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by Archaeology Newsroom

Classical antiquity and fascism. The adventures of the classic ideal in Nazi Germany

The employment of the classic ideal in Nazi Germany, however deprived of every humanistic reference, was the aftermath of German idealism. The Nazis, considering themselves of common origin with the ancient Greeks, decided that classic art could ideally represent them. This choice was meaningful and of strategic importance.On the one hand, it created a strong bond with the leading upper middle-class, which from the nineteenth century on had already used the perpetuity of the Greek myth in order to persuade of the absolutism of its authority, on the other the application of the classical ideal to Europe could offer the possibility of a double code for human existence. The classical ideal was the perfect vehicle for An Idea. Thus, a model, common for all, was created, its context dictated and formulated by national-socialism, dismissing every subjective differentiation. The Nazis also pursued the same uniformity of model in architecture. They located it in the colonnade, a symbol of the military array, which directly referred to a unity, based however, on uniform repetition. It was their version and vision of human society. It was, and still is, the picture of totalitarianism.