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9660 - Cultural Activities and National Identity among the Nazi Germans in Buenos Aires

Most studies dealing with the German community in Argentina in the 1930’s and 1940’s agree that most of it supported the Third Reich or at least did not oppose it, and remark that once national socialism came into power in Germany, it began a process of “Gleichschaltung” through the embassy including all cultural, social, sporting and religious organizations of the community. However, this “aligning” process of the German community did not include all the German-speaking people residing in Argentina at the time. A few remained untouched by it, and some were explicit in their opposition.  

Das Andere Deutschland (DAD) was established in Buenos Aires by mid-1937. Its members were German political exiles and Austrian opposers to National Socialism, all belonging to a wide range of left wing organizations, and German-speaking Argentine residents of diverse political, social and religious tendencies. DAD members appealed to the conscience and responsibility of “ good willing Germans ” to defend the culture and values of the “ true ” Germany. They organized and directed a wide range of activities, most importantly directed towards providing economic help and work both to Nazi Germany refugees and to German Argentine residents which had been sacked from diverse community associations aligned with the Third Reich. They became noticeable through their intense denounce of the atrocities committed by Nazism in Europe, and of the actions of diverse Nazi groups in Argentina.  

In addition to political and solidary activities, within DAD cultural action was also of great importance. This paper focuses on the cultural activities deployed by this group and points out that, their political content, thematic diversity and artistic quality aside, cultural manifestations developed around DAD as a whole gave shape to a social common ground to Nazi regime exiles and German speakers who had previously resided in Argentina, and thus contributed to the formation of an identity that was both anti-Nazi and German.    

Palavras-chaves: German exile, antinazis, Argentina, culture

Autores: Friedmann, Germán (UBA-UNSAM-CONICET, Argentina / Argentinien)

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