Images and politics of the body in the National Socialist era

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Vorstellungen und Koerperpolitik im Nationalsozialismus
Author:Alkemeyer, Thomas
Published in:Sport science review
Published:4 (1995), 1 , S. 60-90, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Print resource
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Identification number:PU199505101261

Author's abstract

The politics of the National Socialist state were largely politics of the body. They were aimed at appropriating people's senses and bodies in order to be able to form their inner selves, theri "characters". The intention was to produce functioning subjects of power. At the same time, the body served as an impressive and easily understandable medium of ideology: images of perfect, athletic bodies were publicly presented in fascism as (racial) models, representing a new Germany, restored to health and setting itself distinctly apart from a past "marked by illness" and apart from other groups and nations. The contribution examines the interrelationship of politics concerned with the body, "political physical education" (Politische Leibeserziehung), and the iconography of the perfect body in fascist public life. The real significance to the National Socialist state's inclination to present itself in images of the perfect, powerful body is discussed, as well as the close connection between the cult of the strong body and the destruction, in reality, of the weak body and the body of the "other" in the Third Reich. Verf.-Referat