Hitler Laughing: Comedy in the Third Reich

Hitler Laughing: Comedy in the Third Reich

by William Grange
     
 

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761833819
Publisher:
UPA
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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