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Action Reprocessing – Berlin takes over Riefenstahl estate

Action Reprocessing – Berlin takes over
 Riefenstahl estate

M The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz has experience in contaminated collections. Especially when moving the holdings from the Ethnological Museum to the Humboldt Forum, many objects need not only be checked for pest infestation. Especially the object biographies are explored, as many cultural assets have a colonial origin. Now the foundation gets another highly contaminated collection: the entire estate of Leni Riefenstahl. also read The photographer and filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl began her career as a dancer, but put her sense of pathos since 1932 in the service of the National Socialists. An appearance of Adolf Hitler in the year before his seizure of power had so impressed Riefenstahl that she served the regime as a director. Between 1933 and 1935 she made three propaganda films about the Nazi party rallies. In 1936 Joseph Goebbels hired her for the media preparation of the Olympic Games in Berlin. The film “Olympia” is a montage of the refined overpowering aesthetics of naked athlete bodies and nationally filtered documentary footage of the competitions. In 1939, Riefenstahl moved on with the Wehrmacht to propagandistically accompany the Polish campaign. For the Opera adaptation “Lowland” She recruited Roma and Sinti, who were deported after filming. Nazi Aesthetics: A javelin thrower, as Leni Riefenstahl saw it Source: bpk After the end of the Second World War, Riefenstahl was imprisoned for several weeks and in the following years “denazified” as a “follower” of the Nazi regime. In the Federal Republic she was able to start her second career without sanctions. She photographed the ethnic group of the Nuba in Sudan in exoticism as “people from another planet”, became an underwater photographer and haunted the talk shows. In 2003, Leni Riefenstahl died at the age of 101 years. Now it had to be very fast. The former secretary of Riefenstahl, Gisela Jahn, had taken over the legacy of Riefenstahl’s husband Horst Kettner, who died in 2016: 700 moving boxes containing books, films, and photographs. Comprehensive documents not only from the post-war period, but back to the twenties. The work-up is a commitment With the estate of Leni Riefenstahl, “not only has a pioneering aesthetic work been taken over but also a special responsibility for the critical debate”, said the President of the Foundation Hermann Parzinger. Ludger Derenthal, director of the Museum of Photography, who will take care of the work, explained in an interview with WELT: “The estate belongs in a public collection. We see that as an obligation. “An interdisciplinary research team is to be set up to fulfill this obligation. also read It is good news that the estate was not rejected as a poisoned gift, but accepted as a legacy of a contemporary person. Leni Riefenstahl is undeniably a comprehensive artist of her time, but also one of the most effective helpers of National Socialism. The estate now remains in one hand, does not fall on the buoyant market of Nazi devotional material and can be made available to researchers. Decontamination can not be the goal in any case: Like the architect and Nazi Armaments Minister Albert Speer, who was able to act as a “good Nazi” for decades after the war, Leni Riefenstahl has her fervent supporters. It was figures such as Speer and Riefenstahl who, with their creative will, indirectly helped to promote the Nazi regime and to transfigure its manipulative self-portrayal. The work with the estate – not only in the background, but also with exhibitions – will be an important contribution to the Enlightenment.


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