Paul Schultze-Naumburg

Paul Schultze-Naumburg (10 June 1869 – 19 May 1949) was a German architect, painter, publicist and politician. He joined the NSDAP in 1930 and was an important advocate of Nazi architecture and a leading critic of modern architecture.

Paul Schultze-Naumburg
Paul Schultze-Naumburg, 1919


Schultze-Naumburg was born in Almrich (now part of Naumburg) in the current federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, and by 1900 was a well-known painter and architect, first emerging as a more-conservative member of the group of artists who established the Jugendstil and the Arts and Crafts workshops in Munich. His series of books the Kulturarbeiten ("Works of Culture"), nine volumes published 1900–1917, were extremely popular and established him as a major tastemaker for the German middle class. By the First World War, he had become a major proponent of traditional architecture, an originator of the "Circa 1800" movement, and an important voice in both the Deutscher Werkbund and the nationalist German architecture and landscape preservation movement. A well-known example of his architecture from this time is the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam, built by order of Wilhelm II for his son, crown prince Wilhelm in 1914–1917.

On 5 January 1922 Paul Schultze-Naumburg married in Saaleck Margarete Karolina Berta Dörr (1896–1960). They were childless and divorced nastily on 7 February 1934. A couple of weeks later Margarete married the Reich Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Frick.[1]

In response to the defeat of the First World War and of his own marginalization in the interwar architectural discourse, Schultze-Naumburg's articles and books began to take on a far harsher and less progressive character, condemning modern art and architecture in racial terms, thereby providing much of the basis for Adolf Hitler's theories in which classical Greece and the Middle Ages were the true sources of Aryan art.[2] Schultze-Naumburg wrote such books as Die Kunst der Deutschen. Ihr Wesen und ihre Werke ("The Art of the Germans. Its Nature and Its Works") and Kunst und Rasse ("Art and Race"), the latter published in 1928, in which he argued that only "racially pure" artists could produce a healthy art which upheld timeless ideals of classical beauty, while racially "mixed" modern artists showed their inferiority and corruption by producing distorted artwork. As evidence of this, he reproduced examples of modern art next to photographs of people with deformities and diseases, graphically reinforcing the idea of modernism as a sickness.[3]

Along with Alexander von Senger, Eugen Honig, Konrad Nonn, and German Bestelmeyer, Schultze-Naumburg was a member of a National Socialist para-governmental propaganda unit called the Kampfbund deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure (KDAI).[4]

In September 1944, he was named as one of the first rank of artists and writers important to Nazi culture in the Gottbegnadeten list.

Schultze-Naumburg died in Jena in 1949. His ashes were placed in the mausoleum designed by him in 1909 for the poet Ernst von Wildenbruch in Weimar Historical Cemetery.

See also


  • Jose-Manuel GARCÍA ROIG, "Tres arquitectos del periodo guillermino. Hermman Muthesius. Paul Schultze-Naumburg. Paul Mebes", Valladolid (Spain), 2006, ISBN 978-84-8448-370-0, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain



  1. ^ „Familie Paul Schultze-Naumburg“
  2. ^ Adam, pp. 29–32
  3. ^ Grosshans, p. 9
  4. ^ Diefendorf, Jeffry M. (2000). In the Wake of War : The Reconstruction of German Cities after World War II. New York: Oxford University Press Inc. p. 51. ISBN 0-19-507219-7.


  • Adam, Peter. Art of the Third Reich (1992). New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. ISBN 0-8109-1912-5
  • Barron, Stephanie, ed. 'Degenerate Art:' The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany (1991). New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. ISBN 0-8109-3653-4
  • Grosshans, Henry. Hitler and the Artists (1983). New York: Holmes & Meyer. ISBN 0-8419-0746-3

External links

Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches

The Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches (English: Eagle Shield of the German Reich) was an honorary award (German: Ehrengabe) granted by the German president for scholarly or artistic achievements. It was introduced during the Weimar Republic, under President Friedrich Ebert and continued under Nazi Germany. It was a metal disc with a German imperial eagle on a pedestal. It was a high and infrequently awarded honor, received by around 70 people in total.

Alexander von Senger

Alexander von Senger (7 May 1880 in Geneva – 30 June 1968 in Einsiedeln), Swiss architect and architectural theorist.

Hugues Rodolphe Alexandre von Senger was born in Geneva. After his humanistic and technical Matura at the Collège Calvin, he studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologie (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) in Zürich, where he obtained 1904 his diploma as architect. He designed the main station of the Swiss Railwais in St. Gallen (1911–13) and the main building (Altbau) of the Swiss Reassurance Company (Swiss Re) in Zürich (1911–14).

In 1931, Senger, along with other Nazi architects such as Eugen Honig, Konrad Nonn, German Bestelmeyer, and especially Paul Schultze-Naumburg were deputized in the National Socialist fight against modern architecture, in a para-governmental propaganda unit called the Kampfbund deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure (KDAI). Through the pages of the official Nazi newspaper, the People's Observer (Völkischer Beobachter), these architects actively attacked the modern style in openly racist and political tones. They placed much of the blame on members of the architectural group "The Ring," calling Walter Gropius an "elegant salon-bolshevist", and calling the Bauhaus "the cathedral of Marxism".

These political connections helped Senger into a professorship at the Technical Hochschule in Munich when increasing political pressure forced out architect Robert Vorhoelzer, who had made the cultural error of modernism in several Bavarian post offices.

Alfred Fischer (architect)

Alfred Fischer (29 August 1881 – 10 April 1950) was a German architect.

Born in Stuttgart, Alfred Fischer studied from 1900 to 1904 at the Stuttgart Technical University of Architecture under Professor Theodor Fischer (no relation). In 1904 he deferred the 1st State examination and from 1905/1906 worked in Berlin as an assistant for the urban design consultant Ludwig Hoffmann and from 1906 to 1908 with Paul Schultze-Naumburg. In 1909 he became a teacher at the College of Arts and Crafts in Düsseldorf (Kunstgewerbeschule Düsseldorf) under Wilhelm Kreis. From 1911 to 1933 he led the Essen Arts and Crafts School (later called the Folkwangschule). In 1921 he was awarded a professorship. In 1929 he was awarded an Engineering doctorate from the Hannover Technical University.

Fischer was a member of the German Architects Federation (Bund Deutscher Architekten - BDA) and an executive member of the Deutscher Werkbund (DWB). Apart from his teaching activity he worked freelance as an architect, for some years in partnership with the architect Richard Speidel.

After the change of power in 1933 to the Nazis, as an advocate of modern architecture (see Neue Sachlichkeit, modernism, Bauhaus) and modern training concepts, he experienced increasing difficulties with the school. He was given time off and soon after moved into premature retirement. Fischer left Essen and moved to Murnau.

The Ruhrgebiet has Alfred Fischer to thank for numerous buildings, important examples of regional architectural history and also a legacy of acknowledged contributions to industrial culture.

The title 'Alfred Fischer-Essen' has been given to him to distinguish him from the architect Alfred Fischer who was active at the same time in Karlsruhe. He died at Murnau am Staffelsee in 1950.

Anna Muthesius

Anna Muthesius born Anna Trippenbach (8 December 1870 - 30 March 1961) was a German fashion designer, concert singer, and author from Aschersleben.

Bauhaus University, Weimar

The Bauhaus-Universität Weimar is a university located in Weimar, Germany, and specializes in the artistic and technical fields. Established in 1860 as the Great Ducal Saxon Art School, it gained collegiate status on 3 June 1910. In 1919 the school was renamed Bauhaus by its new director Walter Gropius and it received its present name in 1996. Approximately 4,000 students are enrolled at the university today.

In 2010 the Bauhaus-Universität commemorated its 150th anniversary as an art school and college in Weimar.

In 2019 the university will be celebrating the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus, together with partners all over the world.

Bavarian Zugspitze Railway

The Bavarian Zugspitze Railway (German: Bayerische Zugspitzbahn) is one of four rack railways still working in Germany, along with the Wendelstein Railway, the Drachenfels Railway and the Stuttgart Rack Railway. The metre gauge line runs from Garmisch in the centre of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to the Zugspitzplatt, approximately 300 metres below Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany. The line culminates at 2,650 metres above sea level, which makes it the highest railway in Germany and the third highest in Europe. It is also the railway in Europe with the biggest height difference: 1,945 metres, the lower half being open-air and the upper half being underground.

The line is operated by the Bayerischen Zugspitzbahn Bergbahn AG (BZB), whose majority owner is the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Municipal Works. In 2007 the Zugspitze Railway was nominated for a Historic landmarks of civil engineering in Germany award.

The Zugspitze is accessible via the Seilbahn Zugspitze from Eibsee Lake or Tyrolean Zugspitze Cable Car.


Cecilienhof Palace (German: Schloss Cecilienhof) is a palace in Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany built from 1914 to 1917 in the layout of an English Tudor manor house. Cecilienhof was the last palace built by the House of Hohenzollern that ruled the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire until the end of World War I. It is famous for having been the location of the Potsdam Conference in 1945, in which the leaders of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States made important decisions affecting the shape of post World War II Europe and Asia. Cecilienhof has been part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

Ester Claesson

Ester Laura Matilda Claesson (7 June 1884 – 12 November 1931) was a Swedish landscaping pioneer and is considered the first female landscape architect in Sweden.

Eugen Hönig

Eugen Hönig (9 March 1873, Kaiserslautern, Kingdom of Bavaria – 24 June 1945) was one of Adolf Hitler's architects.

In 1931 Hönig, along with other German architects such as Alexander von Senger, Konrad Nonn, German Bestelmeyer and especially Paul Schultze-Naumburg were deputized in the National Socialist fight against modern architecture, in a para-governmental propaganda unit called the Kampfbund deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure (KDAI). Through the pages of Völkischer Beobachter these architects actively attacked the modern style in openly racist and political tones, placing much of the blame on members of the architectural group The Ring, calling Walter Gropius an "elegant salon-bolshevist", and calling the Bauhaus "the cathedral of Marxism".

Expert Committee on Questions of Population and Racial Policy

The Expert Committee on Questions of Population and Racial Policy (German: Sachverständigen-Beirat für Bevölkerungsfragen und Rassenpolitik) was a Nazi Germany committee formed on 2 June 1933 that planned Nazi racial policy. On July 14, 1933, the committee's recommendations were made law as the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, or the "Sterilization Law".The committee was organized by Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, and brought together many important Nazi figures on racial theory, including Ernst Rudin, Alfred Ploetz, Arthur Gutt, Heinrich Himmler, Fritz Thyssen, Fritz Lenz, Friedrich Burgdorfer, Walther Darre, Hans F. K. Günther, Charlotte von Hadeln, Bodo Spiethoff, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, Gerhard Wagner, and Baldur von Schirach.

German Bestelmeyer

German Bestelmeyer (8 June 1874 – 30 June 1942) was a German architect, university lecturer, and proponent of Nazi architecture. Most of his work was in South Germany.

Gottbegnadeten list

The Gottbegnadeten-Liste ("God-gifted list" or "Important Artist Exempt List") was a 36-page list of artists considered crucial to Nazi culture. The list was assembled in September 1944 by Joseph Goebbels, the head of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, and Germany's supreme leader Adolf Hitler.


Heimatschutz is a German word which literally translated means, "homeland protection." The Heimatschutz movement arose in the late 19th century in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, with a focus on nature and landscape conservation as well as the care of historic townscapes, cultural heritage and traditions, folklore, and regional identity.

Kazdanga Palace

Kazdanga Palace is located in the village Kazdanga (Polish and German Katzdangen), Kazdanga parish, Aizpute municipality, Latvia. The first manor house was made out of wood and the new palace was built in 1800-1804 in the late classical style, designed according to the project by the German architect J. G. Berlitz. Kazdanga established the first Latvian fish pond, now in operation for a number of important agricultural schools.

Konrad Nonn

Konrad Nonn was a German engineer and editor, member of the Nazi party, and a prominent critic of modernist architecture in Germany between World War I and World War II.

In 1931 Konrad Nonn, along with German architects such as Alexander von Senger, Eugen Honig, German Bestelmeyer and especially Paul Schultze-Naumburg, were deputized in the National Socialist fight against modern architecture, in a para-governmental propaganda unit called the Kampfbund deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure (KDAI). Through the pages of Völkischer Beobachter and other journals, these architects actively attacked the modern style in openly racist and political tones, placing much of the blame on members of the architectural group The Ring, calling Walter Gropius an "elegant salon-bolshevist", and calling the Bauhaus "the cathedral of Marxism".

Nazi architecture

Nazi architecture is the architecture promoted by the Third Reich from 1933 until its fall in 1945. It is characterized by three forms: a stripped neoclassicism (typified by the designs of Albert Speer); a vernacular style that drew inspiration from traditional rural architecture, especially alpine; and a utilitarian style followed for major infrastructure projects and industrial or military complexes. Nazi ideology took a pluralist attitude to architecture; however, Adolf Hitler himself believed that form should follow function and wrote against "stupid imitations of the past".While similar to Classicism, the official Nazi style is distinguished by the impression it leaves on viewers. Architectural style was used by the Nazis to deliver and enforce their ideology. Formal elements like flat roofs, horizontal extension, uniformity, and the lack of decor created "an impression of simplicity, uniformity, monumentality, solidity and eternity," which is how the Nazi Party wanted to appear.The construction of new buildings served other purposes beyond reaffirming Nazi ideology. In Flossenbürg and elsewhere, the SS built forced-labor camps where prisoners of the Third Reich were made to mine stone and make bricks, much of which went directly to Albert Speer for use in his rebuilding of Berlin and other projects in Germany. These new buildings were also built by forced-laborers. Working conditions were very hard and many laborers died. This process of mining and construction allowed Nazis to fulfill political and economical goals simultaneously while creating buildings that fulfilled ideological expression goals.The crowning achievement of this movement was to be Welthauptstadt Germania, the projected renewal of the German capital Berlin following the Nazis' victory in World War II. Speer, who oversaw the project, produced most of the plans for the new city. Only a small portion of the "World Capital" was ever built between 1937 and 1943. The plan's core features included the creation of a great neoclassical city based on an East-West axis with the Berlin victory column at its centre. Major Nazi buildings like the Reichstag or the Große Halle (never built) would adjoin wide boulevards. A great number of historic buildings in the city were demolished in the planned construction zones. However, with defeat of the Third Reich, the work was never started.

New Objectivity (architecture)

The New Objectivity (a translation of the German Neue Sachlichkeit, sometimes also translated as New Sobriety) is a name often given to the Modern architecture that emerged in Europe, primarily German-speaking Europe, in the 1920s and 30s. It is also frequently called Neues Bauen (New Building). The New Objectivity remodeled many German cities in this period.

Nordic Classicism

Nordic Classicism was a style of architecture that briefly blossomed in the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) between 1910 and 1930.

Until a resurgence of interest for the period during the 1980s (marked by several scholarly studies and public exhibitions), Nordic Classicism was regarded as a mere interlude between two far more well-known architectural movements, National Romanticism, or Jugendstil (often seen as equivalent or parallel to Art Nouveau), and Functionalism (aka Modernism).

Wilhelm Frick

Wilhelm Frick (12 March 1877 – 16 October 1946) was a prominent German politician of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), who served as Reich Minister of the Interior in the Hitler Cabinet from 1933 to 1943 and as the last governor of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. After World War II, he was tried and convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials and executed by hanging.


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