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Comrades, Friends and Companions

Utopian Projections and Social Action in German Literature for Young People 1926-1934

Luke Springman

Comrades, Friends and Companions provides the first critical analysis of classic German novels for young people of the late Weimar Republic. The author reveals how purportedly realistic portrayals of youth in groups projected a «better world» in the years of social and political crisis. These alternative realities in the German adolescent novel of the time evince the pedagogical and ideological struggles that were endemic in Weimar Culture. This study also confronts the early work of Erich Kästner and his restructuring of authority in the Enlightenment pattern of the «model child».
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Carpe Mundum

German Youth Culture of the Weimar Republic

Luke Springman

Carpe Mundum analyzes German Youth culture during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). Each chapter addresses a distinct topic: sex educational materials for young people, the language of the censorship debates, novels dealing with war, historical narration, magazines, popular science and science fiction, radio, and sports. Together the themes illustrate the influence of nineteenth-century holistic thinking in popular culture in early twentieth-century Germany. Public policies and institutions governing German youth culture during the Weimar Republic, including education and social welfare, evince spiritual underpinnings of Naturphilosophie – a movement which promoted the unity of all things. As cultural modernity in Germany enabled young people greater participation in shaping their culture, elements of a modernity of youth emerged as distinct from that of the adult world and its ideologically laden system of values. The essence of youthful modernity in Germany as evident most clearly in popular magazines, radio, and sports rests primarily on spontaneity, ingenuity and camaraderie.