In early 1919, the Weimar Republic did away with national censorship, causing a freer creative climate and also a spike in films considered to be pornographic. The following spring, the Reich Film Act was instated in an attempt to curtail the new wave of “smutty” pictures, an act that would later enable the ruling Nazi party to officially censor ideology in German cinema
In a Film Kurier interview dated 12th July, 1920, David Oliver, head of Decla Bioscop discusses his company’s attempts at self-censorship.
“…..Not much warranted the slogan “Kunst des Dritten Reiches” in this first Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung. The subject matter that is usually associated with this period in German history – steely eyed, blond warriors, Hitler and his henchmen in uniform, muscular farmers and breast-feeding mothers – increasingly took over the inventory of subsequent exhibitions. Nazi propaganda art emerged as reputable artists, such as the sculptor Kolbe for instance, changed their style to suit Nazi ideology and as mediocre artists, but fanatic followers of the regime, got promoted […]
A few artists are testimony to the ongoing process of a developing National Socialist style and the abandonment by artists of their aesthetic principles. The sculptor Georg Kolbe was represented with his earlier work in the “Degenerate Art” show. As he altered his style to conform to the Third Reich’s aesthetic demands, his idealized men and women in heroic poses gained entrance into the annual shows at the Haus der Kunst.”
A wedding party is under way. Can you recognize the guests? David Oliver is sitting at the right hand side of the dinner table in the background. The little boy standing on its far left is his son, Herbert. His half English mother, Edith is sitting just in front of him.