The Nazification of an Academic Discipline : Folklore in the Third Reich
This volume explores the involvement of German and Austrian folklorists with the institutions and ideology of the Third Reich. In his introduction, James Dow traces the roots of this Nazification of folklore to the Nazis' exploitation of eighteenth-century concepts and philosophies. Contributors examine the establishment of folklore departments at German and Austrian universities during the National Socialist era; the perversion of the discipline for political ends by the government; and the attempt to establish a pan-German Reich Institute as an instrument of a fascist ideology.The establishment of departments of Volkskunde offered scholars the opportunity to broaden the base of their discipline. Ambition led many to implicitly and explicitly support the aims of their Nazi benefactors. Although not all the scholars in positions of authority were Party members, most became tools of a regime obsessed with its own racist mythology. In the postwar years there was no attempt to investigate this abuse of folklore. Instead, a legend of two folklores evolved - one of a racially biased and tainted discipline and one of a discipline that maintained itself above Nazi aims and manipulations.Here German and Austrian scholars examine this long-unexplored past in recent essays, now made available to the English-speaking world. Also included are previously unpublished documents that laid the groundwork for the National Socialists' perversion of folklore.
- Hardback | 400 pages
- 157.5 x 233.7 x 35.6mm | 816.48g
- 01 Apr 1994
- Indiana University Press
- Bloomington, IN, United States