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Author Topic: REICHPUNK - Aesthetics of the Third Reich  (Read 11676 times)
Gozdom
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« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2010, 04:48:11 am »

They came frighteningly close to having spaceflight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbervogel

~T

Good lord, man! What if they had succeeded?



Yes! The Nazi UFO-Antarctica-Haunebu-Vril-Nazi Moonbase conspiration theory is one of my favourites. A heap of total bullcrap and still a fascinating tale. Much, much better than the space opera dogmas of the once influential religious/financial company whose name I wont type in, to save BG from their search scripts. Unfortunately, the guy who invented it has since stepped forward and admitted it was a hoax. (look up Ernst Zündel).

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H. MacHinery
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« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2010, 05:06:31 am »

ON the subject of Nazi architectural style, I read online somewhere that one of the driving aesthetics was the way buildings would look as ruins - that's why they favored real stone instead of concrete; it would make a great-looking ruins at the end of the Thousand-Year Reich.



I'm afraid your source was at least partly wrong. They did use concrete and not only for Bunkers, incorporating elements of Bauhaus (which was, by the way, officially suppressed as Jewish architecture). The dominant movement was, however, called Nordic Hellenism for a reason. Like the Communists, totalitarian regimes have a taste for Classicism, perhaps that's how they try to look everlasting, maintain a cultured facade to their brutal nature. Look, we build like the Greeks, that's how cool we are! (Cf. Stalin-Baroque)

On the other hand, they were more or less right. It may have looked good. Here's a rendering of World Capital "Germania", the mega-Athens they intended to build after winning the war:

Germania
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welthauptstadt_Germania


It was only one force, even if it was claimed to be a major one.  I'm sure that the ideal at least drove the design - large, thick walls, lots of columns for the nifty-looking ruins.  Coliseum-like open spaces, lots of arches.....

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« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2010, 06:06:19 am »

They came frighteningly close to having spaceflight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbervogel

~T


Now that was anything but a near usable space shuttle. Daydreaming, the whole concept of skipping along "the barrier of athmosphere", which is not the kind of surface that could bounce a 1000 ton plane. Not to mention reentry and landing. But again, an example of fanatic belief in progress, technology, and big pieces of iron. Techno-romanticism at its best.

There were many fantasies that have eventually become reality. The global strike bomber or the shuttle, space flight, submarine-launched ballistic missiles (another "vaporware" of the Reich, plans of a sub-towed missile container existed) are real now. But it took years or decades, so "frighteningly close" is far from the truth (and into the punk)!


Ah yes, the Sanger orbital bomber..... Actually, considering that the V-2 rockets themselves were IRBMs, it is likely that Nazi Germany DID achieve the distinction of putting the first man-made object into space... As a matter of fact, the initial projects in the US space program, a series of sub-orbital "sounding rockets" with instrumentation and cameras were launched using captured V-2's, and the rocket that put the first American Satellite into orbit and the first American into space was the Redstone Rocket, basically an over-sized V-2 (of course they were designed by the same guy, so yeah....)

Personally I despise the Nazis, but they did come up with some spiffy designs (the uniforms were probably the sharpest looking ones of the war, thus proving the one rule of Murphy's Laws of Combat: "The side with the simplest uniforms will always win.")...
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Gozdom
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2010, 06:57:26 am »

Those fantastic uniforms were designed by HUGO BOSS. Very cool indeed.

Yes, the V-2 was the base of all post-war rocketry. The invention actually determines global politics nowadays. It is an epic object, Adam's apple. Thomas Pynchon has written a widely acclaimed postmodern novel all about the Zeusian notion of the V-2, haven't read it yet, I'm a practical person for postmodern novels.
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2010, 07:12:57 am »

Now, now Mr. Takayama, the "Sukhomlinov Effect" only applies to Flag Officers (Generals, Admirals, Marshals, etc.) and then only to working uniforms. Even U.S. Generals can get pretty fruity in full dress.
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« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2010, 07:34:20 am »

This is definitely in the Dieselpunk category.

Also, be mindful of, er, reactions. You don't want to be mistaken in public as a Neo-Nazi or Nazi fetishist, the latter of which this thread is already showing signs of.
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Gozdom
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« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2010, 07:48:51 am »

This is definitely in the Dieselpunk category.

Also, be mindful of, er, reactions. You don't want to be mistaken in public as a Neo-Nazi or Nazi fetishist, the latter of which this thread is already showing signs of.

What's a Nazi fetishist? I spend my spare time building lamps and other props in steampunk fashion. To be successful in this, I have absorbed lots of information on Victorian aesthetics, brass working, etching, woodworking, patina formulae, and have inspected a vast amount of photographs depicting old steam locomotives, centuries-old furniture and architecture, and collected a huge set of Photoshop shapes, both gears and ornaments. Am I a XIX. centure British imperialist, a Victoria fetishist or proponent of African conquest? Hell no. I'm interested in steampunk, that's all. Same applies when you admit that some of the Nazi achievements are cool. In a punk way, they are. Or call it poetry, that's what they called it lately, Gotterdammerung.

OK, I get the point, and I am familiar with the dogmatic perception of history. Mind you, I live in Eastern Europe where it was taught in schools for half a century: Nazis were bad guys, mistaken in every single question. Meanwhile, Communistswere always right. Then came the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and I became suspicious of those extremely simple narratives. Sure I know those people who ambush me when I mention that BMW is a fine brand of automobiles: are you a Nazi, so fond of BMW? Did you know that they made jet engines for swastika-bearing Nazi airplanes? Yeah I did. So what? I'm talking about cars, not politics. Yes, I know these people but I strive to ignore them.
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« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2010, 08:30:26 am »

Albert Speer had a plan for redesigning Berlin. It was heavy on monumental architecture, but not very practical.


The centerpiece was to be the Volkshalle, the big domed building. It resembled the Pantheon in Rome, but bigger, with a capacity of 150,000 people.  It was buildable, but heating, ventilation, and air conditioning would have been a major problem.

Speer's trademark was vertical elements with unusually high height to width ratios. His Reich Chancellery was famous for its tall, narrow doors. The exterior doors were 17 feet high, and the doors to Hitler's office (replicated in many WWII movies) were 15 feet high. And, of course, the famous banners and searchlights at the Nurnberg rally. (I once saw that design replicated, presumably by accident, at Beverly Center in LA, as a backdrop for Santa Claus.)

Speer used square columns extensively on facades. That also shows up in American federal buildings of the period; the Pentagon also has massive square columns. 

So that's some of the aesthetic. Today it looks like something from a low-budget video game, though.
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Gozdom
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« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2010, 08:35:39 am »

According to later calcualtions, the Volkshalle, when filled to capacity, would have produced rain. The moisture of human bodies would have formed clouds, which would condense at the vast height of the cupola. Kind of a blood contract of common sweat.
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« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2010, 10:29:00 am »



See, a piston engine is a fairly simple thing. A plane driven by propellers may be beautiful and cool, but it doesn't hide its workings: it has visible moving parts. Look how people in the Tactile forum decorate everything with brass gears, often without function. That's because gears, especially when they actually do something, make you feel you understand them. Now, when the jet Jagers took off, they were like the first 'horseless carriages", propelled by an unseen force. Still, they were quite awkward contructions compared to present-day warplanes, with all the rivets, wooden frames, glued canvas and the like. They look as if a semi-primitive tribe got hold of these engines from above and tried to contain and use their power. (Cf. the Ark of the Covenant...)



That is probably as good a definition of the difference between the Steampunk aesthetic and the Dieselpunk aesthetic as you could wish for.
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« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2010, 12:22:06 pm »

According to later calcualtions, the Volkshalle, when filled to capacity, would have produced rain. The moisture of human bodies would have formed clouds, which would condense at the vast height of the cupola. Kind of a blood contract of common sweat.

Eeeeeew! *Rushes to wash-off*

Definitely Dieselpunk, as I regard this to be an off-shoot or at least a parallel of Art Deco.  Both fascism and socialism drew strong parallels in some ways.

In architecture and public art, starting earlier after, say, WWI, with the ideal of the "noble worker" with images of enterprise and progress, (in the Americas, even far away from Germany Russia, e.g. murals by Diego Rivera in Mexico City and New York).  Not limited to the western world, the style and ideology also gripped pre-WWII Japan as well.  I don't think it's related at all to the American 19th. C. public building Romanesque / Greek revival style.

In 20th. C. fashion revivals, the only thing that remotely comes close to that in my part of the world was the American tendency in 1990's "softer" version of Goth fashion to lean somewhat to "Weimar Republic" / "Dark Cabaret" style , which was originally imported in the late 80's from the UK, and often coexisted haphazardly with non-related styles, such as the Vintage 1950's / Rockabilly (very big in Austin in throughout the whole 90's, and  which ironically has hit the UK, oh well...we shall trade). 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think there is some link between this "Totalitarian Art Deco," and what some people are now pegging as "New-Empire" fashion, very loosely related to Cybergoth.
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« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2010, 12:35:04 pm »

I have to say that this thread has definitely remained an intellectual tea shop conversation and I'm impressed given that in other forums it would have turned decidedly ugly.  I will also agree that it has little to relate it with steampunk and more to relate with dieselpunk or warpunk if there is yet a name as such but I like others have a fascination with the art and architecture of the time and the region and the subsequent twists and adaption of the styles that have taken place through art and sub cultures and media over the years from movies to fetishists to reinactors and so on.
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« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2010, 01:12:53 pm »

Sounds like another candidate for the 'Inane Steampunk Sub-Divisions' thread. markf
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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2010, 01:16:17 pm »

The problem is that this is always a touchy subject.  Being in America, we often don't have to walk "on eggshells" as much, but I have a dear German friend, a fellow engineer post-Doc, who definitely shies away, from this subject (or anything related to WWII).  I am an aerospace engineer, and in College I was constantly reminded of the German contributions to aviation.  We studied them as part of course.  One of my professors, Dr. Hans Mark (once Secretary of the Air Force, and once Deputy Administrator of NASA), knew Werner Von Braun personally (Dr. Mark was born in Germany so, if I understand correctly he was a form of "liaison" with Von Braun in some capacity due to common language).  But yes the subject is touchy.  All the more respect to my professors, some of whom (including my mentor) are Jewish.  We have to look past the dark periods of history and move forward, with a better understanding of the world we live in, without letting fear grip us.  Otherwise, that is when the problems begin.

J. "Wilhelm" Dunn
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« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2010, 01:24:26 pm »

Definitively in the dieselpunk category, and indeed quite a few dieselpunks draw at least some  of their inspiration from the Reich. Some are more purist, favouring one side or the other, some mix and match influences pretty irreverently.
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« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2010, 02:06:55 pm »

*shrug* Good design is good design, and you don't have to admire the politics to admit that the equipment works. The current US combat helmet, although made of Kevlar, so closely resembles a stahlhelm that at its introduction the soldiers referred to it as "the Fritz helmet."

~T
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« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2010, 03:37:03 pm »

Speer did get the idea that his buildings should look good as ruins. so that was taken into account in the architecture. Ruinenwerttheori I think they called it. They have also made some insanely large buildings, I believe there´s on near Swinemunde which is about 4 kilometers long. Those big ones to seem to be just big ugly concrete blocks though, nothing like the beauty of the rest.

A lot of the ideas of the Nazis were based on the Romans, who were after all the original fascists. One of the reasons why the architecture ended up looking like it does.

I would be okay with keeping the discussion on this board, the forum on dieselpunks.org is a bit badly designed.
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2010, 05:13:15 pm »

Reich-punk?? I'd have to say, thats some EXTREMELY bad nomenclature there... too open to the wrong interpretation.
However i can completely understand the aesthetic you mean to describe, a sort of militant streamlined dieselpunk look.
Over the years i've incorporated a number of Facist-istic style elements into some outfits (much like Bowie). I've always had a motto regarding this: Say what you want about facists, but you cant deny that they were REAL snappy dressers.
As if to back me up, I know a guy that frequents my local tattoo shop who is a Deputy Sheriff in my county. Hes a former Soviet GRU functionary (he's always very vague about what exactly he did there), and he told me a story about one of the East German (totally ex- naxi) liasons  he worked with in Moscow. Anyway, the German guy would lament to no end about how the Reich were the BEST dressed army in the whole world, ever, and about how the Russians looked like a peasant army in comparison, and the Americans like a pack of businessmen.

I have to say, that is the best validation i could ever have for wearing my Stasi uniform jacket out to the club. Paired with some black skinny- jeans and pointy winklepicker ankle boots. Lookin' sharp...

I've also been really pissed that the Nazi's RUINED both the Iron Cross and the Totenkopf for everyone, forever. Personally, when i see an Iron Cross, i think of Teutonic Knights, and when i see a Totenkopf i think of Hussars...
But i guess nobody else does...
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2010, 07:30:40 pm »

Speaking of totenkopfs, I feel I should post this here:

Mitchell & Webb NazisDQ


Perhaps less because it belongs and more because it´s just so damned funny.

At least it´s a consolation that if Europe´s liberties had been crushed under the boot of fascism, it would have been a Hugo Boss boot of fascism. The best you can say for the soviets is their furhats were nice.
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Gozdom
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« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2010, 07:39:05 pm »

The best you can say for the soviets is their furhats were nice.

And they were US imports/war aid, hence the name "ushanka".
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« Reply #45 on: January 21, 2010, 08:30:52 pm »

Being one of the people with a high likelihood to have died in the Holocaust, I'm not very fond of the Nazis and most of their theories and practices. However, I will recognize that people have a fascination with them and even I find things within the Nazi regime which could be applied positively, whether in the realms of fashion, politics, social theory, etc.

However, this is a very, very Amero-Brit centric view of the Nazis. We risk our European Continental brethren being unable to even sign on to this forum due to the strict Anti-Nazi laws in places like Germany and other nations that suffered under Hitler's genocidal heel. If we wish to have this discussion, which I'm somewhat fine with, better to have it on a separate forum before BrassGoggles is blacklisted.
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« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2010, 01:39:13 am »

However, it would be a great excuse to finally use aluminum Smiley

You can use aluminium in steampunk - it was a valuable metal back in the day Wink

Quote from wikipedia:
Quote
it was once considered a precious metal more valuable than gold. Napoleon III, emperor of France, is reputed to have given a banquet where the most honoured guests were given aluminium utensils, while the other guests had to make do with gold.[15][16] The Washington Monument was completed, with the 100 ounce (2.8 kg) aluminium capstone being put in place on December 6, 1884, in an elaborate dedication ceremony. It was the largest single piece of aluminium cast at the time. At that time, aluminium was as expensive as silver.[17] Aluminium has been produced in commercial quantities for just over 100 years.
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« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2010, 03:55:59 am »

They are the ultimate baddies. They had advanced technology, they dabbled in the occult, their entire movement was based on being superior and, they didn't just conquer people they did inhuman things to people. They were like an ebodiment of a nightmare, yet you would be hard pressed to find anyone that is sympathetic towards them. You can truly say they were evil.

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Hikaro Takayama
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« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2010, 04:18:57 am »

I've also been really pissed that the Nazi's RUINED both the Iron Cross and the Totenkopf for everyone, forever. Personally, when i see an Iron Cross, i think of Teutonic Knights, and when i see a Totenkopf i think of Hussars...
But i guess nobody else does...

Yeah, that kind of cheesed me off too.. them taking my ancestral symbol (my family's actually, since my mom's family is a cadet branch of the Hohenzollerns) and subverting them like that... Thankfully, the Bundeswehr decided to redeem the iron cross by using it as their unit markers (much like the white star for the US)....
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« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2010, 05:50:32 am »

Three steps to reich it up, from a German (who carefully avoids it, despite the temptation; historical reasons and all):
First, grab an East German uniform like that:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Second, find a way to dye it black. It's mostly synthetic.
Third, speak like Herr Flick. http://www.askflick.com/
Herr FlickDQ

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