Artists in the Weimar Republic

Essay by KeirHigh School, 10th grade March 2006

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Weimar Culture

In the period after the First World War, the Weimar republic was in a deep political struggle. However, its culture was flourishing. The culture was already present in pre-war Germany, but the Weimar Republic and its promotion of free thinking allowed these ideas to surface. Among the many great cultural achievements are the art and literature, and these survived because of the emigration of the artists to the United States.

The art, film, and music in Weimar Germany were some of the greatest produced in the world at that time. Film was especially well known, and people across the world hailed German films as brilliant works of art. Atonal music, which is lacking organized structure or scale, was increasingly popular. Art was becoming increasingly satirical and expressionistic.

Great film companies made German cinema one of the most notable in the world (a position it never again achieved). Leading composers of atonal music taught and heard their works first performed in Weimar Germany. George Grosz painted satire in its most bitter ways.

German films were considered as brilliant because they viewed the world in new ways. Some films, such as Metropolis, were visions of the future, in which a robot ruled. Others were horror movies. Many new genres of film were developed in this time period, such as the horror film and science fiction. The films of Weimar Germany were widely regarded as the best of the time period. Weimar artists were also highly praised during this time, especially the Expressionist painters.

They witnessed the horrors of World War I and the chaos that prevailed in Germany in the aftermath of war. Their art responded to the conditions of the period, strongly criticizing the militarism of German society, the harsh suppression of German Communists, and the bourgeois values...