Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Jonathan Petropoulos

Reader 2

Friederike von Schwerin-High

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Rights Information

© 2018 Leshan Xiao


Founded in 1918 following the carnage of World War One until the Nazi takeover of 1933, the Weimar Republic is widely renowned as a bastion of freedom and democracy that existed only briefly between the reigns of two authoritarian regimes. The Weimar period witnessed an unprecedented prosperity of art and culture, with tremendous advancements in the fields of literature, the visual arts, and film. However, the remnants of the old Empire persisted within the new Republic, and new fascist factions rose to prominence within German society. Artists that lived through the era, both liberal and conservative, observed and provided their opinions on this phenomenon that would culminate in the advent of Nazi Germany. The purpose of this paper is to examine works of art across genres and by different artists, establish a connection with the fascist trends in Weimar Germany, and understand the attitudes of each respective artist towards the decline of German society into illiberalism and barbarism. I argue that artists anticipated fascist political and cultural developments in the years prior to the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, and look at the various artists in the realms of literature, the visual arts, and film.