Nazi neoclassicism and the challenge of modernity : a study of the role of architecture in the context of modernism / by Paul Ruddock.
This thesis examines the role of neoclassical architecture in the National Socialist response to the challenges posed by modernization. Primarily, it is concerned with understanding what Adolf Hitler hoped to achieve with the massive classical redevelopment of Berlin and many other German urban centres. However, any explanation requires a thorough account of the chronic cultural crisis that accompanied Germany's modernization and reached epidemic levels during the tumultuous years of the Weimar Republic. Therefore, considerable attention is also given to Germany's ideological tradition and modern art movements that helped define an emerging anti-modernism. It is a text that makes use of exemplary works of art and architecture to survey the nature of Germany's cultural despair and the aesthetic representations of the visions that address it. By juxtaposing Bauhaus or modern architecture with Nazi neoclassicism as competing solutions to the disruptive and disorienting flux of modern life, this study seeks to illuminate the dichotomy of modernism and how it manifested itself in the buildings and urban plans of the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. The significance of this essay is that it places Nazi architecture in the context of German modernism and, in doing so, reveals the neoclassical redevelopments to be a permanent fix to the disintegrative aspect of modernity.
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