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The Golden Age of Weimar
Transcript of The Golden Age of Weimar
new buildings built during
this period of time
followed a straight-lined,
geometric style. Some
examples of the new
architecture include the
Bauhaus Building (1) by Gropius, Grosses Schauspielhaus (2), and the Einstein Tower (3).
THE GOLDEN AGE
ART AND CULTURE IN WEIMAR GERMANY
The space of time between 1924 and 1929 was known as the golden age of Weimar.
This is because economic and political stability returned and this was mainly due to Gustav Stresemann's policies. He managed to improve Germany politically and economically.
Stresemann managed to fix most of the Weimar Republic's problems. He did this by:
Calling off the passive resistance in the Ruhr.
Reassuring Germans that the democratic system was capable of solving urgent problems.
Ending the hyperinflation crisis and introducing the Rentenmark.
The Rentenmark replaced the worthless mark which encouraged foreign investment in Germany's economy. This eventually led to an increase of factories, industry, infrastructure and employment.
During the golden age of Weimar the German industry became more advanced and German industrialists began to use the most successful techniques of American production. This resulted in a faster economic growth than in France or Britain. By 1927 German industry seemed to have recovered well, despite losing some major industrial areas under the Treaty of Versailles. Wages for industrial workers increased and for many people there was a higher standard of living.
The period of German Cinema between 1918 and 1933 is referred to as “Expressionist Cinema,” and it could be described as an early height of film experimentation. This is due to the technology and special effects that used new elements of film to show the mise en scene, acting/gesture methods, lighting, editing, and shooting methods. These new elements were paired with unusual narratives that left the audiences grasp on the characters and their motivation not entirely clear.
Under the Dawes plan, reparation payments were spread over a longer period, and 800 million marks in loans from the USA were put into German industry. Some of the money went into German businesses, replacing the old equipment with the newest technology, whilst some of the other money went into public works like swimming pools, sports stadiums and apartment blocks. These projects created many jobs for the German people.
In Germany there was a cultural revival because in the Kaiser's time there had been strict censorship, whereas the Weimar constitution allowed people to freely express their ideas. Writers and poets thrived, especially in Berlin. The artists in Weimar changed there style of painting and tried to represent the reality of everyday life, even if that reality was sometimes shocking. George Grosz created powerful paintings which criticized the politicians of the Weimar period. Grosz also did other paintings that showed how many soldier had been traumatized by their experiences in the war.
The famous Bauhaus style of design and architecture developed and artists such as Walter Gropius, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky taught at the Bauhaus design college in Dessau. The Bauhaus architects rejected traditional styles so that they could create more exciting buildings, they made designs for anything from shops and houses to factories and galleries. 15,000 people visited the first Bauhaus exhibition.
The 1920's were a golden age for German cinema, producing one of its best international stars, Marlene Dietrich, and also one of its most popular directors, Fritz Lang.
WAS IT REALLY A 'GOLDEN AGE'?
It was a 'Golden Age' because:
The Government became more stable and between 1924 and 1928 there were far fewer elections caused by disagreements being held. People were also no longer supporting extreme parties like the Nazi's and Communists.
The Economy was doing well because of Stresemann's changes and the Dawes plan. Production went into its highest level in decades. Plus, Germany became a leading exporter in the world for manufacturing goods.
Culture was a big achievement of the Weimar's Golden Age as artist came up with new styles of painting, cinema boomed, and movies like "Metropolis" became world classics as well as the architecture which was admired by many people during the era.
However, it was not a 'Golden Age' because:
In 1925 Paul von Hindenburg was elected president, he was openly against democracy and the republic. His election was seen as people voting for the old system of the Kaiser. Also, in the Weimar Republic it was still impossible for a party to get a majority, so all governments were coalitions, which often didn't work.
Even though the German economy was doing well it was all based on American loans which could have been recalled at any time. Unemployment was a huge problem and there was a large gap between rich and poor. Farming and agriculture did very badly.
Due to the change in German culture Berlin became seen as a very sleazy and sex-obsessed city.