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Wagner, Hitler, and Germany's Rebirth after the First World War

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-175
Number of pages22
JournalWar in History
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2017
Accepted/In press3 Sep 2015
E-pub ahead of print30 Mar 2017
Published1 Apr 2017


King's Authors


This article examines German national renewal following defeat in the First World War. It emphasizes the importance of a 'unique' German culture, particularly the music dramas of Richard Wagner, in the politics of pan-German nationalists, Hitler, and the National Socialist Party. Hitler believed national revival depended on the rebirth of German culture, a concept that predated the war and was popular in völkisch circles and the radical right. Hitler owed his rise from obscurity as much to his appeal to cultural longings, which enabled him to attract the attention of Bavaria's elite, as he did to his political ideas and abilities.

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