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A Nation Lacking Its Moral Center? Censorship and National Identity in Post-WWI Germany

Center Research Fellow Lecture at the Autzen House

Monday, May 12, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Lecture by Kara Ritzheimer, Center Research Fellow and faculty in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, OSU.

How did the 1925 feature film The Joyless Streets breed tensions between local and federal officials in interwar Germany? How did Asphalt, a 1929 movie about a sexual vamp able to charm her way out of arrest, contribute to the Weimar Republic's 1933 collapse? 

Drawing on extensive archival research, Kara Ritzheimer argues that historians need to add a crucial factor to their postmortems of the Republic's fall and Adolf Hitler's ascension to power: debates about the moral fabric holding the nation together. These debates, she argues, were discernible in federal and regional disputes over film censorship and ultimately complicated postwar reconstructions of national identity. The mechanisms of Weimar film censorship, in which federal authorities relied on local officials for enforcement, made censorship both familiar and palatable to the German population. 


Autzen House (campus map)
811 SW Jefferson Ave.
Corvallis
OR
Joy Futrell
1 541 737 2450
joy.futrell at oregonstate.edu
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