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   Course Title    German Fascism as a Cultural Phenomenon
Lecturer    Elena Romanova
Institution    Samara Academy for Humanities
Country    Russia

Goals of the course

The main idea of the course to show the development of cultural phenomena in a historical background (literature, language, origin new historical paradigm, "Massenkultur"). An interdisciplinary and multicultural approach will be used in this course and combined with several methods of investigation (for example, philology /with the help of new literature and fiction, historical methods and cultural research).

At the same time, the course tries to build the bridge between different times, in order to bridge the distance between modern times and history. Students receive the opportunity to study several methods dealing with historical subject matter, and to find research problems independently. For students, dealing with fascist ideology is a good example to be tolerant of ambiguous things in human history.

The main point of the course is to teach students using preliminary sources and help them to find in the text the "tricks" which influence consciousness.

The lectures will help the students realize the historical situation, development of the fascist movement, sources of the ideology and aims of fascist leaders. During tutorials and seminars they analyze preliminary sources in the context of the historical situation. For the seminars texts of different difficulty and different level are chosen. First level – radio speeches (speeches by Hitler). Second level – articles by Nazi leaders. The common consciousness at the time is emphasized and students are encouraged to analyze the reaction of common people to the propaganda and vise versa.

Role of the course in the overall degree curriculum

This special course is a part of a one-semester course on German history and culture in a European context for second year students, who study at the philological faculty.

Chronological frame covers the period from the beginning of the 20th century up to the Second World War. I’m going to follow the development of Fascist ideology, its roots and influence, without relation to the politics.

Course Requirements: Final exam and final paper (15-20 pp.) Regular class reports and discussion of reading, which will be divided among seminar participants.

How to write the final paper

Your paper should focus on a single primary text (or a few texts) from the course readings. Although points of emphasis will vary, your paper should include an analysis of the text itself, the author's objectives and assumptions, the audience, and the historical context. Papers are to be analytical and interpretative, not simply descriptive. They should present a thesis and develop an argument. It is incumbent upon you to define and develop a thesis.

You should work with the complete text, not simply the excerpts assigned in class. Your thesis may focus on a section of the text, but your interpretation of that section should be informed by a reading of the entire text. Internet links to complete texts appear at the beginning of each reading assignment. Whenever possible, however, you should consult more recent printed editions of the text. You should also use secondary sources that have bearing on the text, author, audience, or historical context. Your secondary sources should consist mostly of scholarly articles and books, not simply reference material and textbooks. First drafts may be limited to sources available in the library, but you are expected to use Interlibrary Loan to obtain additional sources for the final draft. You should include with your first draft a bibliography based on a universal search for sources.

The grade for each draft will be based on the quality of the thesis and argument, the quality of the evidence and logic, and the quality of the writing. The grade of the second draft will also reflect the quality of the sources used and the improvement (or lack of improvement) shown between the first and second draft. You should consult with me about your paper at least a week before each draft is due.


I. Introductory lecture. This lecture deals with the history of fascist ideology and the circulation of fascist ideas among people and nations. The main points are: how the fascist ideology developed, what were the historical backgrounds, predecessors of fascist ideology, roots of Fascism in the national rebuilding of Germany.

II. The structure of German fascism. How nationalism and Imperial ideas influenced on Fascism in Germany? History of the Weimar republic. Interactive analysis of Bruno Heilig, "Why the German Republic Fell"1938.

Tutorial. On the grounds of two lectures: information analysis on the main points of Nazism, combines extreme nationalism, racism and some socialist concepts.

Unification of Greater Germany (Austria + Germany)

Land + expansion

Anti-Versailles - abrogation of the Treaty

Land and territory - lebensraum

Only a "member of the race" can be a citizen

Anti-semitism - No Jew can be a member of the race

Anti-foreigner - only citizens can live in Germany

No immigration - ref. to Jews fleeing pogroms

Everyone must work

Abolition of unearned income - "no rent-slavery"

Nationalisation of industry

Division of profits

Extension of old age welfare

Land reform

Death to all criminals

German law, not Roman law (anti- French Rev.)

Education to teach "the German Way"

Education of gifted children

Protection of mother and child by outlawing child labour.

Encouraging gymnastics and swimming

Formation of a national army

Duty of the state to provide for its folk.

Duty of individuals to the state

III. Hitler’s speeches.

The main points of this lecture are to show Nazi leaders’ vocabulary and methods of oral influence. I strongly recommend for all students to read the Adolf Hitler Speech of April 12, 1921, before the lecture.

Tutorial. This tutorial deals with comparative analysis of two Hitler speeches "Speech of April 12, 1921" and "Reichstag Speech, February 20, 1938". Also we use a text of "Mein Kampf" for comprehensive analysis of vocabulary and language.

IV. Newspapers and Placation. Fascisation by newspapers and books. Fascism was constructed by new consciousness and constructed itself in the consciousness with the help of mass-media and art. As Umberto Eco wrote in his "Cinique scritti morali" – "the word doesn’t mean anything any more, it’s only stock phrase or slogan". The main idea of this lecture is to show the development of public opinion and how the journalist followed Fascist ideology, through use of stock phrases and slogans.

V. Development of German Literature and art between two wars. Literature and art as a higher level of influence. The main works of this period.


1. Analysis of songs during Hitler’s regime (audio-cassette and texts) and poems. Special attention will be paid to Horst Wessel Lied – written description of its main ideas. What are the historical roots of such points?

Horst Wessel Lied

Die Fahne hoch die Reihen fest geschlossen

S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt

Kam'raden die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen

Marschier'n im Geist in unsern Reihen mit

Die Strasse frei den braunen Batallionen

Die Strasse frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann

Es schau'n auf's Hackenkreuz voll Hoffung schon Millionen

Der Tag fur Freiheit und fur Brot bricht an

Zum letzen Mal wird nun Appell geblasen

Zum Kampfe steh'n wir alle schon bereit

Bald flattern Hitler-fahnen Uber allen Strassen

Die Knechtschaft dauert nur mehr kurze Zeit

Die Fahne hoch die Reihen fest geschlossen

S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt

Kam'raden die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen

Marschier'n im Geist in unsern Reihen mit

Der deutshe Faschismus in seiner Lyrik, Stuttgart, 1982. S. 38-41, 48-54, 64-68.

2. Caught by History. The Position of the artist. "The other point" of view on the example of Lorca and Céline. Seminar reading:

Louis-Ferdinand Céline. D’un chatea l’autre, St.Petersburg, 1998. And

Federico Garcia Lorca Izbrannoe. M., 1987. P. 118-134.

Ernst van Alphen. Caught by History. California, 1997

3. Post-war-time in the post-war-literature. Discussion of the novel by Bernhard Schlink Der Vorleser. Zuerich, 1997.



  1. William Lawrence Shirer. This is Berlin.London, 2000
  2. Bryan Magee. Wagner and philosophy. London, 2001
  3. Geoffrey H. Hartman. The fateful question of culture.New York, 1997
  4. Briony Fer, David Batchelor, Paul Wood. Realism, Rationalism, Surrealism. Art between the wars. The Open University, 1994
  5. Ernst van Alphen. Caught by History. Standford, California, 1997
  6. Adolf Hitler Speech of April 12, 1921 (chair paper collection)
  7. Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf. 1926. (chair paper collection)
  8. Adolf Hitler Reichstag Speech, February 20, 1938. (chair paper collection)
  9. Der deutshe Faschismus in seiner Lyrik, Stuttgart, 1982.
  10. Louis-Ferdinand Céline D’un chatea l’autre, St.Petersburg, 1998.
  11. Schlink Der Vorleser. Zuerich, 1997.
  12. Federico Garcia Lorca Izbrannoe. M., 1987.
  13. Lionel R. Deutscher Faschismus und Kultur.Berlin, 1978.
  14. Hartung G. Literatur und Aesthetik des deutschen Faschismus. Berlin, 1982.


  1. Richard and Ben Crampton. Atlas of Eastern Europe in the twentieth century. : London, New York
  2. Robert S.Wistrich. Hitler and the Holocaust. London
  3. Francis Mulhern. Culture/Metaculture. London
  4. Osobyj teatr voennych dejstvij: listovki na frontach vtoroj mirovoj vojny / Ju. V. Basistov. Sankt-Peterburg, 1999
  5. Krieg auf Plakaten. Koblenz : Landeshauptarchiv, 2000.
  6. Der Krieg als Text : das Jahr 1945 im kulturellen Gedächtnis der Presse. Hamburg., 1998.
  7. Benito Mussolini:What is Fascism, 1932. (chair paper collection)
  8. Bruno Heilig, "Why the German Republic Fell"1938. (chair paper collection)
  9. Batai Zh. Psyhologicheskaia struktura fascisma // Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 1995. ?13.
  10. Blank A.S. Staryi i novyi Fascism: politico-sotsiologicheskii ocherk. M., 1982
  11. Burderon R. Fascism: ideologia i praktika. M., 1983.
  12. Istoria fascisma v Zapadnoi Evrope. M., 1978.
  13. Opitts R. Fascism i neofascism. M., 1988.
  14. Raih V. Massovaia psyhologia Fascisma // Svobodnaia mysl. 1992. ?10.
  15. Raushning G. Govorit Gitler. Zver iz bezdny. M., 1993.
  16. The origins of the Second World War reconsidered: A. J. P. Taylor and the historians. London, 1999.
  17. World War II : an encyclopaedia of quotations: Greenwood Press, 1999.
  18. Krieg und Wirtschaft : Studien zur deutschen Wirtschaftsgeschichte 1939 - 1945
  19. Berlin, 1999.
  20. Das Gesicht des Krieges : Feldpostbriefe von Wehrmachtssoldaten aus der Sowjetunion 1941 - 1944, 1998 .
  21. In the shadow of the swastika. University of Illinois Press, 1998
  22. Language innovation and cultural change ; Vol. 1. San Antonio, Tex., 2000.
  23. Hans-Uwe Otto, Heinz Senker. Politische Formierung und soziale Erziehung im Nationalsozialismus. 1991.
  24. Kaempfe A. Deutschland eins. Von einem der auszog das Deutschsein zu lernen. Kiel, 1986.
  25. Bracher, Funke, Jacobson (hrsg.) Nationalsozialistische Diktatur 1933-1945. Bonn, 1986.
  26. Franzel, E. Geschichte des deutschen Volkes. Mahnheim, 1985.

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