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Author Dow, James R., author

Title Heinrich Himmler's Cultural Commissions : programmed plunder in Italy and Yugoslavia / James R. Dow
Published Madison, Wisconsin : The University of Wisconsin Press, [2018]


Description 1 online resource (x, 267 pages) : illustrations
Contents Intro; Contents; List of Illustrations; Introduction; 1. October 21, 1939; 2. The Intellectual Atmosphere; 3. Who's Who?; 4. Much Ado about Nothing?; 5. Gottschee; 6. Then and Now; Acknowledgments; Appendix 1: Call for Collecting Folktales; Appendix 2: Gisela Schmitz-Kahlmann's Summary of Activities (German); Appendix 3: Josef Ringler's Summary of Activities of Gertrud Pesendorfer (German); Appendix 4: Handbills Calling for Optanten to Stay Home in Italy; Appendix 5: Mussolini Letter Supporting Alcuni documenti; Notes; Bibliography; Index
Summary German scholars were early pioneers in folklore and historical linguistics. As the Nazis rose to power, however, these disciplines were distorted into racist pseudoscience. Under the direction of Heinrich Himmler's SS-Ahnenerbe (Ancestral Inheritance), folklore became a tool for constructing a unified German realm and a manufactured lineage from ancient and "pure" Germanic and Nordic blood. Drawing on extensive research in public and private archives and interviews with family members of fieldworkers, James R. Dow uncovers both details of the SS cultural commissions' work and the continuing vestiges of the materials they assembled. Teams of poorly qualified and ideologically motivated collectors were sent to South Tyrol in Italy and Gottschee in Slovenian Yugoslavia, from which ethnically German communities were to be resettled in the German Reich. Although a mass of information on narratives, songs and dances, beliefs, customs, local clothing and architecture, and folk speech was collected, the research was deeply tainted and skewed by racialist and nationalist preconditions. Dow sharply critiques the continued use of these ersatz archives
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 251-261) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Kulturkommission Ahnenerbe.
National socialism and folklore.
Folklorists -- Germany -- History -- 20th century
Germans -- Italy -- Trentino-Alto Adige -- Folklore
Germans -- Slovenia -- Kočevje -- Folklore
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Folklore & Mythology.
Germans -- Folklore.
National socialism and folklore.
Trentino-Alto Adige (Italy) -- History -- 20th century
Kočevje -- History -- 20th century
Italy -- Trentino-Alto Adige.
Slovenia -- Kočevje.
Genre/Form Folklore.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780299316532