First Advisor

Sean Dobson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






National socialism and art -- Germany, German painting, Modern painting -- 20th century -- Germany, Women in art



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 141 p.)


The study of Nazi art as an historical document provided an effective measure of Nazi political platform and social policy. Because the ideology of the Third Reich is represented within Nazi art itself, it is useful to have a good understanding of the politics and ideology, surrounding the German art world at the time. Women were used in this study as an exemplification of Nazi art. This study uses the subject of women in Nazi painting, to show how the ideology is represented within the art work itself. It was first necessary to understand the fervorent "cleansing" of the German art world initiated by the Nazis. The Nazis too effectively stamped out all forms of professional art criticism, and virtually changed the function of the art critic to art editor. The nazification of the German artist was "necessary" in order for the Nazis to enjoy total control over the creation of German art. With these three steps taken in the "cleansing" of the German art world, the Nazis made sure that the creation of a "true" Germanic art would go forth completely unhindered. In order to comprehend the subject of Nazi art regarding women, the inherent ideology must be studied. The "new" German woman under National Socialism, was to be the mother, the model of Aryan characteristics, healthy and lean. Nazi political doctrine stated that women were inherently connected with the blood and soil of the nation, as well as nature itself. Women were to be innocent and pure, the bearers of the future Volk and the sustenance of that Volk. Once this political ideology is understood, the depiction of the German woman as mother, as nature, as sexual object, can be placed within Nazi historical context. Political art provided the Nazi state, the historical legitimization the government needed. It provided the means by which the state could be visually validated, politically, and historically.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL

Persistent Identifier

Included in

History Commons