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08/06/2005

From the Feuilletons is a weekly overview of what's been happening in the German-language cultural pages and appears every Friday at 3 pm. CET.. Here a key to the German newspapers.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 08.06.2005

Karol Sauerland cannot believe his eyes when he reads the foreword to the Polish edition of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" written by journalist Bogdan Michalski. "According to Michalski, Polish students of history and political science should read 'Mein Kampf' to understand how the Germans long for mastery over other peoples. For him, this longing has remained alive even after 1945, and can be seen in Germany's ambition to obtain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. He thinks that a good understanding of 'Mein Kampf' will significantly improve the quality of German Studies in Poland. What he really regrets is that there are no works comparing the book with Hitler's speeches. For Michalski, this would be much more interesting than the 'psychoanalytical babbling in the United States about Hitler's personality'." It remains unclear whether the publishers will be allowed to continue publishing the book. Because of Hitler, not Michalski.


Süddeutsche Zeitung, 08.06.2005

Yesterday the FAZ presented the CDU politician Norbert Lammert as the next possible federal Minister of State for Cultural Affairs. In an interview with Jens Bisky, Lammert today proposes the creation of a real federal ministry of culture. Such a ministry would replace the current arrangement, in which culture is the domain of the states, and would be responsible for foreign cultural policy and bringing the state and national cultural foundations together. In this vein, Lammert asks "whether – independent of the question of who runs it – the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is not a national cultural monument, which should in fact fall under the Foundation for Prussian Culture and therefore belong to the state, along with the Museum Island. Such a constellation would offer an intelligent, sustainable solution. I see with great admiration that the circle of friends and patrons of the Staatsoper are demanding a long overdue renovation of the building, and are furthermore willing to make a significant financial contribution. One could see this as a model for the much bigger project of the Berlin palace, to try a public-private partnership." (The Prussian royal palace is slated to be rebuilt as soon as the city can afford to do so. Here an attempt to raise private funds.)

Clemenys Pornschlegel tries to understand French anti-liberalism, which is by no means limited to the Left, and finds a highly topical quote from the world historical reflections (published in English as "Force and Freedom: Reflections on History") of Jacob Burckhardt, the Swiss historian of the Renaissance and father of cultural history: "People expect everything from the state. In their record of duties which grows day by day, they relegate to the state utterly everything they know or sense that society will not do."


Die Tageszeitung, 08.06.2005

In an interview with Gerrit Bartels, Hungarian Nobel Prize winning author Imre Kertesz defends the film version of his novel "Fateless", and explains why he does not see himself in the young lead character: "When I look at the film now, it doesn't have a lot to do with me and my memories. A writer has an entirely different way of digesting reality than other people. He processes his hard experiences, and by giving them form he is also relieved from the heaviness of reality. For me, the memory of the concentration camp has become a literary memory. By handling my experience in a literary way, I have managed to gain distance from it."


Berliner Zeitung, 08.06.2005

Sebastian Preuss has visited the exhibition "Brücke" und Berlin. 100 Jahre Expressionismus", which opens today in the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Preuss traces the Nietzschean influences that led to the creation of the group. "When architecture student Erich Heckel came into the flat of his fellow student Ernst Ludwig Kirchner for the first time, he read aloud from 'Thus Spake Zarathustra'. The two affluent young men became inseparable friends. Together with Fritz Bleyl and Karl Schmidt-Rotluff, who like them studied architecture at the Technical University in Dresden, they created a secret society which sought a new primitiveness, a holistic return to natural forces, to raw, primitive and 'true' feeling." Preuss paints the lifestyle of the young artists, who were deeply influenced by Van Gogh, Edward Munch, Matisse and the French Fauves: "They worked in the same studio which they turned into a sombre cave, fitted out with exotic objects and sexually permissive images. Above all, however, they worked outdoors, painting young girls from the neighbourhood in unstrained naked poses. When the moral authorities found out what was going on in the reeds of Moritzburg pond, that only spurred them on. For them, free love was part of life and art."

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