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11 November 2009

Short Novel: Bauhausler, Chapter 8

A story of Japanese woman who experienced Bauhaus art and love romance in Berlin, early 1930's when Nazis came to power.

Please read Introduction first.

30 January, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed as Chancellor of Deutscheland Parliament. On that day, Masako witnessed Storm Troopers marching on the street singing Nazi-anthem "Horst Wessel Lied," carrying swastika banners and then shouted "Sieg Hail, Sieg Hail (Victory for us.)" It was a feaful scene. 

Hitler's inauguration of Chancellorship was very shocking news for Bauhaus school teachers and students, who were preparing for upcoming Carnival event. Marcus took charge in stage interior and other teachers took charge in clothes, dancing, and music for the stage. Not just stage show but exhibition shows were prepared. Students were also involved in planning the Carnival event.

The purpose of the event was to gather donation from attendees and eventually get funding from rich sponsors. This was a great opportunity to appeal to the public how innovative Bauhaus art was. They were desperate because they were on the edge. Now Nazi took control of the country's politics. They hate Bauhaus. Whether they would be diminished or survived was uncertain.

Masako was chosen as one of dancers on the stage. Masako would perform Modern Bauhaus dancing combined with tradtional Japanese dances which she learnt from childhood. The theme of the stage show was "Tolerance." Using students from all over the Europe and the rest of the world, the show would tell how important it was to accept various cultures and values of the world. Bauhaus could be common ground for all the people in the world, they believed.

Germany has become more and more nationalistic day by day. They had to fight against it. The antagonism towards foreigners and Jews was growing. Nazi frequently made anti-Jew announcement on radio speeches. Why they hate Jews, or ordinary people hate Jews? Masako wondered and asked Marcus.

Marcus described how Jews immigrated to Europe, and why they became outcast of the society. Jews were recorded to have migrated from Middle East to the Europe around 10th century. As Christian churches dominated the society, they were treated as outcast because they had different religious faith. Interestingly Christianity was born from sub-division of Judaism in Israel. Jesus Christ was Jew.  

During that time to modern times, their most common business was money lending or financial planner. It was because in Christianity, money was thought to be sinful thing so Christians did not want to handle it. Feudal lords used Jews to handle finance and budget matters. Jews were very good at it. Consequently Jews dominated financial sector of the society. That was why still in modern times most banks were run by Jews. They were ousiders and had different faith and thinking from ordinary citizens. They became easy targets for those who were frustrated. Leaders or politicians used them as scapegoats whenever bad things happen in the society.

Now Jews were thought to be plotting a conspiracy of dominating the world by money. Or dominating the world by communism because Karl Marx, Jewish scholar originated communist theory by writing a book "Das Kapital."

Marcus said he admired Marx's idea however, he did not follow Russian communism because it never matched Marx's idea. Capitalism should be completed before entering into Communist economy. What Russians led by Lenin did was creating commnism ommitting capitalist phase.  Marcus believed communism would prevail after capitalism phase was completed. He and his friends were studying what to do to form ideal commuism.

The economy was in bad shape because Great Depression hit the world. Especially German economy had been in terrrible situation since Versaille treaty demanded the country to pay enormous compensation for the war defeat. Hyper-inflation occurred. Weimar Republic could not make things better. In such turmoil, people wanted to rely on powerful leader like Hitler, who seems to change things better, who was very good at attracting people by delivering powerful slogans.

On third weekend of February, the Carnival event started at Bauhaus school building in Berlin.
Bauhaus products such as furniture including Wassily Chair, lamps, tablewares, and various art objects were displayed with description of how each of them was designed, how it functioned and what the beauty of it was. They were of course, for sale. Visitors were pleased with what they saw and some of them bought the goods.
Meister guide explained to them advantage of Bauhaus concept in modern times. By simplifying the products, the industries could enable mass-production of the goods more efficiently at lower cost.

The hottest event was stage show performed in a theatre set in a gymnasuim by Bauhaus students. Masako was in it. The title of the show was "Tolerance and Modern Life." Students from Germany, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Japan and various other countries gathered.

The curtain rose, what the spectators saw was swastika lined up. As tune of Horst Wessel started the swastika rotated like windmill. It was funny to see. The spectators laughed.

Then the dancers showed up between swastika windmills and suddenly lined up on the stage. They were all women including Masako. They all wore simple white cloth that covered from shoulder to toe. Then they got connected placing arms on shoulders with one another and started line-dance as jazz music started for this. Jumping, kicking, moving back and forth, and side by side, it was kind of humorous dance scene.

Then each dancer did her own cultural dance one after another. Spanish student, Isabell danced flamenco, Polish student Natalia danced polonaise, Turkish student Fatoma danced belly dance. Masako danced Nichibu batterfly dance. All did in white cloth, not in its unique traditional dance custume. Each of them danced with its own dance music but performed in violin, sachs, and piano. It was to describe Bauhaus attracted so many kinds of people from all over the world.

Then suddenly several men in taxiude showed up and carried Bauhaus's most popular chair, Wassily pipe chair. It was designed by the school's first term student, Marcel Breuer. Breuer designed the chair as a present for his teacher, Wassily Kandinsky. It consisted of pipes and leather sheet. It was the first pipe made chair in the world. The sitting plate of the chair was tilted but the backrest was also tilted. So one could sit down relaxed. It was functionally designed.


The women sat down on the chairs which the men brought and then started to dance by kicking, clapping hands, bringing their feet up, crossing legs. Then they all stood and turned around. The men set up the table and tablewares such as folks, plates, tea pots, cups. They were all Bauhaus design products, which were metal and simplified form. Women gathered with men at the table and pretended to have meals and drink tea. After that act, each man and woman made a pair and pretended to sleep on a bed lined up behind the table. It was like daily life simulation by Bauhaus products.

Then all of them danced on bed, and jumped from the bed to the floor. They danced what might be called "Bauhaus modern dance" on the stage floor. It looked like pantomime, ballet, bellydance, Nichibu, or waltz. Danced with very unique music blending of all sorts of janre such as classical, opera, jazz or anything else. Some of dancers started to dance with a bar, a ball and a fan. Masako used a fan to perform more accurate but more vivid version of Nichibu batterfly. The spectators were amazed with the show. They were never bored with this innovative show.

The climax was singing of German anthem by all performers, but only 3rd verse, which Bauhausler believe should represent tolerance of Germany.      

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
(Unity and justice and freedom)
Für das deutsche Vaterland!
(For the German fatherland!)
Danach lasst uns alle streben
(For these let us all strive)
Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
(Brotherly with heart and hand!)
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
(Unity and justice and freedom)
Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
(Are the pledge of fortune;)
|: Blüh' im Glanze dieses Glückes,
(|: Flourish in this fortune's blessing,)
Blühe, deutsches Vaterland. :|
(Flourish, German fatherland. :|)

When the show finished, all the spectators stood up and clapped their hands. It was standing ovation. Bauhausler were convinced that they would survive and even continue to strive! 

On 28 February 1933, the Parliament building was burned in an arson attack. President Hindenburg declared national emergency for the defense of the nation. It was reported that the arson was done by a communist.

In March Nazi Party drafted Full Power Law that concentrated all the authorities of the state on one government, which would be Nazis. The law was passed by two thirds of majority. It was because some of opponent members were arrested before the passage of the law. Hitler officially became dictator of Deutschland.

To be continued to Chapter 9.

01:01 Posted in My novel | Permalink | Comments (1)


That was something to read! Waiting for continuation.

Posted by: Alex Bystrica | 13 November 2009

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