The Reich Chamber of Culture (1937)

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The Reich Chamber of Culture (1937)

Post by David Thompson » 08 Nov 2004 09:05

Document 2529-PS, Handbook of the Reich Chamber of Culture 1937, in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, vol. V, US Government Printing Office, District of Columbia: 1946, pp. 262-267
PARTIAL TRANSLATION OF DOCUMENT 2529—PS

MANUAL OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF CULTURE FOR 1937

[Handbuch der Reichskulturkammner 1937]

Editor: Hans Hinkel, revised by Gerichtsassessor Guenther Gentz, 1937
Publisher: Deutscher Verlagfuer Politik and Wirtsonafb Gmbh. Berlin W 50

[Page 41]

THE NATURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF CREATIVE ART

The Reich Chamber of Creative Art was established as a professional body of public law on grounds of the law of the Reich Chamber of Culture. Membership in the Chamber is a prerequisite, for the members of the following professions, in practicing their professions:

Architects, interior decorators, horticulturists, sculptors, painters, engravers, commercial engravers, designers, fine art crafts-men, copyists, restorers of works of art, dealers in works of art and antiques, fine art publishers, dealers in prints.

Members of the Chamber must also be: all artists' associations, art associations, associations of fine art craftsmen, institutes for creative art and their faculties.

The first problem confronting the Chamber following its establishment was to locate and organize all professionals required to join the Chamber and to unite them in an organization in conformity with the new principles. In the course of these measures, all former associations which were backed by some interests were discontinued without exception, and each member obligated to become a member of the Reich Chamber without fail.

[Page 92]

THE NATURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF MUSIC

The Reich Chamber of Music has been called upon to keep alive the fundamental thought of professional progress by organizing, with due consideration for the character and activities of the musician, the cultural, economical and legal conditions of the music

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profession or by protecting the existing conditions in such manner that music will be preserved for the German people as one of its most precious possessions.

[Pages 136—137]

THE NATURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF LITERATURE

The Reich Chamber of Literature comprises as members all persons who are connected with German literature, whether they are the authors of the original literature or just commercial dealers. It keeps the profession free from undesirable elements and the book market free from un-German books. The Chamber safe-guards ethical standards of the profession and economically and socially sound foundations of the work. The primary aim, however, is that the author again becomes national in character, and that literature is no longer solely a prerogative of a privileged class of people but a possession of the entire nation.

It is the function of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (Department VIII), to exert political influence on German literature and especially to influence the policy of libraries. For the solution of this problem it makes use of the Office of Reich Literature established in the Ministry. The Office of Reich Literature is headed by Edgar Diehl, Berlin W 8, Mohrenstrasse 65, tel. 1126 46. Its function which is one that is deliberately avoided by the Chamber, is the critical evaluation and the promotion of literature which is recognized to be valuable. (Similar to the Reich Chamber of Literature, the Reich Chambers of Theatres, of Motion Pictures, and of Creative Arts have conferred the function of critical evaluation upon special authorities created within the Ministry, i.e. the Reich Dramaturgist, the Reich Dramaturgist for Motion Pictures, and the Reich Commissioner for Artistic Creations respectively.)

[Page 210]

THE NATURE AND THE FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF THE PRESS

The exertion of political influence on the press is not as such a function of the Reich Chamber of the Press, but comes chiefly under the jurisdiction of the Reich Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda (Department IV). The general requirements for editors are guaranteed by the law for editors and by the establishment of the Reich Union of the German Press as a body of public law, which is in this regard directly responsible to the Ministry.

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The Reich Chamber of the Press is in its administrative structure the leading institution incorporating the professional unions and associations. The chief burden of cultural, economic, legal and social supervision lies with the professional unions and associations, which, together with their sub-divisions, are in immediate personal contact with each individual member. The associations give to the Reich Chamber of the Press further support by preparing the formulation of laws and by providing for the enforcement of issued decrees within their districts. In this respect, the Reich Chamber of the Press distinguishes itself from the other individual chambers of the Reich Chamber of Culture, for in the case of the latter, the greater part of the work is done by the individual chambers, while the professional associations are more or less only executive agencies.

[Page 2731

THE NATURE AND THE FUNCTIONS OF REICH CHAMBER OF MOTION PICTURES

Therefore, the national socialistic State had to intervene at once in this field. It had to lift the motion pictures out of the sphere of influence of literalistic economic thinking, give them a sound economic foundation, and assign to them political and cultural missions to be fulfilled within the national socialistic State. In order to be able to meet the requirements demanded from it in the new Germany, the motion picture industry was converted to take the form of a professional structure.

[Page 274]

THE NATURE AND THE FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF MOTION PICTURES

This incorporating into a professional organization and its state management does not signify the establishment of a complete state control, but on the contrary, is to raise private initiative which is however governed by a conscious feeling of national socialistic responsibility.

The great significance of the motion picture in pointing the way to our people towards the creation of a national will, requires of all those who are active in the motion picture industry to become bearers and conveyors of culture. It is one of the most important duties of the Reich Chamber of Motion Pictures to see to it that the entire motion picture profession will become cognizant of this mission. * * *

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2529-PS [Pages 304-306]

THE NATURE AND THE FUNCTIONS OF THE REICH CHAMBER OF BROADCASTING

The work performed by the artists and by the artists' assistants, exclusively in connection with broadcasting, gradually acquired its own characteristics, and was necessarily pushed in a definite direction, determined by the character and natural peculiarities of broadcasting. It became typical of and peculiar to. broadcasting. In the light of these aspects, the "Professional Association for Broadcasting" was created within the Reich Chamber of Broadcasting. It combines all these artistic talents in one unit, guides them and advises and aids them in various social problems. * * *

Another aspect, however, now steps conspicuously into the foreground in the field of broadcasting: campaigning for broadcast reception ! Until the time of the seizure of power by national socialism, Germany had considerably fallen behind several great civilized nations in the number of its radio listeners. Causes for this backwardness undoubtedly were : inefficiency, lack of ability and above all lack of resourcefulness and aggressiveness on the part of the broadcasting authorities of the time of the Weimar republic [systemzeit]. National Socialism effected through changes in that respect, and in due recognition of the necessities, initiated a strong propaganda which appealed to the people. Only the Reich Chamber of Broadcasting could be trusted to carry out a mission of such tremendous importance to the development of German broadcasting, since the scope of activities of the Reich Broadcasting Company was concerned only and without exception with solving all problems which had to do with the actual broadcasting and directly related problems respectively. Therefore, Department II—Propaganda—of the Reich Chamber of Broadcasting is responsible today for the procurement of this large audience of listeners. With the support of the managers of the broadcasting agencies of the Party, ten to twelve campaign rallies which are almost always overcrowded are conducted daily in the Reich territory, whereby the services of motion pictures for the campaign are utilized. An entire series of broadcasting exhibitions and radio shows, including the annually returning "Great German Broadcasting Exhibition", complete the picture. The success of this work finds its eloquent expression in the figures on listeners, which has more than doubled itself since 1933. Thus, with regard to density of radio listeners, Germany ranks today foremost among the European nations.

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Under these circumstances, it was inevitable that the Chamber had to become a factor in various aspects of the broadcasting economy, so that the goal of total dispersion of broadcasting among the German people could be as closely approached as possible. Department III—Economy and Technical Science—concerns itself with an immense number of problems arising in this connection. We mention the most important one : To plan the construction of apparatus. The following results to be mentioned here, among others : the creation of the "People's Receiver" [Volksempfaenger], which because of its technical features and price level, started its triumphant career which has no comparison, in spite of all kinds of obstacles, with a total sale of 2½ million pieces, thus contributing considerably to the attainment of the high number of listeners of today. The following should also be mentioned as essential:

The Labor Front Receiver [Arbeitsfrontempfaenger] DAF. 1011 (Factory Broadcasting System) ;
Planning and propagation of community broadcasting [Gemeinderundfunk] ;
Promotion of portable battery instruments for broadcast reception in summer by means of a popular model : "German Olympia Chest" [Deutsche Olympia Koffer].
Popular model—Short Wave—Overseas-Receiver.

The "Work Committee of the Reich Chamber of Broadcasting and of the Radio Industry", founded some time ago, serves the purpose to materialize smoothly the substance of national socialistic ideas in this field. It is composed of the entire radio industry as well as the wholesale and retail trade in radios. (Chairman of this work committee is the president of the Reich Chamber of Broadcasting). It is its duty to solve all those problems of broadcasting which are of a political-economic nature and have been passed on to it by the Reich Chamber of Broadcasting.

Of some importance is finally also the assistance given to the radio listener, who, under all kinds of circumstances, seeks information and decision from the Chamber and who does not have another agency to turn to.

In conclusion, the very great variance of entirely new problems of a legal nature may be mentioned, which have developed since the beginning of broadcasting and which need a clarification and a uniform decision. It is a gratifying and extensive

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function of the Chamber to act in this field by preparing and directing the concepts of a future broadcasting law which will be dictated by national-political considerations.

[Page 342]

THE FOSTERING OF CULTURE OF COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITY SOCIETIES

The following is the total picture : the Reich sets up the principles guiding the policy on culture, and maintains model institutions. It is the communities which foster the local cultivation of arts, complemented and supported in many respects by the Landkreise and provincial associations. The administration and the patrons of art must work closely together. The administration gives authority and capital, the art patron gives aid by observing and criticizing art. The artist gives and takes. All is dominated, however, by the close alliance of art and people which is convocated and stimulated by the cultural societies.

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