„ Georg Grosz, Dedicated to (1919)

The Republic, Part I

Instability and Innovation

World War I in Europe

„ euphoria of 1914 turned to dismay „ 19th-century war had been expected „ 20th-century war was fought: „ technological warfare „ massive loss of life „ instability in , Austria, Russia, Turkey „ American role „ world was a different place in 1918

1 – aftermath in Germany

„ March 1918: peace with Russia „ Nov. 1918: sailors’ mutiny, civil unrest „ 9 Nov. 1918: Emperor abdicates; proclamation of a republic „ 11 Nov. 1918: Armistice with western powers, 1918 „ early 1919: communist revolts


„ named after city where constitutional assembly was held „ decentralized national government „ universal suffrage „ never accepted by ultraconservatives or nationalists „ elected president with considerable powers • Article 48: rule by emergency decree

The Treaty of Versailles

„ harsh terms „ loss of land „ Allied occupation of Rhineland „ war guilt clause – reparations „ Germans felt betrayed by Wilson „ Versailles + “stab in the back” theory = large-scale resentment of nationalists

2 Germany in the early

„ inflation crisis (climax: Nov. 1923) „ war had been financed by loans and bonds, not taxes „ reparations fulfillment was impossible „ French occupation of Ruhr led to German production boycott

3 Anti-Republican sentiments

„ republic not universally accepted „ nostalgia for emperor „ 1925: Hindenburg elected President „ general with anti-democratic leanings

Thomas Mann and the Republic

„ most famous German novelist of the period „ 1917: Observations of a non-political man „ declared himself in favour of monarchy „ saw war as struggle between “Kultur” (German culture) and “Zivilisation” (western civilization, represented by France) „ loss of war would mean loss of German identity

Thomas Mann and the Republic

„ 1922: On the German Republic „ admits to the excesses of the Wilhelmine era „ monarchist at heart, but calls himself a common- sense republican „ fears lack of support for republic will result in an absence of a state form that can carry German culture forward

4 Germany in the late 1920s

„ relative stability 1924-1929 „ 1929: stock market crash; global depression „ by 1933, 1 out of 3 Germans unemployed „ increased use made of Article 48 „ premeditated; economic crisis as pretext „ 1932 elections: anti-democratic majority(i.e. ultranationalist, communist) „ organized street fighting

Weimar Culture

„ innovative „ international (inspiration and influence) „ provocative „ highly critical of (German) society „ intrigued and troubled by “

What is “modernity”?

„ “Works that consciously and innovatively react, positively or negatively, to changes – social and mental – since the Industrial Revolution [ca. 1885] can be claimed for .” (Alfred D. White) „ modernity: cultural fabric that has enabled the above artistic response

5 Weimar and the Arts: Highlights

„ „ montage art „ architecture and design school „ popular music (jazz) „ radio „ cinema „ expressionsim „

Work Council for Art Manifesto

„ typical example of one new perspective on art during the early years of Weimar „ reduce state influence in the arts „ separate arts from state purposes (e.g. war memorials) „ connect the arts with people „ socialist impulse: seen in many of Weimar’s artistic developments


„ started in Switzerland, 1916 by Hugo Ball „ came to Berlin, 1917 „ key values: „ nonsensical „ anti-bourgeois „ pacifist

6 Hugo Ball’s dada manifesto (1916)

„ An International word. Just a word, and the word a movement. Very easy to understand. Quite terribly simple. To make of it an artistic tendency must mean that one is anticipating complications. Dada psychology, dada Germany cum indigestion and fog paroxysm, dada literature, dada , and yourselves, honoured poets, who are always writing with words but never writing the word itself, who are always writing around the actual point. Dada world war without end, dada revolution without beginning, dada, you friends and also-poets, esteemed sirs, manufacturers, and evangelists. Dada Tzara, dada Huelsenbeck, dada m'dada, dada m'dada dada mhm, dada dera dada, dada Hue, dada Tza. How does one achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How does one become famous? By saying dada. With a noble gesture and delicate propriety. Till one goes crazy. Till one loses consciousness. How can one get rid of everything that smacks of journalism, worms, everything and right, blinkered, moralistic, europeanised, enervated? By saying dada.

7 Hannah Höch, Cut with a Kitchen Knife (1919)

„ excellent example of montage technique „ dadaist representation of Weimar instability

8 , Ursonate

„ Ursonate = “first/original sonata” „ reflected European interest in primal, natural „ emphasis on form, texture, sound at expense of social commentary

Kurt Schwitters - Ursonate (1922)

Bauhaus School

„ 1919 - founded by „ art, architecture, photography, design „ emphasis on modernity, functionality „ famous preliminary course on materials „ many of the teachers - e.g. Gropius, - emigrated to America after 1933 „ influence still felt in design

9 Bauhaus manifest

„ "The complete building is the ultimate aim of all the visual arts. Once the noblest function of the fine arts was to embelish buildings: they were indispensable components of great architecture. Today the arts exist in isolation.... Architects, painters, and sculptors must learn anew the composite character of the building as an entity.... The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, transcending his conscious will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in his craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies the prime source of creative imagination."

Bauhaus program

Bauhaus design

10 Berlin and the Weimar Republic

„ Berlin of the 1920s has become synonymous with „ mecca for emerging and immigrant artists „ media and entertainment capitol „ Berlin as symbol of a new age elicited various responses „ compare Nicholson, Goll, Goebbels readings