w h a t   i s   t h e   p r o p e r   w a y   t o   d i s p l a y   t h e   f l a g ?

Art that cannot rely on the joyous, heartfelt assent of the broad and healthy mass of the people, but depends on tiny cliques that are self-interested and blasé by turns, is intolerable. It seeks to confuse the sound instinct of the people instead of gladly confirming it...

From now on we are going to wage a merciless war of destruction against the last remaining elements of cultural disintegration... Should there be someone among [the artists] who still believes in his higher destiny — well now, he has four years' time to prove himself. These four years are sufficient for us, too, to make a judgement. From now on — of that you can be certain — all those mutually supporting and thereby sustaining cliques of chatterers, dilettantes, and art forgers will be picked up and liquidated. For all we care, those prehistoric Stone-Age culture-barbarians and art-stutterers can return to the caves of their ancestors and there can apply their primitive international scratchings.

— Adolf Hitler
Munich, July 18, 1937
From his speech at the opening of "Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung", an art exhibit of "approved art" symbolizing Germany and the Third Reich. It was the first of eight annual exhibits.

From "Film Censorship during the Nazi Era" by William Moritz (1991):
Goebbel's criteria for censorship [of film] were ostensibly moral. Flying Down to Rio, the American musical that introduced Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as dancing partners, was banned because of its depiction of immoral behavior, including immodest dress. Scarface was banned for its alluring depiction of a life of crime (although the censors in that case may have had a hidden agenda concerning the participation of a Jewish screenwriter, Ben Hecht, and star, Paul Muni). The German film Ein Kind, ein Hund, ein Vagabund (A boy, a dog, a vagabond; 1934), directed by Arthur Maria Rabenalt, was denounced as "cultural bolshevism" and banned because of a presumed "gay clique" involving its star, Viktor de Kowa... Lang's brilliant Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (The last will of Dr. Mabuse; 1933), with its expressionistic distortions in the manner of Weine's Caligari and its spectacular orchestration of speed, crowds, and catastrophic events, was banned as contrary to public standards because of its depiction of crime, while Wiene's own spy adventure Taifun (Taiphoon; 1933) was prohibited for showing Asians outwitting, outmatching, and generally appearing more competant than their German counterparts. Such censorship continued through the last year of the war....

[ Re: the touring "degenerate art" exhibits in Germany, 1933-1941 (there were many): ]

A further characteristic of these exhibitions was an appeal to popular sentiment: "The population has an opportunity here to form its own opinion" ("Hakenkreuzbanner", April 3, 1933). This implied freedom turned out to be be a propaganda trick, of course, since the acceptable opinion had already been determined in advance and programmed into the exhibition by the way in which the art was presented...

One of the reviewers of the Mannheim exhibition (Neues Mannheimer Volksblatt, April 5, 1933) voice much the same criticism: 'It is claimed that people's "eyes are now to be opened," and that "the nation is to be called upon to judge for itself." But everything possible has been done to confuse and blindfold them!

-- from "An 'Educational Exhibition': The Precursors of 'Entartete Kunst' and Its Individual Venues" by Christopher Zuschlag (1991)

Eye witness description of the big famous "Entarte Kunst" [Degenerate Art] exhibit (opened July 19 1937) by Paul Ortwin Rave, curator at the Berlin Nationalgalerie since 1934:

...The propagandist aim of the exhibition seemed to be best served by the numerous inscriptions. The guiding principles are written up in large letters in the individual rooms or on sections of the wall, while some of the individual works had special captions added to them. The guiding principle in the first room, for example, reads "Insolent mockery of the Divine under Centrist rule". ...If, as in the majority of cases, the purchase price was indicated, a large red label was stuck to the work in question with the message, "Paid for by the taxes of the German working people."

[All above are excerpts from: "Degenerate Art": The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, Stephanie Barron ed. (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1991). Published in conjunction with the Degenerate Art exhibition the same year.]

"Let the world learn to look upon our films as a herald of the German way of life and a messenger of our ideology. There can be no art but that which has firm roots in our ideology."

-- Hans Steinbach
Press Chief, Reich Chamber of Culture
(Reichskulturkammer — RFK)
19 March 1937
(cited in Welch, below)

From Propaganda and the German Cinema 1933-1945 by David Welch (Clarendon Press [an imprint of Oxford University Press], 1983):

The new film legislation [the 1934 Cinema Law] greatly expanded the powers of censorship which it prescribed in some detail... It replaced the original Law of 12 May 1920 which had regulated films during the Weimar Republic. Although Weimar censorship was initially a democratic one — "films may not be withheld out of political, social, religious, ethical, or ideological tendencies" — the intervention of the censor was permitted when "a film endangers the public order and safety...or endangers the German image or the country's relationsahip with foreign states".

[Re: Battleship Potemkin]

"This is a marvellous film without equal in the cinema. The reason is its power of conviction. Anyone who had no firm political conviction could become a Bolshevik after seeing the film. It shows very clearly that a work of art can be tendentious, and even the worst kind of ideas can be propagated, if this is done through the medium of an outstanding work of art."

-- Heinrich Goebbels
28 March 1933
Speech before the contemporary German equivalent of the Academy, only two months after Hitler became Chancellor.