Degenerate Art and Music
The state's influence also interfered in the freedom of art and culture. In the name of the National Socialist ideology, the individual authorities of the «Reichskammer» under the leadership of Joseph Goebbels kept the areas of the press, theatre, film and radio, literature, fine arts, painting and music under surveillance.
The regimentations affected all details of artistic activity; in the field of music, for example, the approval of concert programmes and foreign tours of artists. Each instance of practising art that did not conform to National Socialist ideology was violently persecuted. On 10 May 1933 the writings of «un-German» authors such as Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Sigmund Freud, Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Maria Remarque and Erich Kästner were burned in numerous cities.
Behind the «struggle against cultural Bolshevism,» to which reactionary circles had already prescribed during the 1920s and which was now declared as a programme of the Reichskulturkammer, was a narrow-minded, petit-bourgeois, prudish and strictly anti-modern notion of art. Works by Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Vassily Kandinsky, Oskar Kokoschka, Franz Marc, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Emil Nolde and many others were shown at the exhibition «Degenerate Art» in 1937 in Munich, intending to document the «Jewish-Bolshevist general attack on German art.» Analogously to this, the exhibition «Degenerate Music» took place in May 1938 in Düsseldorf. Alongside many others, Gustav Mahler, Franz Schreker, Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern, Ernst Krenek and Kurt Weill were denounced here. Paul Hindemith, to whom an entire section of the exhibition was dedicated, was insulted as «theoretician of atonality» and «closely related to Jews.»