Erbauung und Unterhaltung. Das Dortmunder Stadttheater zwischen 1933 und 1945

Heinrich, A. (2007) Erbauung und Unterhaltung. Das Dortmunder Stadttheater zwischen 1933 und 1945. In: Hoegl, G. and Schlip, T. (eds.) Beitrage zur Geschichte Dortmunds und der Graftschaft Mark. Klartext Verlag, pp. 293-322. ISBN 3898617459

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Abstract

This article is the result of extensive archival research in local and regional German archives. It investigates the history of the municipal theeatre in Dortmund during the Nazi years. It puts particular emphasis on the importance of continuing elements both between the Weimar years and the Third Reich as well as between pre- and post- 1945. This becomes especially significant with regard to post-war commentators who "told" the theatre's history from an allegedly objective viewpoint although having been ardent Nazi supporters themselves. Despite constant financial problems in a heavily industrialised city, which suffered more than others from the economic depression around 1930, the civic theatre quickly developed into a municipal institution for which subsidies were gladly paid. During the 1920s Richard Gsell's challenging priductions and contemporary repetoire put Dortmund on the national map but also caused criticism from traditional and right wing commentators. The Nazis quickly seized upon this opportunity and propagated a return to "healthy" and "German" repetoire without the "experiemnts" of the "decadent" Weimar years. After coming to power the new Nazi administration realised the theatre's potential to inluence audiences but failed in their clumsy attemtps to turn the theatre into a mouthpiece of the regime wiht a repetoire dominated by stern volkisch plays, which failed to attract large audiences. Similar to other regional stages, however, Dortmund's theatre from the mid-1930s happily played its part and helped to lend the regime a cultural facade with an apparently apolitical repetoire of popular comedies, farces and operettas. Despite increasing danger from Allied bombing raids the theatre's dramatic zeal conrtibuted to a national performance of make believe. It became a willing part of the war effort and developed into an institution deemed vital for propaganda, diversion and moral edification - until the "final victory".

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heinrich, Dr Anselm
Authors: Heinrich, A.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Publisher:Klartext Verlag
ISBN:3898617459

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