The reception of Friedrich Hebbel in Germany in the era of National Socialism
The following thesis examines the impact on the interpretation of Hebbel's personality and works of National Socialist ideology and propaganda. It comprises six chapters. The first five of these explore different areas of ideological influence and provide evidence of the nature and extent of this influence. The sixth chapter looks at the reception of Hebbel in the National Socialist theatres and at the growth and development of the Hebbel-Society between 1933 and 1945. The aim of the thesis is primarily to break down the National Socialist view of Hebbel into its constituent parts and to categorise these. An acquaintance with Hebbel's works and beliefs reveals that the National Socialist view of him is largely inaccurate and distortive. The thesis has to explain why the National Socialists developed a false view of Hebbel. And it has to point as frequently as necessary to the differences between Hebbel as he was in reality and Hebbel as the National Socialists saw him. The thesis does not present National Socialist interpretations as having totally revolutionised Hebbel-reception. In two chapters in particular, the second and the third, it will show how interpretations which were to become characteristic of National Socialist Hebbel-reception were being propagated long before 1933. Nevertheless the National Socialists standardised the picture of Hebbel as a Nordic dramatist who was committed to heroic ideals, anti-Semitic, politically conservative and anti-liberal. The ideal aim of the thesis is to "purify" Hebbel's character, works and beliefs of their association with National Socialist values. At the same time it will be shown how easily and at times almost imperceptibly a writer's views can be altered to make them consistent with those of the interpreter.