Paul Schultze-Naumburg
Paul Schultze-Naumburg was a Nazi architect
Nazi architecture
Nazi architecture was an architectural plan which played a role in the Nazi party's plans to create a cultural and spiritual rebirth in Germany as part of the Third Reich....

 and one of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

's most vocal political critics of modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

. Along with Alexander von Senger
Alexander von Senger
Alexander von Senger, Swiss architect and architectural theorist.Hugues Rodolphe Alexandre von Senger was born in Geneva...

, Eugen Honig
Eugen Honig
Eugen Honig was one of Adolf Hitler's architects.In 1931 Honig, 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...

, Konrad Nonn
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....

, and German Bestelmeyer
German Bestelmeyer
German Bestelmeyer was a German architect, university lecturer, and proponent of Nazi architecture.-Life:...

, Schultze-Naumburg was a member of a National Socialist para-governmental propaganda unit called the Kampfbund deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure (KDAI).


Schultze-Naumburg was born in Almrich (now part of Naumburg
Naumburg is a town in Germany, on the Saale River. It is in the district Burgenlandkreis in the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt. It is approximately southwest of Leipzig, south-southwest of Halle, and north-northeast of Jena....

) in Prussian Saxony
Province of Saxony
The Province of Saxony was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and later the Free State of Prussia from 1816 until 1945. Its capital was Magdeburg.-History:The province was created in 1816 out of the following territories:...

, 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 Deutsche Werkbund and the nationalist German architecture and landscape preservation movement. A well-known example of his architecture from this time is the Cecilienhof
Schloss Cecilienhof is a palace in the northern part of the Neuer Garten park in Potsdam, Germany, close to the Jungfernsee lake. Since 1990 it is part of the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site....

 Palace in Potsdam, built for crown prince Wilhelm, 1914-1917.

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
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

's theories in which classical Greece
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

 and the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 were the true sources of Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

 art.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
Platonic idealism
Platonic idealism usually refers to Plato's theory of forms or doctrine of ideas,Some commentators hold Plato argued that truth is an abstraction...

 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
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 as a sickness.

In September 1944, he was named as one of the first rank of artists and writers important to Nazi culture in the Gottbegnadeten list
Gottbegnadeten list
The Gottbegnadeten 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 dictator Adolf Hitler.The list exempted the designated artists from...


Schultze-Naumburg died in Jena
Jena is a university city in central Germany on the river Saale. It has a population of approx. 103,000 and is the second largest city in the federal state of Thuringia, after Erfurt.-History:Jena was first mentioned in an 1182 document...

 in 1949.


  • 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
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