Hitler Laughing: Comedy in the Third Reich

Overview

When the National Socialist German Workers' party (Nazis) assumed power they vowed to cleanse the German theater of all things "un-German," which ostensibly included comedy. During the Third Reich nearly all German theaters, supported by enormous state funding, presented thousands of comedy productions. Perhaps it was a propaganda tool, however only a tiny fraction of these productions were outright propagandist efforts. French playwright and filmmaker, Marcel Pagnol described laughter as a "song of ...

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Overview

When the National Socialist German Workers' party (Nazis) assumed power they vowed to cleanse the German theater of all things "un-German," which ostensibly included comedy. During the Third Reich nearly all German theaters, supported by enormous state funding, presented thousands of comedy productions. Perhaps it was a propaganda tool, however only a tiny fraction of these productions were outright propagandist efforts. French playwright and filmmaker, Marcel Pagnol described laughter as a "song of triumph...[that] expresses the laugher's sudden discovery of his own momentary superiority over the person at whom he is laughing. That explains burst of laughter in all times in all countries." Hitler and his followers gladly embraced this triumphal expression. Yet, what did this laughter mean to the Nazi agenda and in what ways did it undermine its goals? Hitler Laughing offers insight into the world of comedy during the Third Reich and its role in the Nazi cultural agenda.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761833819
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 11/23/2005
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

William Grange is a Professor at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Nebraska. His other publications include Comedy in the Weimar Republic (1996), Partnership in the German Theater (1991), and Historical Dictionary of the German Theater forthcoming, from Scarecrow Press. Professor Grange has received awards for his teaching and was the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in 2000-2001.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Preface Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction: Why was this man laughing? Chapter 4 1: The Old Reliables Chapter 5 2: The New Reliables Chapter 6 3: Foreign, Yet Familiar Chapter 7 4: Transformations Chapter 8 5: Hits and Misses Chapter 9 6: Women and Comedy in the Third Reich Chapter 10 7: The German Theater and it Brown Culture Part 11 Conclusion Part 12 Select Bibliography Part 13 Index Part 14 About the Author

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