The horrors of Nazi Germany have been regaled the world over as the epitome of evil. The most infamous atrocities: mass murder, conquest, and theories on racial purity drove a mad-man, and a continent, to the brink of total collapse. While these aspects of the Nazi regime are well known other somewhat obscure facets are not as know; facets such as the Nazi aesthetic, or the drive to beautify the world. In a fascinating documentary on Nazism and art director Peter Cohen lays bare the deranged artistic endeavors of history’s monster.
The documentary tracks Hitler’s obsession with art and creative flare from when he was a young man in Venice to his death near the end of the Second World War. Detailing his queer fascinating with drama, power, and heroic conception of a pure blooded race of Germans, Hitler surrounds himself with those who share his desire; to this end the Third Reich government is filled with failed artists, painters, and novelists, all of whom share Hitler’s convictions.
This creative direction flows into all Nazi undertakings: from anti-Marxist propaganda, to anti-Semitic tirades, Peter Cohen delves into the Nazi mindset and show the viewer such a perverted obsession with cleanliness that the keen observer will be able to fill in previously empty mental spaces; to this extent we learn that the Nazis tried very hard to link Judaism to insects, physical health to negation of class struggle, and national glory to military victory.
The documentary is well done. While not the most high budget production and liable to put to sleep those who have no interest in the field, for its premise it is as interesting as it can be. While the heavy focus on art-on creating an aesthetically pleasing world through superior art-can be somewhat questionable at time, the film informs that even if the connection is sometimes overblown, that creativity in design was still a major force driving Nazi propaganda.
So over all I would say that if you have an interest in history and Nazi ideology in particular you should check this film out. It is free to watch on Youtube and isn’t overly long. The content is intriguing enough to warrant a view so if you are in the mood for something different than consider this slated for your macabre tastes.