Reflective Essay About Art

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Dr. Burkhard Henke, a professor of German studies at Davidson College, once said something along the lines of this: “Why do we like art? Why do we read books and go to operas and look at paintings? Because, somehow, we think that it enables us to be a better person.” These words were never truer than in 1940’s Germany. What most people know about the Nazi era are the horrors: the concentration camps, the secret police, the propaganda fueled by racism and hate. What most people don’t know is that the Nazi era was also a time of art. Hitler emphasized the value of classics; as a result, every art form reflected this. Music sounded nationalistic, art expressed Nazi values such as the importance of family or the purity of nature, and buildings focused on magnitude and geometric aesthetics. The Nazi’s paradoxical relationship between art and cruelty intrigues me, but this is not what engages me the most. What engages me is the disillusioned, fragmented art of the Weimar Republic that led to a Nazi culture that was completely the opposite. For the summer going into my senior year, I took a three-week course about Hitler’s rise to power and I fell in love with something different instead. I have always been an artist; this is something about me that has never changed. I think that words are beautiful, that they have the capacity to portray emotions and thoughts that can’t be communicated in any other way. I have written 37 stories, some that are five pages long and some that are

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