Lesson : Hitler and the Aestheticization of Politics
When you can accomplish the learning objectives for this lesson, you should begin work on the lesson essay described below. You may use any assigned readings, your notes, and other course-related materials to complete this assignment. Be sure to reread theessay grading criteria on the Grades and Assessments page.
This essay should be about 750 words long, typed double space with one-inch margins on the sides. It is worth 100 points and it should address the following:
Explain and evaluate Walter Benjamin’s statement (made in 1936) about the “aestheticization of politics” under German fascism. What did he refer to and why have critics since then both repeated the statement and called it cryptic at the same time? What, if any, is the relevance of this statement for our own culture today, particular with regard to our use of media technology?
After completing this lesson, you should be able to do the following:
• Explain why the German philosopher Walter Benjamin referred to the aestheticization of politics in Nazi Germany.
• Summarize various theories that seek to explain Hitler’s appeal (e.g., structuralist, intentionalist, general field, and hidden variant theories).
• Distinguish between fact and legend in Hitler’s various biographical accounts.
• Evaluate the seminal role of Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1934).