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«Das junge Deutschland» 1917-1920

Expressionist Theater in Berlin


Stephen Shearier

'Das junge Deutschland' was a late Expressionist literary association, that operated within the parameters of Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater. The association's objective was to bring the emergent aesthetics of Expressionism, especially in the area of drama, to the attention of a wider public. In order to accomplish this objective, DjD employed two means, a theoretical and a praxis-oriented one. The association published a distinguished journal and employed all of the facilities and the best of talents available at the Deutsches Theater to produce twelve new dramatic works. DjD's activities met with certain success. Nevertheless, the association's very accomplishments present, particularly with respect to the rise of Fascism, a number of problems inherent to Expressionist aesthetics. In this study DjD's activities as well as the strengths and weaknesses of Expressionism are examined.
Contents: Political and aesthetic background of DjD - The Activist-Debate - DjD's Antiactivist Aesthetics - Examination of the journal and twelve dramas.