Making Sense of Theatre in the Third Reich



In the crowded field of studies on Nazi Germany the role of theatre in the Third Reich continues to be a neglected subject. The reluctance to engage with the topic is particularly true among historians and is in striking contrast to the attention devoted in recent years to other branches of the arts. Yet theatre actually received lavish funding from the Nazi regime. Indeed at no time in the history of the German stage was the provision so opulent, and the Nazi leadership went to considerable lengths to maintain the theatre sector even in wartime. The neglect of the theatre therefore constitutes more of a reflection on the priorities of the historical profession than those of the Nazi regime. This article attempts to redress the balance and to explore possible reasons for the limited treatment of the subject in the existing literature.