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WeimarFrom Enlightenment to the Present$

Michael H Kater

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300170566

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300170566.001.0001

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Weimar in the Weimar Republic

Weimar in the Weimar Republic

1918 to 1933

(p.165) Chapter 6 Weimar in the Weimar Republic

Michael H. Kater

Yale University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on Weimar as the seat of the Weimar Republic's provisional national assembly, and how the National Socialists under Adolf Hitler entrenched themselves in the city and all of Thuringia. It begins by considering the establishment of the Society of Friends of the Nietzsche Archive in honor of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, followed by a discussion of Weimar's right-wing culture featuring such personalities as Adolf Bartels, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, and Hans F. K. Günther. It then looks at how Hitler and his Nazi Party established their political power throughout Weimar. It also examines how the Thuringian elections held in December 1929 enabled the National Socialists to install a Nazi-controlled government in Germany at the regional level.

Keywords:   national assembly, Weimar, Weimar Republic, National Socialists, Adolf Hitler, Thuringia, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, right-wing culture, Nazi Party, Germany

ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1920, THE UNEMPLOYED PAINTER KARL Büchner, armed with an open razor and a pistol, slipped into the basement of a villa at Weimar's Berkaer Strasse 11 in order to commit robbery. The house belonged to retired imperial admiral Reinhard Scheer, who was just having lunch with his family. When the maid went to check on the noise, Büchner shot her in the head. A few minutes later Scheer's wife Emilie was killed, as she was looking for the maid. Then Büchner committed suicide. He was a war veteran who, unlike Scheer, had not found peace with himself, traumatized after escaping from a collapsed dugout at the front, being out of touch with society, and with his sanity on edge.1 By contrast, Scheer was a war hero; in summer of 1916 he had commanded the strategically undecided Battle of Jutland on the German side, then becoming the chief advocate of unrestricted submarine warfare, which had helped to bring the United States into the war.2 A fanatical monarchist, his retirement in Weimar in late 1918 was in character with the attitude and actions of many well-to-do conservatives who, before and after the Great War, chose the sylvan German middle of Germany on the Ilm river as the basis for a comfortable, economically secure life. Scheer believed the imperial army had been stabbed in the back by traitors inside Germany, rather than defeated at the front; in 1919 he considered running as a candidate for the conservative DNVP in the new Reichstag but then desisted, because he was on the “War Criminals” list of Germans to be extradited to the Allies.3 People the like of Scheer were anti-modernist and hated the Bauhaus.

Admiral Scheer was known as a pillar of the Lutheran Church in town, and there he congregated with notables of similar ideological persuasion, many of whom were also guests at Frau Förster-Nietzsche's cultish mansion, as Scheer almost certainly was. His villa was only a stone's throw from hers.4

(p.166) Whereas Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche knew Gropius and purported to sympathize with the Bauhaus, she did so not as a protagonist of the avant-garde but because she expected to gain certain advantages from the Bauhaus's own multifarious connections –in the same way that she continued her old friendship with Harry Kessler. In 1919, she exerted pres-sure on Gropius, because she wanted him to bring back to Weimar her old friend van de Velde, whom she knew how to manipulate. But Gropius resented the return of his predecessor; besides, his understanding of Nietzsche was limited and he was unable to share Frau Elisabeth's distorted view of her brother. Therefore in future, although Oskar Schlemmer and Lyonel Feininger were in tune with Nietzschean ideas, no significant rela-tionship developed. Never was there a lecture by a Bauhaus Master in the Villa Silberblick, never an exhibition of its art, and its members were not invited to soirées.5

In the main, Nietzsche's sister continued well-tried lines of pursuit: to maintain and increase material support for her Archive and herself, to augment propaganda and continue the publication of Friedrich's manuscripts and, opportunistic as always, to steer the most accommodative political course. Publication consisted of a combination of her esoteric editing practices and the creation of works about Nietzsche, by herself, closely controlled staff and, increasingly, sympathetic Archive outsiders. From 1920 to 1929 twenty-three volumes of Nietzsche's collected œuvre were published, including a new edition of The Will to Power, under Förster-Nietzsche's tight supervision. She herself and others published separate articles and books on Nietzsche. In these, the likelihood of falsifications, elisions, and misrepresentations was high. By 1930, Förster-Nietzsche's exclusive publishing rights had nearly run out, and now Leipzig's Kröner-Verlag became the Archive's chief publisher (printing the apocryphal Will to Power well into the 1970s). By 1929–30 the Jena philosopher Hans Leisegang was considering an institutional association between his university and the Nietzsche Archive, but he wanted to reserve final critical judg-ment for himself, which Frau Elisabeth rejected. After that plan had come to naught, yet another Jena philosophy professor, the National Socialist Karl August Emge, was tied into the Archive's editing and publishing operations, with the university itself still staying out of things.6

By this time, at the dawn of the Third Reich, Förster-Nietzsche had found a true Nazi champion of her brother in the person of Alfred Baeumler, who since 1929 had occupied a chair in philosophy at the Technical University of Dresden.7 Baeumler had joined the Combat League for German Culture (Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur –KfdK), (p.167) created in 1928 by Alfred Rosenberg, who in Munich was not only the chief editor of the National Socialist broadsheet Völkischer Beobachter but also the self-styled chief ideologue of the Nazi Party.8 Although Nietzsche's ideas were slow to penetrate the brain cells of Nazis, because much of what he had said was diametrically opposed to Nazi tenets, Rosenberg did include a reference to the philosopher in his Myth of the Twentieth Century of 1930, as he lauded him, rightly or wrongly, for having striven for “high racial breeding.”9 Baeumler himself remained an editor and apologist for what he thought Nietzsche represented until after World War II, writing in 1931 that a “Germanic yearning for freedom, Germanic warrior's pride and warrior's spite are alive in Nietzsche.” The philosopher must have turned in his grave.10 For his sloppy work in the early 1930s Baeumler along with Nietzsche's sister was savaged by the critics, including Walter Benjamin. Nietzsche expert Erich F. Podach accused him of falsification (for example calling Nietzsche's onetime flame, a descendant of the Russian-Huguenots, Lou Andrea Salomé, a Finnish Jew), of tactical omission, and of uncritically using Frau Elisabeth's earlier, questionable, editions.11

In the wake of Germany's defeat in World War I, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche persisted in her political conservatism, staunchly holding to the “stab-in-the-back” legend, which insisted that the defeat was due to the machinations of internal enemies, above all Germany's socialists and Jews. As an ideological establishment, the Nietzsche Archive was supported by an infrastructure of conservatives –anti-democratic because to them the new Weimar Republic brought disadvantages rather than benefits. In her leadership role at Villa Silberblick Förster-Nietzsche at the beginning of the 1920s was aided by a trio of cousins: Richard Oehler, a strongly monar-chist archivist, Adalbert Oehler, who had been displaced as Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf by a Communist mob, and Max Oehler, who as an active major had lost his job with the disintegrating imperial army. Apart from editing and publishing responsibilities, these three men helped Förster-Nietzsche with the organization of various events, which were to be in memory of Friedrich Nietzsche as much as they were designed to augment Frau Elisabeth's already formidable aura.12

As countervailing statements to many celebrations initiated by the new republic, the Archive put on a series of events and sponsored associations, which mostly benefited Förster-Nietzsche. It may seem beside the point but is fully in keeping with the Weimar myth construction that she may have believed that all of these would honor this town of geniuses. In 1919, a Nietzsche Society was founded in Munich, made up mostly of (p.168) conservative yet cosmopolitan intellectuals and artists, such as Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Thomas Mann. In 1921 the seventy-fifth birthday of Frau Elisabeth was celebrated in Weimar, and on that occasion she received a Festschrift and an honorary doctorate from Jena.13 In 1926 the Society of Friends of the Nietzsche Archive was constituted, formed to a large extent of conservatives and Germanocentrists (many of whom later turned to Nazism), such as the Cologne Germanist and former Stefan George disciple Ernst Bertram, a friend of Mann's.14 Both Bertram and Mann had contributed to the 1921 Festschrift. Moreover, in 1926 Elisabeth's eightieth birthday was celebrated, with requisite pomp and circumstance. The two newly founded Nietzsche organizations, together with the Nietzsche Foundation of 1908 hosted a well-publicized convention between October 5 and 17, 1927, in honor of Nietzsche's birth eighty-three years earlier; this was attended by many luminaries, including the philosopher Max Scheler. The Archive also secured enough money to finance a Lassen Prize (named not after the nineteenth-century conductor, but a wealthy Hamburg donor), awarded for the first time in 1919: to Thomas Mann for his nationalist-colored tract Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (1918), and later to the cultural-pessimist writer Oswald Spengler. Both were attuned to Nietzsche.15

In the structure of ideas, a problem was developing for the Archive in the 1920s, because representatives both of conservatism and of democratic liberalism came to play prominent roles there and were on a collision course, though the former eventually prevailed. The most prominent conservative to align himself with the Archive and openly profess his fealty to Förster-Nietzsche was Spengler. If not uncritically, he had dealt with Nietzschean ideas in his increasingly popular Decline of the West (1918 and 1923), and apart from the Lassen Prize was influential in the various Nietzsche support groups. Probably no one gave as many talks at the Archive as he did, among them one entitled “Blood and Money” in February 1923, and another at the conference of 1927 –an address which revolted Kessler.16 As the count was becoming more left-wing –a member of the German Democratic Party (DDP) which had been instrumental in forging the new republican constitution, and a firm supporter of a universal League of Nations concept –he came to abhor Spengler, who ideologically and by physical appearance, with his beefy build and shaven head, was the count's very opposite.

Why the mentally and physically refined Kessler, who maintained his house on Cranachstrasse just below the Nietzsche shrine even after he had lost his Weimar offices, remained so loyal to the Archive is something of an enigma. But one must remember that he believed deeply in the ideas (p.169) of Nietzsche, still trusted the various publications now appearing and, above all, was personally loyal to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche in an Old School, chivalrous sort of way. Nonetheless, as he became more and more ostracized in German society because of his post-1918 liberal-cosmopolitan views and sympathy for the republic, he had difficulty comprehending her political attitudes, since she was moving even more to the right than she had ever been.17 Thomas Mann, too, had become a supporter of the Weimar Republic, after the assassination of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, the son of Emil, in June 1922, and while this did not dent his relationship with Weimar and Frau Elisabeth's Nietzsche cult, his relationship with Bertram was beginning to cool, to the extent that Bertram was openly professing National Socialism. Yet it is likely that both Bertram and Mann were among the group of German intellectuals supporting a third bid by Förster-Nietzsche in 1922 for the Nobel Prize in Literature, because she thought, as she wrote to Ernst Thiel in Sweden, that her literary production was “of great cultural significance.”18

The prize money would have been welcome, because after the Great War Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche was in greater need of funds than before. Imperial war bonds which she had signed for had defaulted, and the inflation of the early 1920s took its toll, even if publications brought in steady money. In December 1919 Ernst Thiel was able to give her another 100,000 marks as a Christmas present, but then he too fell victim to business failure and hence one of the matron's reliable sources of income vanished. In 1926 she was able to snatch a Hindenburg grant of 450 marks monthly from a new government she despised; the loyal Kessler had been instrumental there. The Society of Friends raised money for her, and the Hamburg cigarette manufacturer Philipp Reemtsma, who favored nationalist causes, granted her an annual 20,000 marks after 1928. Another small, regular, income came from the new Nazi Thuringian education ministry headed by Wilhelm Frick in spring 1931, so as the Third Reich was ushered in early in 1933, Förster-Nietzsche was not exactly rich, but the financial affairs of her institution were in order and she could enjoy a comfortable living.19 It helped that she won a lawsuit against Kröner Publishing in 1930 that ceded her sole author's rights for The Will to Power –an irony of Nietzschean proportions because now it was official that her brother had never written the book, as she had claimed for decades.20

By this time, Förster-Nietzsche could have properly been called a bona fide National Socialist. It had not always been so. Having started out in Wilhelmian times as an anti-Semitic conservative, she remained a convinced monarchist throughout the war, until at the beginning of the republic which (p.170) she came to hate she joined the DNVP, the German National People's Party of Emil Herfurth, who wanted to destroy the Bauhaus. The DNVP was known to harbor as its main goal the unseating of the republic and its parliamentary system by voting against its measures in parliament, to effect a return of the monarchic system. That would have suited Förster-Nietzsche just perfectly, as she would have preferred to be called “Your Excellency” rather than receiving an honorary doctorate from Jena in 1921.21

As it happened, she arrived in the National Socialist camp by detour, via the Italian Fascist minister-president Benito Mussolini, who was a declared admirer of Friedrich Nietzsche. After the Italian dictator had made positive statements about the philosopher publicly in 1924, Förster-Nietzsche gratefully reciprocated by declaring her admiration for Mussolini a year later. The first public lecture on Mussolini in the Nietzsche Archive was given in 1928, and the dictator sent her a congratulatory telegram on her eighty-fifth birthday in 1931. In January 1932 the play Campo di Maggio was staged in Weimar. The venal Duce had co-authored it with the opera librettist Giovacchino Forzano but had it performed all over Europe under his own name (It dealt with Napoleon's allegedly heroic hundred days on Elba.) Because Mussolini was supposed to be there, on the invitation of Förster-Nietzsche herself, Adolf Hitler decided to come over from Berlin to attend. In between acts, one of Weimar's more prominent National Socialists decided to introduce the leader of the Nazi party to Förster-Nietzsche, who was at the theater. Hitler, who liked spending time in Weimar between his stays in Munich and Berlin, paid the first of several visits to the Archive after that performance. This was nine years after Förster-Nietzsche had observed the November Munich putsch with sympathy, certainly for the audacious young Hitler, but more pointedly for the seasoned World War I general Erich Ludendorff, Hitler's partner in high treason, who was the idol of every DNVP member. After January 1930, when a regional Nazi-led government was in place in Thuringia, its most prominent minister Frick carefully cultivated friendship with Weimar's guardian of the Nietzsche sanctum. Her vanity having been flattered, Förster-Nietzsche then transferred her political loyalty to the Nazis, not least because she was receiving funds from them. Her entire staff, fore-most her acting chief archivist Max Oehler, had long ago taken that step.22

Weimar's Right-Wing Culture

In the greater Weimar circle of conservative intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals, artists and pseudo-artists, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche's (p.171) recently acquired new relative Ernst Wachler continued to stand out, more so than did his friend Friedrich Lienhard. Wachler's visits to the Nietzsche Archive were now becoming more frequent.23 In 1926, he published a brochure in the service of a Nordic Germany. Ranting against the national capitulation of 1918, which like Förster-Nietzsche he attributed to inside traitors, he once again urged mental concentration on the values of Heimat, the homeland, as the panacea for all ills befalling the country. At the center of evil threatening Heimat he placed current foreign influences, such as the French and “Americanization,” and incoming eastern Jews who only sought commerce by deceit. For Wachler, those Jews were instrumental in an ongoing “Semitization of the Occident.” In education, he wanted all Jewish content purged, for example in biblical instruction any stories from “far-away Jerusalem.” Like Nietzsche, he disdained the Christian Church and Christian thought. He wished eugenics to be used for racial improvement, the same thing which Alfred Rosenberg later said Nietzsche had wanted. He also wanted Nordic values, Germanness, and images of Heimat to continue to be presented on stage, as he had earlier tried to do with his open-air theater, but such implementation seemed less conceivable now.24 In contrast to Wachler, his companion in battle Lienhard had become more muted after the defeat of 1918; the national humiliation did not buoy every conservative's spirit. But even as he had to resign himself to the republic, he, too, saw Germany's enemies personified in the Jews.25 His name, like Wildenbruch's, would gain renewed currency in the Third Reich.26

Although Johannes Schlaf shared many of these sentiments, his personality was somewhat more complex. After he had guarded prisoners of war near Weimar for ten months toward the end of the world conflagration, he came to see that Germany had suffered an unjust, humiliating, defeat. In 1918 Schlaf, along with luminaries like Thomas Mann and Arno Holz, his erstwhile partner in the founding of Naturalism in literature, had signed a declaration against the Western Allies, warning them against reprisal and vindictiveness. Although he initially sympathized with the DDP, because he detected elements of populism in it, he soon discovered that the new German parliament, which in the first half of 1919 congregated in Weimar, was a place of idle chatter. Therefore he moved in a völkisch direction, to the DNVP and, like Wachler and Lienhard, deepened his belief in all thingsGermanic. In this, as he admitted, he was following the racial theories of Count Gobineau and H. S. Chamberlain. By 1925, he was visualizing a Führer figure without yet endorsing the newly arising NSDAP and Hitler, but he agreed with their antipathy to what he regarded as aberrations of modernity: movies, mass sports, and venues of public yet debauched (p.172) entertainment such as liquor bars. In May 1932 he attended a völkisch writers' conference at Wartburg Castle, where he bonded with Will Vesper, soon to be one of the official Nazi bards. Schlaf ‘s anti-Semitism at this time was verbal but reserved for Jews from Europe's East. Since he had a Christ complex, irrevocably setting him apart from his former idol Nietzsche, he ceded credit to the Jews as a people for having produced such a savior of mankind and hence advocated that assimilated, baptized, German Jews more emphatically embrace their Germanness. He was shocked by the assassination of the Jewish Walther Rathenau in 1922, not only because he rejected violence, but also because he had seen in him a strong leadership figure who might help pull Germany out of its present doldrums.

Schlaf‘s protracted poverty was due to his notorious lack of literary output and stood in inverse relationship to his huge self-esteem. This essentially gifted writer came to neglect prose and poetry for the sake of his astronomical experiments, culminating in the geocentric conviction that the sun revolved around the earth. In some occult way known only to himself, he tied this to the apparent superiority of the Nordics; he expected a new Nordic tribe at the North Pole to take over the governance of mankind. To the extent that his constant appeals to university scholars regarding his cosmogenic theories received no response, he suspected a conspiracy against him and drew parallels with Goethe, who, as Schlaf was not slow to point out, had also turned against what had become entrenched as the Scientific Revolution. At the same time Schlaf, who along with his sister was living solely on handouts of one kind or another, like Förster-Nietzsche expected to receive the Nobel Prize –he thought his imminent in 1922 –and ingenuously delighted in the creation of Schlaf festivals, Schlaf museums, Schlaf associations, and Schlaf linden trees, usually in his birthplace of Querfurt, just north-east of Weimar.27

There is ample evidence that Schlaf considered himself as a genius, and therefore thought that Weimar was worthy of him. Interestingly, with his sense of the esoteric he was one of the few conservatives in Weimar who appreciated the Bauhaus. That is to say, he enjoyed the company of certain Bauhaus students, whom he invited to his home for cigar-smoking, song, and discussions. Still, when the Bauhaus's fate was decided in 1924, he sat on a local committee which ruled that its financing by the Thuringian government should cease, to be assumed by the Berlin government, knowing full well that such a solution was impossible. Later, in the Third Reich, he passed disparaging comments about Expressionist art and Walter Gropius.28

(p.173) Meanwhile Adolf Bartels, the patron saint of all Weimar right-wingers, continued on his mission of baiting the Jews. In his approach, he vacillated between the downright vulgar and the pseudo-scholarly. In this connection, eugenic concepts which he had uttered before 1918 were now more strongly emphasized, as he believed all Jews were related through incest, and must be kept strictly apart from Germans. He strove to document the power of Jews in the political, economic and especially cultural life of the new republic, singling out (next to Heinrich Heine, the figure of the past he loved to hate), Walther Rathenau. Old canards were repeated, such as that Christ had been an Aryan and that Jews were innately promiscuous, and credence was given to anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, like the tsarist police invention that the Elders of Zion were secretly ruling the world. New was the accusation that German-born Jews had shirked war service, whereas statistics proved the exact opposite. Bartels often overreached himself in identifying Jews, as when he called the composer Max Bruch and the politician Karl Liebknecht Jewish. When Georg Kaiser, the reigning Expressionist playwright in the early 1920s, was placed on Adolf Bartels's index he protested (which did not reflect well on Kaiser), but Bartels only continued to jeer at him. Bartels meant to be charitable as well as humorous to Jews when he declared: “We do not want to beat them to death,” which of course was exactly what the National Socialists proceeded to do later, even not far from Weimar, in Buchenwald. Bartels was to become a member of the National Socialists' party in the mid-1920s.29

Bartels also fought Ernst Hardt's appointment as the new theater Intendant following Carl Norris von Schirach; evidently he was considered for the post himself, but despite his theatrical experience had no interest in it.30 He did not need it, because his books and brochures were flying off bookstore shelves now –a reflection of the right-wing conservatism that was spreading within large parts of the German population at the time. He was especially successful with the publishing firms of Reclam and Westermann, both with new editions of old writings and ever newer publications which, alas, repeated much of the older propaganda. Hence he became successful in two ways. For the first time, he could make a comfort-able living as an author. And as a consequence of his growing popularity, a fan club, the Bartelsbund, was founded in 1920 near Leipzig, with a Thuringian chapter in Kölleda, just outside Weimar. Even as respectable a man as Dietrich Schäfer, an arch-conservative historian from the University of Berlin, joined up. The Bartelsbund existed unti1 1929, when it was merged with a larger völkisch conglomerate.31

(p.174) After World War I, Bartels's political reactionism first manifested itself, as in many other Weimar cases, through membership in the DNVP. Bartels, like the others, was a loyal monarchist who principally compaigned for the return of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Logically tied to that goal was a desire to destroy the newfangled republic, whose parliamentary democracy Bartels detested. But through Ernst Graf zu Reventlow Bartels eventually found his way to the Nazis. Count Reventlow hailed from Husum, in the vicinity of Bartels's birthplace Wesselburen. As in the case of Hebbel, this immediately distinguished Reventlow in the eyes of Bartels, steeped in his Blood and Soil ideology as he was. The half-Danish, and hence, for Bartels, Nordic Reventlow had taken on a kind of caretaker role on behalf of illegal Nazis in the North, after Hitler's Munich putsch in November 1923; although his was a caretaker role among several. Within the Bartelsbund, Bartels had lectured on Hitler as early as May 1923, and as he drew closer to Reventlow during Hitler's absence in captivity he came to appreciate the unbridled anti-Semitism of the Nazis. In 1924, when members of the DNVP proceeded to support the Dawes Plan that was to help the republic get on its feet again economically, Bartels claimed those conservatives had done so in the interest of Jews. He also claimed, not without a basis in fact, that several Jews represented the DNVP in German parliaments. Bartels made his views public in yet another new brochure, published in 1924, in which he now fully endorsed the National Socialists, but with little mention of Hitler. Still, the two men met in March of 1925, when Hitler was staying in Weimar, and then again in July of 1926. By 1927, after Hitler had published the second volume of Mein Kampf, Bartels was fully won over. He acted as a co-founder of the Weimar KfdK and was on good terms with the Nazi-supported Thuringian government. By July 1932 a new fan club had been founded, the Adolf-Bartels-Bund, in far-off Wesselburen.32

One of Adolf Bartels's close acquaintances in and around Weimar was Paul Schultze-Naumburg, the uncommonly gifted son of a painter and an architect, who had been born in Almerich near Naumburg in 1869, some twenty miles from Weimar. Both men published often in Der Kunstwart. Schultze-Naumburg resembled van de Velde in that he had begun his professional life as a painter, then, after a minimum of formal study as an architect, switched to the design and construction of buildings. Like van de Velde, he was also interested in interior design, down to furniture and decorations, and took an interest in garments for women, whom he wanted to liberate from physical restraints such as corsets. Moreover, there were early signs of sympathy with modernism, as Schultze-Naumburg partook in the Secessions of Munich and Berlin, in 1893 and 1897 respectively. But (p.175) while van de Velde turned to Jugendstil, Schultze-Naumburg's development was arrested, moored, as he was, in the German Biedermeier style that had been popular from Goethe's time until mid-century. He advocated simplicity for houses to be lived in, also finding this quality in the English country-house style of the late nineteenth century. The dwellings he began to build in Germany after 1900 were upscale, of simple but expensive materials such as brick and wood and glass, and they conveyed feelings of comfort and day-to-day livability. Schultze-Naumburg became much sought after as an architect all over the country, even fashionable, and he was also asked to build schools, sanatoriums, and factories. Between 1901 and 1917, he set out his ideas in a series of nine published volumes which he entitled Kulturarbeiten, as by 1901 he was living in a house he had constructed for himself and his growing family in Saaleck, just south of Naumburg –a picturesque mansion in a picturesque landscape, overlooking the Saale River, a model of organic integration. He conceived this as the center of an artists' colony, as he invited colleagues and students there to workshops, where furniture-making and house-building could be studied. Although like Schlaf and Lienhard he was ideologically opposed to the city, Schultze-Naumburg was open to all manner of technical novelties such as the bicycle, the automobile and, especially, the camera, which he came to use prolifically in his own work. He also accepted commissions in big cities, including Berlin, although there he preferred the leafy suburbs such as Zehlendorf, where he built solid mansions for wealthy burghers, most of them Jews. Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst appointed him professor in 1903, and he received honorary doctorates from Tübingen in 1923, and Stuttgart in 1929.33

With his early progressive history and respectable professional achievements, Schultze-Naumburg became one of the most reactionary architects of the 1920s and an inveterate foe of the Bauhaus. Idealizing Goethe's vaunted garden house in the park on the Ilm, where the poet had first trysted with Christiane Vulpius, he constructed a myth around the gabled roof (as on the garden house), declaring it “Nordic” and comparing it posi-tively with the flat roofs favored by Bauhaus modernists, especially once they practiced architecture in Dessau after 1925. Not only did Schultze-Naumburg attempt to make a sounder economic argument on behalf of the gabled roof vis-à-vis the flat roof in a copiously illustrated brochure he published in 1927, but he also resorted to ideological reasoning when he declared that most Germans had a deep craving for “the way the roof fits on a Nordic house.”34 His widely accessible theses actually held up better than the technical explanations Bauhaus apologists printed in obscure (p.176) journals for narrow specialists.35 A few years later, Schultze-Naumburg had become one of the most active speakers throughout Germany, in the service of Rosenberg's Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur.36

How had this former Secessionist got to such extremes? Schultze-Naumburg's fundamentally conservative disposition as an artist had prompted him to support the monarchy and Germany's effort in World War I; he had built the imposing Cäcilienhof castle for Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam from 1912 to 1917. After the defeat, like Bartels and Förster-Nietzsche, he joined the German National People's Party (DNVP). But in 1924 he met the newly resurrected leader of the NSDAP at one of Elsa Bruckmann's soirées in Munich. Her husband Hugo was the leading racist publisher in Germany, along with Julius Lehmann, whose Munich salon Schultze-Naumburg also frequented. Gobineau, Chamberlain, the Bayreuth Circle led by Cosima Wagner's daughter-in-law Winifred, and the völkisch eugenicists Alfred Ploetz and Fritz Lenz were further influ-ences.37 Although Schultze-Naumburg was not overly anti-Semitic (what with the many Jewish customers he had), it was the racist-eugenic aspects of National Socialism that he tied to his views on superior Nordic architecture which most motivated him. In 1926, he made succinct race-hygienic observations at an international art exhibition in Dresden, which on account of its modern exhibits he labeled “pornographic,” and in 1928 he published another widely available booklet entitled “Art and Race” that compared the works of current Expressionist painters with physical images of the insane. Handy with his camera, he had included many graphic pictures. Although Joseph Goebbels never conceded it (because Schultze-Naumburg was then somewhat non grata in the Third Reich's hierarchy), he most certainly used this as a model for his own notorious Exhibition of Degenerate Art in 1937. About the Expressionists Schultze-Naumburg said that the ugliness they presented in their creations reflected nothing but the ugliness residing within themselves. Axiomatically citing as his proof the converse, he pointed to Leonardo da Vinci.38 By 1930, this architect had joined the Nazi Party and was getting ready to enter the service of Thuringia's new Nazi government.39

One of Schultze-Naumburg's protégés toward the end of the 1920s was Hans F. K. Günther, born in 1891 in Freiburg, who had a doctorate in linguistics and German literature. Günther moved quickly from German nationalism –he had volunteered for war service in 1914 –to Nordic racism, as a man of letters, as was Bartels, coupled with a sense of aesthetics, as was the case with Schultze-Naumburg. It is possible that as a student in Paris in 1911 Günther had been repelled by what he conceived as the (p.177) frivolous French way of life, as many Germans liked to claim, and that subsequent trench experiences bolstered his faith in the Fatherland. What might have been decisive were stays in Norway and Sweden between 1923 and 1929; his second wife was Norwegian. He was able to make ends meet in Scandinavia without really laying the foundations for a career; when he returned to Germany he was caught up in the beginnings of a long-lasting stretch of unemployment and cutbacks for civil servants, including Gymnasium teachers: teaching was the profession he was qualified for, and was poised to enter.40

An early decisive influence on Schultze-Naumburg was Professor Eugen Fischer, the medically trained anthropologist whose lectures Günther absorbed while a student in Freiburg.41 In 1908 Fischer had been in the German colony of South-West Africa (today's Namibia), where he had studied the native population as well as the Rehoboths, persons of mixed race, about whom he had published a famous book in 1913. It advocated, among other things, that the Rehoboths' treatment by the white men be “good, just, stern and not pampering.” For they resembled their Hottentot ancestors more than their Boer ones, especially with regards to energy. “The constancy of will, to pursue a certain issue, the energy that the European has –this is missing.” After a close reading of the book there can be no question that Fischer believed in the superiority of the white over the black race and that in retrospect he endorsed what had been Germany's first genocide, the protracted war against the Herero and Nama tribes of South-West Africa, between 1904 and 1907. Eventually the war was won by the Germans, after 80 percent of those peoples had been eliminated. The Germans had executed the native men or placed them in concentration camps, and forced their women and children into the Kalahari Desert, where they died of thirst. It is unknown whether Fischer as a scientist had had a hand in sending containers filled with Negro skulls to Germany, but many were found as late as summer 2011 in Freiburg and Berlin's university hospital Charité. Fischer served as that university's rector during the Third Reich, after special appointment by Hitler, and was a section chief at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut (Anthropology), where he had full knowledge of the ongoing genocide of the Jews and was in working contact with Dr. Josef Mengele of Auschwitz.42

Under the influence of Fischer, but also because he became interested in the origin of human tribes through his language studies and, like so many of his generation, having read Chamberlain and Gobineau, Günther published his first book in 1920. It was entitled Knight, Death and Devil and praised, in the cultural-pessimistic vein of intellectual forebears such as (p.178) Schopenhauer, Langbehn, and Lagarde, the ideals of the hero and of Nordic Man. In a nutshell, Günther maintained that after earlier heroes such as Luther, Frederick the Great, Goethe and Bismarck, in present times real heroes were few and that those who did exist were of Nordic stock. The anti-heroes were the modernists, liberals, republicans, and (female) proponents of women's emancipation, and they were, he implied, anything but Nordic. It is significant that Günther reached these conclusions as a linguist, not as a natural scientist or medical scholar, as Fischer had been, who could more properly trace his scholarly genesis to scientists like Haeckel, Rudolf Virchow, and Darwin.43 From the beginning of his work as a student of race until the end, therefore, Günther's work was organized within, at best, linguistically determined categories and largely according to criteria of his own invention. These had had scant if any precedence in scholarship and must be regarded, as Elvira Weisenburger has put it, as the fruits of Günther's “very own race psychology.”44 Somehow Günther was able to get his knight-and-devil book published by the eugenically minded Julius Lehmann in Munich, who at that time was also beginning to meet with Hitler socially and who then personally encouraged Günther to write a second book, on the racial makeup of the German people. Günther managed to publish this with Lehmann in 1922, a year before he set out for Scandinavia.45

The book turned out to be a subjective admixture of syncretic observations and apodictic claims. Syncretic, because Günther had, after much reading and study in museums, chosen to repeat, randomly or in any fashion that suited his preconceived opinions, material already published by others, whether genuine scientists from the Anthropological Review or racist pamphleteers like the Frenchman Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854–1936). Apodictic, because frequently Günther would posit certain conditions without backup of any sort, not even one of his many photographs.46 As an example of this reasoning, he maintained, without documentation, that Nordics had the greatest propensity for cleanliness and had indeed invented soap and hairbrush, or that only Nordics could properly breed and tend to horses, in this totally ignoring Arabs, the English, or North American native peoples.47

Among the four current German “races” Günther placed the Nordics expressly at the top, and the Ostisch –a term he had invented –at the bottom. Two others in between were the Dinarisch and the Westisch –those types, like the Nordics, he had previously encountered in the literature. He admitted that all types were now commingled and that scarcely 8 percent of pure-blooded Nordics still existed, at least in Germany. He allowed for (p.179) the presence of all four tribes (plus Negroids and Jews) in other European countries as well, notably France, England, and Italy, but those did not concern him and added nothing to his main argument.48

According to Günther, the Nordics were of high physical stature, blond, blue-eyed, and long-headed. The long head indicated the highest level of intelligence possible. Their chief distinctions were “capacity for judgment, honesty, and courage.” Of all tribes around the globe, they possessed the highest proclivity toward great statesmanship, toward sports, and the smallest chance of becoming criminals. On the minus side –not real minuses for Günther –they tended to be careless and casual, hard and cold in temperament, and given to gambling and betting.49

Günther liked the Dinarisch less, not least because, like the two remaining tribes, originally they did not hail from Europe's highest North. According to Günther, the Dinarisch had some redeeming qualities such as greater emotional capacity and talents for the arts such as music; hence he counted Mozart, Liszt, and Wagner among them. The Westisch had even fewer positive qualities, and Günther irredeemably detested the Ostisch, because he found them square, squat, and of uncontrolled sexuality, quite unlike the Nordics.50

It was not just by implication that Günther placed the Jews, as a foreign “tribe” living among the Germans, at the very bottom of his racial hierarchy although, unlike Bartels, he did so in a studied and restrained fashion. On the Jews, he published an appendix at the end of his volume, soliciting the readers' interest by painstakingly quoting Jewish sources in order to conjure an impression of objectivity. Photographs once again illustrated his theses.51

Since all of that material was repeated, with complementary asides and illustrations, in yet another book he had printed in 1930, again by Lehmann, it can serve as the basis for a more sustained analysis. Günther published it and others like it after the phenomenal success he had been having with his first treatise on the German people's race, which would sell 400,000 copies by the end of World War II, in various editions.52 In 1930, in a tome entitled A Racial Analysis of the Jewish People, Günther repeated well-known clichés and imparted new information about the Jews, differentiating little between those living inside and outside of Germany. In the great majority of cases, his allegedly new information was as malicious as were the clichés, clearly identifying Günther as an enemy of Jews. He would dwell on physical characteristics, such as thick lips, protruding eyes, flat feet, and heavy eyelids, and he drew the number “6” to impart authenticity to “the Jewish nose.”53 By Günther's catechism, Jews tended to have strong hair, kinky-haired beards, and “pallid, yellow-matte” skin.54 Tautologically, he talked of (p.180) “Jewish gestures,” without explaining what these gestures were and why “Jewish,” and added that red-haired Jews might “give off the smell of goats.”55 As was in keeping with a growing body of Nazi ideology by the turn of the 1920s, he placed more weight on inherited traits than on acquired ones and drew conclusions about character. In stating that “the Jewish walk can be silent or slithery,” he alluded to deceit and swindle, and he pointed to male Jews as potential sexual predators who preferred impregnating blond and blue-eyed German girls.56 Günther capped his diatribe with an account of Jewish influence in current German state and society: after having increased the wealth of international Jewry through their role in World War I (echoes of the ‘Stab in the Back’ Legend), German Jews were now controlling financial institutions, the press, the universities, theater, and art. It did not bother Günther that he was committing errors in the manner of Bartels, whose favorite organ Kunstwart Günther cited as a source when claiming that Jews were taking over German literature: he identified the painters Picasso, Feininger, Kandinsky, and Max Pechstein as Jewish and, like Bartels, maintained that Heine's real name had been Chaim Bückeburg. By way of conclusion, Günther called for a strict separation of Germans and Jews, stopping short of hinting that one could beat them all to death, as Bartels had done earlier.57

Contrary to what some scholars have maintained, Günther did not become “one of the principal racial experts under the Nazi regime,” because he lacked the modicum of formal scientific training that would render himself credible even in a polity wont to utilize pseudo-science.58 He was a popularizer of truths, half-truths, and falsehoods, his argumentation was impressionistic, what scant evidence he had was anecdotal. As a popularizer, National Socialist politicians and more rigorously trained race scientists like Eugen Fischer and Fritz Lenz welcomed him. By propounding the superiority of the Nordic-German type and the miserableness of the Jews, Günther aided German public opinion in its growing rejection of the Jews and, ultimately, in acceptance of their total disappearance.59

A few years before Hitler's assumption of power the racist Blood and Soil work Adolf Bartels had started with the early Kunstwart came full circle through the efforts of Hans F. K. Günther and both these men's ideological fellow travelers. In fact, it had ramifications beyond 1933 that came to full fruition only at the height of World War II.

Immediately after World War I a cross-fertilization of ideas set in which revolved around the concepts of Nordic superiority especially vis-à-vis Jews and Slavs, the priorities of (German) blood and soil and, after the loss of German territories in the East, the right to conquer eastern European (p.181) territory. This implied the necessity of new Germanic-German settlements and the attendant subjugation of indigenous eastern peoples. In 1919 Bartels publicly advocated the creation of “colonies of military men-in-training” as far as western Russia; the area would have to be “Germanized,” with painstaking attention to racial eugenics; swamps had to be cultivated; Jews would be put on ships in Odessa and sent across the Black Sea: “We need land.”60 These goals resonated with Günther one year later when he stated in his knight-and-devil volume that a heroic race had an obligation to hate, that its heroes were given the courage to break new ground and drain swamps, and that as Nordics they were legitimized to do so by invading foreign soil: “The hero may ransack whatever he finds.” In his 1922 race analysis Günther enlarged on this and mentioned “a special lust for conquest, and strength for conquest, possessed by Nordic tribes.”61

It was in the same year of 1922 that Bartels received credit from the völkisch writer Bruno Tanzmann near Dresden whom he had been mentoring for some twenty years, going back to the early times of the Kunstwart. Tanzmann (b. 1878) was interested in the future of the German farmers, Germanic history, and new settlement; not without means, he had once promulgated his ideas through his own “Swastika” publishing firm which, however, went bankrupt. Now he lauded Bartels, as “herald of race and home-bred art”, and his positive influence on agrarian community and culture. Ever anti-urban, one would have to encourage more settlement, urged Tanzmann, ideally in the East and, if necessary, by fighting Poles and Russians.62 A couple of years later Tanzmann teamed up with Willibald Hentschel, also of Dresden and born in 1858, who had once been an assistant to Haeckel at Jena. He was an even more pronounced anti-Semite, interested in Aryan breeding colonies (ideally of 100 men mating with 1,000 women), for the propagation of the Germanic race. With variations, both sets of ideas conformed to schemes of Bartels and Günther; Hentschel saw in Albrecht Dürer's knight, the centerpiece of the engraving Knight, Death and the Devil, the prototype of the Germanic hero.63 By 1924 Tanzmann and Hentschel had formed one of the republic's innumerable youth groups, with 100 members at first and 2,000 in 1929, about 10 percent of them being girls.64 They called themselves the Artam League and next to the Hitler Youth later went down in history as Germany's most right-wing youth organization.

Tanzmann's Artam motto of summer 1924 had been “Against the East Now Let Us Ride,” but in lieu of a Slavic conquest in eastern Europe the Artamanen had to resign themselves to less spectacular activities. So they hired themselves out for simple room and board to replace Polish migrant (p.182) workers on East German estates. It was hard labor, and in their free time, they honed tenets of Nordic racist ideology under a set hierarchy of leaders. A department for race science was established by the fall of 1927, inspired by Günther's racial analysis of the German people. What were believed to be Germanic rites were performed and Germanic plays staged, such as those by Friedrich Lienhard at a summer convention in Pretzsch on the Elbe river, in 1926. Hans Severus Ziegler, a young Weimar protégé of Bartels and of Schultze-Naumburg, talked to the Artam Thuringian chapter in September 1928.

Günther became a member of an Artam support organization, and often from Scandinavia, yet always when in Germany, he was available for guidance and advice. One of the section leaders was the Bavarian university-educated agronomist Heinrich Himmler, born in 1900, who as a twenty-four-year-old had enthused over Günther's knight-and-devil tome, as he noted in his diary: “A book which in wisely conceived words and sentences expresses what I feel and think, ever since I have begun to think.” Himmler became the Artam League's regional leader for Bavaria.65

Yet another supporter of the league was Richard Walther Darré, Swedish-German-born in 1895 in Argentina, who had gone to school in Heidelberg and Wimbledon and then fought for the Kaiser on the Western Front. Like Tanzmann, he became concerned with the fate of the German farmer and studied to become an agronomist, specializing in colonization. Sharing the anti-urbanism and xenophobia of the Artam League and its backers, he too joined the support group, encouraging the young men and women to incorporate biological criteria for training, after 1927.66

Darré, Günther, and Himmler all met through the Artam League, at various times, most likely in the villa of Schultze-Naumburg, who sympathized with their ideals. Haus Saaleck, perched on a cliff over the Saale, ironically was situated beneath the decaying Saaleck Castle, where the two murderers of the Jewish Walther Rathenau had hidden in July 1922 until one of them killed himself, as police shot his companion to pieces.67 From the mid-twenties to the early 1930s the so-called Saaleck Circle gathered there, with some Nazi grandees such as Rosenberg, Goebbels, Göring, and Frick also passing through. In due time, Schultze-Naumburg invited Hitler, who was in direct communication with Artam head Hans Holfelder, after he had met him at Hugo Bruckmann's in Munich, and Hitler came to Haus Saaleck at least twice. It is reasonable to assume that Bartels, Hentschel, and Tanzmann, all of them living close to Saaleck, were also guests of the circle.68

Darré had already published one book on Blood and Soil and farmers, when in 1930 Schultze-Naumburg invited him to stay at his mansion to (p.183) finish writing a follow-up volume. Darré began this book with a quotation by Schultze-Naumburg from the Kunstwart; he defined his new work as a “requirement for the creation of a new aristocracy,” wishing to merge the “trinity of peasant, Volk and nobility” into one. His point of departure was the principle of congenital inequality; like Günther and other ideological friends he placed the old Germans at the pinnacle of a racial hierarchy, following their history through the centuries, only to conclude that many of the qualities that determined their former ranking had been lost. To recover these, land was necessary, farms were needed, and Poles had to be replaced in the German East by select Germans willing to settle. Darré singled out the Artamanen's current efforts as exemplary. But as yet, there was no mention of conquering Slavs beyond German borders, and on the question of breeding, too, Darré proved conservative. Instead of Hentschel's breeding farms he preferred monogamy, if among superior species, although he did not rule out sterilization among the lower ones. He ranted against manifestations of modernity such as “Hawaiian Jazz Bands” and the Dessau Bauhaus, where the Jews undoubtedly had wrought mischief. Regarding Jews in general, he respectfully deferred to Günther, whom he cited affirmatively a number of times, as he cited Nietzsche and Schultze-Naumburg.69 Whereas after 1930 the Artamanen came to suffer from attrition, only to be absorbed into the larger Nazi youth movement later, their seminal, pioneering imperialist-eugenicist ideology was carried further by Himmler and Darré, and several Artamanen proceeded to join the Nazi Party's SS, which was led by Himmler after 1929. Himmler appointed Darré as his first chief of the SS Race Office in 1931 (later known as SS-RuSHA), which selected SS candidates biologically and even appraised their brides, according to Günther's criteria. During World War II, prominent SS officers with an Artam record occupied themselves with desettlement and resettlement issues in important ways. These imperialistic visions entered the realm of reality when after autumn 1941 the Germans were coming to enjoy ultimate military success in the East, the murderous Generalplan Ost took shape, and Himmler's second in command Reinhard Heydrich was setting himself up as the uncompromising ruler of the Czech Protectorate. In 1942, when mechanical mass killing of ethnic enemies began in earnest, ex-Artaman Rudolf Höss was already installed as commandant of Auschwitz; his wife, Hedwig, too was a former Artam girl. By then Artaman alumnus Wolfram Sievers was executive secretary of Himmler's research organization Ahnenerbe, whose research interest was in the German ancestral heritage and from where, as an organizational platform, he supervised the planned evacuation from Italy of South Tyroleans of German stock, (p.184) with an initial view to resettle them, after its conquest, in the Crimea. Sievers also directed cultural looting expeditions in Poland and the western Soviet Union. (After 1945, both Höss and Sievers were hanged.) Himmler's entire concept of resettling the western part of the Slavic East with Germans owed much to his early experiences as an Artamane. His earlier projections included plans for militarily fortified borderland farms, occupied by elite SS warriors, who would till the soil during daytime while watching out for rebellious Slavs at night, poised to attack from the East, where they had been pushed by force.70 These Artaminspired plans were never realized.

Goethe Is Nationalized

In Franz Liszt's old haunts, the Altenburg mansion on the road to Jena, on February 9, 1911, a wintry day, Professor Bernhard Suphan, the director of the Goethe and Schiller Archive, piled up several volumes of the Herder edition he was working on. Then he climbed on top with a rope and hanged himself. He had been unable to continue with his work, and with his life. As a widower, he could not raise his children by himself. Worse for him, in the nearby archive, he was completely overcome by a chronic lack of staff and financial resources.

Suphan, born in 1845, the son of a Nordhausen barber, had been a Gymnasium teacher in Berlin, where Wilhelm von Scholz, one of his pupils, remembered him as eccentric but brilliant as a German literature scholar. He received the title of Prussian professor in 1886 and call to Weimar as director one year later. His work there was first-rate.71

Suphan barely finished the so-called Sophian edition of Goethe's writings, with the last index volume appearing posthumously in 1919. Altogether there were four parts, comprising 143 volumes. Letters between Goethe and Karl August were also published. Otherwise, there was little progress in the Goethe and Schiller Archive. The stasis between the two world wars was marked by slow overall indexing beyond the earliest stages, and few additions to the holdings. There was one important new acquisition in the form of the playwright Georg Büchner's papers, donated by the Leipzig Insel publisher Anton Kippenberg in 1924. After that year, the Archive was co-sponsored by the new state of Thuringia, a remaining grand-ducal escrow fund, and the Goethe-Gesellschaft. Its vice -president in 1932 was the archivist and Goethe specialist Hans Wahl, who had become director of the Goethe National Museum (essentially Goethe's historic mansion on the Frauenplan) in 1917 and of the Archive in 1928. If (p.185) Suphan had been an avid nationalist, yet capable idealist who could not cope with the vicissitudes of life, Wahl was capable but a political opportunist. He was one of the underwriters of the Weimar chapter of Rosenberg's KfdK in 1928 and in 1945 offered his services to the invading Soviet army. When their leaders asked him whether Hitler had ever had anything to do with the iconic museum Wahl denied it, as he denied it to the US Stars and Stripes reporter Klaus Mann, Thomas's oldest son. Yet it had been he himself who had led the Führer on a grand tour of Goethe's house in March of 1925.72

Already by the turn of the century Goethe was being appropriated ever more by the chauvinists and xenophobes of the Second Empire, after the initial founding of the Goethe-Gesellschaft in 1885. Of this, albeit in an extreme form, Adolf Bartels had been a striking example. During the Great War this process continued, and after its shameful end for Germany it intensified. In this, conservative culture brokers were spurred by the negative example of what they called the dissolute gutter culture, perpetuated by leftists on the Bauhaus model, by Dadaists and anarchists flourishing in the cabarets, dance halls, theaters, and cinemas of Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. Those were the pollutant champions of modernity, the backers of the new democratic republic, whom the established pillars of the Goethe-Gesellschaft had to withstand, had to defeat. Whatever was usable of Schiller was, incidentally, part of this effort. Not much else from the Weimar classics served their purpose.73

The aura spread by the reactionary Goethe-Gesellschaft weighed heavily on all official or public creations of intellectual products involving Goethe's name or Goethe's ideas. Right-wing publicists and scholars engaged Goethe in the service of their ideology, on the model of Chamberlain, who had written just before the war that Goethe had been an exemplary German patriot and an exemplary anti-Semite.74 After World War I, these two values became the bedrock of the new conservatism; almost the entire academic discipline of German literary studies was based on them.75 Goethe's cosmopolitanism was contrasted with the observed plebeian comportment of the new republican politicians –Philipp Scheidemann, Friedrich Ebert, and their Jewish colleagues Otto Landsberg and Eduard David. If Goethe was said to be an idealist, they were materialists.76 In this, the invented tradition that had placed Goethe between Luther and Frederick the Great on the one side and Bismarck on the other was frequently referenced. Armand Crommelin related the “artist Goethe” to the “artist Bismarck” in 1919, and three years later Thomas Mann, in the last stretch of his nationalist phase, likened him, next to Bismarck, to Luther, when he wrote: “He is the most (p.186) German poet for the reason that he is Germany's greatest.”77 The racists Wachler and Günther used Goethe as their witness and increasingly, as Hitler became known as the “Führer” of his National Socialist party, Goethe too was described as a “Führer,” not of a mere political formation, but of the entire German nation.78

In the Goethe-Gesellschaft, the succession of presidents symbolized political reaction from the beginning, a reaction which itself harked back to Goethe's own time. If something rang false with the Gesellschaft in the 1920s, this quality can immediately be traced to Grand Duchess Sophie, who founded it in 1885, only to begin manipulating the Goethe papers in the interest of the ducal house. However, one may go further back, to the Goethe era, and be reminded that in the early nineteenth century the multi-talented but precocious young writer Bettina von Arnim had engaged in futile attempts to ingratiate herself with, perhaps to seduce, the poet, while, at the same time, insulting his partner Christiane by calling her in public a “blood pudding gone crazy”. Thereafter Goethe had forbidden the von Arnims entry to his house. Bettina von Arnim's son-in-law happened to be Herman Grimm, the son of Wilhelm Grimm, who after Bismarck's unification wars was one who set the tone for the nationalistic Goethe interpretation to follow, as professor of art history in Berlin.79 The first advisers for the newly founded Goethe Archive appointed in 1885 had been the Germanists Wilhelm Scherer and shortly thereafter his pupil Erich Schmidt, both teaching in Berlin and falling into that tradition. Schmidt became president of the Goethe-Gesellschaft in 1906, until his death in 1913. Just before that, he dismissed Ludwig Geiger, who had been the Jewish editor of the Goethe-Jahrbuch since 1880, because he did not like Jews.80 Schmidt's colleague in Berlin was the pro-monarchy Germanist Gustav Roethe; he headed the Society from 1921 until his death in 1926. A year after that Roethe and Schmidt's student Julius Petersen took over as president; he was a Berlin University chairholder since 1921. In so many ways, Petersen eventually catered to the Nazis.81

Gustav Roethe passionately hated Jews, the republic and all the manifestations of modernism.82 From Berlin he carried on a lengthy correspondence with Society presidium member Friedrich Lienhard in Weimar about the possible creation of a “German Academy,” to be coupled with the Goethe-Gesellschaft, through which unwanted influences could be curbed.83 In August 1924, on the occasion of his patron's birthday 175 years earlier, Roethe gave a festive speech in Weimar in which he strongly polemicized against the French (who had recaptured Lienhard's birthplace of Alsace) and equated Goethean thought with Germanic thought and, by (p.187) extension, German thought. In a crafty parallel to current democratic developments, he lauded Goethe for having controlled the rabble by siding with the aristocratic Napoleon, praising the Olympian's opposition to “equality.” For Roethe, as for others before him, Goethe was firmly ensconced in the elysium of Luther, Frederick the Great, and Bismarck. Here, the invention of a false tradition worked once more. Clairvoyantly, Roethe concluded with the salutation: “The way that Goethe shows us is the German way. Goethe, we greet you, we thank you, you, our friend, our hero, our Führer!”84

In his capacity as Berlin professor and president of the Goethe-Gesellschaft, Petersen showed no particular aversion to Jews, but in his public demeanor as a right-wing patriot he was scarcely less vocal than Roethe had been. As the Berlin scholar Eberhard Lämmert has explained, the aim was, after the catastrophe of 1918, “to safeguard the German spirit against similar defeat.”85 Such Weltanschauung had ramifications for the Society in 1929, when new presidium members were to be elected. Significantly, the personality of Thomas Mann once more came into play. Mann had managed his ideological changeover from conservative monarchist to republican-by-necessity (Vernunftrepublikaner) during 1922, and because of this had not been elected to the Goethe-Gesellschaft in that year. He had been backed by the Berlin chapter of the Gesellschaft, which was more liberal than Weimar's mother organization, as it stubbornly rejected the new political order. In 1929 Mann again became a candidate, but now was opposed by his erstwhile friend, the increasingly fascistic Ernst Bertram, who had been proposed by the Hamburg chapter –just as reactionary as Weimar's. In keeping with his public conservative utterings on the state of the nation, Goethe's place and that of the Goethe-Gesellschaft in it, Petersen as president made sure that Bertram won the day.86

Thomas Mann never became a presidial member of the Goethe-Gesellschaft, but he attained a dubious prominence as he was moved to deliver a key address during the Goethe Festival of 1932. The event had been painstakingly planned by Petersen and his staff. The centenary of Goethe's death had been conceived, in Weimar, as a demonstration against the German republic, which in March 1932 was on the brink of failure.87 The formal call to participate in the festivities of Weimar's “Goethe Year” had an imperialistic ring; principally, it was addressed to all Germans in the world. It was signed by President Paul von Hindenburg, Chancellor Heinrich Brüning, and other German notables, virtually all from the right of the political spectrum. Although National Socialists (and Communists) refrained for tactical reasons from participation in these events, two known (p.188) Nazi men of letters had signed the declaration, Rudolf Georg Binding and Erwin Guido Kolbenheyer. Moreover, the key concept Volksgemeinschaft (biologically defined people's community) was prominently mentioned, which had a racist connotation and was an integral part of the propaganda arsenal of the NSDAP. Wilhelm von Scholz had signed as president of the poetry section in the Prussian Academy of Arts, and so, on behalf of Weimar and the Goethe-Gesellschaft, had Hans Wahl and Julius Petersen.88

The ceremonies beginning on March 21 included an elaborate procession to Goethe's burial site, in which Feodora, the widow of the last grand duke, took part; this in itself was an affront to the republic.89 Speeches included one by Kolbenheyer and one by Hans Eibl, a völkisch literature scholar from Vienna.90 Petersen's address turned out to be an exercise in nationalist and pseudo-religious phraseology, as he compared Goethe to Jesus Christ.91

Thomas Mann had been among the original signatories of the official invitation, along with Gerhart Hauptmann (who subsequently withdrew). Whereas Hauptmann then as later was known to be a political opportunist, Mann's name should not even have appeared on the paper. By conviction, he opposed any attempt to demonstrate against the republic at that time, and Petersen and his Goethe-Gesellschaft colleagues, knowing this, had tried to avoid him, as before.92 However, along with Hauptmann and Petersen himself, as well as a few others, Mann had been singled out as a recipient of a new Goethe Medal to be bestowed by President von Hindenburg; hence Mann, unaware of the kind of company that would surround him there, may have felt impelled to participate.93 As it turned out, once in Weimar and awkwardly received by the organizers, he felt distinctly uncomfortable, eerily touched by the many signs of Nazism already visible.94 For all of Thuringia had already experienced the first regional Nazi government in Germany's history, from January 1930 to April 1931, and the political constellation was such that Thuringia would enter upon a second such government in August. Significantly, Mann excused himself from the graveyard procession on the grounds that he had no top hat.95 Nonetheless, as Hans Rudolf Vaget has emphasized, Mann was “a formidable expert in all matters relating to Goethe.” Hence his talk, opening official events on March 21, not surprisingly turned out to be well crafted and marked by profound insight into a personality whom he himself, only a few years later, would brilliantly portray in a new novel.96 At the end of his speech, Mann issued a warning regarding the impending destruction of German democracy. Perhaps against his better knowledge, he urged his listeners to keep believing that this democracy, while it lived, (p.189) had the power to lead into a new and worthwhile future. And he cited Goethe as having said that it was imperative to love not what was dead, but what was alive.97

Few of those who listened to the Nobel laureate agreed with him, and reactions in the German media were largely negative.98 The great majority of visitors to these Goethe festivities were either looking back to the monarchic era as was ex-Grand Duchess Feodora, or into a future under National Socialist auspices. The Nazis themselves hurled slurs at Mann, insulting him as a “so-called European (with Portuguese blood),” who had been taste-less enough to lower himself from the world of Goethe to the nether regions of cheap political criticism.99 The writing was on the wall. Weimar was already well primed and poised, in 1932, to enter the Third Reich.

The Weimar Republic in Weimar

The German Republic had been proclaimed in Berlin by Philipp Scheidemann, parliamentary spokesman of the moderate Majority Socialists (SPD) in the Reichstag, on November 9, 1918, two days before Germany's armistice with the Western Allies. Scheidemann, a former journalist, and Friedrich Ebert, a saddler from Heidelberg and the leader of the SPD, did not want radical changes from the monarchy, whose Kaiser had just abdicated, instead they strove for a democratic, parliamentarian republic, in line with the strong recommendations of US President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson had made peace contingent on such a transformation. First on the agenda of Scheidemann and Ebert therefore was to elect a constituent assembly from among the legitimate political parties, appoint a chancellor and elect a president, as well as propagate a republican constitution. Under the intermittent chancellorship of Ebert a provisional republican government found it impossible to pursue this business from the capital of Berlin, because it was beset by a riotous naval brigade and breakaway extreme SPD leftists led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. All of them wished to complete the revolution of the proletariat started by the mutinous sailors in North German ports in the fall of 1918, and which was spreading to other German cities. To keep these left-radical elements in check the right-wing socialist Gustav Noske was called upon, whom Ebert had appointed as commissioner for war. Noske now summoned some of the Freikorps, bands of demobilized imperial soldiers loyal to the old order, who followed, willy-nilly, whatever former imperial commander would command them. In Berlin the clashes between left and right were fierce; on January 15, 1919, the Freikorps caught Liebknecht (p.190) and Luxemburg and murdered them. Difficulties were compounded by an extremely harsh winter and the effects of an Allied blockade, which kept essential goods from reaching the city. Moreover, an influenza epidemic was killing thousands of already malnourished Berliners.100

In the Reichstag building, the interior had been demolished.101 This symbolized the chaos, within which constructive governance of Germany from its capital of Berlin was presently impossible. But there were deeper reasons why the politicians, for a while at least, wanted to move away from Berlin to begin their work. South Germans were tired of the dominance of Berlin and Prussian militarism since the Bismarck era. Hence a compromise might be found by situating the new central government somewhere in the middle of Germany. Others resented the big-city culture that Berlin represented and preferred a town of medium size, untouched by the urban modernism of which Berlin was the avatar. In line with that was the desire of many to connect a new democratic government with vestiges of the past that bespoke traditional culture.

During the second half of January, these points were seriously considered by politicians and administrators, until a shortlist of venues was drawn up, consisting of Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg, Würzburg, and Weimar. It is not certain who had actually made the choice of Weimar –apparently several people thought of it –but it quickly emerged in the lead. Although currently it lay in a sea of leftist would-be revolutionaries, with Thuringia and especially neighbouring Saxony inhabited by a dissatisfied proletariat, it had a very conservative reputation, what with its classics tradition, steadfast artisanal middle class, and well-to-do rentiers. Against its surroundings it was easily shielded by a military cordon. It lay virtually in the center of Germany yet was not too far from Berlin, where some administrative branches would remain, and its celebrated cultural reputation might curry favor with the Allies, with whom a peace treaty had to be signed and who would be suitably impressed by the irenic Goethe and Schiller tradition. It had never been a physical or spiritual locus of militarism as had the storied small town of Potsdam near Berlin. Logistically, it appeared suitable because of its practical experience of tourism, which had created a sufficient number of hotels, restaurants, and watering holes. Hence on January 20 the decision was made to move the provisional national assembly to Weimar, where it would hold meetings in the theater for as long as necessary. On February 6 the designated president Ebert opened the first parliamentary session in Weimar's rearranged theater auditorium. Scheidemann had been appointed chancellor.102

Weimar itself was deeply affected by the change from provincial capital to seat of the national parliament. As over 400 deputies, a press corps of (p.191) 1,000, scores of blue-frocked Berlin policemen, and a Freikorps of at least 4,000 Freiwillige Landesjäger (volunteer soldiers conscripted locally) were moving to the small town, revolutionary worker bands from industrial outposts like Gera and Jena did their best to create havoc. They were ripping out the railway tracks around Weimar well into the summer, until after February the only reliable route was that between Weimar and Jena. Since communication with and transportation to the capital had to be secured, new telephone facilities were installed and the sidewalks torn up, and a twice-daily airplane shuttle had to be established. As new people moved in, inns were crowded and private dwellings requisitioned, which made renting –for instance for Bauhaus personnel and students –very expensive. The soldiers squatted in villages and everywhere food was becoming scarce and expensive, as Weimar was not exempt from the Allied blockade and ration cards proved inadequate. It was difficult to get into the city, because special passes had to be displayed to guards, and inside Weimar too there were many controls. General Georg Maercker's Landesjäger were everywhere, on rooftops, in windows and doorways, even hiding in the bushes with machine guns. Indeed, a putsch by the outlying radicals was feared. Some workers, like those on the railways, attempted strikes, but these were always suppressed.103

The good burghers of Weimar liked none of this; their theater and opera productions had been relocated to inferior venues, their public places taken away from them, and their shops overrun. Since they did not really know or care about what was going on, although most were glad to be rid of their intemperate grand duke, they protested by displaying the old black-and-white imperial flags that were now illegal. As the parliamentary sittings dragged on into summer, the citizens became restless and started cursing the authorities. The deputies, too, and the many visiting correspondents soon found Weimar unspeakably boring, having exhausted the restaurants, the Liszt House, the Goethe Museum, the Ilm park and what few diversions there were in off-site recital halls and cinemas. Most had come without their wives, because it would have been too expensive to bring them.104

After its move from Berlin to Weimar, the national assembly would face three important tasks: the passage of a constitution befitting a democratic republic, the proper installation of a republican president, and the signing of a peace treaty with the Western Allies. All were accomplished before the assembly's permanent return to Berlin in August 1919, but each had its own attendant problems, the consequences of which would weigh on the republic in the future and crimp its day-to-day efficacy.

(p.192) A constitutional proposal calling for a republic of confederated states and with due recourse to the revolution of 1848–49 had been presented by State Secretary Professor Hugo Preuss in Berlin at the end of January, and finally passed in Weimar on July 31. It took heed of many of President Wilson's prior admonitions (Wilson had been professor of political science at Princeton), in particular, on the American pattern, his call for a strong president. Doubtless the Germans thought that in heeding this advice they would please Wilson and his peace offerings would be commensurately mild. But there were a number of things wrong with the constitution from the start.

Anachronistically, the republic remained a Reich –an empire, which signified expansionist aspirations. The strong presidency was to contribute to the downfall of the republic later because Article 48 allowed the head of state too much power through the invocation of emergency legislation: this could be done at the behest of a strong chancellor, who in this manner could mutate into a quasi-dictator and ignore parliament. This occurred during Heinrich Brüning's so-called presidential dictatorship in the early 1930s, weakening the republic's fibre and ushering in Hitler's rule. Furthermore, the constitution was backed by the parties of the so-called Weimar Coalition, an alliance between the liberal German Democrats (DDP), Ebert's Majority Socialists who had supported the Kaiser's war effort (SPD), and Catholic Center party (Zentrum). In the Berlin elections for the constituent assembly on January 19 they had received 75, 163 and 71 votes respectively, and hence possessed a majority over the opposition (112). Principally in opposition were the Independent Socialists (Communists –USPD) and the reactionary German National People's Party (DNVP), who were bent on preventing or unseating the republic and astringently opposed the constitution, if from opposite sides. As the political right became stronger in Germany after 1920, it was the DNVP and, later allied with it, Hitler's NSDAP which claimed that the constitution was the work of left-wingers and Jews as, indeed, the DDP and SPD harbored many Jewish members. As if to validate this argument, it was frequently emphasized that Preuss himself was Jewish. Moreover, it did not augur well that while the constitution was passed in Weimar on the last day of July, 1919, it was signed (by a Socialist president) only on August 11 in Schwarzburg, a Thuringian spa, because Ebert had chosen to vacation there at such an inopportune time. In the final analysis, as Fritz Stern has observed, even a perfect constitution in 1919 –and this was regarded as such in its time –could not help solve Germany's problems as a divided country, “with elements at both ends of the political spectrum irreconcilably opposed to liberal democracy.”105

(p.193) Ebert took his formal oath as president of the republic on August 21, the last day of the assembly's Weimar sitting, significantly in the absence of all DNVP members. In several respects, his choice as president did not help the republic on its way. His determination, in alliance with Scheidemann and Noske, in keeping down a series of leftist uprisings, especially in Berlin, did not endear him to the radical wing of his party, the Independent Socialists, who under Liebknecht had not supported the war effort and who now liked to portray Ebert as a puppet of the bourgeoisie. While some of these Independent Socialists remained within the new parliamentary system as USPD, others had already formed the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in Berlin, on January 1, which stayed, as yet, outside of government and then would work hard to unseat it. None of this contributed to Ebert's political fortunes. On the right, however, Ebert was viewed not as a member of the respectable classes but a petit-bourgeois parvenu, who on arrival dared to ride, literally, on a sleigh to his new residence in Weimar's main castle. In public addresses he took great pains in conjuring up the “Weimar Spirit,” referencing the classics, such as when he pointed to Faust, and Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre, Goethe's mature novel, on February 6, for which he was derided by the philistine establishment.106

Finally, Weimar came to be unhappily associated with the shameful end of the war and precarious new beginnings through the signing by its National Assembly members of the Paris Peace Treaty. Ultimately, that treaty was determined by the Council of the Big Three in Paris, staffed by the leaders of France, Britain, and the United States. Germany had to assume full responsibility for having caused the war and substantially diminish its armed forces. France wanted material and financial reparations from Germany to compensate for its huge losses and as punishment, as well as territorial revisions to Germany's disadvantage, not least for security reasons. Included in this was the goal of the Rhine as a binational border or, at the very least, the indefinite occupation of the left bank of the Rhine. Britain coveted some reparations to help pay its war debt (mostly to the United States) and for the reconstitution and safeguarding of its superiority on the high seas, but sought to keep Germany's economic infrastructure intact, so that continued commerce with the country was possible. The United States originally had upheld the benign and fair-sounding principles of Wilson's Fourteen Points, which had served as a basis for the November 1918 armistice and which, the Germans unstintingly believed, would serve as premise for the final peace. Under constant pressure from France's Georges Clemenceau and Britain's David Lloyd George, however, Wilson had been attenuating those principles, mostly to salvage for himself (p.194) the plan for an international League of Nations, to preserve peace and establish democracy wherever possible, especially in Germany. One large plank in this platform had been national self-determination, meaning that a people, or a minority thereof, would not be ruled by foreigners. The Germans banked on this in particular, because they thought it would prevent the separation of German-inhabited borderlands, Alsace-Lorraine in the west on behalf of France, and parts of Silesia in the East, coveted by Poles.

The formulation of the peace terms to be offered by the Allies took place in Paris during 1919, with much bickering between Clemenceau and Lloyd George, which invariably had to be resolved by Wilson. When the German delegation under Foreign Minister Ulrich Count Brockdorff-Rantzau were summoned to appear in the French capital on May 7, they were still under the impression that they could negotiate on the basis of the Fourteen Points. But for starters, the 180 members were surprised when they were deposited by the French in “the cold and gloomy Hôtel des Réservoirs” in Versailles. They worked feverishly on their dossiers, the count preparing two possible replies to the Allied peace offer, one mild and curtly accepting, the other long and defiant. Meanwhile, someone was playing Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies on a hotel piano in order to obstruct the enemy's eavesdropping. Brockdorf-Rantzau was then summoned to the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles to be told of the peace terms. It was here, after the defeat of France, that Bismarck had ushered in the Second Reich in 1871. No negotiations were allowed. In shock, the count presented his longer speech and returned to the Réservoirs hotel in a daze.

Back in Weimar, the National Assembly considered what they thought were dictated, crushing, peace terms. Long deliberations among the deputies ensued, on whether to sign or not. The more on the political left one stood, the more one was inclined to sign, because it was known that other-wise the Allies would march onto German soil, something that during the entire world war had not happened. The right, at least, feigned resistance. So on June 20 the government resigned over the peace dispute, with president-designate Ebert forming a new cabinet on June 22. The next day marked the Allied deadline for treaty acceptance. The Social Democrats Otto Bauer and Hermann Müller replaced Scheidemann and Brockdorff-Rantzau as chancellor and foreign minister. Outside Weimar's theater, some of General Maercker's patriotic troops were threatening revolt, should this peace be signed, and could be restrained by Ebert and their commander only with difficulty. At the eleventh hour Weimar's assembly accepted the terms. On June 28 Müller, together with his colleague Johannes Bell, (p.195) traveled to Paris to sign the peace documents. Bell was the new minister for traffic, but also for the colonies. Germany had just been surrendering its colonies.107

With the national government returning from Weimar to Berlin in August, the day-to-day business continued in a capital that had become much safer. But the name “Weimar Republic” stuck to this new German polity, for better or for worse, in all cases associating the town of Weimar with a history it was not responsible for, whether it be further social and political disquiet or the modernist culture, hitherto known as “Weimar Culture,” emanating from Berlin. As for the disquiet, events even in 1919 could have derailed the new democracy. Soviet republics sprang up in Bremen and Bavaria, a miners' strike in the Ruhr, left-radical terror in Leipzig, and revolutionary leftists taking over in nearby Gotha, in January and February alone. The following months saw a Soviet republic in Brunswick, a left-radical putsch in Hamburg, general strikes in Berlin, the Ruhr Valley and Württemberg, and corresponding reactionary backlashes. Poles revolted in Upper Silesia and Freikorps moved to the Baltic lands to try to claim them for Germany. There were a trial and extremely light sentences for the murderers of Liebknecht and Luxemburg in Berlin; one killer escaped and fled to Holland. Under Cologne's Lord Mayor Konrad Adenauer, parts of the Rhineland, encouraged by France, considered separation. War wounded and children were starting to populate the city streets as beggars, with Germans still dying from disease and hunger, as the Allied blockade wore on till mid-July and its effects much later. Otto Dix from Gera would soon paint demobilized soldiers, beggars, and street urchins in grotesquely Expressionist fashion.

Anti-Semitism was rife. The black market thrived, thought to be driven by Jews. In Berlin the French sergeant Paul Manheim, a Jew, was mobbed and stabbed to death. Russian-Jewish Marxists of the likes of Karl Radek and Pavel Axelrod were milling about, undermining the new democracy, and the Communist Reichstag deputy Hugo Haase, another Jew, was shot with lethal consequences in broad daylight. As for the democracy itself, already in the general elections of June 6, 1920, the three parties of the Weimar Coalition lost their majority, ushering in a gradual move to the right for the republic.108

The first stress test for the town of Weimar, as an integral part of the Weimar Republic, came in March 1920, in the form of the Kapp Putsch. As the great majority of enlisted sailors and soldiers as well as their officers were to be permanently dismissed from the former imperial armed forces throughout Germany, true to the terms of Versailles, two upper-echelon (p.196) commanders protested. Walther Baron von Lüttwitz, the commander of troops in central and eastern Germany, and Captain Hermann Erhardt, commander of the marine division Erhardt Brigade, conspired with the lower-level monarchist bureaucrat Wolfgang Kapp to overthrow the Berlin government. Having got wind of this beforehand and, to avoid being incapacitated, the government on March 13 first repaired to Dresden and then to Stuttgart, while Kapp proclaimed himself chancellor, with the aim of restoring the monarchy. In Weimar General Gustav von Hagenberg commanded regular army troops, taking commands from Lüttwitz. Although not all of his soldiers were loyal to him and he had to call in Landjäger Freikorps from Naumburg, there were skirmishes between his soldiers and armed workers, many of whom had entered town from surrounding industrial strongholds. In Weimar, as in Berlin, several workers were killed. The two leading politicians of the legitimate provisional Thuringian government at the time, Majority Socialist August Baudert and liberal democrat Arnold Paulssen, were briefly detained. But for once the Social Democrats and Communists (USPD) stood together, and it was Baudert who convinced the local putschists of the foolhardiness of their venture. What made them hesitate was the fact that, four days later in Berlin, Kapp had already given up, in the face of a general strike set in motion by the self-exiled Ebert government. This strike, helped along by hundreds of thousands of dissatisfied workers throughout Germany, affected Weimar less than the industrialized Ruhr, for instance, where it created absolute chaos, but it, too, was a foretaste of the social and political unrest that would afflict the Goethe town in future. In 1920 the Bauhaus, shaken at its periphery by all these events, was working hard to establish itself in Weimar, and in spring 1921 Walter Gropius, in league with left-wing, republican politicians, constructed a monument for the Kapp Putsch Fallen (Die Märzgefallenen) of cement, still visible in the Weimar cemetery today.109

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Weimar

One day in early spring of 1932, as Emmy Sonnemann, a well-respected actress at what was now the German National Theater (Deutsches Nationaltheater –DNT) in Weimar, had her usual coffee and cake in the Café Kaiser in the Parkstrasse, a commotion set in. A group of men entered the establishment, visiting politicians, so it seemed, and Sonnemann along with her Jewish bosom friend, the actress Herma Clement, wanted to leave in order to make room. But the leader of the group prevented this, (p.197) charmingly approaching her and bidding her to speak to him about her theater work in Weimar, which now reached back six years. He was extremely knowledgeable and told Sonnemann about Weimar performances he himself had seen in the past. His judgment was sound, thought the actress, and his erudition amazing. The man was Adolf Hitler. He was there to meet with local Nazis and discuss political strategy.110 Hitler had first come to Weimar on an official visit in March 1925, a few weeks before Walter Gropius and his team left town for Dessau. Their art would not have appealed to Hitler's sense of aesthetics, although both men liked the Goethe Park, where Hitler would always make sure to spend time relaxing, between political meetings and speeches.111

When Hitler arrived in March 1925, Weimar had been the capital first of a newly constituted state of Thuringia for five years, replacing the old grand duchy, and now as a part of the federated republic, which anachronistically continued calling itself the German Reich. Constitutionally, it had been in limbo from the time that August Baudert had advised Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst to abdicate in November 1918 and spring–summer 1920, when the new Thuringian state had legally been formed. Baudert, a moderate member of the revolutionary workers' and soldiers' council active in Weimar and authorized by it, had served as state commissar. Elections in Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach on March 9, 1919 produced a provisional leftist-liberal coalition under Baudert. It was this government that instituted the Bauhaus. On May 1, 1920, a federal law by the Reich government in Berlin decreed the creation of the new state of Thuringia, which eventually would consist of seven former principalities in Thuringia, Saxe-Coburg in the South having decided to join the new state of Bavaria and Weimar's larger neighboring city of Erfurt staying with Prussia. Each of the principalities had ratified this law on its own by the end of June 1920. Hence by the time the former geographic entity of Thuringia had evolved into a federal state of the German Reich with its capital in Weimar, the onetime grand duchy had been much enlarged in terms of territory and population.112

Regular Thuringian elections were held in the summer of 1920, producing a coalition of SPD, USPD, and DDP. This government, too, remained favorable to the Bauhaus. But it fell in the autumn of 1921, and after new elections a Socialist majority was in power, tacitly supported by the recently constituted, extreme left-wing Communist Party (KPD). Again, for the Bauhaus this was a positive political backdrop. It ended after elections in February, 1924, when the right-wing-dominated Thüringer Ordnungsbund (TOB) government was formed that lasted, in various combinations, until fall 1929. Hitler's National Socialist German Workers’ (p.198) Party (NSDAP) was officially not a part of this, but supported the government from the sidelines, as it had supported earlier right-wing oppositions, sometimes under a camouflage label, during phases when it was outlawed.113 The strong representation of left-wing parties in the new Thuringian Landtag after 1919 at first sight is surprising, given the old grand duchy's predominantly conservative social makeup. But it has to be remembered that the new federal state was now more than three times as large as the old one and that the newly added territories were inhabited by more people of proletarian or impoverished agrarian background. 114 They were inclined to vote Socialist or Communist but, disappointed by the scant economic improvement, they were beginning to turn to radical parties on the right toward the middle of the 1920s. After 1918, there were more industrial workers in the enlarged state, hailing from Gotha (railway wagons, airplanes), Zella-Mehlis (weapons), Maxhütte-Unterwellenborn (mining), Gera, Greiz, and Mühlhausen (textiles). There were an oil refinery in Rositz and concrete works in Göschwitz. Added to these were the old grand-ducal Zeiss-Jena factories, textile mills in Apolda, and railway wagon manufacture (dating from 1898) in Weimar itself. Much of the economic infra-structure continued to consist of agriculture, but always of the middling and smallest-farming type, with hardly a large estate dotting the verdant landscape.

Characteristic of Thuringia was the widespread, traditional, cottage industry, particularly in the Thuringian Woods to the southwest, where porcelain ware and toys were made by hand and poverty was chronic. While small farmers might shun left-wing parties, agricultural and cottage workers were likely to be drawn to them. What industry there was in Thuringia tended toward the manufacture of finished products that were dependent on export (such as weapons and the optical equipment of Zeiss), but such export lagged in times of economic distress, as during the Allied blockade and the exponential inflation. Just as the old grand duchy had never been an economic powerhouse, with hardly noticeable improvements since the turn of the century, so too the new Thuringian state belonged among the have-not provinces of the Weimar Republic. In 1929, Thuringian wages were “at the very bottom of the scale” in the entire Reich.115

In the town of Weimar itself, its population almost 46,000 strong in 1925, the old socio-economic pattern persisted by and large, with wealthy rentiers and aristocrats, the highest government and civil servants forming the upper crust, and a slowly growing middle class of merchants, upwardly mobile artisans, lower-level administrators and professionals such as physicians and lawyers below it.116 At the bottom was a, now broader, working (p.199) class, a mix of skilled workers, preindustrial laborers, indigent tradesmen, and transmigrating country folk.117

Hitler made his way into Thuringia generally and Weimar in particular through individual appearances there, on which occasions he demonstrated a combination of political skill and personal charisma, and through organizations he had been able to rebuild after proxy and rival parties had spread during his Landsberg incarceration. By 1922–23, there were local Nazi party chapters in Jena, Gotha, Gera, and Ilmenau. The Ilmenau group had been founded by Fritz Sauckel, born in 1894 in Franconia, a merchant-marine sailor who had been detained in France during World War I. Thereafter, he attended the technical college in Ilmenau but never finished his course, and so extreme right-wing activism became his main occupation. From Coburg across the border from Thuringia, he along with a small loyal troop tried to get through to Munich to assist Hitler in his November 1923 putsch, but was stopped by police. In Landsberg prison during 1924 he was in contact with Hitler, who recognized Sauckel early on as one of his truest followers. In 1925, Sauckel became executive secretary of the newly formed Nazi Gau of Thuringia –Gaue were Nazi-defined areas of party jurisdiction led by Gauleiter –under Dr. Artur Dinter, a chemist and racist author. Dinter, a follower of Chamberlain's race theories, was as vicious an anti-Semite as Adolf Bartels, with whom he became good friends, the salient difference being that Dinter, even more stringently than Bartels, defined the Jew biologically. In his most notorious novel, The Sin against the Blood (1918), sold tens of thousands of copies, Dinter had maintained that once persons were contaminated with Jewish sperm, all their descendants were to be counted as Jews. The archetypal victim of a Jew's sexual penetration for Dinter was, inevitably, a blond Aryan woman. These stereotypes matched, sometimes more and sometimes less, those presented by other racist writers of Dinter's time, Günther and Darré included. Dinter who, like some in this group, also believed that Christ was an Aryan (as did Johannes Schlaf ), was appointed by Hitler, from within the prison gates, as the leader of all camouflage Nazi cells in Thuringia, in July 1924.118

In addition to Hitler's incarceration in Landsberg on April 1, 1924, the NSDAP had been proscribed throughout the Reich, so that camouflage organisations took its place, some for the South of Germany, and different, rival ones for the North. In any event, they often touched on or merged with the rightist fringes of the DNVP, following racialist goals and upholding as their paragon General Erich Ludendorff, the other failed putsch leader, as much as Hitler himself. Since Ludendorff had enjoyed the good fortune of being acquitted at the Munich Putsch trial, he was free to (p.200) travel the country and beat the völkisch drum. During the regional Thuringian elections of February 10, 1924, which fell short of providing a working majority for what came to be called the Order League parties (TOB), seven members of the Vereinigte Völkische Liste (United Völkisch List) were also elected: these consisted of Ludendorff and Hitler followers. Dinter, that fervent Hitler disciple, was leading them. He argued that he could not join the TOB in a ruling coalition, because one of its constituent parties, the DDP, included Professor Eduard Rosenthal of Jena, who had drafted the new Thuringian constitution (on the model of the federal Weimar one) and was a Jew. Nevertheless, Dinter pledged to support the TOB on key issues from outside the government caucus, on condition that for Thuringia, the Nazi ban be lifted. The TOB granted this on March 3 and hence presented Hitler with his first legal platform in Germany after the putsch of November 1923, including the invaluable right to speak publicly. This he was still unable to do when the Weimar völkisch groups convened a rally in his absence on August 18, 1924, at which leading Munich Nazis such as Gottfried Feder, Alfred Rosenberg, and Wilhelm Frick were present and made speeches. The main speaker, however, was Ludendorff, who, like the others, openly commiserated with the captive Hitler. That was without a doubt another chief accomplishment of Dinter. Yet another consisted of his official rant in parliament against the Jews; he actually anticipated Hitler's early Third Reich persecution of German Jews when he demanded that Thuringian Jews be dismissed from their professions, and managed to force the resignation of the Jewish head of the Thuringian state bank, Walter Loeb, as well as that of a Jewish, Socialist, judge.

Dinter was assisted by Weimar's Hans Severus Ziegler, the acquaintance of Schultze-Naumburg, who had put himself in charge of a small weekly newspaper called Der Nationalsozialist. Ziegler produced and distributed it regionally with the help of a young, thickset, local lad by the name of Martin Bormann, whose ascent in the Nazi hierarchy Ziegler would henceforth champion. Whereas Bormann was of humble back-ground, Ziegler –like Dinter –was an example of the conservative educated German elite which slowly but surely was now placing itself at the service of the Nazis. Ziegler's father was a banker and his mother hailed from the Schirmer family in New York, perhaps the most important American serious-music publisher of its day, which later issued Schoenberg's works. Ziegler, born in 1893 and educated in elite German schools as well as at Cambridge, came under the spell of Bartels as a young boy and possibly met Dinter through him. In affairs of culture, he had unquestioningly (p.201) adopted Bartels's standard. Hence what annoyed him about the Bauhaus was that in the winter of 1919–20 at its first Christmas party “unwashed and uncombed young men and women jazzed up all German Christmas songs, on the piano in the auditorium of Jena's municipal theater.” He eventually studied German literature in Greifswald and obtained his doctorate with a thesis on Hebbel, Bartels's literary hero. On March 1, 1925, as the NSDAP was being re-founded, Hitler appointed Dinter Gauleiter for Thuringia, with Ziegler as his deputy.119

On March 22, 1925 –coincidentally the day of Goethe's death ninety-three years before –Hitler made his first official visit to Weimar. It was followed by three more that year. The first was undoubtedly motivated by thoughts about the possibility of moving the NSDAP headquarters from Bavaria to Saxony or Thuringia. When in March of 1924 the Thuringian Landtag had rescinded the prohibition of his party, Hitler considered Weimar to be a good organizational platform from which to operate. As he had had to travel from Munich to Berlin and back in the past, he had found Bayreuth, and now Weimar, a good resting place in between. Although Hitler was not a classics fan and Goethe or Schiller –unlike Richard Wagner –had not figured in his political thinking or current personal tastes, he, like so many before him, liked Weimar's intimate small-town atmosphere, the parks, the castles, and the aura of the cults, including that of Nietzsche. Everything was close together –hotels, cafés for relaxation, and an abundance of meeting halls. The theater, as he later told Emmy Sonnemann, was of repute and appeared to offer enough Wagner; Bayreuth was nearby in any case. He also was impressed by the progress his organizations had made there, and by the capable people behind them, chiefly Dinter and Sauckel. If his party moved its seat to Weimar, Hitler was one step closer to Berlin and a national government, something that the Munich putsch had failed to attain.120

Hitler arrived in Weimar in March to deliver four public speeches. He was well if not enthusiastically received. It was the Deputy Gauleiter Ziegler who met him at the train station and acted as his guide. Ziegler was accompanied by a star-crossed seventeen-year-old Gymnasium student by the name of Baldur von Schirach, the son of Carl Norris von Schirach, the former theater Intendant who had assisted Bartels with his Schiller festivals, from a long-established noble family. The older Schirach had been dismissed by Baudert in 1918 and been replaced by the Socialist Ernst Hardt, now the aristocrat's lethal enemy. Schirach had been a staunch monarchist and sued the authorities, who for a while had to continue to grant him his annual salary. He was a pronounced anti-Semite; as a leading member both of the (p.202) ultra-nationalist Goethe and Shakespeare Societies he belonged to the pillars of the citizenry. Since Carl Norris Schirach was half American and had married a patrician American from Philadelphia, his son Baldur was three-quarters American, which created a bond with Ziegler, who was familiar with English-speakers, and was yet another sign of the potential for cosmopolitanism that Weimar, at a different level, could have profited from. But the opposite was the case, for Baldur had attended a private school in nearby Bad Berka, whose director Hermann Lietz was a narrow, anti-Semitic chauvinist. Both Baldur and his father had been followers of Ludendorff and naturally approved of völkisch goals.121

Apart from the speeches, Hitler tried to sort out the controversy embroiling Artur Dinter, who had been rejected by some of his earlier followers, in part because he dedicated more energy to the question of an Aryan Christianity than to party business. For the time being, Hitler made no changes, but he must have been aware that both Sauckel and Ziegler were at odds with Dinter. Hitler spent some time in discussions with Ziegler in his comfortable house at Luisenstrasse 10, just down the hill from the Nietzsche Archive and around the corner from Count Harry Kessler's villa on Cranachstrasse. During those discussions, a proud Baldur was standing guard outside. Hitler then was introduced by Ziegler to Bartels in his modest, book-lined, flat on nearby Lisztstrasse 13. The two men agreed on much but diverged when it came to the ideal form of government. While the monarchist Bartels was in favor of an elective emperorship, Hitler thought a young and energetic man, schooled in private and political virtues by a circle of elders, should be put in charge of a nation. Then thirty-five years old, Hitler was obviously thinking of himself as dictator.122

After the formal founding of a Weimar Nazi chapter by Ziegler on April 6, Hitler returned on July 12. This time he was convening the leaders of twenty Gaue and eighty local chapter leaders from all over the Reich, in order to help heal the rift in the right-radical movement between North and South. In that sense, Weimar was proving its worth, geographically and psychologically, by being situated in the center of Germany. Yet another two-day visit took place around October 28, when Hitler addressed an audience of 800 in Weimar's large meeting hall at the Erholung club, where Goethe, Schiller, and Liszt had been known to spend time. He attended the opera and there was invited to visit the Schirachs at their stately villa at Gartenstrasse 37 next day, not far from the historic cemetery. Baldur's regal mother thought Hitler a real patriot. The older Schirach now warmed to Hitler, not least because at the opera he had observed him properly attired (p.203) in tails. Baldur himself, on turning eighteen, had joined the Nazi Party. Again, he could hardly contain his admiration for the Nazi Führer. Hitler was impressed with the young man, who had a penchant for writing poetry, and invited him permanently to Munich. After botched university studies in German literature, Baldur became Hitler's leader of the Nazi Student League in 1928. In 1933 Hitler would appoint him Reich Leader of the Hitler Youth (HJ) and, in 1940, Gauleiter of Vienna. Von Schirach would spend twenty years in Spandau Prison after 1945, as one of the major war criminals.

By the time Hitler came to Weimar a fourth time in 1925 on December 13, he had given up his idea of moving his offices there. Munich was, after all, too important –too many Nazi organizations had taken root there by now, and the ban on the party in Bavaria would eventually be lifted. In December, Hitler addressed 120 guests in the modest Hotel Hohenzollern near the railway station, trying to collect funds. Matters for Hitler and his NSDAP were looking up. Internal leadership difficulties were in the process of being smoothed out and, albeit slowly, the Nazi Party was attracting more people every day. In Thuringia by the end of the year, the party had 600 members organized in almost 100 chapters.123

Encouraged by his successes in Thuringia throughout 1925, Hitler decided to push on in 1926, strengthening his movement. He had to repair the existing fragmentation, so in February he held a leadership meeting in Bamberg, during which he got the left-leaning renegades led by Gregor Strasser on his side. By April, he had the support of the former journalist and friend of Strasser Joseph Goebbels. To consolidate things further and tie his lieutenants irrevocably to him, Hitler planned a show of strength, again in Weimar and building on recent accomplishments there. It was to be a huge party rally with himself visibly at the center. By now Hitler knew that everything he needed for that was at his disposal in Weimar, not least the goodwill of the regional and municipal governments. Once again, it helped that Weimar was central enough to attract all and offend no one: every German could get there in less than a day's journey. He could shame the republic by holding events in the DNT, which for months had been the home of the national parliament; official permission to speak publicly and an effective local party apparatus would aid him. As Hitler put it shortly before the mass meeting in the party paper Völkischer Beobachter, he wanted to give the German people “visible proof of the recovered inner health of the movement.”

From the point of view of Nazi Party history the rally of July 3 and 4, 1926, Hitler's first since the reconstitution of the party and the first outside (p.204) of Munich, was a great achievement. There were nearly 8,000 participants, including many from out of town, with, at its core, 3,600 storm troopers (SA) and 116 black-shirted elite guards (SS). They staged marches through the main market and the narrow streets, with thousands of onlookers cheering. This time Hitler stayed at the famous Hotel Elephant, from which he acknowledged the mass ovation, outstretched arms offering the Roman salute, now obligatory in the movement. Speeches were delivered, some in the theater, by Ziegler, Rosenberg, Frick, Goebbels, and of course Hitler himself, and important organizational decisions were made. For example, the Hitler Youth was newly founded, albeit not under Baldur von Schirach, as Ziegler later claimed and so many authors have mindlessly copied from his memoirs.124 Also in 1926, increasing votes in Thuringian communal elections as well as in towns such as Gera and Schleiz attested to Hitler's overall success. In the judgment of Sir Ian Kershaw, Hitler had demonstrated that his NSDAP “was turning into a new type of political organization –a Leader Party. Hitler had established the basis of his mastery over the movement.”

Nonetheless, from the perspective of civil law and order the rally was a disaster. Perhaps few Weimar burghers would have realized this, but the physical excesses it generated provided a foretaste of what would happen under Nazi rule in future years. All over Weimar, frequently drunken Nazis provoked both the Weimar police and ordinary citizens. There was arson; two workers were thrown into the Ilm. Girls with bobbed hair –the big-city fashion of the modern twenties –were molested. Weimar's Jews, when identified, were harassed. One murder occurred, that of Paul Schmidt, a policeman. On duty near the station, he was shot and died a few days later. Hitler was embarrassed, but he may not have known that Schmitt had been a card-carrying Nazi Party member.125

Nazi Government in Weimar

After Hitler had been released from Landsberg in December 1924, he had resolved never to seek national political power through a coup d'etat again, but to travel the parliamentary route, utilizing every legal trick in the book to cut corners. Alas, in this regard, in the years after 1926 that saw a climax in Weimar, the Nazi Party in Germany made fair rather than spectacular progress. Its membership increased from approximately 55,000 for the original party in October 1923 to double that for the newly constituted one five years later, and 150,000 in October 1929. In both local and state elections its vote began to rise –5 percent of total votes for the Saxon Landtag, (p.205) 4 percent in Mecklenburg, and 7 percent in Baden. In Thuringia in 1927, Landtag elections produced results still under 5 percent. In June 1929 the party conquered its first municipality in Germany as a whole when it assumed the reins in northern Bavaria, in the Franconian town of Coburg, critically close to the Thuringian border. Hence, as Sir Richard J. Evans has aptly remarked, “in the autumn of 1929, the Nazi Party was still very much on the fringes of politics.”126

In Thuringia generally and in Weimar in particular, few successes could match Coburg, as the party could not tactically avail itself of any political opportunities that offered themselves because of the TOB's frequent administrative and financial difficulties. This restriction obtained, notwithstanding the fact that Hitler replaced the sectarian Dinter with the much more dynamic Sauckel as Gauleiter in September 1927. Two months later Weimar, that quaint green-belt convention center for all German patriots, hosted a Nazi Reich Leader meeting at which Hitler railed against what to him were cultural contortions of the modern twenties, specifically “nigger-and jazz music.” Seemingly following up on this, Rosenberg founded his Munich Combat League for German Culture (KfdK) in 1928, with a Weimar chapter established by Ziegler. He was actively joined in this by Bartels, the older Schirach, Schultze-Naumburg, Hans Wahl, and Wilhelm Deetjen, who led the Weimar-based and chauvinistically tainted Shakespeare Society. On that occasion, Ziegler delivered his leading address on the topic “Bolshevization Threatens German Culture.” Under the roof of the KfdK, it was easy to condemn what were regarded as manifestations of the gutter culture of the Weimar Republic, as Carl Norris von Schirach did in January 1929, when he protested against the Max-Reinhardt-style staging of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, from the platform of the Shakespeare Society.127

Thuringian elections in December 1929 finally afforded the National Socialists the first chance to install a Nazi-controlled government in Germany at the regional level. This was a greater coup than Coburg! After the wobbly TOB coalition had fallen, the Nazis campaigned rigorously, especially in small towns, of which there were many, and in rural areas. In Thuringia, the lumpenproletarian lower middle class had long been disappointed with the left and with the four bourgeois parties. The DNVP in particular chalked up strong losses. Eventually, Socialists and Communists together ended up with 24 seats in the assembly, against 23 for the original TOB parties. But the National Socialists, now as a fully united faction, garnered 11.3 percent of the votes, which gave them 6 seats out of 53. Therefore, because neither the bourgeois right nor the proletarian left was (p.206) able to form a government and new elections were unthinkable, the Nazis became kingmakers, and more. They decided to enter the government on condition that two key ministries were ceded to them and they be allowed to furnish two cabinet members. While the head of the government was Erwin Baum, from the Landbund agrarian party, Hitler personally insisted that his confidant Wilhelm Frick enter the cabinet, assuming the interior and education portfolios, and that Willy Marschler, a sales clerk from Ilmenau, be appointed junior minister without portfolio (Staatsrat). Even before the government was formed, Sauckel declared publicly in December, true to the new strategy of his party: “With our mandate we do not wish to serve the current state –on the contrary, we want to destroy it.”128

Hitler's choice of Frick was clever and yet another sign of high political astuteness in the Nazi Party's rise to power. Hitler regarded him as an “energetic, audacious and ever responsible bureaucrat of exceptionally high capabilities and a fanatical National Socialist.” Frick had been born in 1877 in the Palatinate, obtained a doctorate in law and become a civil servant in the government of Bavaria, where he had directed the political police between 1919 and 1921. Having involved himself in Hitler's putsch he received a 15-month jail sentence, which, however, was suspended. Since May 1924 he had been representing one of the Nazi camouflage parties in the Reichstag, and in 1927 he was the leader of the seven-member Nazi Party caucus there. He was intelligent, possessed of good manners and a personality so charming that soon he lured Schultze-Naumburg's second wife away from the architect's Saaleck mansion and into marriage.129 It has been said that the governance which now unfolded in Thuringia for the Nazis was a “dress rehearsal” for the anticipated assumption of national power in the future. That might be too strong an interpretation, for a dress rehearsal has a finite quality, and one always knows the date of the premiere. Since in Thuringia a premiere was not in sight yet, one could speak, more realistically, of an experiment in manipulative democracy.130

The measures enacted bear this out, and they were justified, in this deflationary era of an incremental depression, by the need to save money. Frick's rule since January 26, 1930, claims the Thuringian Social Democrat Hermann Brill in retrospect, “consisted in a series of legal infractions.” One of the first decisive acts passed was an emergency law covering the period January to September 1930 to enable all manner of authoritarian changes. Democratic laws could now be abrogated and undesirable personnel dismissed, chiefly from the SPD and KPD camps, and notably in bureaucracy and education. This was negatively balanced by an increase in Thuringia's police presence. A new law of March 14 removed police forces from (p.207) municipal control, placing them directly under Frick's interior ministry. Since Sauckel, the Landtag's Nazi speaker, was officially endorsed by the government as Thuringia's Gauleiter, he was also given power over the police, reducing it more to the status of an arbitrary party SA or SS. Moreover, the right of free assembly was curtailed and press freedom dimin-ished –again mainly to hurt the Marxists. Scores of Communist teachers and state officials were dismissed, which was all the easier since parliamentary opposition was rendered ineffective because in the Landtag the SDP and KPD were at loggerheads.131

Advocating stricture and censorship along those lines, three interrelated actions followed –milestones on the Nazi Party's road to full political power. The most spectacular was the appointment of the then unemployed school-teacher Hans F. K. Günther to a professorship in social anthropology at Jena, on October 1, 1930; effectively this meant a chair in race science. Frick, as minister of education, was responsible for the appointment, probably on Hitler's personal orders, after he had met Günther personally at Schultze-Naumburg's. Frick's initial proposal was rejected by most of the faculty, whose executive committee could not be convinced that Günther's “publications demonstrated original scientific achievements.” However, it was enthusiastically received by a strongly entrenched right-wing student body. (Baldur von Schirach was now leader of the Nazi Student League, which had an influential chapter at Jena's university.) Not only was this the first such appointment in Germany's history, but Günther was not even an anthropologist by training and, beyond his doctorate, lacked certification as a university teacher (Habilitation). Hermann Göring and Hitler himself attended Günther's inaugural lecture. Surrounding this promotion of a mere secondary-school teacher were the appointment of Schultze-Naumburg as head of Weimar's art and architecture schools, making him successor to Gropius and to Bartning, who had resigned. Moreover, Bartels became an adjunct professor at what used to be the Bauhaus; he announced lectures on German literature and was also to lecture at Jena.132 A second educational innovation was the planned introduction in Thuringian schools of special prayers which were barely concealed diatribes against Germany's former enemies and the Jews, and propounded the “Stab in the Back” Legend. This conformed with Hitler's goal “to put the entire school system to the service of educating Germans into becoming fanatical nationalists.” Whereas three of these prayers were eventually disallowed by the republican supreme court in Leipzig, two of them were left standing and came into daily use in all the schools.133

A third ordinance had been drafted by the Nazis' culture expert Hans Severus Ziegler; it was an edict against “Negro culture” and, just as Hitler (p.208) had demanded in Weimar earlier, forbade the staging of modern plays, the performance of atonal music or jazz, and visiting cabarets or risqué circus acts. Those were the typical expressions of what was already internationally known as the progressive art of the new republic, mainly generated in Berlin. As a token of this policy, Oskar Schlemmer's frescoes from the Bauhaus period were destroyed in the van de Velde building near the Liszt House, and seventy Expressionist paintings, including works by Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger, and Emil Nolde, were removed from exhibits in the ducal museum.134 There were telling ramifications of such novel authoritarian rule –in the defense of Weimar's classical tradition, as Sauckel claimed. Films were censored, especially if they had a semblance of sexual content. (Some such films were arguing for sexual hygiene and against paragraph 218, prohibiting abortion; others were, admittedly, just smut.) Erich Maria Remarque's pacifist book All Quiet on the Western Front was banned as reading matter in schools. The theater was cleansed. Hence the avant-garde theater director Erwin Piscator was hampered in his attempt to tour Weimar with his Berlin ensemble, but in this case too the Supreme Court exerted some control over Nazi capriciousness.135

On the other side of these destructive measures, the Nazis tried to achieve something positive for themselves. In the cultural arena, the KfdK organized its first national convention, at which it was reiterated that theater, architecture, literature, music, and the visual arts must be shielded from what were described as pernicious influences. Schultze-Naumburg, who grandly set the tone here, supported by the new adviser on art and Thuringian KfdK leader Ziegler, was vigorously applauded by Frick, Rosenberg, and Darré. Günther, Schirach, Goebbels, and Göring put in appearances, and Artam section leader Friedrich Schmidt called for a “campaign of German youth into eastern lands.” Beyond these cultural-political efforts, two attempts were undertaken, albeit rather clumsily, to obtain German citizenship for Hitler by making him a Thuringian official. One was a short-lived attempt to get him appointed as head of the art and architecture school –Hitler, as Nazi director of the Bauhaus! The other was to install him as commissar of gendarmes in the small township of Hildburghausen in the South, yet lest he open himself to ridicule, Hitler wisely declined.136

The government fell in early April 1931 after a non-confidence vote from the majority of parties.137 The next Nazi cabinet would not arrive in Thuringia until summer 1932. But in the interim, the Nazis had put their stamp on Weimar, and on the rest of Thuringia as well. In 1930, they had won the important Reichstag elections of September 14 for all of Germany, (p.209) which made them the second-largest party in the national parliament.138 What worked in favor of the Nazis after April 1931 was the continuing high rate of unemployment in Thuringia, higher in fact than the Reich's average. While the government continued to be led by Erwin Baum with the tacit support of the SPD, the Nazis under the direction of Gauleiter Sauckel were doing everything to destabilize it. Hitler himself was in Weimar as often as he could manage, eight times in 1932 alone, and he spoke locally six times during this interlude. Meanwhile, the Nazi Party was growing throughout the Reich, winning, in the summer of 1932, the governments of Sachsen-Anhalt, Oldenburg, and Mecklenburg.139

Thuringia's cabinet fell, characteristically, at the end of July 1932, over the feeble economy, when the SPD opposed an increase of taxes to bolster the state budget. In the ensuing elections of July 31, the Nazis became the largest party, with 42.5 percent of the vote, with the SPD and KPD together reaching only 40.4 percent. This would give the Nazis 16 seats as opposed to 25 for the Socialist parties, so that, when they teamed up with Baum's agrarian (Landbund) members, Sauckel's Nazis ended up with 32 deputies in the Landtag. This now was a clear majority, as the remaining bourgeois parties had shrunk into oblivion.140

Under Sauckel as new head of the cabinet, the government extended many of the rulings from 1930–31, but it now had a compounded problem with growing unemployment and mass poverty on its hands. Although the Nazis had campaigned strongly on the back of economic issues, many of their promises turned out to be hollow. No emergency crisis program was instituted, as the Reich, still ruled by a succession of right-wing but not yet Nazi governments, was blamed. There were none of the work creation schemes that had been pledged, and the advertised reduction in ministerial salaries proved merely cosmetic. The withdrawal of financial support from the Israelite community in Weimar was explained as economically necessary, but clearly was a seriously intended anti-Semitic blow. The anti-Jewish as well as anti-Marxist bias was exercised in schools and in the cultural institutions, when more teachers were dismissed, and the theater program was censored. Ziegler, who had been restored to cultural power (as had Schultze-Naumburg for the academies), preferred Nazi content fabricated by scribes such as Johst and Kolbenheyer.

After innocent tête-à-têtes with Hitler, actress Emmy Sonnemann fell in love with Hermann Göring, who had recently lost his Swedish wife Karin. Sonnemann became Göring's mistress, and they were married in April 1935. (Sonnemann's Jewish friend Herma Clement had already come under Göring's special protection in 1933 and was acting in Berlin's (p.210) Staatstheater.) At Jena University, the National Socialist professor Emge, Förster-Nietzsche's confidant, became the official curator, supporting, among others, Günther and Bartels. All the while, the number of unem-ployed rose until it reached 11.5 percent by 1932–33 –a new record –and exports, on which Thuringia depended, declined further. The primitive Sauckel, who was not averse to beating up fellow parliamentarians outside government buildings, promised new anti-Semitic measures in the area of ritual slaughter (shechita) and boycotts of Jewish shops, delayed only in the interests of the Thuringian retail trade. In all, confident Nazis were setting the stage in Thuringia, as they were doing in other German states, for Hitler's national takeover to occur smoothly early in 1933.141

Looking back on 1933, this was the apex of a complex development that had begun in 1918. Their intellectual and political pioneers having cleared the path by the second half of the 1920s, the National Socialists under Hitler had proceeded to entrench themselves in Weimar, and all of Thuringia. Characteristically, what happened was that the arch-conservative and völkisch-attuned had made the decisive move to fascism, thereby enabling themselves to be of full service to the Nazis. In this, an admixture of radicalized nationalism and anti-Semitism had served as the leitmotif. For Bartels and Wachler, Jew-hatred may have been the strongest component; for Förster-Nietzsche and Schlaf it was probably chauvinism. Members of the new Saaleck Circle had added impetus for these tendencies, while at the same time drawing into their midst actors from outside: Günther, Darré, Himmler and other Artamans. The convergence of those two streams –the traditional conservative one and the Saaleck pro-eastern-settlement one –had produced a new type of Weimar-born, fanatical functionary, who would serve in an activist liaison between the old, more passive, reactionary elites and the active, ruthlessly forward-looking fascists. These men were Hans Severus Ziegler and Baldur von Schirach. Their activism had assured Hitler and his party a positive, and lasting, reception in the town of Goethe. In addition, Hitler had imported his own adjutants, Dinter and Sauckel, to entrench his movement in Weimar. The town was ideally suited to guarantee the survival of his party through clever machination, which would exploit intricate political constellations in the Thuringian parliament. Hence Hitler had been able to gain political clout. Unsurprisingly, given the fertile fascist climate, the first German regional Nazi government had been established in Thuringia by January 1930, with Weimar as the hub; this experience had been repeated in August of 1932. By this time, resident conservative associations such as the Goethe Society had been playing the game not necessarily of Hitler, but certainly not against him. What they had (p.211) been against, supported in this by the Nazis and their local adjuncts, was the new German republic, which had had the bad fortune to have been established in Weimar. It was accused of having instituted what looked like weak democratic government and of having signed a shameful peace with the Western Allies. By 1933, the ground for a National Socialist Third Reich had been prepared in many ways in Weimar –through intellectual exercises, political maneuvers, and physical exertions like mass rallies. In this, when suitable, the tradition of the classics had been abused by right-wingers, with the obvious objective of hampering new democratic beginnings.


(1) . Weber, Villen, vol. 2, 80–83.

(2) . Herwig, Fleet, 178–90, 194–98; Scheer, Hochseeflotte, 305–64.

(3) . Epkenhaus, Schatz, 53–54.

(4) . See Peters, Schwester, 284.

(5) . Isaacs, Gropius, 233–34; Naake, Nietzsche, 87.

(6) . Peters, Schwester, 290–97; Wollkopf, “Gremien,” 232–33; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 102–5; Galindo, Triumph, 186–91; Naake, Nietzsche, 76, 85–86, 98–99, 103; Diethe, Sister, 143–47. Emge's admiration for Nietzsche, Hitler/National Socialism and hatred of Jews are evinced in Mensch.

(7) . Baeumler, “Nachwort,” in Nietzsche, Wille, 699–709; Whyte, “Uses,” 178–82; Riedel, Nietzsche, 99–108.

(8) . See Steinweis, “Culture.”

(9) . Rosenberg, Mythus, 530.

(10) . Baeumler, Nietzsche, 90.

(11) . Erich F. Podach, “Die Schändung geht weiter,” Literarische Welt, September 30, 1932; Diethe, Sister, 148. See e.g. Baeumler, Briefen, and Baeumler's “Einleitung” Ibid., vii–xxvii.

(12) . Diethe, Sister, 142–43.

(13) . Oehler, Manen; Diethe, Sister, 141; Naake, Nietzsche, 78, 83, 87; Peters, Schwester, 282–83.

(14) . Diethe, Sister, 144–45; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 96, 99–100. See Bertram, Nietzsche.

(15) . Mann, Betrachtungen; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 98; Wollkopf, “Nietzsche-Archiv,” 139; Peters, Schwester, 279.

(16) . Spengler, Untergang, 38–39, 536–37, 540–43, 545; Diethe, Sister, 143–44; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 97, 105; Naake, Nietzsche, 77, 93; Wollkopf, “Nietzsche-Archiv,” 139.

(17) . Hoffmann, Geschichte, 97, 101; Naake, Nietzsche, 78–84, 107–9; Wollkopf, “Nietzsche-Archiv,” 136–38, 140–41, 158.

(18) . Hoffmann, Geschichte, 97–98; Peters, Schwester, 283–84 (Förster-Nietzsche quoted 283).

(19) . Diethe, Sister, 148; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 92–93, 98–100, 107; Naake, Nietzsche, 82, 91–92; Wollkopf, “Nietzsche-Archiv,” 229; Peters, Schwester, 280, 284–85, 287–88.

(20) . Diethe, Sister, 146; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 108.

(21) . Naake, Nietzsche, 75–77, 87–89; Wollkopf, “Nietzsche-Archiv,” 230; Peters, Schwester, 280–83.

(22) . Diethe, Sister, 151; Hoffmann, Geschichte, 101–2, 107–8; Kirsten, Weimar, 133–35; Naake, Nietzsche, 94–110; Wollkopf, “Nietzsche-Archiv,” 139–40; Wollkopf, “Gremien,” 233–40; Peters, Schwester, 291–97.

(23) . Naake, Nietzsche, 88.

(24) . Wachler, Heimat, esp. 5–17, 20–21, 28–29, 40–42, 56, 61–62, 65 (quotes 7, 8, 17).

(25) . Langenbucher, Lienhard, 118, 127–29, 132–33; Châtellier, “Kreuz,” 101, 104.

(26) . Schlösser, Volk, 44, 49; Bonn, Jugend, 132.

(27) . Schlaf, “Aufgabe,” 1–3; Schlaf, Krieg, 21–22, 40–43; Schlaf, “Weltaufgabe”; Bäte, Akte, 39–40; Rudolf Borche in Bäte et al., Schlaf-Buch, 75–76; Kafitz, Schlaf, 174–78, 195–96; Erdmann, Naturalismus, 240–66.

(28) . Felix Klee in Neumann, Bauhaus, 25; Kafitz, Schlaf, 27–28; Winkler, “Dokumentation,” 147–48; Schlaf, Leben, 58.

(29) . Bartels, Verfall, 15, 19, 24–28, 32, 36, 38–40 (quote 39); Bartels, Weshalb, 3, 8–12; Bartels, Berechtigung, 9, 16–17, 29, 32; Bartels, Herkunft, 30–31, 36, 147, 159–62, 165, 199–200, 216; Fuller, Grandfather, 178.

(30) . Schüssler, Hardt, 172; Okrassa, Raabe, 57.

(31) . Kirsten, Weimar, 98; Fuller, Grandfather, 153–55, 157–60.

(32) . Bartels, Rettung, 3–8, 20, 25–26; Bartels in Deutsches Schrifttum 16, no. 9 (1924): 2–3; Bartels, “Nationalsozialismus”; Loose, Festgabe (1944), 140–43; Naake, Nietzsche, 95; Fuller, Grandfather, 160–66.

(33) . Iain Boyd Whyte in Oxford Art Online; Borrmann, Schultze-Naumburg, 18, 29–30, 69–72, 104, 124; Bartning, Schultze-Naumburg, 9–19; 25–31; Pese, “Name,” 387–88.

(34) . Schultze-Naumburg, Dach, esp. 9, 12 (1st quote), 30–32, 45, 56, 58–60, 64 (2nd quote); Borrmann, Schultze-Naumburg, 152.

(35) . Kaufmann, “Dach.”

(36) . Steinweis, “Culture,” 406, 414.

(37) . Pese, “Name,” 388; Kirsten, Weimar, 126.

(38) . Schultze-Naumburg, “Kunstausstellung,” quote 442; Schultze-Naumburg, Kunst und Rasse. For the pictures, see 90–97. Also Borrmann, Schultze-Naumburg, 217. Cf. [Kaiser], Führer ; Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 13.

(39) . Neliba, “Frick,” 90.

(40) . Weisenburger, “Günther,” 161–66; Hossfeld, “Jahre,” 54.

(41) . Saller, Rassenlehre, 19.

(42) . Fischer, Bastards, 294, 304 (quotes); SZ, September 27 and October 1–3, 2011. Thanking Fischer, Christian Fetzer mentions 17 “Hottentot heads” of prisoners –among them children aged one and three years, who after the 1904 rebellion died in a German concentration camp on Shark Island, allegedly of scurvy –which were prepared for scientific investigation: “Untersuchungen,” esp. 95. Also see Wistrich, Who, 75–76; Macrakis, Swastika, 125–30; Schmuhl, Grenzüberschreitungen, 444–82.

(43) . See Weiss, Symbiosis, 20–59.

(44) . Weisenburger, “Günther,” 171.

(45) . Günther, Ritter, esp. 17, 32, 56, 80–84, 123, 137–48; Lenz, “Berufung,” 338; Weisenburger, “Günther,” 166–70.

(46) . See Weisenburger, “Günther,” 171.

(47) . Günther, Rassenkunde deutschen, 128–45.

(48) . Ibid., 120–21; Weisenburger, “Günther,” 174.

(49) . Günther, Rassenkunde deutschen, 128–45 (quote 130).

(50) . Weisenburger, “Günther,” 172–73.

(51) . Günther, Rassenkunde deutschen, 367–434.

(52) . Weisenburger, “Günther,” 171.

(53) . Quote in Günther, Rassenkunde jüdischen, 218.

(54) . Quote Ibid., 222.

(55) . Quotes Ibid., 224, 250.

(56) . Quote Ibid. 252.

(57) . Günther, Rassenkunde jüdischen, 217–25, 249–67, 303–26, 345–46.

(58) . Pioneering: Mosse, Crisis, 208 (quote). On pseudo-science, see Weinreich, Professors; Kater, “Ahnenerbe”.

(59) . See Darré, Neuadel, 190; Kershaw, Opinion, 224–77.

(60) . Bartels, Verfall, 35–37.

(61) . Günther, Ritter, 47, 123, 140 (first quote); Günther, Rassenkunde deutschen, 134 (second quote 37).

(62) . Tanzmann, “Bartels,” esp. 150 (quote). Also see Bartels, Bauer. On Tanzmann, see Piefel, “Tanzmann,” 255–71.

(63) . Kater, “Artamanen,” 627; Field, “Racism,” 528–29; Löwenberg, “Hentschel,” 36–61.

(64) . Kater, “Artamanen,” 577–78.

(65) . Himmler quoted in Longerich, Himmler, 87–88. On the Artam League see Kater, “Artamanen,” 577–638 (Tanzmann's quote 604).

(66) . Wistrich, Who, 45; Kater, “Artamanen,” 600.

(67) . Salomon, Geächteten, 312–27.

(68) . Kirsten, Weimar, 126.

(69) . Darré, Neuadel, esp. 6 (first two quotes), 171 (third quote), 7, 14, 157, 181, 188, 190, 193, 198, 220, 223–24, 226.

(70) . Kater, “Artamanen,” 584, 622–37; Kater, “Ahnenerbe”, 147–69; Longerich, Himmler, 272–74, 375, 619–20; Gerwarth, Heydrich, 246–50.

(71) . Scholz, Ilm, 86; Buchwald, Geschichte, 368–69; Golz, “Goethe-und Schillerarchiv,” 43.

(72) . “Goethe and Schiller Archive,” www.klassik-stiftung.de ; Golz, “Goethe-und Schillerarchiv,” 40–48; Mauersberger, Hitler, 75; Ulbricht, “Erinnerung,” 8; “Sein Forschen,” TLZ, February 22, 1989.

(73) . Buchhorn, Goethe, 4; Nägele, “Goethefeiern,” 108; Linden, Goethe, 35; Eduard Scheidemantel in Crodel, ed., Goethe-Jahr, 56–57; Mandelkow, “Goethe-Gesellschaft,” 347; Ledebur, Mythos, 56. On Herder, see Becker, Herder-Rezeption, 129–32.

(74) . Chamberlain, Goethe, 688–93, 697, 715, 720–21. For an early postwar example, see Mauersberger, Hitler, 3, 70, 85–96.

(75) . Fischer, “‘Zwischen,’” 15.

(76) . Buchhorn, Goethe, 5–6, 18–23.

(77) . Crommelin, “Goethe,” 13, 19, 23; Mann, “Goethe,” 244.

(78) . Wachler, Heimat, 21, 28–29; Günther, Ritter, 17, 25, 32, 44, 56, 80, 123, 145; Günther, Rassenkunde deutschen, 132, 141, 143, 418; Günther, Rassenkunde jüdischen, 317; Schrumpf, Goethe, 7; Mandelkow, Urteil, xxvii.

(79) . Friedenthal, Goethe, 555 (quote).

(80) . Norbert Oellers in König/Lämmert, Literaturwissenschaft, 357; Seemann, Weimar, 237–38.

(81) . Boden, Petersen, 82–96.

(82) . Mandelkow, Rezeptionsgeschichte, vol. 2, esp. 13, 19; Mandelkow, “Goethe-Gesellschaft,” 347; Fischer, “Zwischen,” 13–14; Boden/Fischer, Petersen, 31; Boden, “Petersen,” 96.

(83) . Neumann, “Triebe,” 186–210.

(84) . Roethe, Reden, 309–32.

(85) . Eberhard Lämmert in Lämmert et al., Germanistik, 13–15 (quote 14). Also see Jäger, Seitenwechsel, 42.

(86) . Neumann, “Zukunft,” 61, 66–67; Neumann, “Triebe,” 201, 209–10; Boden/Fischer, Petersen, 33–34; Bahr, “Petersen,” 140–41. For Mann's metamorphosis, see Sprecher et al., Briefe II, esp. 9–10, 42–43, 45–50, 440–41, 450, 988–89; and Mann, Republik.

(87) . Mandelkow, “Restauration,” 136. There were other Goethe festivities, e.g. in Frankfurt, not planned by the Goethe-Gesellschaft.

(88) . “Aufruf zum Goethe-Jahr” (1932) in Mandelkow, Urteil, 106–7. On Binding, see Baird, Poets, 32–65, on Kolbenheyer see Wistrich, Who, 177–78.

(89) . Petersen, Lebensjahre, 93; Zeller, Klassiker, vol. 1, 68–69.

(90) . Michalski/Steiner, Weimarhalle, 51; Wilderotter, “Symbolische,” 115–16.

(91) . Petersen, “Erdentage”; Mandelkow, Rezeptionsgeschichte, vol. 2, 74.

(92) . Wilderotter, “Symbolische,” 109–10.

(93) . Merseburger, Mythos, 332–33; Petersen, Lebensjahre, 95.

(94) . Mann, “Goethereise”; Sprecher et al., Briefe III, 611–12.

(95) . Mann, “Goethereise,” 161.

(96) . [Vaget], “Vorwort,” in Sprecher et al., Briefe III, 26 (quote 27); Mann, Lotte in Weimar.

(97) . Mann, “Goethe,” esp. 55; Sprecher et al., Briefe III, 618–19.

(98) . Zeller, Klassiker, vol. 1, 67–68.

(99) . Hans Severus Ziegler, “Thomas Mann spricht,” VB, March 27–29, 1932.

(100) . Halperin, Germany, 79–125; Large, Berlin, 158–64.

(101) . Baudert, Ende, 42.

(102) . Ibid., 42–45; Oehme, Damals, 333–52; Stenzel/Winkler, Kontroversen, 10–13; MüllerSeidel, Geschichtlichkeit, 3–4; Dorrmann, “Potsdam.”

(103) . Baudert, Ende, 45–46; Oehme, Nationalversammlung, 68–69; Buchwald, Geschichte, 377; Rüss, Dokumente, 7–10; Wiesner, Ernst, 60–61; Ness, Feininger, 103, 105, 109; Mauersberger, Hitler, 104; Dorrmann, “Potsdam,” 23.

(104) . Oehme, Nationalversammlung, 26, 68, 98, 263–64; Mauersberger, Hitler, 104–5; Okrassa, Raabe, 54; Dorrmann, “Potsdam,” 27.

(105) . Horkenbach, Reich, 51–52; Meissner, Staatssekretär, 76–77; Baudert, Ende, 46; Winkler, Revolution, 227–42; Mauersberger, Hitler, 110; Stern, Five, 59 (quote).

(106) . Horkenbach, Reich, 48, 84–85; Heilfron, Nationalversammlung, 8–9; Mauersberger, Hitler, 107–9; Oehme, Nationalversammlung, 70–71; Mandelkow, Rezeptionsgeschichte, vol. 2, 9–10; Johannes Schlaf ‘s reaction in Erdmann, Naturalismus, 242.

(107) . Horkenbach, Reich, 62, 66–81; MacMillan, Paris, 167–203, 459–83 (quote 460); Stern, Five, 57–58; Mauersberger, Hitler, 115–16; Oehme, Nationalversammlung, 301–2, 326, 331–33; Schlaf ‘s reaction in Erdmann, Naturalismus, 243, Förster-Nietzsche's in Peters, Schwester, 279.

(108) . Details and dates for 1919 in Horkenbach, Reich, 48–93. For after 1919, see Mommsen, Freiheit, 141–547; Weitz, Weimar.

(109) . Horkenbach, Reich, 100–5; Baudert, Ende, 58–74; Wiesner, Ernst, 65–69; Rüss, Dokumente, 22–26; Witzmann, Thüringen, 13–14; Isaacs, Gropius, 264.

(110) . Göring, Seite, 23–26; Weber, Villen, vol. 2, 39–40.

(111) . Göring, Seite, 26–28.

(112) . Horkenbach, Reich, 61; Mai in Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 17–18; Witzmann, Thüringen, 9–12, 48–51, 57; Post et al., Thüringen-Handbuch, 23–31; Overesch, Brill, 59; Mauersberger, Hitler, 81.

(113) . Overesch, Brill, 60–68, 111–13, 160–63; Witzmann, Thüringen, 41, 45, 55–56, 94–112; Post et al., Thüringen-Handbuch, 31; Mai in Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 18–20; Stenzel/Winkler, Kontroversen, 15, 21, 27–31.

(114) . Size: 3,610 versus 11,724 square kilometers (letter Dr. Jens Riederer, Director, Stadtarchiv Weimar, to author, March 14, 2012). Also see Horkenbach, Reich, 604; Hille, “Beispiel,” map at 204; Mai in Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 18.

(115) . Hille, “Beispiel,” 190.

(116) . For size: Keyser, Städtebuch, 389.

(117) . Overesch, Brill, 61–62, 120; Walter, Thüringen, 22–34; Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 10; Mai in Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 21–26; Hüter, Bauhaus, 13–15.

(118) . Schilling, Ende, 44–46; Rassloff, Sauckel, 40–50; Piper, Rosenberg, 168–69; Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 193–94; Dinter, Sünde; Dinter, Ursprung, 5, 14–16, 30–34.

(119) . Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 49–58; Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 195–98; Ziegler, Hitler, 31, 97, 107 (quote), 291–92; Ziegler, Bartels, 7, 12; Ziegler in Loose, Festgabe (1922), 129–35; Overesch, Brill, 195–97. On Bormann, see Lang, Sekretär, 29, 49–51.

(120) . Schaumburg-Lippe, Pflicht, 273–76; Ziegler, Hitler, 124–26; Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 62.

(121) . Baudert, Ende, 43; Ledebur, Mythos, 53, 72, 74; Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 13.

(122) . Rassloff, Sauckel, 44; Ziegler, Hitler, 45–48; Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 59.

(123) . Kirsten, Weimar, 10–13, 22–25, 109, 114–16, 120; Rassloff, Sauckel, 52; Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 60–61; Schirach, Ich glaubte, 7–58.

(124) . Such as Annette Seemann, Weimar, 248, who also repeats that Schirach became Reichsjugendführer. She contradicts herself on p. 288. For the facts, see text on p. 203.

(125) . VB, July 3, 1926 (first quote); Kershaw, Hubris, 276–79 (second quote); Mauersberger, Hitler, 226–31; Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 63–64; Kirsten, Weimar, 10–11, 26–33; Müller/Stein, Familien, 61. For the corrupted history of the HJ, see Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 13; Okrassa, Raabe, 132; Piper, Rosenberg, 234 and, correctly, Nationalsozialistisches Jahrbuch 5 (1931): 151; Evans, Coming, 214.

(126) . Kater, Nazi Party, 49, 263; Evans, Coming, 211, 230 (quote).

(127) . Kirsten, Weimar, 39 (Hitler quoted), 110, 120; Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 68; Piper, Rosenberg, 169, 261; Longerich, Himmler, 102; Mauersberger, Hitler, 185; Ledebur, Mythos, 6–7.

(128) . Sauckel quoted in Schilling, “Ende,” 48; also Hille, “Beispiel,” 189–94; Tracey, “Aufstieg,” 71; Piper, Rosenberg, 139, 232.

(129) . Hitler quoted in Dickmann, “Regierungsbildung,” 461; Hille, “Beispiel,” 194–96.

(130) . Hille, “Beispiel,” 194; Post et al., Thüringen-Handbuch, 32 (quote). Qualifying: Neliba, “Frick,” 93–94.

(131) . Hille, “Beispiel,” 193–203; Brill, Strom, 7 (quote); Witzmann, Thüringen, 164.

(132) . Hille, “Beispiel,” 204–7; Lenz, “Berufung”; Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 228–30; Borrmann, Schultze-Naumburg, 192; Hossfeld, “Jahre,” esp. 61 (quote); Kater, Studentenschaft, 112, 114, 124, 187, 215.

(133) . Hitler quoted in Dickmann, “Regierungsbildung,” 463. Also Hille, “Beispiel,” 211–15; Witzmann, Thüringen, 170–72; Mauersberger, Hitler, 272.

(134) . Hille, “Beispiel,” 207–11.

(135) . Ibid., 211; Fabricius, Frick, 43; Neliba, “Frick”, 87–88; Sauckel, Kampf, 18–22; Kirsten, Weimar, 111.

(136) . Brenner, Kunstpolitik, 17 (quote); Neliba, “Frick,” 91; Borrmann, Schultze-Naumburg, 183; Overesch, Brill, 208–9; Ziegler, Hitler, 208; Kirsten, Weimar, 43.

(137) . Schilling, “Ende,” 62; Stenzel/Winkler, Kontroversen, 182.

(138) . Evans, Coming, 259–65; Kershaw, Hubris, 333–36; Schilling, “Ende,” 63.

(139) . Stenzel/Winkler, Kontroversen, 111; Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 18; Bernhard Post in Heiden/Mai, Thüringen, 152–54; Rassloff, Sauckel, 57; Kirsten, Weimar, 50.

(140) . Schilling, “Ende,” 64; Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 19; Rassloff, Sauckel, 56.

(141) . Schilling, “Ende,” 66–113; Bernhard Post in Dornheim et al., Thüringen, 335; Post et al., Thüringen-Handbuch, 33; Müller/Stein, Familien, 63; John, “NS-Gau,” 29–30; Rassloff, Sauckel, 58; Göring, Seite, 29–31; Weber, Villen, vol. 2, 44.