32875 Escape from the Nazis. German literature in exile.
Due to the National Socialist persecution policy, political opponents of the National Socialists initially decided to leave the German Reich. In the following years, primarily Jewish-born Germans who had lost every right gave up their homes. The Law on the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, the Nuremberg Laws and the November Pogroms 1938 formed the basis of the decision. Persecuted and disenfranchised left the German Reich by the hundreds of thousands. Of these, about ninety percent were of Jewish descent. With the step into exile, people tried to avoid imminent imprisonment, being sent to a concentration camp and killing.
German writers who did not agree with the world view of the National Socialists, it was forbidden to publish. In May 1933, many of them learned that their works had been burned. To survive, they chose exile. Also it came in Germany to expatriation of outlaw writers. At the center of this theme are the German-language novels "Der Vulkan" (1936) by Klaus Mann, which deals with the fate of German political emigrants after the seizure of power by the National Socialists and the novel "Transit" by Anna Seghers, which the author treated in exile in 1941 and 1942 wrote in Mexico and contains autobiographical elements. Both books were recently filmed: "The Volcano" in 1999 and "Transit" in 2018. Anne Frank's diary, which was first published posthumously in 1947, and Judith Kerr's bestseller "When Hitler stole the pink rabbit," which appeared in English in 1971, are here in the center.
The cultural policy in the past seventy years from 1945 to today provides an extreme case of cultural policy-making with multiple objectives that ranges from heteronomous cultural policies set out by the four allies, who won World War II and took over the control of the city as an military occupied zone until 1990. Berlin was a city divided and formally belonging to two different german states in which both governments mobilized arts and culture to represent the superiority of their respective political system and highly subsidized it. After the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and the subsequent reunification, one cultural system almost disappeared overnight while the other claimed sole and exclusive interpretation of arts and culture in the city.
This course aims to trace Berlin’s cultural policy development in the past more than seventy years and its main influence such as political, military and demographic factors that shaped the specific situation of Berlin. Berlin was very much influenced by the allies and their cultural politics as well as the overall cold war situation that separated the city and its citizens. Everything was aimed later in finding a common identity. In fact, much cultural politics in the city is about contested ideas of collective memory, the cultural legitimacy of various historical layers of the city’s architecture and finding a sense of identity for Berlin and a reunited Germany. The construction boom and the particular architectonical styles applied in the past twnetyfive years are witnesses to these political struggles of representation and identity politics.