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Der Meister and Der Führer : a critical reappraisal of the thought of Richard Wagner and Adolf Hitler / by Christine A. Colin.

Publication | Digitized | Library Call Number: ML410.W1 C65 1997

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    The purpose of this study is to examine the similarities in the thought of Adolf Hitler and the late romantic composer Richard Wagner, and in doing so to demonstrate a definite connection between the two men. Wagner's influence is manifested in the writings, speeches, and conversations of Adolf Hitler in five major areas: religion; racism; nationalism; staging and theatrical techniques; and "the Wagnerian World of Adolf Hitler." This study has a place not only in Nazi historiography but also in the musicology of Richard Wagner. Chapter One is a historiographic chapter. Chapter Two presents a biographical study of Wagner to provide background about the composer and the ideas that Hitler would later adopt. Chapter Three examines the formative influences of Adolf Hitler, followed by a discussion of the direct and subtle references to Wagner and his works by the Nazi leader. In Chapter Four, the reader is introduced to the religious ideas of both men, a new germanic form of pure Christianity, free from Jewish "contamination,' bolstered by the power of nature and the volk. Chapter Five examines the volatile issue of anti-Semitism in the weltanschauung of both Wagner and Hitler, demonstrating their Aryan vs. Jew duality. Chapter Six explores the idea of nationalism, a concept that was closely tied to the idea of racial identity for both men. Chapter Seven explores the arena of staging and theatrical techniques, which became the backbone of Hitler's Third Reich. Finally, Chapter Eight reiterates the place that this study takes in both historiography and musicology and examines areas for further study. The final conclusion of this study is that the pervasiveness of Wagner's words and ideas in Hitler's writings, speeches, and conversations demonstrates that Hitler was not merely parroting Wagner; for Hitler, Wagner was essential, and the content of his works fit well into the context of the Nazi leader's weltanschauung, helping him to form the picture of his Wagnerian world.
    Colin, Christine A.
    Thesis (Ph. D.)--Pennsylvania State University, 1997.
    Includes bibliographical references (p. [403]-432).
    Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Dissertation Services, 1999. 22 cm.
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    v, 432 p.

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