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Staging the Nazi Assault on Reason: Hanns Johst's "Schlageter" and the 'Theatre of Inner Experience'

Strobl, Gerwin ORCID: 2005. Staging the Nazi Assault on Reason: Hanns Johst's "Schlageter" and the 'Theatre of Inner Experience'. New Theatre Quarterly 21 (4) , pp. 307-316. 10.1017/S0266464X05000187

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Hanns Johst’s play Schlageter is generally regarded as the most successful piece of Nazi theatre. Following its first performance in the early months of the Third Reich, it dominated German theatrical life throughout 1933 and 1934. This has traditionally been regarded as evidence of the essential conformity of the Third Reich’s stage; yet since no other play achieved a similar prominence in the period, Gerwin Strobl finds that line of argument unconvincing, arguing that the success of Schlageter was due to its clever manipulation of its audience’s emotions. The play was perfectly suited to the mood of many German theatregoers in 1933, betraying in its plot and characterization considerable psychological insight and a ruthless determination to exploit that insight for Nazi purposes. As such, Schlageter was the prime example of the Third Reich’s ‘theatre of inner experience’, the ultimate aim of whose practitioners was to get German audiences to abandon reason and accept the irrational vision of history underlying the Nazis’ ideological project.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DD Germany
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Additional Information: Publisher’s copyright requirements: “All contributors retain the right to post the definitive version of the contribution as published at Cambridge Journals Online (in PDF or HTML form) in the Institutional Repository of the institution in which they worked at the time the paper was first submitted, or (for appropriate journals) in PubMed Central or UK PubMed Central, no sooner than one year after first publication of the paper in the journal, subject to file availability and provided the posting includes a prominent statement of the full bibliographical details, a copyright notice in the name of the copyright holder (Cambridge University Press or the sponsoring Society, as appropriate), and a link to the online edition of the journal at Cambridge Journals Online. Inclusion of this definitive version after one year in Institutional Repositories outside of the institution in which the contributor worked at the time the paper was first submitted will be subject to the additional permission of Cambridge University Press (not to be unreasonably withheld). See:
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0266-464X
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:06

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