North America or ‘the West’, peculiarities of German history, structures and processes, conditions and experiences which – of course – were not thought necessarily to have led directly to National Socialism but which, in the long run, hindered the development of liberal democracy and ultimately facilitated the rise of fascism” (4). Objectively, the roots of National Socialism and fascism in Germany date back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when poor parliamentarization and fragmented party system exposed the main deficiencies of the Weimar system (Kocka 5). This is when the basis for the development and expansion of fascism was created. Modern historians like Kocka claim that the development and expansion of fascism was a long and enduring process, with its roots in the nineteenth century. Apparently, fascism was a complex product of numerous political factors; most importantly, the weaknesses inherent in the German political and party system. I think that this knowledge of history can help to prevent future tragedies similar to fascism. Germany has a well-developed system of art trends and experiences. Expressionism is one of the defining features of German art heritage. Despite the lack of agreement on what Expressionism really means, it takes a definite place in the development of German art.Expressionism has a rich history in Germany. Elger writes “expressionism, however, was by no means limited to fine art, even though its significance and influence in other areas should not be overestimated. The desire to follow an Expressionist style was equally widespread in literature, drama, stage design, dance, film and architecture” (8). This being said, Expressionism in Germany comes as a complex and omnipresent phenomenon, which crosses the boundaries of fine art and greatly affects all areas of human creative activity. Simultaneously, as Expressionism affected creative activities in Germany, so was Expressionism influenced by the political and social climate in the country. Art and Expressionism, in particular, is both a product and reflection of the social and political climate in Germany. The period when Expressionism existed was extremely short. Expressionism ceased as suddenly as it started. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the study of Expressionism can help to understand the history and culture of Germany in more detail. For previous and present day generations, the value of German music is taken for granted.
Applegate, Celia and Pamela Maxine Potter. Music and German National Identity. University
of Chicago Press, 2002. Print.
Browning, Robert Marcellus. German Literary Fairy Tales. Continuum International
Publishing Group, 1983. Print.
Elger, Dietmar. Expressionism: A Revolution in German Art. Taschen, 2002. Print.
Evans, Richard J. Rereading German History: From Unification to Reunification, 1800-1996.
Routledge, 1997. Print.
Kocka, Jurgen. “German History before Hitler: The Debate about the German Sonderweg.”
Journal of Contemporary History, 23.1 (1988): 3-16. Print.
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