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Imagining a Greater GermanyRepublican Nationalism and the Idea of Anschluss$
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Erin R. Hochman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704444

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704444.001.0001

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Composing the Volk

Composing the Volk

Cultural Commemorations with Political Implications

(p.169) 5 Composing the Volk
Imagining a Greater Germany

Erin R. Hochman

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at cultural commemorations for the anniversaries of the deaths of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1927, Franz Schubert in 1928, Walther von der Vogelweide in 1930, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1932. It explores how Germans and Austrians used these festivals to stage a transborder German community in the interwar period. They hoped that a focus on culture, rather than politics, would help them overcome the sociopolitical fragmentation of the interwar years. At first glance, these cultural celebrations appeared to bridge the numerous divisions running through both societies, as people from various social and political backgrounds wanted to honor these German cultural heroes. Nonetheless, political fights broke out among participants as they interpreted the lives and impact of these cultural figures according to their own divergent worldviews. By investigating these disagreements, this chapter underscores the numerous understandings of Germanness in the Weimar era.

Keywords:   cultural commemorations, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Walther von der Vogelweide, Wolfgang von Goethe, transborder German community, sociopolitical fragmentation, cultural celebrations, German cultural figures

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