Volker Böhnigk: Abbild und Typus

Volker Böhnigk, University Bonn:

The lecture attempts to substantiate the proposition that the National Socialist understanding of aesthetics was determined first and foremost by the concept of human type that had its roots in genetics and the biology of race. It maintains that the descriptions applied to National Socialist aesthetics hitherto – that it is regressive, restorative, reactionary or quite simply naive – are of secondary importance. (From the point of view of its ideological proponents the legitimisation of National Socialist aesthetics is thoroughly modern.)
To what extent a determination of this kind is appropriate to distinguish the National Socialist approach from other anthropologically based, totalitarian concepts of aesthetics, such as those to be found in Italian fascism and Stalinism, will be discussed in conclusion in a number of theses.