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Monsters in Germany: Pre-WW II silent film

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1 Monsters in Germany: Pre-WW II silent film
Just how did the Nazi party convince normal Germans that the Jewish population was a threat? A process called “othering” Part of a discipline called Cultural Studies

2 Cultural Studies Concerns itself with the meaning and practices of everyday life—the ways people do things and the meanings attached to those things marriage practices performances gatherings political structure Draws from the fields of literary theory, anthropology, psychology, sociology, film/video studies to look at specific cultural phenomena race social class gender identity

3 Here be Monsters Othering
A way of defining and securing one’s own identity by stigmatizing another… an other Different from self Depict other people as monsters—to isolate, to hate… to kill Pre-WW II German silent film used exaggerated Jewish characteristics (caricatures) to depict their monsters. Same process of othering used today.

4 Here be Monsters Germany pre-WW II country was devasted
hungry for a leader/strength looking for structure WW I ended 1918 Along came Hitler Nazi party formed 1920 “Shake off your Jewish leaders… The Russian government is 9/10 Jewish… Bolshevism is a Jewish swindle.” Violence ensued – Nazi propaganda offered direction for anger, resentment, need to retaliation. Nazi propaganda was built on an already strong base of early German film monsters.

5 Here be Monsters The Golem 1920 Paul Wegener & Carl Boese

6 Here be Monsters Nosferatu 1922 F.W. Murnau

7 Here be Monsters What we know: monsters are evil, we must kill them
Equation: Jews are different than we are… Jews are monsters I.e., we must kill them Easy for Hitler Easy for everyone Classic way “othering” works Otherwise, how do people commit this kind of atrocity?

8 Here be Monsters Today, othering functions as it always has: to create monsters throughout the world. Muslims Arabs Jews American Each group (can) create monsters of the others. Effect: “we must kill the monster(s)….” i.e., each culture/country believes it must rid the world of all the monsters = whomever their othering has designated as dangerous.

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