Thing movement

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So-called "Thingplatz" of the National Socialist Ordensburg Vogelsang in the Eifel

The Thing movement was a movement in the early 20th century in some associations ( Quickborn working group ) of the youth movement . Large assemblies, such as annual association meetings , were held under the Germanic term Thing . This should express their turning away from the rejected forms of the Wilhelmine epoch and the return to a supposedly better time of the virtuous ancestors. It was customary to liven up the general assembly with performances of one's own art: costumes , dance , singing , poetry , amateur play .

After the Great Depression in 1929, such major events were to be organized outside of the youth associations, but based on their model. The “Reichsbund der deutschen Freilicht- und Volksschauspiele e. V. ". At the suggestion of the theater scholar Carl Niessen , the name “ Thingspiel ” was chosen for the planned events . The National Socialists appropriated the new media format immediately after they came to power , and the Reichsbund was "brought into line" . More than 400 thing sites were planned, where things games should take place regularly in front of a large audience; around 50 were completed.

But the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda only directed the Reichsbund for about two years, because it quickly became apparent that, despite the enormous effort that was put into the Thing movement, the popularity of the Thingspiele fell far short of the expectations of the Nazi organizers. The lengthy demonstrations were not suitable to develop the mass effectiveness that one had hoped for. But the adverse weather also often thwarted the complex planning. It was foreseeable that the National Socialist leadership would distance itself from the Thing movement as early as 1936 and instead use film and radio as more effective propaganda instruments; see. National Socialist Propaganda .

Well-known thing places


  • Emanuel Gebauer: Fritz Schaller. The architect and his contribution to sacred buildings in the 20th century (= city ​​traces. Monuments in Cologne. Vol. 28). Bachem, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-7616-1355-5 (including dissertation, University of Mainz 1994 under the title: The Thing and the Church Building. Fritz Schaller and Modernism 1933–1974 ), contains chapters on the construction of the Thingstätten at the beginning of National Socialism.
  • Rainer Stommer: The staged national community. The "Thing Movement" in the Third Reich. Jonas, Marburg 1985, ISBN 3-922561-31-4 .

Individual evidence

  1. Relics with a brown past: Thingstätten. In: WDR. May 8, 2020, accessed May 9, 2020 .
  2. State Archives Administration Rhineland-Palatinate: March 24, 1935. Retrieved on May 9, 2020 (German).