, again, with all that notion's hallowed 
connotations (1:114). The establishment of the Third Reich by Hitler, 
therefore, marks the extreme point of Gennany's deviation from the 
development of the West, regardless of the many extant social and cultural 
ties connecting Gennany to that same West. Not until 1990 did Germany 
become a sovereign, "democratic, post-classical nation state" (II: 655) — 
a political entity like others in Europe; thus, the end of German 
Zweistaatlichkeit and unification also meant, according to Winkler, a final 
farewell to all German Sonderwege. 

Particularly remarkable about Winkler's account of German 
history are its affinities with the thinking of Thomas Mann, for central to 
both is the thesis that a particular myth — that is to say, a meta-political 
notion of far-reaching practical ramifications in the political realm — has 
been a driving force in recent German history. In Winkler's reading, that 
role was played by the Reichsmythos. For the author of Doctor Faiistus, 
that force was the myth of "German" music, whose superiority and 
uniqueness justified, in the minds of many educated and music-loving 
Germans, the monstrous attempt to translate that perceived cultural 


supremacy into geopolitical hegemony. It can hardly come as a surprise, 
then, that Winkler gives Mann's political writings the highest marks they 
ever received from a professional historian. 

Winkler favorably contrasts Mann's views on the "German 
catastrophe" with those of Friedrich Meinecke, the venerable historian 
who coined that questionable term. He shows how Meinecke tried but 
failed to fit National Socialism into the mainstream course of German 
history, and highlights the deficiencies of his historical understanding, 
including his anti-Jewish bias, and the inadequacies of his prescriptions 
for Gennany's renewal through a return to the values of Gennan classical 
literature and music. For Winkler as for Mann, the notion of "German 
catastrophe" denotes not merely something that the Germans had to 
suffer — defeat, destruction, humiliation — but also and primarily what the 
Gemians perpetrated. Accordingly, Winkler's entire account of the Third 
Reich bears the chapter heading, "Die deutsche Katastrophe, 1933-1945," 
in which it is argued that of all the pundits at the time only Mann met the 
intellectual challenge identified by Meinecke, namely the uncovering of 
the deep layers of German thought that surfaced and culminated in Nazism. 
Ever since the late 1940s, a standard charge has been that Mann 
constructed too long an etiology of the "German catastrophe" by 
suggesting that its psychic pre-conditions can be traced back to the 
Reformation and to the Middle Ages. Winkler seems to be the first 
historian to praise Mann for the historical depth and acuity of his vision. 
It is precisely this deep-focus view of German history, he suggests, that 
constitutes the superiority of Mann's historical understanding to 

Mann's long- view approach enabled him to put his finger on 
certain crucial factors that facilitated the rise of Hitler and the success of 
National Socialism. Winkler singles out Mann's emphasis on the historical 
circumstances that produced the peculiarly German notion of freedom: 
freedom to reject outside interference and influence, freedom to differ 
from the West, freedom to be authentically German. Unlike the Western 
notion of freedom, however, the German notion never really encompassed 
civil liberties. The fact that Germany never experienced a truly liberating 
revolution was seen by Mann as indicative of a history that was shaped 
solely by an outwardly directed notion of freedom. Mann offered a 
psychological interpretation of this course of history, which Winkler 
underlines, as Gennany's Faustian attempt to achieve world domination — 
to Gennanize Europe, that is, rather than to Europeanize Germany.^ This 
pathological inversion, for Mann, resulted from an historical process of 
perversion: the attempted enslavement of the world by a people who 
themselves lacked freedom. Likewise, the Germans' inborn universalist 


and cosmopolitan proclivities — favored by geography and history, and 
part of the nation's genetic make-up since the medieval Reich — were 
transformed into their opposite, from something benign into something 
aggressive. Germany's universalist proclivities in the nineteenth and 
twentieth centuries were seen by Mann as a perverted form of Germany's 
old universalism. To Mann, that retrograde transformation of something 
"good" into something "evil" seemed essentially diabolical, which is 
precisely why he was inspired to use the Faust myth as a metaphor for 
Gennany — an artistic decision for which he has frequently been criticized.^ 
Such criticism, however, is short-sighted, for it obscures Mann's crucial 
point — that there are not two Germanys, one good, one evil, but only 
one — whose ancient universalism was turned into a desire for world 
domination as a result of a particular historical process. And it is that 
process which Mann imaginatively reconstructed in Doctor Faustus. To 
Winkler, Mann's essay, "Gennany and the Gennans," presents a plausible 
psycho-historical sketch of the pre-histor>' of the Third Reich, and thus a 
deep reading of Gennan history, which he finds more apt and enlightening 
than those of Meinecke and of almost all the later historians. 

When a person of Winkler's stature endorses Mann's conception 
of Gennan history, then the detractors o^ Doctor Faustus would do well 
to reconsider the question of Mann's competence as a historian. Any such 
reconsideration must, however, be based on a firm grasp of the sources 
of Mann's views of German history and of the intellectual milieu in which 
these were fashioned. After all, Mann was an author who set very little 
store in invention, preferring almost always to ground his literary 
imagination in the work of reputable experts. The display in his novels of 
a seemingly encyclopedic range of knowledge is indicative more of 
Sitzfleisch than of genius. As he did in music and Egyptology, for example, 
so too in history did he seek the company and the advice of reliable and 
cooperative experts. With many of his works set in recent or distant history, 
Mann, as a matter of course, perused a great deal of historical literature, 
preferring the reading of biographies. At various points, he was planning 
works on Frederick the Great, on King Philipp of Spain, and on Martin 
Luther — all of them requiring deep immersion in the relevant historical 

In one of his most channing novellas, Uuonhnmg umi friihes 
Leid (\925), Mann even donned the mask of a professor of history. At 
that time he already knew Erich von Kahler, the cultural historian and 
polymath who later, when both men lived in Princeton, became his 


confidante and tmsted authority on German history. Their correspondence, 
aptly entitled An Exceptional Friendship, is testimony to a remarkable 
intellectual afilnity, grounded in their common commitment to the kind 
of Humanism that Mann had espoused in, among other works. The Magic 
Mountain. In 1945, on the occasion of Kahler's sixtieth birthday, Mann 
paid tribute to "his friend, his comrade, his brother"^ (Mann, "Erich 
Kahler") — this at the time when he was writing Doctor Faustus. In that 
tribute, he praises Kahler's monumental, though incomplete Der deiitsche 
Charakter in der Geschichte Enropas, characterizing it as the standard 
psychology of the Gennans and identifying it as the source to be consulted 
if one wished to ground one's attitude towards Germany on the requisite 
historical knowledge and understanding/' 

Mann could not have been more explicit about the relevance of 
Kahler's work to his own conception of Gennan histoiy in Doctor Faustus. 
Yet the name of Kahler, who wrote several essays on Mann, including 
two on Doctor Faustus J but who was too modest to draw attention to 
himself, is hardly ever mentioned in the literature on Mann. Even Winkler 
appears to be unaware of Kahler's pivotal role for Mann. It is, however, 
not much of an exaggeration to say that as far as Doctor Faustus is 
concerned Mann depended as much on Kahler in his construction of 
ancient German history as he did on Theodor W. Adorno for his 
construction of modem music. 

Kahler's work comprises history, philosophy, and literary 
criticism. In contrast to most German-trained intellectuals, however, his 
conception of history and his understanding of historical processes owe 
more to Vico's Scienza Nuova and Herder's Ideen zur Philosophic der 
Geschichte der Menschheit than to Hegel's philosophy of history. Like 
so many assimilated Jews of his generation, he embraced Humanism as a 
secular religion, and like so many refugees who arrived on American 
shores from Fascist Europe he had to adapt, at the advanced age of fifty- 
three, to a new and very different intellectual environment. Kahler rose 
to this challenge with more gusto than most of his fellow refugees, 
including Mann. Greatly aided by the stimulating atmosphere of Princeton 
University, he succeeded in a short time in making a name for himself 
with a series of books that included Man the Measure, The Tower and 
the Abyss, and The Meaning of History. By the time he died, however, in 
1970, Kahler's brand of intuitive, speculative cultural history, like 
Humanism itself, had become suspect among the advocates of the more 
hard-nosed schools of historical scholarship, and his reputation had begun 


to decline. 

Reading Kahler today yields unexpected rewards. It brings us 
into the presence of a mind of great breadth, subtlety and generosity. His 
intellectual temper was of the rarest sort, as George Steiner saw it, being 
free of both rancor and disdain. Writing in 1970, Steiner characterized 
Kahler as a "genius for hope," which at the time, he felt, was perhaps 
what was "needed most" (Steiner 193-95). The great theme of Kahler's 
historical work, the problem that occupied him more than all others, was 
the relationship of Germany to Europe. Today, several years into the 
twenty-first century and a decade and a half after the reconstitution of 
Germany as a one-nation state, Germany and Europe appear to be headed 
for yet another crisis in their inherently strained, though substantially 
transformed, relationship. In this context Kahler becomes a newly 
fascinating figure. 

Bom in 1885, Kahler** was the product of the vibrant and tmly 
multicultural scene that was tum-of-the-century Prague — the city that gave 
us Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Werfel, and more. For his 
intellectual apprenticeship he went to Berlin, Munich, Heidelberg, and 
Vienna, where in 1911 he earned his doctorate with a paper on the problem 
of law and morality. The most productive years of his career were those 
spent in Munich, where he settled in 1911 and reinained until 1933. In 
fact he lived in Wolfrathshausen, a small town just south of Munich, 
where he and his wife, Josephine, provided generous hospitality to their 
many friends. Erich von Kahler, as he was known then — in America he 
dropped the "von" — had the means to live as a "Privatgelehrter" and to 
devote himself to the pursuit of Bi/dung, and to concentrate on what he 
tenned philosophical cultural history — philosophische Kultwgeschichte. 
In those Munich years, Kahler managed to maintain friendly 
relations with three rival and, one would think, mutually exclusive 
luminaries: the poet Stefan George with his circle of jealous disciples, 
(Kiel); the sociologist Max Weber, to whom Kahler introduced himself 
by way of a critique of Weber's celebrated treatise Wissemchaft als Beniff 
and Thomas Mann, who found the young Kahler attractive both personally 
and intellectually (Mann, Tagebiichei; 10 May 1919).'" An outspoken 
opponent of the Nazis, Kahler left Gennany in 1933, and, like Mann, he 
decided not to return to Gennany after Hitler had come to power. After 
several years in Prague and Zurich, Kahler, again like Mann, came to the 
United States, in 1 938, and began a new career of writing and teaching in 
English, primarily at the New School for Social Research in New York, at 
Princeton (both at the Institute of Advanced Study and the university) 
and at Cornell. 


Given the crisis of all values that Kahler witnessed in his lifetime 
it is not surprising to find his writings on history marked by the experience 
of instability. His work is saturated with a keen sense of the porousness 
of history. That the past and present are permeable in both directions is 
seen with particular clarity in his most ambitious and original work of 
historiography, Der deiitsche Charakter in der Geschichte Eiiropas. Here, 
in a large-scale, two-volume portrait of Germany from the Roman empire 
to the threshold of his own time, Kahler describes German history as one 
arduous, frequently bungled and never completed project on the part of 
the German "tribes" to achieve true nationhood. Such a conception reflects 
the precarious sense of German identity in Kahler 's own time when after 
the collapse of the old order in Europe the threat of nationalist, totalitarian 
movements seemed to loom everywhere. Kahler wrote of his project in a 
letter to Mann of March 1931: "Impelled by the psychic and political 
distress I have seen all around me, 1 wanted to undertake an elemental 
rethinking of the essence of Germanism. 1 don't mean a 'Gennan history,' 
or a 'Psychology of the Germans,' but a graphic summary of what we can 
call specifically German, what we can define as the German racial character" 
(An Exceptional Friendship 3). Completed between 1926 and 1931, the 
book was to appear in 1 932, but an all too vigilant editor, who considered 
it to be un-Gennan and untimely, prevented its publication (Kiel 185f ). 
Der deiitsche Charakter in der Geschichte Europas finally appeared in 
Zurich in 1937. A companion piece, Israel iinter den Volkern, suffered 
the same fate. Set to appear in 1933, its publication was canceled by the 
Nazis; the book appeared in Zurich in 1 936, one year before his magnum 
opus. ' ' 

Kahler was able to complete only the first part of Der deutsche 
Charakter — a fragment comprising 680 pages that takes us to the end of 
the Middle Ages {Der Deutsche Charakter 687). It is not clear whether 
the decision not to write the second part was necessitated by external 
factors, or whether Kahler began to have doubts about the viability of 
some of his own assumptions concerning the question of national identity 
and the interplay of national and trans-national forces in German history. 
Some of his subsequent writings seem to suggest that the latter was the 
case, among them Man the Measure, with its programmatic subtitle, "A 
New Approach to History,"'- and the 1944 essay, "The Problem of 
Germany," written at the height of German nationalist excess (Kahler, 
"The German Problem" 454-65, 608- 15). The series of lectures published 
posthumously in 1 974 under the title The Germans is said to have been 
drawn from Der deutsche Charakter. But this posthumous publication 
gives only a poor idea of the sweep and cogency of vision that 


distinguishes the earlier work, which, regrettably, has remained largely 

When it appeared in 1937, Kahler's book had a poor critical 
reception. Among the few reviews the book received, Golo Mann's wannly 
appreciative review essay of 1 940, "Deutscher Historismus." stands out. 
It may be taken as a measure of Kahler's untimeliness, which Werner 
Vordtriede diagnosed in 1965, that the author of Der c/eiitsche Charakter 
in der Geschichte Europas is ignored not only in the standard accounts 
of German historiography but also in Gordon Craig's best selling The 
Germans of 1982, even though Craig's book probes some of the same 
layers of German national identity that concerned Kahler. In Gemiany, 
Kahler's historical work remains an unknown quantity, and it is difficult 
to detennine the degree to which this may be attributed to his being Jewish 
and an exile. Still, two other factors come into play here. In the decades 
after the war, the majority of German intellectuals looked to the Marxian 
paradigm of historical interpretation as a remedy for their collective 
hangover. On this score, Kahler has nothing to offer. It may also have 
been that other panacea for Germany's historical ills, the widespread 
euphoria about Europa that rendered German intellectuals unreceptive 
to Kahler. His sober diagnosis of Germany's unpreparedness for a larger 
union, his reminders of Germany's many failures vis-a-vis Europe, could 
only be regarded as unwelcome, if not downright irritating. 

We begin to get a better idea of the new timeliness of Kahler's 
vision of Gennan history in the post-Maastricht era as soon as we grasp 
its most distinctive premise regarding the interdependence of Gemiany 
and Europe. To Kahler, Gemiany 's relation to Europe was not merely a 
question of geography. "Europa," in the last analysis, served as a cipher 
for the trans-national and universalist energies that actually had their 
origins in the beginning of German history when the idea of "Europa" 
was internalized and thus became part of the hereditary make-up of the 
German peoples. German national identity thus encompasses these trans- 
national elements; they form an indispensable and inalienable dimension 
of it. Germany nonetheless failed repeatedly, as certain other nations of 
Europe did not. to bring about the mature union of its national and 
transnational potential; precisely this is the distinct achievement of several 
other nations in Europe. Hence, as Kahler saw it, Germany's political 
immaturity, her incompleteness as a nation, her status as a "Reich ohne 
Nation" (Der deutsche Charakter 7). Hence also Germany's constant 
temptation to compensate for this lack of nationhood at the expense of 
her neighbors. 


It would be tempting to assume that the convergence of Mann's 
and Kahler's views resulted from the shared fate of exile. That 
convergence reached its high point in 1940 when both men collaborated 
with Hemiann Broch, Antonio Borgese, and other European and American 
intellectuals on the ill-fated "City of Man" project — an idealistic 
"Declaration on World Democracy" that in some respects prefigured the 
founding of the United Nations five years later.'^ But the historical and 
psychological roots of Mann's and Kahler's alliance reach back to the 
outbreak of the Great War. Like Mann, Kahler was swept up in the great 
wave of nationalism, and like Mann he defended and justified Germany's 
cause for war. His pamphlet of 1914, Der vorige, der heutige imd der 
zukiinftige Feind, belongs to the same register of emotional war literature 
as Mann's "Gedanken im Kriege" and Rejlections of a Notipolitical Man. 
Yet earlier and more resolutely than Mann, Kahler underwent a sort of 
political conversion'^ that strengthened his resolve to defend the values 
of humanism against the groundswell of voices then clamoring to awaken 
Germany's darker instincts. Ideologically speaking, Mann and Kahler 
had been traveling the same road since 1914. This, in Mann's eyes, 
distinguished Kahler from the poet-philosopher Ernst Bertram and the 
composer Hans Pfitzner, both of whom he had idolized during the war as 
his spiritual brothers. When Bertram and Pfitzner declined to embrace 
the Weimar Republic — thus continuing on the conservative, nationalist 
course that soon merged with that of the National Socialists — it was Kahler 
who emerged as a tried and true ally whose historical judgment Mann 
was prepared to trust. 

Of all the points of convergence between Mann and Kahler none 
is more fundamental to the conception and design of Doctor Faiistus 
than their notion of Deutschtiim. Both use the term in an old-fashioned, 
essentialist sense, conceiving of Deutschtum as a quasi living, organic 
entity with its own character and destiny. Kahler would apply this notion 
to all of history, as becomes clear from his books on the House of Hapsburg 
(Das Geschlecht Habsburg), on Israel, and on Germany. In contrast to 
Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West {\9\^), where the notion of 
flourishing and floundering historical organisms serves as the 
philosophical underpinning of a cynically cheerful pessimism about the 
impending fate of the West, Kahler's sense of history, rather like that of 
the philosopher of hope, Ernst Bloch, is inseparable from the idea of 
Utopia. Both Mann and Kahler conceived of Deutschtum as very much a 
mixed affair in the literal sense; neither had any use for the ideal of purity, 
ethnic or otherwise; both considered seemingly non-German "other" 
factors to be undeniable components of Deutschtum. Mann himself always 


aspired, even at the time of his Reflections of a Nonpolitical Man, to 
represent the trans-national and somewhat anti-German elements of 
Deiitschtum that he so admired in Nietzsche, Wagner, and Goethe. 

In Doctor Faustus, that trans-national element can be grasped 
in the carefully enunciated European and universalist dimension of the 
life and works of that modem Faust, the composer Adrian Leverkiihn.''' 
Indeed, only with Mann's transnational notion of Deiitschtum in mind 
can we begin to make sense of his striking and seemingly arbitrary 
manipulation of historical fact. I refer in particular to the transfer of the 
remains of emperor Otto III from Aachen (where he in fact lies buried) to 
the cathedral church of Mann's fictitious German town of Kaisersaschem. 
Otto III, who lived from 980 to 1002, must thus be regarded as the earliest 
historical marker in this novel about Deiitschtum, of which Kaisersaschem 
is the perfect emblem. What is the logic behind this manipulation of 
historical fact? The narrator provides a clue when he describes this brilliant 
young emperor as a "perfect model of Gemian self-contempt" (39), as an 
early incarnation of the Gemian who yeams for Rome, for Greece, for 
the South, for the Other — for what transcends the narrowly German. At 
bottom then. Otto III embodied, no matter how fleetingly, the essence of 
that trans-national dimension of the German character. 

It was Kahler who had interpreted Otto III as an emblematic 
figure of German history {Der deutsche Charakter 350-354), tracing the 
trans-national strain of the Gemian character that he represented to that 
murky historical moment known as the Age of the Great Migrations. It 
was at that juncture, in the encounter between the Germanic tribes and 
the Roman Empire, the most advanced civilization of the time, that "the 
character and destiny of the German people originated [...] Everything 
that has happened in Germany since may be viewed as a consequence of 
this fateful encounter" ( The Germans 4). In "everything" Kahler includes, 
of course, Nazi Germany. He makes this point in the introduction to Der 
deutsche Charakter in der Geschichte Eiiropas by diagnosing the Third 
Reich as a deliberate rejection of Europe, as a project, that is, for the 
elimination — with "vengeful radicalism" — of all the European strains in 
the hereditary make-up of the Gemian character (9).'^' In Doctor Faustus 
as well as in Mann's political commentary of the war years, we encounter 
many echoes of Kahler 's reading of Gennan history, distilled perhaps 
most memorably into Mann's signature historical apercu, mentioned 
above, that although her true calling was to make herself European, 
Germany in its present National Socialist phase was hell-bent on making 
Europe Gennan (Mann, Listen Germany! 1 10). 

In Kahler's account, the German character appears de-centered 
and unbalanced throughout history, a permanent work in progress. 


Asserting this against the rising tide of nationalism was a palpable act of 
detmnce since a large majority of Germans believed at the time, with 
Hitler and the Nazis, that Gemiany's true identity was becoming manifest 
in the Third Reich. Kahler later repeated his thesis in his introduction to 
The Germans. At that time, the existence of two adversary states on 
Gernian soil lent his contention an obvious plausibility. Today, however, 
Kahler's proposition that the precise meaning of German identity is part 
of history's unfinished business has a rather alarming ring. To Kahler, 
however, were he still writing, the unfinished business would concern a 
yet more honest and sober confrontation of the national and transnational 
elements of the Gemian heritage than has been attempted since the 
destruction of the Third Reich and even since the fall of the Berlin wall. 
Under the surface of events Kahler detected continuous swings of the 
pendulum between opposing aspirations: nationalist and transnational, 
specifically German and essentially universalist. Ever since the unification 
of Gennany under the aegis of Prussia in 1871 those fateful swings 
appeared to Kahler to have gathered increased momentum (Der deutsche 
Charakter 7).''' It is in this context that Kahler put forward what Mann 
considered to be a particularly apt observation regarding Gennan history: 
the mutual failure of Germany and Europe to connect — das gegenseitige 
Verfehlen von Deutschtum imd Europa (9). 

hi Doctor Faiistus, the idea of Germany's "mighty immaturity" 
and eternal "becoming" is first associated with the pre-fascist overtones 
of the political blather of some of Leverkiihn's fellow students, one of 
whom is appropriately named Deutschlin (Doctor Faustus 123ff.). But in 
fact the idea of Gennany's "becoming" extends far beyond this character, 
for it imbues the novel as a whole with a fateful historical dynamic. And 
despite the repeated intimations of finis Germaniae. Doctor Faustus is, 
in the last analysis, an open-ended book. For example, Mann has his 
fictitious narrator wonder: "What will it be like to belong to a nation 
whose history bore this gruesome fiasco within it" (506). In a short article 
of 1 945, Mann put this question in specifically Kahlerian ternis: "How will 
it be to belong to a nation, to work in the spiritual tradition of a nation that 
never knew how to become a nation, and under whose desperate, 
megalomaniac efforts to become a nation the world has had to suffer so 
much" ("The End" 18). Such sentiments, however, in no way preclude 
thinking about German history beyond the catastrophe. If the novel 
refrains from speculating about the future political fate of Germany, it 
does, all appearances to the contrary, allow for the possibility of grace for 
Leverkiihn, and by extension for Germany ( Vaget, "Amazing Grace"). 

What is implied in Doctor Faustus is articulated more openly in 
Mann's public comments during the final stages of the war. "The hope 


remains," he concluded in an essay with the appropriately Wagnerian 
title of The End, "that [...] a form of government and of life may be 
found for the German people that will encourage the development of its 
best capabilities and educate it sincerely to work for a brighter future of 
mankind."''** However, such hopes are predicated on the condition that 
Germany renounce her striving for power and hegemony. "Power is lost," 
Mann reminded the Gennans in May of 1 945, "but power is not everything. 
It is not even the main thing. And Gemian greatness was never a matter of 
power" ("Address"; "Die Lager"). 

Mann's affinity to Kahler's historical vocabulary becomes fully 
apparent when he urges the Germans to remember their European and 
universalist heritage. At the conclusion of an article about the liberation 
of the concentration camps, Mann issued this appeal to his former fellow 
countrymen: "Do not [...] regard yourselves primarily as Gennans, but 
as men and women returned to humanity, as Gennans who after twelve 
years of Hitler want to be human beings again."''' This echoes the spirit 
of Kahler's disquisitions on the "Gennan character," which also end on 
an insistent note of hope. German culture, Kahler observes, has produced 
not only the "Kleinbiirger" and the "Staatsbiirger" but also the 
"Weltburger," and that "Weltbiirger" embodies the ideal of spiritual man 
in its purest form; he is part of a secret aristocracy. And as such, the 
Gennan "Weltburger" represents an eternal hope of Europa as a whole — 
"eine ewige Hoffnung Europas" {Der deutsche Charakter 683). 

Other aspects of Mann's Doctor Faiistiis shaped by Kahler's 
interpretation of the "German character" can only be touched upon here. 
One of man's most striking inventions in Mann's portrait of Germany 
and the Germans is that of the fictitious community of Kaisersaschern, 
where Zeitblom, the narrator, and Leverkiihn grow up. Leverkiihn's music 
is the "music of Kaisersaschern"; he is convinced: "Where I am, there is 
Kaisersaschern" (92; 242). Mann found the legitimation for this highly 
effective metonymic device in Kahler's book on the "Gennan character," 
where the typical German small town, so different from small towns in 
other cultures, is presented as the very emblem of Deii/schtum and as the 
cradle of both the German "Kleinbiirger" and the German "Weltbiirger." 
But that same Gennan small town also fostered the fateful turn of the 
"German character" towards an inwardness which in its turn nourished 
German music while it hindered the development of political maturity. 
What is more, the German cult of music was itself politically suspect, in 
Mann's view, in that it gave rise to a megalomaniac cast of mind, to a 
striving for cultural supremacy that was to have disastrous political 


One of the chief objections to Mann's construction of German 
history has been to his apparent fixation — both in tlie novel and in the 
Library of Congress address of 1 945 — on Martin Luther and on Luther's 
heritage in the long period of incubation of National Socialism. Yet Kahler, 
too, and no less obsessively, assigned to Luther an absolutely crucial role 
in German history {Der deiitsche Charakter 184-213).-" Finally, the 
controversial assertion of the fundamental affinity of Germans and Jews 
that in the novel underlies the representation of Gennan-Jewish relations 
was based on arguments in Kahler's Israel unter den Vdlkern.-' 

There can no longer be any doubt, it seems to me, that the 
conception of Doctor Faustus owes a considerable intellectual debt to 
the work of Erich Kahler, and that when read in the light of Kahler's Der 
deiitsche Charakter in der Geschichte Eiiropas, the design of the novel 
appears less idiosyncratic and historically more infomied than critics 
have allowed. Kahler's book indeed holds the key to an adequate 
understanding of the historical shape of Mann's most ambitious novel, 
as he himself had indicated long ago. 

This reevaluation of the Mann-Kahler connection lends 
significant support to Heinrich August Winkler's highly positive 
assessment of Mann's acuity as a historian, while it challenges many of 
Assmann's reservations, in the concluding chapter of his book, Winkler 
shines an ironic light on certain trends in current German debates about 
the "German catastrophe," in which he notes an unpleasant streak of 
Siihnestolz — an implicitly nationalist pride in being the best even at the 
painful business of atoning (Winkler IL 654). Indeed, there does seem to 
be a growing tendency to tout the present political culture of Gemiany as 
a model for Europe. Proponents of this idea, found in all bands of the 
political spectrum of the Berlin Republic, argue that Germans have leamed 
to speak about their past without exculpatory intent, that they have gone 
farther than any other country in embracing a transnational political 
outlook. Although he does not specifically mention Assmann, Winkler 
appears to be thinking of her work as typical of the new German 
phenomenon oi Siihnestolz. 

Assmann's reading of Mann's attitude towards the "Gennan 
catastrophe" is flawed in several respects, most glaringly in the 
assumption that the author's own position can be equated with that of 
his narrator, Zeitblom. Chapter 46 oi Doctor Faustus draws on an article 
that Mann had written, at the request of the Office of War Information, in 
response to a gruesome photo story in the 30 April 1 945 issue of Time that 


documented the liberation of Buchenwald. Mann's article, simply entitled 
"Die Lager"" (The Camps), appeared in the 12 May issue of The Nation 
under the innocuous heading "Address to the German People." A few 
days later, the piece was published in various American-controlled 
newspapers in Germany under varying, unauthorized headlines, one of 
which was "Thomas Mann iiber die deutsche Schuld."" Mann did 
incorporate much but by no means all of the language of "Die Lager" into 
Zeitblom"s gloomy ruminations at the beginning of chapter 46. He 
attributed to Zeitblom, a figure of the so-called inner emigration, only 
those passages that are congruent with this particular type. In the novel, 
Zeitblom is a retired Classics professor who in World War 1 went with 
the nationalist flow; his two sons have grown up to be ardent Nazis. Only 
as the fortunes of the present war turn against Germany do Zeitblom's 
deep-rooted, but unacknowledged inner affinities to Nazi thinking give 
way to a more critical attitude. Throughout the novel, the figure of 
Zeitblom serves as the medium of Mann's critique of his own nationalist 
past. It is frankly impossible to miss the voice of a second narrator here, 
who communicates with the reader as it were behind Zeitblom's back. 
The two voices — the voice of inner emigration and the voice of political 
exile — are quite distinct and must not be confused. Assmann chose not to 
consider "Die Lager"; had she done so she could not possibly have 
attributed Zeitblom's thoughts to Mann. 

What Assmann terms Schamkultw may to some extent apply to 
Zeitblom. Yet even he displays some sense of personal guilt, declaring 
explicitly, for example, that in spirit he is joining the throng of citizens of 
Weimar forced to look at the horror by the American General who has 
pronounced them "mitschuldig" of the crimes of the regime {Doctor 
Faiistus 505). Assmann concedes that Schamkidtur and Schuldkiiltur 
are dialectically related (92). But she appears unwilling to acknowledge 
such a dialectic in the case of Zeitblom, or of Mann. "Die Lager" also 
contradicts Assmann's belief that Mann deemed the German people 
incapable of spiritual renewal (122). Again, this may to some degree 
describe the apocalyptic mood of so profoundly disoriented a humanist 
as Zeitblom, who sees everything around him crumble and who comes to 
believe that the original sixteenth-century version of the Faust myth got 
it right. In that version, Faust suffers deserved death and eternal 
damnation. But this view was not shared by Mann, who, as we have seen, 
closed his article on the camps with the thought that Germany's true 
greatness was never a matter of political power, and that the Germans of 
1945 should think of themselves as having been returned to the human 
family, free again at last to excel in the cultural and spiritual realms ("Das 


Ende," 950). Such sentiments are far from the negative, essentialist views 
of the Gemians' incorrigibility that Assmann ascribes to Mann. 

At times Mann did waver between the notion of collective guilt 
and of carefully differentiated condemnations of the Germans. Thus, in 
his radio address of 1 6 January 1 945, he explained to his German listeners 
that it was simply asking too much of the other countries to make fine 
distinctions between Nazis and Germans. At the same time, however, he 
stressed that the notion of collective guilt is a less appropriate category 
than Verantwortlichkeit. What he meant by that tenn is clear from his 
previous address of 14 January 1945, in which he commented on the 
death camps in the East, recently liberated by the Red Army. On that 
painful occasion, clearly speaking not on behalf of the American 
government but addressing what he took to be the best long-term interests 
of the German people, he said: "But one thing is necessary if there is to 
be a new beginning — a precondition for any reconciliation with the rest 
of the world [. . .] And that is the clear realization that what Germany has 
inflicted on mankind — a Germany schooled by its abominable mentors 
in every imaginable beastliness — is beyond the pale of atonement" 
("Deutsche Horer," 1 106). 

These observations and quite a number of similar comments 
anticipate by several decades the insights of the German Holocaust debate; 
they roundly refute Assmann's reading of Mann's position vis-a-vis the 
"Gennan catastrophe." And they render untenable, it seems to me, her 
decidedly ungenerous assessment of Thomas Mann's contribution to the 
political culture of post-war Germany. 


' They include three articles ("Gedanken im Kriege"; "Friedrich und die 
groBe Koalition"; "An die Redaktion des Svenska Dagbladet, 
Stockholm"), only one of which has been translated into English: "Frederick 
the Great and the Grand Coalition," in Thomas Mann, Tlvee Essays, tr. 
HelenT Lowe-Porter(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929) 143-215. 

' Martin Walser, Erfahnmgen beim Verfassen einer Sonntagsrede. 
Friedenspreis des deutschen Biichhandels 1998 (Frankfurt/Main: 
Suhrkamp, 1998) 18. Cf Dieter Borchmeyer, Martin Walser und die 
6)//e«///c//A'e/7 (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2001). Borchmeyer reviews 
Walser's statements about the Holocaust and the "German catastrophe" 
and argues that despite Walser's well-publicized disdain for the author of 


The Magic Mountain he essentially concurs with Mann's view of the 
Holocaust: "Martin Walser ist in seinen Auschw itz Essays durchaus in 
die FuBstapfen Thomas Manns getreten" (32). On the question of Walser's 
and Giinter Grass's positions on Germany in relation to the views of 
Mann cf Hans Rudolf Vaget, "Deutsche Einheit und nationale Identitat. 
Zur Genealogie der gegenwartigen Deutschland-Debatte am Beispiel von 
Thomas Mann," Literatnrwissenschaftliches Jahrhuch 33 (1992): 277- 

' This often quoted formula was first used by Mann in Deutsche Hover, 
his radio address of August 1942. in which he denounced the Nazi 
conception of Europe: "Nicht Deutschland soil europaisch werden. 
sondem Europa soil deutsch werden," as the reverse of what ought to be 
Germany's goal (Mann, Gesaninielte Werke XI: 1049). Variations of this 
fomiula may be found in Doctor Faiistus, 183, and in "Ansprache vor 
Hamburger Studenten," Gesaninielte Werke X: 402. — Cf Paul Michael 
Lutzeler, "Neuer Humanismus." 

"* Cf the classic essays by Ernst Fischer and Kate Hamburger. 

^ Thomas Mann, "Erich Kahler," Gesammehe Werke X: 502-6, 502f "[...] 
es ist mir eine wahre Freude. fiir den Wert des seltenen Mannes zu zeugen 
und ihm auch offentlich [...] meine Gliickwunsche darzubringen. in die 
ich alien Dank einschlieBe, den mein Leben seiner groBartigen Bemiihung 
um das Wahre und Gute schuldet. und meinen ganzen Stolz darauf. ihn 
Freund, Genossen, Bruder nennen zu diirfen." For an English version of 
Mann's piece, see the Festschrift, ed. by Eleanor Wolff and Herbert Steiner, 
Erich Kahler (New York: Van Vechten Press, 1951)37-41. 

^ "Es ist die Standard-Psychologie des Deutschtums, ein Buch leidend 
durchdringender und umfassend darstellender Erkenntnis, ein Buch der 
Liebe im Gmnde: einer kritisch gebrochenen, verhangnisschweren Liebe, 
in welcher das Negative und Positive in schmerzlicher Ambivalenz 
verschwimmen [. . .] Es ist die Quelle, an die man gehen sollte, wenn man 
sein Verhalten zu dem gefallenen Lande und die an ihm zu praktizierende 
Politik mit dem zum Heile des Ganzen wohl unerlasslichen Wissen und 
Verstehen zu unterbauen wiinscht." (504) 

" The two essays on Doctor Fatistiis ("Secularization of the Devil: Thomas 
Mann's 'Doctor Faustus'" 20-43; '"Doctor Fanstus from Adam to Sartre" 
86-1 1 6) in The Orbit of Thomas Mann have no bearing on the topic I am 
concerned with here. 


** For the most detailed biographical sketch, see Eva J. Engel, "Erich Kahler." 
Kahler's Prague background is illuminated with particular authority by 
Johannes Urzidil, Prag als geistiger Ausgangspimkt. Ansprache ziim 
SOsten Gebiirtstag von Erich von Kahler. 

" On Kahler and Max Weber, cf. A. Kiel 59-86. 

'"Cf.alsoA. Kiel 175-78. 

" Thomas Mann wrote to the author, 19 March 1935, that his chapter on 
the relationship ot "Deutschtum und Judentum" was "incontestably the 
truest and the psychologically keenest statement ever made on the subject 
[...]" (An Exceptional Friendship 1 0). 

'- Cf. the new edition with an introduction by Eva J. Engel, Erich Kahler, 
Man the Measure. Cf. Hemiann Broch. "History as Ethical Anthropology: 
Erich Kahler's 'Scienza Nuova'." 

" On the City-of-Man project, cf Paul Michael Liitzeler, Hermann Broch. 
Eine Biographic; Erich Kahler, "The Case for World Government." 

''' Cf especially "Ordnung," reprinted in Erich Kahler, Die Verantwortung 
des Geistes. 

'^ For a more detailed argument, cf H. R. Vaget, "'Gemian' Music and 
German Catastrophe: A Re-Reading o^ Doctor Faiistns."' 

'^ "Heute hat in Deutschland die gewalttatige Reaktion gegen die 
Verfehlungen von innen und auBen die unumschrankte Macht, und was 
im kaiserlichen Reich noch naiv und unbewuBt geschah, als ein 
unwillkiirlicher Nebeneffekt des frischen Weltmachtstrebens, das ist im 
dritten Reich eine bewuBte, prinzipielle Richtung gegen Europa geworden, 
eine kaum verhiillte sknipellose Selbstsucht, die wenn es sein muB die 
Zertriimmerung dieses Erdteils in Kauf nimmt. Alles europaische 
Wesensgut wird als ein 'fremdes' mit einer rachsiichtigen Radikalitat 
ausgemerzt — was aber nach dieser AusstoBung aller 'fremden' 
Bestandteile an Gehalt des Deutschen i'lbrigbleibt, ist nicht viel anderes 
mehr als die verworrene Unreife, das Garen und Werden, die 'Dynamik' 
an sich selbst, aus der man sich einen Stolz macht, und wieder und jetzt 
verhundertfacht jene auBeren Attribute, die nach dem romanischen Vorbild 
unbedingt zur Nationalitat gehoren sollen: Imperium, politische 


Hegemonie mit Waffengevvalt und standiger Waffendrohung, mit 
nationalistischer Phrase und machiavellistischen Methoden." 

'^ "Entweder war man auf reine, riicksichtslos selbstbefangene Nationalitat 
Oder auf rein selbstvergessene Universalitat aus. Und auf solche Weise 
erreichte man weder das eine noch das andere." 

'** Thomas Mann. "The End."; "Das Ende". "Das Ende — das Ende," is all 
that Wotan desires in his great monologue in Die Walkilre, Act II, scene 

'"Thomas Mann. "An Address to the German People." 535. 

-" Cf also "Luther's Influence on the Gennan Character," The Germans 

-' Cf. Israel imter den Volkern; "The Jews and the Germans," in Erich 
Kahler, The Jews Among the Nations. Cf. Eva J. Engel, "Kostbare 
Erbschaft. Erich Kahler zum Judentum. Zum hundertsten Geburtstag Erich 
von Kahlers." 

Works Cited 

Assmann, Aleida. "Geschichtsvergessenheit, Geschichtsversessenheit" 
in Geschichtsvergessenheit, Geschichtsversessenheit. Vom 
Umgang mit deutschen Vergangenheiten nach 1945. A. 
Assmann and Ute Frevert. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 
1999. 19-147. 

Bahr, Ehrhard. Geschichte der deutschen Literatiir Bd. 3: \bm Realismus 
zur GegenwartsJiteratur. Tubingen: Francke, 1988. 

Bitterli, Urs. Golo Mann — Instanz und Aussenseiter. Eine Biografie. 
Hamburg: Kindler, 2004. 

Borchmeyer, Dieter. Martin Walser und die Offentlichkeit. Frankfurt/ 
Main: Suhrkamp, 2001. 

Broch, Hermann. "History as Ethical Anthropology: Erich Kahler's 
'Scienza Nuova.'" Erich Kahler Ed. Eleanor Wolff and Herbert 
Steiner. New York: Van Vechten Press, 195 1 . 


Engel, Eva J. "Erich Kahler." Dentschsprachige Exilliteratur seit 1933. 
Bd. 2: New York. Ed. John M Spalek and Joseph Strelka. Bern: 
Francke, 1990. Teil 2, 1 644-68. 

— . Erich Kahler, Man the Measure. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1986. 

— . "Kostbare Erbschaft. Erich Kahler zum Judentum. Zum hundertsten 
Geburtstag Erich von Kahlers." Bulletin des Leo Baeck Instituts 

72 (1985): 3 1-47. 

Fest, Joachim. Die umvissenden Magier Ober Thomas und Heinrich 
Mann. Berlin: Corsobei Siedler, 1985. 

Fischer, Ernst. '"Doctor Faustus' und die deutsche Katastrophe. Eine 
Auseinandersetzung mit Thomas Mann." Kunst und Mensch- 
heit. Essays. Wien: Globus Verlag, 1949. 35-97. 

Hamburger, Kate. "Anachronistische Symbolik. Fragen an Thomas Manns 
Faustus-Roman." Gestaltungsgeschichte und Gesellschafts- 
geschichte. Literatur-, kunst- und musikwissenschaftliche 
Studien: Fritz Martini zum sechzigsten Geburtstag. Ed. Helmut 
Kreutzer. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1969. 529-53. 

( von) Kahler, Erich. Der Bemfals Wissenschaft. Berlin: Bondi, 1920. 

— . "The Case for World Government." Co/;;wo/7 Ct///5e. 1 (1947): 6-8. 

— . Der deutsche Charakter in der Geschichte Europas. Zurich: Europa- 
Verlag, 1937. 

— . An Exceptional Friendship. The Correspondence of Thomas Mann 
and Erich Kahler. Tr. Richard and Clara Winston. Ithaca and 
London: Cornell UP, 1975. 

— . "The Gennan Problem." Contemporary Jewish Record 1 (1944): 

— . The Germans. Ed. Robert and Rita Kimber. Princeton, NJ: Princeton 
University Press, 1974. 

— . Das Geschlecht Habsburg. Miinchen: Verlag Der Neue Merkur, 


— . Israel unfer den Volkern. Zurich: Humanitas Verlag, 1936. 

— . "The Jews and the Germans." The Jews Among the Nations. 
Introduction by Harry Zohn. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction 
Publishers, 1988. 95-119. 

— . Man the Measure: A New Approach to History. New York: Pantheon 
Books, 1943. 

— . The Meaning of History. New York: G. Braziller, 1964. 

— . The Orbit of Thomas Mann. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University 
Press, 1969. 

— . The Tower and the Abyss. An Inqiiiiy into the Transformation of the 
Individual. New York: G. Braziller, 1957. 

— . Die Verantwortung des Geistes. Frankfurt/Main: S. Fischer, 1952. 

— . Der vorige, der heutige iind der kiinftige Feind. Heidelberg: 
Weiss'sche Universitatsbuchhandlung, 1914. 

Kiel, Anna. Erich Kahler Ein "uomo universale " des zwanzigsten 
Jahrhunderts — Seine Begegnung mit bedeutendeu Zeit- 
genossen. Bern: Peter Lang, 1989. 

Liitzeler, Paul Michael. Hermann Broch. Eine Biographic. Frankfurt/ 
Main: Suhrkamp, 1985. 

— . "Neuer Humanismus. Das Europa-Thema in E.xilromanen von Thomas 
und Heinrich Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger und Stefan Zweig." 
Europdische Identitdt und Multikultur. Fallstudien zur 
deutschsprachigen Literatur seit der Romantik. Tubingen: 
Stauffenburg, 1997. 107-25. 

Mann, Golo. "Der Bruder zur Linken. Zur Neuausgabe von Heinrich 
Manns Ein Zeitalter wird besichtigt,"' 21 September 1974, 
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 25. 

— . "Deutscher Historismus." Ma55 ?m^ ^Fer/. 1 (1938): 493-98. 


Mann, Thomas. "Address to the German People." A^fl//o/7 12 (May 1945): 

— . "Deutsche Horer." Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bdnden. Frankfurt/ 
Main: S. Fischer, 1990. XI: 983-1 123. 

— . Doctor Faiistus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkiihn. 
As Told by a Friend. Trans. John E. Woods. New York: Alfred A 
Knopf, 1997. 

— . "The End." Free World. 9 (March 1945): 18. 

— . "Das Ende." Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bdnden. Frankfurt/ 
Main: S. Fischer, 1990. XII: 950. 

— . "Erich Kahler." Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bdnden. Frankfurt/ 
Main: S. Fischer, 1990. X: 502-6. 

— . "Germany and the Gennans." Thomas Mann 's Addresses Delivered 
at the Libra}-}' of Congress, 1942-1949. Washington: Library of 
Congress, 1963.45-66. 

— . Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bdnden. Frankfurt/Main: S.Fischer, 

— . "Die Lager," Gesammelte Werke in dreizehn Bdnden. Frankfurt/ 
Main: S. Fischer, 1990. XII: 953. 

— . Listen Germany! Twenty-Five Radio Messages to the German People 
Over BBC. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1943. 

— . Tagebiicher 1918-1921. Ed. Peter de Mendelssohn. Frankfurt/ 
Main: S.Fischer, 1979. 

— . Three Essays, tr. Helen T. Lowe-Porter (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 
1929), 143-215. 

Meinecke, Friedrich. Die deutsche Katastrophe. Betrachtungen iind 
Erinnerungen. Wiesbaden: Brockhaus, 1946. 

Reed, T. J. Thomas Mann. The Uses ofTradition. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon 
Press, 1996. 


Reich-Ranicki, Marcel. "Golo Mann: Die Befreiung eines Ungeliebten." 
Thomas Mann unci die Seinen. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags- 
Anstalt, 1987.222-36. 

Sontheimer, Kurt. Thomas Mann iind die Deiitschen. Miinchen: 
Nymphenburger Verlagsanstalt, 1961, 2nd. ed. 2002. 

Stammen, Theo. "Thomas Mann und die politische Welt." Thomas-Mann- 
Handbuch. Ed. Helmut Koopmann. Stuttgart: Kroner, 3rd. ed. 

Steiner, George. "A Note in Tribute to Erich Kahler." Sahnagimdi 10/11 
(1969/70): 193-95. 

"Thomas Mann iiber die deutsche Schuld." Bayerische Landeszeitung, 
18 May 1945. 

Travers, Martin. " 'Doctor Faustus' and the Historians: The Function of 
'Anachronistic Symbolism'." The Modern German Historical 
Novel: Paradigms, Problems, Perspectives. Ed. David Roberts, 
Philipp Thompson. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991. 145-59. 

Urzidil, Johannes. Prag als geistiger Aiisgangspunkt. Ansprache zimi 
SOsten Gebiirtstag von Erich von Kahler New York: Leo Baeck 
Institute, 1966. 

Vaget, H. R. "Amazing Grace: Thomas Mann, Adomo, and the Faust 
Myth." Our Faust? Roots and Ramifications of a Modern 
German Myth. Ed. Reinhold Grimm, Jost Hermand. Madison, 
WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1 987. 1 68-89. 

— . "'German' Music and Gennan Catastrophe: A Re-Reading of Doctor 
Faustus.'' A Companion to the Works of Thomas Mann. Ed. 
Herbert Lehnert and Eva Wessel. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 


Vordtriede, Werner. "Die Aktualitat eines UnzeitgemaBen." Merkur 9 
(1965): 1003-10. 

Walser, Martin. Erfahrungen beim Verfassen einer Sonntagsrede. 
Friedenspreis des deiitschen Buchhandels 1998. Frankfurt/ 
Main: Sulirkamp, 1998. 


Works by Ehrhard Bahr 

This bibliography is organized as follows: 

I. Books 

II. Editorships 

III. Articles 

IIIA. Research Articles 

III A 1. Book Chapters 
IIIA2. Journal Articles 
III A3. Festschrift Articles 

IIIB. Reference Articles 

inc. Book Reviews 

HID. Miscellaneous Articles and Notes 

IV. Abstracts 

V. Translations 

VI. Published Works Translated by Others 

VII. Bibliographies 

VIII. Dissertations Supervised 

1. Books 

Georg Liikacs . Kopfe des XX. Jahrhunderts 6 1 . Berlin: Colloquium, 1 970. 

Die Ironie im Spatwerk Goethes: Diese sehr ernsten Scherze: Studien zii 
Goethes ''West-ostUchem Divan'' zu den ''' Wander jahren' und 
zu'^ Faust II y Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1972. 

Georg Liikdcs. Trans. Ruth Goldschmidt Kunzer. Rev. and enl. ed. Modem 
Literature Monographs. New York: Ungar, 1972. 

Ernst Block. Kopfe des XX. Jahrhunderts 76. Berlin: Colloquium, 1974. 

yVe?//)'5'ac/?5. Autorenbiicher 16. Miinchen: Beck, 1980. 


The Novel as Archive: The Genesis, Reception, cmd Criticism of Goethe's 
'"IVi/hehn Meisters Wanderjahre.'' Columbus, SC: Camden 
House, 1998. 

11. Editorships 

Was ist Aiifklcining? Kant, Erhard, Hamann, Herder, Lessing, 
Mendelssohn, Riem, Schiller, Wieland: Thesen iindDefinitionen. 
1974. Rpt. with extended bibliog. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1996. 

With Walter K. Stuart. Internationales Verzeichnis der Goethe- 
Dissertationen. Comp. and sponsored by the American Society 
for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Ann Arbor: University 
Microfilms International, 1978. 

With Edward P. Harris and Lawrence G. Lyon. Humanitdt und Dialog: 
Lessing und Mendelssohn in neuer Sicht: Beitrdge znm 
internationalen Lessing-Mendelssohn-Symposiinn anldfilich 
des250. Gebm-tstages von Lessing und Mendelssohn, Nov. 1979, 
Los Angeles. Supp. to Lessing Yearbook. Detroit: Wayne State 
UP; Miinchen: text&kritik, 1982. 

Johann Wolfgang Goethe: '^Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre.'" Stuttgart: 
Reclam, 1982. 

Johann Wolfgang Goethe: '"Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre."" Erlduterungen 
und Dokinnente. 1982. Rev. andenl. ed. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2002. 

Johann Wolfgang Goethe: ""Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre.'' 1982. Rev. 
ed. with afterword and enl. bibliog. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2002. 

Johann Wolfgang Goethe: '"Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre."" Reclams 
Leseklassiker Stuttgart: Reclam, 1986. 

Geschichte der deutschen Literatur: Kontinuitdt und Verdnderung vom 
Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Vol. 1: Vom Mittelalter zum 
Barock. 1987. 2nd rev. ed. Tubingen: Francke, 1999. 

Geschichte der deutschen Literatur: Kontinuitdt und Verdndermig vom 
Mittelalter bis zur Gegemvart. Vol. 2: Von der Aufkldnuig bis 
zwn Vormdrz. 1988. 2nd rev. ed. Tiibingen: Francke, 1998. 

Geschichte der deutschen Literatur: Kontinuitdt und Verdnderung vom 
Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Vol. 3: Vom Realismus zur 
Gegenwartsliteratur. 1988. 2nd rev. ed. Tubingen: Francke, 1998. 

Thomas Mann. '"Der Tod in Venedig."' Dokumente und Erlduterungen. 
1991. Rpt. with extended bibliog. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2005. 

With Thomas P. Saine. The Internalized Revolution: German Reactions 
to the French Revolution, 1789-1989. New York and London: 
Garland, 1992. 

III. Articles 

Articles are organized as follows: 

III A. Research Articles 

IlIAl. Book Chapters 
II1A2. Journal Articles 
HI A3. Festschrift Articles 

IIIB. Reference Articles 

inc. Book Reviews 

HID. Miscellaneous Articles and Notes 

HI A. Research Articles 
IIIAI. Book Chapters 

"Papageno: The Unenlightened Wild Man in Eighteenth-Century 
Germany." The Wild Man Within: An Image in Western Thought 
from the Renaissance to Romanticism. Ed. Edward Dudley and 
Maximilian E. Novak. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 


"Kafka und der Prager Fruhling." Trans. Frank Schnur. Rev. and enl. ed. 
Ehrhard Bahr. Franz Kafka. Ed. Heinz Politzer. Wege der 
Forschung 322. Wiesbaden: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesell- 
schaft, 1973.516-38. 


"Der SchriftstellerkongreB 1943 an der Universitat von Kalifornien." 
Deutsche ExilUteratitr seit 1933. Vol. I: Kalifornien. Pt I. Ed. 
John M. Spalek and Joseph Strelka. Bern: Francke, 1 976. 40-6 1 . 

"Lessing: Ein konservativer Revolutionar? Zii Ernst imdFalk: Ge.^prdche 
fiir Freimaurer."' Lessing in hetitiger Sicht: Beitrdge zur 
Internationalen Lessing Konferenz, 1976, Cincinnati, OH. Ed. 
Edward P. Harris and Richard E. Schade. Bremen: Jacobi. 1977. 

"Goethes Natiirliche Tochter. Weimarer Hofklassik und Franzosische 
Revolution."' Deutsche Literatur zur Zeit der Klassik. Ed. Karl 
Otto Conrady. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1977. 226-42. 

"Metaphysische Zeitdiagnose: Hermann Kasack, Elisabeth Langgasser 
und Thomas Mann." Gegenwartsliteratiir und Drittes Reich. 
Ed. Hans Wagener. Stuttgart: Reclam. 1977. 133-62. 

"The Literature of Hope: Ernst Bloch's Philosophy and Its Impact on the 
Literature of the Gemian Democratic Republic." Fiction and 
Drama in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: Evolution and 
Experiment in the Postwar Period. Proceedings of the 1978 
UCLA Conference. UCLA Slavic Studies 1 . Ed. Henrik Bimbaum 
and Thomas Eekman. Columbus, OH: Slavica Publishers, 1980. 
1 1-26. 

"Flight and Metamorphosis: Nelly Sachs as a Poet of Exile." Exile: The 
Writer s Experience, Ed. John M. Spalek and Robert F. Bell. Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1982. 267-77. 

'Das zweite Exil: Zur Rezeption der Exilliteratur in den westlichen 
Besatzungszonen und in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland von 
1945 bis 1959." Das Exilerlehnis: Verhandlungen des Vierten 
Symposiums iiber deutsche und osterreichische Exilliteratur. 
Ed. Donald G. Daviau and Ludwig M. Fischer. Columbia, S.C.: 
Camden House, 1982. 353-66. 

'Exildramatik." Deutsche Literatur: Fine Sozialgeschichte. Ed. Horst 
Albert Glaser. Vol.9. Reinbek: Rowohlt, 1983.293-301. 

'Revolutionary Realism in Goethe's Wanderjahre."'' Goethe 's Narrative 
Fiction: The Irxine Goethe Symposium. Ed. William J. Lillyman. 


Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1983. \6i-15.Rpl. in Johann 
Wolfgang von Goethe. Ed. Harold Bloom. Bloom's Modem Critical 
Views. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2003. 3 1-48. 

"Goethe and Romantic Irony." Deutsche Romantik and English 
Romanticism: Papers from the University of Houston Third 
Symposium on Literature and the Arts: English and German 
Romanticism: Cross-currents and Controversy. Ed. Theodore 
G Gish and Sandra Frieden. Houston Gemian Studies 5. Miinchen: 
Fink, 1984. 1-5. 

"Contemporary Theatre and Drama in West Germany." Comtemporary 
Germany: Politics and Culture. Ed. Charles Burdick, Hans-Adolf 
Jacobsen and Winfried Kudszus. Boulder and London: Westview 
Press, 1984.298-311. 

"Die Goethe-Renaissance nach 1945: Verspieltes Erbe oder verhinderte 
Revolution?" Allerhand Goethe: Seine wissenschaftliche 
Sendung aus Anlafi des 150. Todestages und des 50. 
Namenstages der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitdt in 
Frankfurt am Main. Ed. Dieter Kimpel and Jorg Pompetzki. 
Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 1985. 89-107. 

"Brechts episches Theater als Exiltheater." Schreiben im Exil: Zur Asthetik 
der deutschen Exilliteratur 1933 his 1945. Ed. Alexander 
Stephan and Hans Wagener. Bonn: Bouvier, 1985. 109-22. 

''Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre oder die Entsagenden.^' Goethes 
Erzdhlwerk: Interpretationen. Ed. Paul Michael Liitzeler and 
James E. McLeod. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1985. 363-93. 

"Zur Problematik der Faschismustheorie in der Exilforschung." Exil: 
Wirkung und Wertung: Ausge\vdhlte Beitrdge zum Fiinften 
Symposium iiher deutsche und osterreichische Exilliteratur 
Ed. Donald G. Daviau and Ludwig M. Fischer. Columbia, S.C: 
Camden House, 1985. 17-24. 

'Literary Weimar in Exile: German Literature in Los Angeles, 1 940- 1 958." 
Literary Exiles and Refugees in Los Angeles. Los Angeles: 
ClarkLibrary, 1988. 1-26. 


"Lessing and the Utopian Tradition." Lessing and the Enlightenment. 
Ed. Alexej Ugrinsky. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986. 89-96. 

"Der Mythos vom 'anderen' Deutschland in der Kontroverse zwischen 
Bertolt Brecht und Thomas M?ixmr Kontroversen. ahe undnene: 
Akten des VIII. Internationalen German is ten kongresses 
Gottingen 1985. Vol. 9. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1986. 240-46. 

"Sigrid BRink's Der Magier ( 1 979): Hommage a Max Brod in Content and 
Structure: An Example of Max Brod's Reception in West 
Gennany." Max Brod 1884-1984: Untersuchungen zii Max 
Brods literarischen und philosophischen Schriften. Ed. 
Margarita Pazi. New Yorker Studien zur Neueren Deutschen 
Literaturgeschichte 8. New York and Bern: Lang, 1987. 11-25. 

"Geschichtsrealismus in Schillers dramatischem Werk." Friedrich 
Schiller: Angebot und Diskurs: Zugiinge, Dichtung. Zeit- 
genossenschaft. Ed. Helmut Brandt. Berlin: Autbau-Verlag, 1987. 

"Aufklarung." Geschichte der deutschen Literatw. Vol. 2: Von der 
Atifkldrung bis zum Vormdrz. Ed. Ehrhard Bahr with Franz H. 
Bauml, Friedrich Gaede and Gerd Hillen. Tubingen: Francke. 1 987- 

"Geld und Liebe im Armen Spiehnann: Versuch einer sozioliterarischen 
Interpretation." Grillparzer's Der arme Spiehnann: New 
Directions in Criticism. Ed. Clifford Bernd. Studies in Gernian 
Literature, Linguistics, and Culture 25. Columbia, SC: Camden 
House, 1988.300-10. 

"Georg Lukacs 'Goetheanismus': Its Relevance for His Literary Theory." 
GeorgLukdcs: Theory, Culture and Politics. Ed. Judith Marcus 
and Zoltan Tarr. New Brunswick: Transactions, 1 989. 89-95. 

'Goethe's Torquato Tasso and the Status of the Bourgeois Writer at the 
Feudal Court." Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Cenury. 
Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, Oxford University, 1989. 263-65, 
1 140-1 142. 


"Die Kontroverse um das 'Andere Deutschland'." Deittschsprachige 
Exilliteratur seit 1933. Vol. 2: New York. Ed. John M. Spalek 
and Joseph Strelka. Bern: Francke, 1 990. 1 493- 1513. 

"Art Desires Non-Art: Thomas Mann's Dialectic of Art and Theodor 
Adomo's Aesthetic Theory." Thomas Mann s Doctor Faitstus: 
A Novel at the Margin of Modernism. Ed. Herbert Lehnert and 
Peter C. Pfeiffer. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1991 . 145-60. 

" Wilhelm Meisters Wander] ahre oder Die Entsagenden ( 1 82 1 1 929) : From 
Bildungsroman to Archival Novel." Reflection and Action: 
Essays on the Bildungsroman. Ed. James N. Hardin. Columbia, 
SC: University ofSouth Carolina Press, 1991. 163-94. 

"Dialektik van Klassik und Realismus: Zur Historizitat und Nonnativitat 
des Klassikbegriffs bei Georg Lukacs." Klassik im Vergleich: 
Normativitdt und Historizitat europdischer Klassik. DFG- 
Symposion 1990. Ed. Wilhelm VoBkamp. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1992. 

"Models of the French Revolution and Paradigm Change in Contemporary 
Gemian Drama: Peter Weiss and Heiner Muller." The Internalized 
Revolution: German Reactions to the French Revolution, 1 789- 
1989. Ed. Ehrhard Bahr and Thomas P. Saine. New York: Garland, 

"Autoritat und Name in Lessings Streitkultur." Streitkultur: Strategien 
des Oberzeugens im Werk Lessings. Ed. Wolfram Mauser und 
Gunter SaBe. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1993. 139-46. 

"Deutsch-jiidische Exilliteratur und Literaturgeschichtsschreibung." 
Deutsch-jiidische Exil-und Emigrationsliteratur im 20. 
Jahrhundert. Ed. Itta Shedletzky and Hans Otto Horch. 
Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1993. 29-42. 

"Nazi Cultural Politics: Intentionalism vs. Functionalism." National 
Socialist Cultural Policy. Ed. Glenn R. Cuomo. New York: St. 
Martin's Press, 1995.5-22. 

"'My Metaphors Are My Wounds': Nelly Sachs and the Limits of Poetic 
Metaphor." Jewish Writers. German Literature: The Uneasy 


Examples oj Nelly Sachs and Walter Benjamin. Ed. Timothy 
Baht and Marilyn Sibley Fries. Ann Arbor: The University of 
Michigan Press, 1995. 43-58. Trans, of '"Meine Metaphern sind 
meine Wunden': Nelly Sachs und die Grenzen der poetischen 
Metapher." Nelly Sachs: Neiie Interpretationen, Mit Briefen 
und Eridiiterungen der An tor in zu ihren Gedichten im An hang. 
Ed. Michael Kessler and Jiirgen Wertheimer. Tubingen: 
Stauffenburg, 1994.3-18. 

"Max Brod as a Novelist: From the Jewish Zeitroman to the Zionist 
Novel." Von Franzos zu Canetti: Jiidische Autoren aus 
Osterreich: NeueStudien. Ed. Mark H. Gelber, Hans Otto Horch 
and Sigurd Paul Scheichl. Tiibingen: Niemeyer, 1996. 25-36. 

"1959: Hilde Dom\np\.\h\\?\\e?, Nur eine Rose als Stiitze a.nd'HQXXy Sachs 
publishes Fhicht und Verwandhwg, both of which deal with 
flight and exile." Yale Companion to Jewish Writing and Thought 
in German Culture, 1 096- J 996. Ed. Sander L. Oilman and Jack 
Zipes. New Haven and London: Yale UP, 1 997. 710-15. 

"Defensive Kompensation: Peter Bamm: Die unsichtbare Flagge ( 1 952) 
und Heinz O. Konsalik: Der Arzt von Stalingrad (1956).'' Von 
Boll bis Buchheim: Deutsche Kriegsprosa nach 1945. Ed. Hans 
Wagener. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1997. 199-211. 

"Aufklarung." Geschichte der deutschen Literatur: Kontinuitdt und 
Verdnderung vom Mittelalter his zur Gegenwart. Vol. 2: Von 
der Aufklarung bis zum Vormdrz. 2nd rev. enl. ed. Tiibingen: 
Francke, 1998. 1-128. 

"Ooethe's Concept of ' Volk' and His Disagreement with the Contemporary 
Discourse from Herder to Fichte." Searching for Common 
Ground: Diskurse zur deutschen Identitdt 1750-1871 . Ed. 
Nicholas Vazsonyi. Koln, Weimar: Bohlau, 2000. 127-40. 

'Ooethe and the Concept of Bildung in Jewish Emancipation." Goethe in 
German Jewish Culture. Ed. Klaus L. Berghahn and Jost 
Hennand. Columbus, SC: Camden House, 2001 . 1 6-28. 

'Ooethes Volksbegriff und der deutsche Nationalismus um 1800."D/f 
nationale Identitdt der Deutschen: Philosophische Imagi- 


nationen imd historische Mentalitdten. Ed. Wolfgang Bialas. 
Frankflirt/Main: Lang, 2002. 195-212. 

"Goethe in Hollywood: Thomas Mann in Exile in Los Angeles." Goethe 
ini E.xil: Deutsch-amerikanische Perspektiven. Ed. Gert 
Sautenneister and Frank Baron. Bielefeld: Asthesis Verlag, 2002. 

'Imperialismuskritik und Orientalismus in Thomas Manns 'Tod in 
Venedig'." Thomas Manns ^'Der Tod in Venedig'': Wirklichkeit, 
Dichtimg. Mythos. Eds. Frank Baron and Gert Sautermeister. 
Ltibeck: Schmidt-Rohmhild, 2003. 1-16. 

'Thomas Manns Vortrag 'Deutschland und die Deutschen': Vergangen- 
heitsbewaltigung und deutsche Einheit." Man erzdhlte 
Geschichten, fonnt die Wahrheit: Thomas Mann — Deutscher, 
Europaei; Weltbiirger. Ed. Michael Braun and Birgit Lermen. 
Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang, 2003. 65-80. 

'Art and Society in Thomas Mann's Early Novellas." A Companion to 
the Works of Thomas Mann. Ed. Herbert Lehnert and Eva Wessel. 
Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2004. 53-72. 

11IA2. Journal Articles 

"Diese sehr emsten Scherze: Zur rhetorischen Struktur und Funktion der 
Ironie in Goethes Spatwerk." Goethe: NeueFolge desJahrbuchs 
der Goethe-Gesellschaft 31(1 969): 1 57-73. 

"Personenwechslung in Goethes West-ostlichem Divan.'" Chronik des 
Wiener Goethe-Vereins 73 ( 1 969): 1 1 7-25. 

"Kafka and the Prague Spring." Mosaic: A Journal for the Comparative 
Study of Literature and Ideas 3.4 { 1 970): 1 5-29. 

"Um einen ironischen Goethe bittend." Germanic Notes 1 ( 1 970): 26-29, 

"Weimarer Dolchstofilegende." Aiifbau (New York) (2 January 1 970): 15- 


"Goethe's Wanderjahre as an Experimental Novel." Mosaic: AJounud 
for the Comparative Study of Literature and Ideas 5.3 (1972): 

"Shoemaking as a Mystic Symbol in Nelly Sachs' Mystery Play Eli.'" 
Germanic Quarterly 45 { 1 972): 480-83. 

With Ruth Kunzer. "Culinary Marxism: Or Portrait of Hans Mayer as a 
Goun-net. Diacritics 3.3 (Fall 1 973 ): 1 8-2 1 . 

"Die angelsachsische Lukacs-Renaissance." Text und Kritik 39-40 ( 1 973): 


"Die Bild- und Sinnbereiche von Feuer und Wasser in Lessings Nathan 
der Weiser Lessing Yearbook 6 ( 1 974): 80-93. 

"Exilforschung an der University of California, Los Angeles.'" Jahrhuch 
fiir Internationale Germanistik 6.2 (1974); 125-28. 

"Roter Werther in Blue Jeans: Nachlese zum \Verther-Jahr."/'oc7//c Coast 
Philology \0 (1975): 10-15. 

"Thomas Mann und der kalifornische Untersuchungsausschufi fiir 
unamerikanische Umtriebe." Rundschreiben III (Stockholmer 
Koordinationsstelle zur Erforschung der deutschsprachigen Exil- 
Literatur, 1975): 7-9. 

"Geld und Liebe in Bolls Roman Und sagte kein einziges Wort." The 
University of Dayton Review 12.2 (1976): 33-39. 

"The Pursuit of Happiness in the Political Writings of Lessing and Kant." 
Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 151 (1976): 

"Fontanes Verhaltnis zu den Klassikem." Pacific Coast Philology 1 1 

(1976): 15-22. 

"The Anti-Semitism Studies of the Frankflirt School: The Failure of Critical 
Theory." German Studies Review 1 (1978): 125-38. Rpt. in 
Foundations of the Frankfurt School of Social Research. Ed. 


Judith Marcus and Zoltan Tarr. New Brunswick and London: 
Transaction Books, 1 984. 311-21. 

"Geschichte und Allegoric: Moglichkeiten des allegorischen Romans zur 
Zeit des NS-Regimes: Elisabeth Langgasser und Thomas Mann." 
Deutsche Exil-Uteratiir: Literatiir im Dritten Reich. Ed. 
Wolfgang Elfe. Spec, issue of Jahrbuch fiir Internationale 
Germanistik, ReiheA (Kongrefibehchte) 5 (1979): 103-1 1. 

"Fortsetzung oder Ubergange: Deutsche Literatur zwischen 1933 und 
1945. ZurKontinuitat und Gegen-Kontinuitat inderdeutschen 
LitemlUTgeschichte." Jahrbuch fiir Internationale Germanistik, 
ReiheA (Kongressberichte) 8.3 (1980): 382-87. 

"Kant, Mendelssohn and the Problem of 'Enlightenment from Above'." 
Eighteenth Centwy Life %(\9m: 1-12. 

"Das Goethe-Jahr in den USA." Jahrbuch fur Internationale Germanistik 
15(1984): 121-23. 

"Paul Tillich und das Problem einer deutschen Exilregierung in den 
Vereinigten Staaten." Exilforschung: Ein Internationales 
Jfl/?/-^?/c/7 3 (1985): 31-42. 

"Paul Tillich and the Problem of a Gennan Exile Government in the United 
States." Yearbook oj German-American Studies 2\ (1986): 1-12. 

"Paul Celan und Nelly Sachs: Ein Dialog in Gedichten." Datum imdZitat 
bei Paul Celan. Ed. Chaim Shoham and Bemd Witte. Jahrbuch 
fiir Internationale Germanistik, ReiheA 21 (1987): 183-94. 

"In Defense of Enlightenment: Foucault and Habermas." German Studies 
/?m"eul 1(1988): 97-109. 

"Beyond Potsdam and Weimar: The Image of Contemporary Germany in 
Book Reviews of Selected British and American Newspapers 
and Joumals." Englisch-Amerikanische Studien 10.2 ( 1 988): 1 87- 


"'Identitat des Nichtidentischen': Zur Dialektik der Kunst in Thomas 
Manns Doktor Faiistiis im Lichte von Theodor W. Adomos 
Asthetischer Theorie."'' Thomas Mann Jahrhuch 2 (1989): 102- 

"Die Goethe-Renaissance nach 1945: Verspieltes Erbe oder verhinderte 
Revolution?" Gof //ye Yearbook 5 {1990): 1-24. 

"Geld and Liebe in Weifels Der Tod des Kleinbiirgers . " Modern Austrian 
Literature 2A. 2 {\99\):1>7>-A9. 

"Vaclav Havel's Faust Drama Temptation (1985): Or, The Challenge of 
Influence." Goethe Yearbook 1 (1994): 194-209. 

"Die Widersacher des spaten Goethe: die Jungdeutschen, die Nationalen 
und die Orthodoxen." Goethe-Jahrbuch 1 1 2 ( 1 995 ): 227-4 1 . 

"The Silver Age of Weimar: Franz Liszt as Goethe's Successor: A Study in 
C\\\\\\x2i\ Kxc\\Qo\ogy r Goethe Yearbook 10(2001): 191-202. 

"Los Angeles als Zentrum der Exilkultur und die Krise des Modemismus." 
Exilforschung 20 (2002): 1 99-2 12. 

"Exiltheater in Los Angeles: Max Reinhardt, Leopold Jessner, Bertolt 
Brecht und Walter Wicclair." Exilforschung 2 1 (2003): 95- 1 1 1 . 

"Ossian-Rezeption von Michael Denis bis Goethe: Ein Beitrag zur 
Geschichte des Primitivismus in Deutschland." Goethe Yearbook 
12(2004): 1-15. 

IIIA3. Festschrift Articles 

"Dezenz der Rede: Zum Problem der Sprache in Hofmannsthals Komodie 
Der Schwierige."' Austraica: Beitrage zur osterreichischen 
Literatur: Festschrift fiir Heinz Politzer. Ed. Winfried Kudszus 
& Hinrich C. Seeba. Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1975. 285-97. 

"Das Theater als Erzahlthema im deutschen Bildungsroman." Ein 
Theatermann: Theorie und Praxis: Festschrift zum 70. 


Gebitrtstag von Rolf Badenhaiisen. Ed. Ingrid Nohl. Munchen: 

Nohl, 1977.25-41. 

"Realismus und Totalitat: Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre als Roman des 
19. Jahrhunderts."Forwe« realistischer Erzdhlkimst: Festschrift 
for Charlotte JoUes. Ed. Jorg Thunecke. Nottingham: Sherwood 
Press Agencies, 1979. 88-92. 

"East is West, and West is East: The Synthesis of Near-Eastern and 
Western Rhetoric and Imagination in Goethe's West-ostlicher 
Divan.'' Aiifnahme — Weitergahe: Literarische Impulse urn 
Lessing und Goethe: Festschrift fiir Heinz Moenkemeyer zum 
68. Gehurtstag. Ed. John A. McCarthy and Albert A. Kipa. 
Hamburger philologische Studien 56. Hamburg: Buske, 1982. 

"Neu-Weimar am Pazifik: Los Angeles als heimliche Hauptstadt der 
deutschen Exilkultur." Weimar am Pazifik: Literarische Wege 
zwischen den Kontinenten: Festschrift fiir Werner Vordtriede 
zum 70. Gehurtstag. Ed. Dieter Borchmeyer and Till Heimeran. 
Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1985. 126-36. 

"Von Mimesis zu Poiesis: Die Evolution des modemen Dichters in Goethes 
Tasso: Zur Interpretation der SchluBszene." Sinn imd Symbol: 
Festschrift fiir Joseph P. Strelka zum 60. Gehurtstag. Ed. Karl 
Konrad Polheim. Bern and Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1987. 87- 

"Geld und Liebe bei Thomas Mann und Bertolt Brecht." Horizonte: 
Festschrift fiir Herbert Lehnert zum 65. Gehurtstag. Ed. 
Hannelore Mundt, Egon Schwarz and William T. Lillyman. 
Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1990. 142-60. 

"Modernism and Antimodemism in WerfeLs Work between 1923 and 
1933: A Reassessment." Turn of the Centuiy Vienna and Its 
Legacy: Essays in Honor of Donald G. Daviau. Ed. Jeffrey B. 
Berlin, Jorun B. Johns and Richard H. Lawson. [Riverside]: Edition 
Atelier, 1993.413-24. 

■'Dialektik des Nihilismus: Thomas Manns Benjamin - Lektiire und der 
Fa?/5///5-Roman." Crisis and Culture in Enlightenment 


Germany: Essays in Honour of Peter Heller Eds. Hans Schulte 
and David Richards. Lanham/New York: University Press of 
America, 1993.415-31. 

"Dimensions of Literary Production in West Germany during the Late 
\9^Q?,." Dimensions: A. Leslie WiUson& Contemporar\' German 
Arts and Letters. Ed. Peter Pabisch and Ingo R. Stoehr. Krefeld: 
van Acken. 1993.240-47. 

"Der Rauber-Autor als Ehrenbiirger der Franzosischen Republik."^?/?/^: 
und Asthetik: Werke und IVerte in der Literatiir vom 18. bis 20. 
Jahrhundert: Festschrift fiir Wolfgang Wittkowski zum 70. 
Gebiirtstag. Ed. Richard Fisher. Frankfurt/Main: Lang. 1995. 146- 

"Die ganze Kunst des hofischen Gewebes." Goethes Torquato Tasso 
und seine Kritik an der Weimarer Hofklassik." Histotr and 
Literature: Essays in Honor of Karl S. Giithke. Ed. William 
Collins Donahue and Scott Denham. Tiibingen: Stauffenburg, 

'Goethe and Oral Poetry." Varieties and Consequences of Literacy and 
Orality/ Formen und Folgen von Schriftlichkeit und 
Miindlichkeit: Franz H. Bciuml zum 75. Geburtstag. Ed. Ursula 
Schafer and Edda Spielmann. Tubingen: Narr, 200 1.161 -72. 


II IB. Reference Articles 

Reference articles have appeared in the following journals: 

Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature. Ed. Jean- William 

B. Edgerton. 2nd ed. New York; Columbia UP, 1980. 
Critical Survey of Drama: Foreign Language Series and Supplement. 

Pasadena: Salem Press, 1986, 1987,2003. 
Critical Survey of Literary Theoty. Pasadena: Salem Press, 1988. 
Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction. Ed. Frank N. Magill. 

Pasadena: Salem Press, 1988. 
Dictionan- of Literaiy Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989, 1992. 
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Brittanica. <http://>. 
Encyclopaedia Hebraica [ha-Entsiklopedyah ha-'Ivrit; kelalit, Yehudit, 

ye-Eretsyisre'elit]. Yerushalayim [Jerusalem]: Hevrah le-hotsa'at 

entsiklopedyot, 1977. 
Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English. Ed. Olive Class. New 

York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000. 
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment. Ed. Alan Charles Kors. 4 vols. New 

York: Oxford UP, 2003. 135-39. 
Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Centwy. Ed. Frederick 

Ungarand Lina Mainiero. New York: Ungar, 1975, 1983. 
Goethe Handbuch in vier Bcinden. Ed. Bemd Witte, Peter Schmidt. Regina 

Otto and Hans-Dietrich Dahnke. Stuttgart and Weimar: Metzler, 

Great Lives from History : Renaissance to 1900 Series. Ed. Frank N. Magill. 

Pasadena: Salem Press, 1989. 
Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and Their Work. Ed. 

S. Lilian Kremer. 2 vols. New York: Routledge, 2003. 
Internationales Germanistenlexikon. Ed. Christoph Konig. Berlin and 

New York: de Gruyter, 2003. 
Lexikon literaturtheoretischer Werke. Ed. Rolf Gunter Renner and 

Engelbert Habekost. Stuttgart: Kroner, 1995. 
Masterplots II: World Fiction Series; Nonfiction Series; Drama Series. 

Pasadena: Salem Press, 1988-1990. 
Reference Guide to Holocaust Literature. Ed. Thomas Riggs. Farmington 

Hill, MI: St James Press, 2002. 
Reference Guide to World Literature. Detroit: St. James Press, 1995. 


inc. Book Reviews 

Book reviews have appeared in the following journals: 

Brecht Yearbook 

Colloquia Germanica 

Comparative Literature Studies 



German Quarterly 

German Studies Review 


Goethe Yearbook 

Journal of English and Germanic Philology 

Lessing Yearbook 

Michigan Germanic Studies 

Modern Language Journal 

Monatshefte fur deutschen Unterricht. deutsche Sprache und Literatur 

New German Critique 


HID. Miscellaneous Articles and Notes 

"Heinrich Mann zu ehren." Mitteilungsblatt 25.6 ( 1 97 1 ): 2; Neue Zeitimg 
(Los Angeles) (11 June 1971): 2. 

"Marta Mierendorffals Professor fiir Exil-Literaturbemfen."D/eM7/7w/wg 
(Berlin) 1 (December 1971): 8. 

"UCLA forderte Autoren und pflegt ihr Erhc. " Aiijbau (New York) (2 June 
1972): 32. 

"Marta Mierendorffals Professor fiir Exil-Literatur berufen." Bericht III 
(Stockholmer Koordinationsstelle zur Erforschung der 
deutschsprachigen Exil-Literatur, 1972): 14. [Reprint]. 

"Nachlese zum Heine-Jahr 1972: Heinrich Heine als Dichter der politischen 
Verfolgten." D/eM(5r/7w//7g (Berlin) (1 August 1973): 10. 


"Deutschsprachiges Theater im Exil." Rundschreiben V (Stockholmer 
Koordinations-stelle zur Erforschung der deutschsprachigen Exil- 
Literatur, 1973): 11-12. 

"Dokumentation Exilliteratur: Sammlungen und Bestande der Bibliothek 
der University of California, Los Angeles." Bericht 10 
(Stockholmer Koordinationsstelle zur Erforschung der 
deutschsprachigen Exil-Literatur, 1975): 78-79. 

"Thomas Mann in Exile in America: An Exhibition." UCLA Librarian 
28.11 (November 1975): 47. 

"Richtigstellung zu Ernst Bloch." Rundschreiben III (Stockholmer 
Kordinationsstelle zur Erforschung der deutschsprachigen Exil- 
Literatur, 1975): 15. 

"Nachwort." Die Utopie des weiblichen Gliicks in den Romanen Theodor 
Fontanes. By Hanni Mittelmann. Gennanic Studies in America 
36. Bern: Peter Lang, 1980. 125. 

"Vorwort." Geschichte der detitschen Literatnr. Ed. Ehrhard Bahr. Vol. 1: 
Vom Mittelaher bis zum Barock. Tubingen: Francke, 1987. vii- 


"Introduction." 77?^ Internalized Revolution: German Reactions to the 
French Revolution, 1789-1989. Ed. Ehrhard Bahr and Thomas 
P. Saine. New York and London: Garland, 1 992. 3- 1 0. 

"Laudatio auf Professor Dr. Stuart Atkins (Santa Barbara/USA) bei der 
Verleihung der Goldenen Goethe-Medaille." Goethe-Jahrbuch 
112 (1995): 425-27. 

"Vorwort [1997]." Geschichte der deutschen Literatur: Kontinuitdt und 
Verdnderung vom Mittelaher bis zur Gegenwart. Vol. 2: Von 
derAuJkldrung bis zum Vormdrz. Ed. Ehrhard Bahr. 2nd rev. and 
enl. Tubingen: Francke, 1998. xi-xii. 

'Verrat an Goethe: Sammelbesprechung zur Geschichte der Goethe- 
Gesellschaft in Weimar." Goethe Yearbook 12 (2004): 261-64. 


IV. Abstracts 

"Los Angeles als Exilzentrum: Ein Problemfall zur Frage: Wariim und wo 
ExilT' Alte Welten - - neue Welten: Akten des IX. Kongresses der 
Internationalen Vereini-gung fur germanische Sprach- und 
Literatunvissenschaften. Ed. Michael S. Batts. Vol. 3. Tubingen: 
Niemeyer, 1996. 153. 

V. Translations 

With Ida Novak Myers. "Nelly Sachs: Beiyll sieht in der Nacht/Beiyl! 
Sees in the Night."' Dimension: Contemporary German Arts 
and Letters 2 ( 1 969): 500-29. 

"'Imagine' by Paul Celan and 'Jemsalem is Everywhere' by Nelly Sachs." 
HA AM: UCLA 's Jewish Magazine (June 1972): 6. 

VI. Published Works Translated by Others 

La Pensee de GeorgLukacs. Trans. Jean Lyon. Toulouse: [Private], 1972. 

VII. Bibliographies 

With Walter K. Stewart. "North- American Goethe Dissertations: 1896- 
\9m:' Goethe Yearbook 1 (1982): 177-96. 

With Walter K. Stewart. "North American Goethe Dissertations: 1988 
Supplement." Goethe Yearbook 5 {\990): 293-303. 

"Bibliography: A Select Checklist." The Inte?na/ized Revolution: German 
Reactions to the French Revohition, 1789-1989. Ed. Erhard 
Bahr and Thomas P. Saine. New York and London: Garland, 1992. 


With Walter K. Stewart. "North American Goethe Dissertations: 1989-99 
Supplement." Goethe Yearbook 10 (2001): 263-75. 


VIII. Dissertations Supervised 


Faulwell, Margaret L. "Unreliable Narration in the Contemporary First- 
Person Novel." Diss. UCLA. 


Rogan, Richard G "The Reader in the Novels of C. M. Wieland." Diss. 

UCLA. [Published as The Reader in the Novels of C. M. Wieland. 

Las Vegas: P Lang, 1981.] 


Stewart, Walter K. "Time in Goethe's Sturm und Drang Dramas." Diss. 
UCLA. [Published as Time Structure in Drama: Goethe's Sturm 
nnd Drang Plays. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1978.] 


Cowan, James L. "Gyorgy Lukacs's Criticism of Thomas Mann and 
Avantgarde Literature." Diss. UC Berkeley. 


Mittelmann, Hanni. "Die Utopie des weiblichen Glucks in den Romanen 
Theodor Fontanes." Diss. UCLA. [Published as Die Utopie des 
weiblichen Gliicks in den Romanen Theodor Fontanes. Bern, 
Las Vegas: P Lang, 1980.] 

Trafton, Elisabeth Rockenbach. "Resignation in Wilhelm Raabes 
Stuttgarter Trilogie." Diss. UCLA. 


Cohen, Rosi. "Das Problem des Selbstmords in Stefan Zweigs Leben und 
Werk." Diss. UCLA. [Published as Das Problem des Selbst- 
mordes in Stefan Zweigs Leben imd Werk. Bern, Frankfurt/Main: 
PLang, 1982.] 


Kruse, Jens. "Poetische Struktur und Geschichte in Goethes Faust IL'" 
Diss. UCLA. [Published as Der Tanz der Zeichen: Poetische 
Struktur und Geschichte in Goethes ^' Faust." Konigstein/Ts.: 
Main, 1985.] 



Arjomand-Fathi, Nushafarin. "Hafez und Goethe: Studien zum literarischen 
Einflu und zu Goethes Hafez-Bild." Diss. UCLA. 

Fuchs-Sumiyoshi, Andrea. "Orientalismus in der deutschen Literatur; 
Studien zu Werken des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts von Goethes 
West-ostlichew Divan bis zu Thomas Manns Jo.9e/;/7-Tetralogie." 
Diss. UCLA. [Published as Orieittalismus in der deutschen 
Literatur: Untersuchungen zu Werken des 19. und 20. 
Jahrhunderts. von Goethes ^'West-ostlichem Divan" bis Thomas 
Manns "'Joseph'"'-Tetralogie. Hildesheim: 01ms. 1984.] 


Burt, Raymond. "The Pietist Autobiography and Goethes Lehrjahre: An 

Examination of the Emergence of the Gemian Bildungsroman." 

Diss. UCLA. 

Kapaun, Gisela Elisabeth. "Die Rolle des fikti\ en Lesers im deutschen 
Briefroman des 1 8. Jahrhunderts." Diss. UCLA. 


Parasidou Alden. Maria. "Der griechische Mythos in Faust II: Line Studie 
zum EintluB von Karl Philipp Moritz' "Gotterlehre" und zu 
Goethes "Arbeit am Mythos" in Akt II und III." Diss. UCLA. 

O'Brien. Mary-Elizabeth. "Fantasy and Reality in Inntraud Morgner's 
Salman Novels: A Discursive Analysis of Leben der Trobadora 
und v4/wawc/cr." Diss. UCLA. 

Sazaki, Kristina Rosemarie. "Berthold Auerbach's Image of America: Reality 
versus Realism." Diss. UCLA. 

Schiele, Bemhard Florian. "Wirkungsgeschichte der Literaturzeitschrift 
Sinn und Fonn unter der Redaktion von Peter Huchel (1949- 
1962)." Diss. UCLA. 



Cape, Ruth Inningard. "Zur Bildersprache der Franzosischen Revolution 
in Goethes Dramen; Goethes Natunnetaphem und Natursymbole 
als Ausdruck seines Geschichtsbildes nach 1789." Diss. 
UCLA. [Published as Das frcmzosische Ungewitter: Goethes 
Bildersprache zur Franzosischen Revolution. Heidelberg: 
Winter, 1991.] 

Olson, Michael R "Money and Love in the Novels of Heinrich Boll: The 
Marriage Theme in His Fiction between 1953 and 1985." Diss. 


Cohen-Pfister, Laurel Ann. "Literary Scholarship in the German Democratic 

Republic in the 1980s: The Conflict with 'Young' Literature." 

Diss. UCLA. 


Multer, Reingard. "Kunstler- and Kunstproblematik im Werk von Thomas 

Bemhard: Gegen Aura-Verlust und Warencharakter der Kunst." 

Diss. UCLA. 


Vazsonyi. Nicholas. "Anatomy of a 'Breakthrough': Georg Lukacs's 
Goethe Reception and Concurrent Accommodation of Stalinism." 
Diss. UCLA. [Published as Lukdcs Reads Goethe: From 
Aestheticism to Stalinism. Columbia, SC: Camden House, 1997.] 

Weilnbock, Harald. "Romantische Revolution und die Psychoanalyse 
der protofaschistischen Entfremdung: Line nachfreudianische 
Lesart der biirgerlichen Mentalitat, ausgehend von Friedrich 
Holderlins Empedokles mit Ausblick auf die Situation der 
(Post-)Modeme." Diss. UCLA. [Published as ^"Was die Wange 
rothet. kann nicht iibel seyn": Die Beziehungsanalyse der 
Entfremdung bei Holderlin und Heidegger. Wiirzburg: 
Konigshausen & Neumann, 2000.] 



Jang, Hyun-Sung. "Thomas Manns iind Menno ter Braaks Nietzsche- 
RezeptionimLichtedesFaschismus: 1927-1955." Diss. UCLA. 
[Published as Nietzsche-Rezeption im Lichte des Faschisnws: 
Thomas Mann iind Menno terBraak. Hiidesheim: 01ms, 1994.] 

McAnear, Michael Frank. '•Gemian Cultural Hegemony over Austria: The 
Case of Albert Drach." Diss. UCLA. 


Doering, Wolfgang. "Gliick und Gewalt bei Heinrich von Kleist: Die 

Frustrations-Agressions-Hypothese als literaturpsycho- 

logischer Ansatz." Diss. UCLA. 

Lashgari, Mahafarid. "Schiller's Gender Theor\' in His Classical Dramas." 
Diss. UCLA. 

Siehoff, John Thomas. "Thomas Manns Doktor Faustits: Studien zur 
Asthetik der Kritischen Theorie im Exil und zu Theodor W. 
Adomos Beitrag zur Kunsttheorie im Roman." Diss. UCLA. 

Bothe, Britta. "Arbeit, Liebe und Androgynie in Irmtraud Morgners 
Salman-Romanen."Diss. UCLA. 


Krol, Monika. "Women Writers and Social Change in the Former GDR 

after the Wende: Gabriele Stotzer, Christa Wolf and Sarah Kirsch." 

Diss. UCLA. 


Eisel, Erik M. "The Works of Karl Philipp Moritz as Alternate Discourse 
of the Public Sphere." Diss. UCLA. 


Heinrichsdorff, Amelie. "'Nur eine Frau?': Kritische Untersuchungen zur 
literaturwissenschaftlichen Vernachlassigung der Exilschrift- 
stellerinnen in Los Angeles: Ruth Berlau, Marta Feuchtwanger, 
Gina Kaus und Victoria Wolff." Diss. UCLA. 



Russo, Eva-Maria. '"Auf keinen Teufel gefaBt': The Discourse of 

Seduction and Rape in Eighteenth-Century German Literature." 

Diss. UCLA. 


Parkes, Lisa Caroline. '"Unter einem musikalischen Vorwand': The 

Embodiment of Musical Performance in Thomas Mann's Fiction." 

Diss. UCLA. 


New German 
NGR Review 


L 009 118 696 5 

Thomas P. Saine, University of Colifomio, Irvine 

Jens Kruse, Wellesley College 

The Political Uses of "Goethe" during the Nazi Period: ; 

Goethe Fictions between 1933 and 1945 

Hanni Mittelmann, Hebrew University 

Vom Essen und von Zionismus: Sammy Gronemanns National- 
Judisches Anekdotenbuch "Schalet. Beitrdge zur 
Philosophie des 'Wenn schon'" 

Mary Beth O'Brien, Skidmore College 

National Socialist Realism: The Politics of Popular Cinema 

in the Third Reich i 

Michael P. Olson, Harvard University ; 

Goethe as a Catalyst for Germanisfik at Harvard 

Lisa Parkes, University of California, Los Angeles 
Composing for the Films: Adorno and Schoenberg in ■ 

Nicholas Vazsonyi, University of Soutfi Carolina 

The Wagner Industry and the Politics of German Culture 

Hans R. Vaget, Smiffi College 

The Historians' Mann and Mann's Historian: 

Thomas Mann and Erich Kohler