Honor Court entrance to Reichschancellery designed by Albert Speer, with Arno Breker sculptures Die Partei and Die Wehrmacht.
Guests Wilhelm Kriessmann, who saw action on the Eastern Front in WWII, and Rodney Martin who specializes in the culture of the Third Reich, discuss with Carolyn the very high achievements in these two branches of the arts, so much of which was wantonly destroyed by the Allies during and after the war.
Leipzig Symphony performance conducted by Wagnerian C. Muck, attended by Adolf Hitler
Wilhelm Kriessmann and Rodney Martin join Carolyn for a discussion of the thriving and varied art and music life of National Socialist Germany. Dr. Kriessmann was in Austria during the 1930s, and stationed in Berlin during the wartime years of the 1940s, able to experience much of the culture that was available. Topics include:
The attributes of Modernism following WWI;
German art, degenerate art and foreign art;
The styles and themes of National Socialist-approved painting;
Music was everywhere, ranging from opera to German jazz to folk songs;
Wagner, Bruckner, Strauss, Pfitzner and Furtwaengler;
Art was highly supported and continued to be right through the war years;
Carolyn talks with Dr. Kriessmann about his book When I was a Schoolteacher’s Boy, a chronicle of his youth in Feistritz im Rosental (Austria) during the turbulent years between the World Wars. Topics include:
Carolyn talks with World War II Wehrmacht veteran and Luftwaffe bomber pilot Wilhelm Kriessmann about the political climate in Austria during his youth in the 1920s and ’30s; then his wartime and post-war experiences. Kriessmann was incarcerated in the British concentration camp for political prisoners at Wolfsberg for nine months after his return to his family home in Sept. 1945; then for a further eight months at Camp Wetzelsdorf before being released in 1947 and continuing his education.
About Wilhelm Kriessmann
Listeners can learn more about Wilhelm Kriessmann’s WWII experiences here and here.
Dr. Kriessmann became Austrian Trade Commissioner for the U.S. west coast in 1953, which led to his eventual move to California. In more recent years he turned to writing, publishing many, many articles and features in German-American periodicals. He has always been an avid sportsman, with an especial fondness for the ski slopes, long biking trips and tennis.