One of the most fascinating things about researching the aims and practices of literacy in the Third Reich has to do with the sources that one needs to analyze.
From books to movies and songs, I’ve been spending the better part of the past couple of weeks or so immersing myself in the historical and literary practices of Nazi Germany as it pertained to the years of 1933-1945. One of the most challenging things about this specific subject, however, is how relatively short of a time frame there is to gather research material. Despite Hitler’s desire to make it the ‘Thousand year Reich’, it never quite got there in the span of 12 years.
There’s only about one substantial english language study on the literary practices of the Third Reich, which was frustrating. Only more frustrating was the realization that the majority of this study was centered on the topic of art and film as it relates to German literacy practices, and not the subsection of National Socialist literature and poetry as it existed within the 12 year span of the Third Reich’s reign.
Examining the images and songs of the Third Reich proved to be one of the most challenging parts of this exercise. Aside from the fact that I know nearly none of the words evident in these songs and images, it was difficult to make any broad assumptions about the macro level practice of music and painting/art as it pertained to the Nazi’s stranglehold on power in Germany. So many of the songs and images were so varied and different in both scope and aim that it was difficult to pinpoint any universal goal of them, except for the obvious ones such as the preservation of Nazi Germany and the advancement of the national socialist agenda.
And I’m also sure that the NSA is closely monitoring my activity from now on, considering all of the marching songs and videos that I’ve been watching over the past two weeks.