Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 127

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3rd May 1942, at dinner

Berlin must not monopolise the resources of the Reich—Berlin is not an artistic city—The choice of Nuremberg.
 
When I think of Bayreuth, I am invariably worried by the thought that one day we may have to appeal to the State for financial aid for the maintenance of its cultural institutions and surrender the administrative control of the city into the hands of the ministerial bureaucrats. This is one of the reasons why I am so interested in the two sons of Frau Winifred Wagner. I hope very much that they will prove capable of carrying on the great work of their parents. As long as I live, I shall always do everything in my power to maintain the prestige of Richard Wagner’s city. I see no better method of safeguarding cultural centres than to confide them to the safe-keeping of the cities which contain them.

Brilliant city though Berlin undoubtedly is, I doubt whether we can make of it a metropolis of the Arts. As a metropolis of political and military power, it is ideal, as I realised on the occasion of the procession organised for my last birthday. But the atmosphere of Berlin is not the atmosphere of an artistic city.

We have no reason for allowing any other town to attain the stature of Berlin. The Reich can be well content with one town of five million inhabitants, Berlin, two towns—Vienna and Hamburg—of a couple of millions, and quite a number which approach the million mark. It would be extremely stupid further to enlarge our great cities and to canalise all cultural activity towards them. I said one day to Christian Weber that it would be ridiculous to incorporate Starnberg into Munich. To preserve its own character, Munich must remain as it now is.

Had I so wished I could have arranged for the Party Congress to take place in Munich. But as I wished as many towns as possible—big, medium and little—to participate and to become centres of German cultural life, I suggested to the Party Committee that we should chose Nuremberg for our Rallies, and our annual gathering there must, I think, give the city for ten days the atmosphere of the Olympic Games Festivals of ancient days.

Published in: on July 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 135

the-real-hitler

 

30th May 1942, midday

The rôle of Vienna—Death of Mozart—Artists should be supported before they die!
 

It should be the task of any reasonable culture policy to discover talent early, to encourage and foster it, and so give it the opportunity of reaching its highest fruition for the benefit of both the present and posterity.

During the last few centuries, the Viennese, who always used to set such store by the cultural standards of their city, have neglected this most important principle of cultural policy in an almost insanely irresponsible fashion. For example, they actually allowed a genius like Mozart to starve. He was even buried in a pauper’s grave, they say, and now no one knows where he lies. Like him, too, Bruckner and Haydn would have been allowed to die of hunger, if they had not found patrons in the Bishop of Linz and the Prince von Esterhazy respectively.

These examples show that the Viennese, like the people of Munich, owe their accumulation of artistic wealth solely to their rulers. Between the Viennese and the people of Munich, however, there is this vital difference, that the latter do show a measure of appreciation to their living artists, while the former wait until an artist has been dead for perhaps centuries and has acquired an international reputation before giving their approval.

Our own cultural policy can learn a lesson from this. It is, that artists who do good work must be assured of recognition in goodtime. It is for this reason that I have caused to be organised the arts exhibition in the House of German Art in Munich, and not merely because I wished to give the already famous a chance to exhibit, where their works will be seen by the whole world. By far the most important object of this exhibition is to seek out the best of German creative art.

Published in: on July 20, 2015 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 186

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13th June 1943, evening

The French painters—The great artistic achievements of the nineteenth century were German—Architecture in Munich.
 

I cannot make up my mind to buy a picture by a French painter, because I am not sure of the dividing line between what I understand and what I do not understand. I have the same feeling when I look at paintings by Corinth and Trübner—to mention only two of our German artists. These men started by painting pictures of great merit, and then, urged on by pride, they started to produce the most startling and extraordinary works. In literature the Jew has already blazed the same pernicious trail, and artists like Corinth and Trübner have followed them. The result is the frightful daubs with which they now inflict us.

In painting, the Italians were truly great from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth; in the eighteenth century they rested on their laurels, in the nineteenth their light began to wane, and today Italian art is completely degenerate. All this seems quite incomprehensible to me, but I suppose it is the law of averages. In the nineteenth century the greatest masterpieces in every branch were the works of us Germans. In the same period the French, too, had some good artists, but they all deteriorated in time.

When I think of the Paris Opera House, I cannot help feeling that those of Dresden and Vienna are in a very different category. The design itself of the Paris Opera is a work of genius, but the execution, from the artistic point of view, is very ordinary; and the interior is pretentious, overcrowded with decoration and devoid of all artistic taste. We must make sure that the new Opera House which we intend to build in Munich surpasses everything, in every way, that has ever gone before it.

The Palace of Justice in Munich is perhaps the most beautiful example of the baroque of recent times. Typical of the epoch of liberalism is the Palais de Justice in Brussels. It is a cyclops which dominates the whole town; and fancy having the Law Courts, of all things, as the dominating feature of a place! I am quite sure that a man is never more ready to fight for his country than when it is a question of defending the artistic and intellectual heritage of the nation. We have a fresh proof of it today. The destruction of a national monument has a greater effect on public opinion than the destruction of a factory.

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Published in: on March 15, 2015 at 1:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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