Nazierfindung wiesndirndl

Interview with the folklorist Elsbeth Wallnofer on the modernization of customs by the National Socialists

Year in, year out, in the Munich of the Oktoberfest, happily marauding dirndl wearers with matching lederhosen give one the feeling of a depressed Salzburg. The mental formation and aesthetic degradation behind this fashionable conformity, however, does not come from FC Bayern, but from the Nazis – says Elsbeth Wallnofer, author of Geraubte Tradition: Wie die Nazis unsere Kultur verfalschten (Stolen Tradition: How the Nazis Deceived Our Culture). A discussion of the appropriation of folklore by Nazism and the currently rampant "Customs hysteria".

Ms. Wallnofer, in your book you write that the Nazis certainly invented the Wiesn dirndl. How did it happen? Elsbeth Wallnofer: During the Nazi era, the so-called "Mittelstelle Deutsche Tracht" of the Reich Women’s Organization was established. This was led by Gertraud Pesendorfer from Innsbruck. Pesendorfer, a trained secretary, sought to combine her ideology with her love of traditional costume, and so it came about that she created for the Fuhrer and the Reich what she called the "renewed costume" . First of all, the aim was to de-Catholicize the models of the procession. This meant that they had to be freed from the closed collars and the arms had to be uncovered. At the same time she introduced, I think deliberately discreetly, the eroticized traditional costume and dirndl. She freed the old clothes from their corded, clumsy ballast and created the corded and buttoned waist, a truly maidenly blouse, which is still so sought after today. Elsbeth Wallnofer. Photo: SUV. Nowadays, when you see the Lederhosen and Dirndl brigades marching cheerfully to the Oktoberfest, associations with a society uniformed for the Spab clearly come to mind. Do you see any mental convergences between the highly commercialized booze, brunch, puke and fuck fest on the Theresienwiese and Nazi ideology? Elsbeth Wallnofer: Yes, these convergences do indeed exist. Analytically speaking, the power that begins with settings such as "we are all a people of equal spab and thirst and equal passion". Further one marches self-confidently – at least before the first Mab – strong step and archaic character with the Dirndln at the hand on the Wiesn. The women again emphasize a tight posture, this has to do with the position of the jerk through the tight bodice.

"Roughly German, pro-pagan idea "

What other objects or rituals did the Nazis get their hands on?? Elsbeth Wallnofer: The Nazis knew about the power of ritual. So they appropriated the Christian ritual of baptism, marriage and burial. They called such "celebrations of life". In the center of the room provided for this purpose, the Christian cross was exchanged for a statue of a leader, arranged like an altar, and the SS took the procedere . They exchanged the Christ Child for the invention of a child with lights. This was a child lying in a cradle, just as in the representation of the birth of Christ Jesus. St. Nicholas, who until his culturalization by the Nazis was still the real gift-bringer up to the border of the Protestant German North, became an archaic and pagan figure, a wild St. Nicholas, and the holy three kings were supposed to be Nordic figures of light because they carried a star with them. The Bonfires of St. John, which were burned in honor of St. John on June 24. June, were staged as gigantic solstice celebrations in the manner of Speers – for example in Berlin. In addition, they sought to build up holy men such as Michael or George into heroes capable of bearing arms. In this way, the Nazis cleverly took up the coarse German, pro-pagan idea evoked by the Grimms, who saw in Michael a knightly man in sword and armor. Knights like this make excellent pathetic favors.

Nazi invention wiesndirndl

What strategy did the Nazis pursue with it? Elsbeth Wallnofer: The goal of the crude scientific army was to paganize the entire world and reverse the narrative of what civilization is, programmatically from birth through folk song, customs, dress, food (think of the celebration of communal stew Sunday), the 1.-May celebrations up to the death. Architecture also found its place. When Speer was planning the new Reich Chancellery, he is said to have been so impressed by the Benedictine monastery of Melk on the Danube and its gigantic dome that he took this stitch height as his staff.

"Symbolic gesture of concern"

How did the link on http:.our site.html responded at the time? Elsbeth Wallnofer: The most obvious reaction was the encyclical of Pope Pius XI, written in German. in 1937: "With burning concern – about the situation of the Catholic Church in the German Reich" was this. The fact that it was not written in the usual Latin language for such texts shows that it was no longer just a catechesis for a specialized audience. Everyone in the German country and in the rest of Europe should be able to hear the symbolic gesture of concern. However much one might reproach the Church, there were always also attempts – and here the Church acts like a state, a nation – to negotiate, to correct, to observe, to receive, to antichambrate. In contrast to the church, there were individual Christians who died for their faith or, as happened in Bavaria, threatened the teacher to take her children out of school if she did not hang up the cross again or to give back the mother’s cross. There is evidence of this in the Federal Archives.

"Customs hysteria"

Why does the falsified tradition still have an effect today?? Elsbeth Wallnofer: This probably has to do with the fact that people once believed that customs were apolitical because they arose so directly from the human need for design. Another not insignificant aspect of this continuous handing down has to do with a still persisting principled anti-Catholic, emasculated attitude, and a third aspect is the unresolved scientific history. All together it leads us into this almost aporia of custom hysteria. Without any reference one yodels and boozes et cetera in the Dirndl before itself, celebrates more and more May tree setting up, Solstice celebrations, believes all churches are to be led back on pagan cult places and does not notice that the policy welcomes this new custom behavior, because it a vordergrundige identity of the "mia san mia" stirs up. (Reinhard Jellen)

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