While the Nazi political movement was undoubtedly among the most vile developments of the 20th century, it inspired works of art which have the ability to expose some of the best and worst that art can achieve. Because it involves such stark contrasts of good and evil, it offers excellent opportunities to discuss what aspects of art are good and bad, what art can achieve at its best and what it can destroy at its worst.Propaganda more than ever is an instrument of aggression, a new means for rendering a country defenseless in the face of an invading army. While it has been used in a halting way for centuries, within the past few years we have seen it prepare the way for Hitler to seize many countries. It is called a new instrument of aggression because development has given it an effectiveness never before experienced in the history of the world.
Nazi Germany regulated and controlled the art produced between 1933 and 1945 to ensure they embodied the values they wished to indoctrinate into the German people. The notion of'volk' (people) and'blut und boden' (soil and blood) was championed in paintings to glorify an idealized rural Germany and instill a sense of'superiority' in the Nordic physicality. Many works romanticized everyday subjects and reiterated stereotypical Nazi ideals of the human body and its purposes in the Reich. Paintings of Adolf Hitler portrayed his image in a heroic manner, elevating him to a god-like status. By promoting Hitler as superior to the average person, the artist made Hitler a mythological being who, if followed with unconditional religious piety, would lead the Germanic race to an ideal future. The architecture, or so-called'ideology in stone', was also a vessel for political ideology. The monumental buildings served to construct a pseudo-history to authenticate the stable, strong and righteous nature of the'thousand year Reich'. Thus, art …