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Nazis Got Revolution Lessons from Trotsky

May 28, 1933
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been put in in leading positions, especially in industries receiving state subventions.

The “Gleichschaltung” of the cultural life has had visible and immediate effects. Ebert, the Social Democratic director of the Municipal Opera in Berlin, who, in the few years of his service there had made it one of the finest and most original houses in the world, has been forced out and is succeeded by the conservative Max von Schillings. Reinhardt’s “World Theater” which was being played at the Deutsches Theater was put off to make room for a National Socialist Play: “Eternal Folk”.

Despite a great propaganda in the Nazi press, the play, which was extremely inferior, simply could not survive. Even a public awakened to their duty as cultural nationalists could not endure the boredom, the “World Theater” returned to the stage. Similarly, another play “Hias”, heralded by the Nazi press as the proper type of modern art, enjoyed an average income of 35 marks per night. Among the concerts forbidden because the artists were Jews, was a Chamber Music evening, with Arthur Schnabel, Hubermann, Hindemith, and Piatigorsky—a concert which art lovers would cross a continent to hear, but which was cancelled because three of the artists are Jews!

Similarly, a Klemperer Bach Cantata evening was cancelled. It is not yet clear whether Jewish artists will be permitted to sing in the operas—if they are not, the German opera will lose Frieda Leider, Kipnis, Lotte Schoene, and Emmanuel List, to name a few who enjoy an international reputation.

The whole conception of the “Gleichschaltung” shows a barbarian failure to realize with what infinite pains, with what years of experience, with what cooperation of selected brains and disciplined wills, civilization is painfully built up, and standards achieved. So far, the National Socialist revolution has shown no respect for any standards whatsoever. It encourages school boys to pry into the libraries of their friends and decide whether books are “good” or “bad”, letting the stupidest “Deutscher Michel” sit in judgment upon Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein. The National Socialist Press, not one of whose members, in all probability, has a glimmer of an idea about modern physics, assures the world that Einstein is not nearly as important as Planck—the conclusion being, apparently, that if one has a Planck one can get on quite nicely without an Einstein. This, regardless of the patent fact that if some twenty men were to die tomorrow most of modern physics would be completely lost. The irreverence of the National Socialist revolution before intellectual and cultural capacities is one of the most terrifying aspects of the movement.

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