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Peace and War. City Talks at the Museum 2012

The event took place in the summer semester 2012 and in the winter semester 2012/13.


  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Sonne, Chair of History and Theory of Architecture (Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering)
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Pöttker, Institute for Journalism (Faculty of Cultural Studies)
  • PD Dr. Karl Lauschke, Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University Bochum
  • Wolfgang E. Weick, Dr. Gisela Framke, Museum of Art and Cultural History Dortmund


Roundtable event at the Museum of Art and Cultural History of the City of Dortmund

Chair: Heike Mund (Journalism, TU Dortmund)

Thu, 26 April 2012, 7.00 pm Prof. Dr. Edzard Obendiek

From the dice cup to Swing. Memories of the fascination of wartime aesthetics and its fading.

The City Talks in the museum begin this year with a contemporary witness. He experienced the end of the Second World War as an air force helper and remembers how he and many other young people were seduced by dashing uniforms into voluntary allegiance and enthusiasm for fighting. Today, uniforms have almost disappeared from the street scene in Germany. How did this come about?

Dr Edzard Obendiek, born in 1927, is Professor Emeritus of English Studies at the Technical University of Dortmund.

Thu, 24 May 2012, 7.00 pm Prof. Dr Horst Pöttker

Can Propaganda Shorten Just Wars? The Soviet Russian "Front Illustrated" 1941-1945

Not only Nazi Germany, but also the powers it attacked used propaganda during the Second World War. One of the most modern propaganda media was the Soviet Russian "Front Illustrierte", about a hundred issues of which were dropped over the areas occupied by German troops behind the front line between June 1941 (Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union) and May 1945 (the total surrender of the "Third Reich") in order to persuade soldiers of the Wehrmacht to defect. This visual material will be used to explore the question of whether propaganda - "persuasive public communication" - can help countries under attack to end wars prematurely.

Prof. Dr. Horst Pöttker, born in 1944, holds the Chair for Theory and Practice of Journalism at TU Dortmund University, where he is responsible for the focus "Social and Historical Foundations of Journalism". He has long cooperated with colleagues at the Russian universities of Rostov a. D. and St. Petersburg.

Thu, 31 May 2012, 7:00 pm AOR Dr. Rolf Seubert, M.A.

The flag is more than death. Youth film in the Third Reich as a medium of war enthusiasm and willingness to sacrifice

Film was the leading medium of the time in the first half of the 20th century. Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels used it as a means of educating the forming "national community". Under this objective, it was the "state-politically particularly valuable" feature films under his supervision that were released for young people. From 1936 onwards, pre-military training, practice in marching and soldiering became the main purpose. This tendency intensified with the beginning of the war. Preparation for the demands of the Wehrmacht takes place in the various formations of the Hitler Youth, the Navy-HJ, the Motor-HJ, the Air Force-HJ. The dramaturgy now aims at arousing enthusiasm for war. At the centre is the soldierly leader personality, personified in the Knight's Cross bearer, who is to be emulated. The induced enthusiasm for war is followed, from 1943 onwards, by the youth's plunge into the brutal everyday life of war - first on the "home front", and finally on the real front.

Dr. Rolf Seubert, born in 1941, worked as an educationalist at the University of Siegen in the field of vocational and business education. His research areas include youth education under the Nazi regime.

Thu, 14 June 2012, 7.00 pm Prof. Dr. Michael Stegemann

Noise of battle and "Dona nobis pacem". War and peace in music

It's like in the movies or in the theatre, where even the villains are often the more interesting roles: War seems to have more to offer musically than peace. From Clément Janequin's late medieval programme chanson "La Guerre" to the "Battaglien" of the Renaissance, Beethoven's "Wellington's Victory" or Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" to Sergei Prokofiev's Tolstoy opera "War and Peace" or Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem", composers have repeatedly (and always differently) set the noise of battle to music, while the sound world of peace remains rather unspecific. The lecture will show, however, that "musical peace" does exist.

Dr. Michael Stegemann holds the chair for historical musicology at the TU Dortmund University. He studied in Münster and Paris and works as a composer, director, (music) writer and radio author.

Thu, 28 June 2012, 7:00 pm Dr. Lutz Budraß

Economy and war. Why did the Second World War break out on 1 September 1939?

The start of the Second World War on 1 September 1939 was, according to widespread thinking, imposed, by the economic dynamics that the rearmament itself had created. The suspension of the repayment of Germany's foreign debt, the trade war with the United States, the migration caused by rearmament and the threat of a shortage of orders due to the shortage of raw materials had created a situation by 1939 in which the National Socialist regime needed a war to avert a serious social and economic crisis. It was a "flight to the front". The lecture will shed light on the causes of this crisis and make it understandable how rearmament affected the German economy.

Dr. Lutz Budraß is a research associate at the Chair of Economic and Business History at the Ruhr University in Bochum, working on topics including: Aircraft construction, aviation and armament in the 20th century.