The role of Wangerism in German Culture in the Third Reich

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˜The herald of National Socialism'. One of the common misconceptions of Wagner is the idea that he was a spiritual precursor of Hitler. The poet Peter Viereck wrote an essay in 1939 entitled "Hitler and Richard Wagner  in which he argues that ˜"this warped genius  [Wagner] was "perhaps the most important single fountainhead of Nazi ideology '#. Rohan d'O. Butler, Edmond Vermeil and William Shirer have also written essays on how Wagner ˜featured.... prominently among a kind of antipantheon of German racists, militarists and totalitarian philosophers who allegedly made Hitler possible'#. In this essay I shall attempt to shed light on this misconception, showing how Wagner compiled his vast varying legacy and how this legacy was abused by his disciples for their own work. I shall then show how his work made its way into Nazi ideology through these disciples and how Wagner's music and the Bayreuth Festival became part of Nazi propaganda. I will also be examining the relationship between Winifred Wagner and Hitler.

Richard Wagner had many followers during his lifetime and after his death, but it wasn't the vast majority of these who use

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