Reichskulturkammer (National Chamber of Culture)


‘The German institution founded by the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda 1933-45, which supervised and censured all cultural fields. It was divided into 7 Kammern (chambers), including Reichskammer der bildenden Künste [fine arts], Reichsfilmkammer, Reichsmusikkammer, Reichsschriftumskammer and Reichs theaterkammer. All persons creative in these fields had to belong to one of these Kammern.’ (IBD, p. 1305)

‘The focal point of [control] was the Reichskulturkammer (Reichs Chamber of Culture), established in 1933 under the wing of Dr Josef Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda and Popular Enlightenment….

‘Along with the press, radio, theater, motion pictures, music, and literature the arts were organized into a Kunstkammer (Chamber of Art). Not only were there divisions for painting, sculpture, and architecture, but interior decoration, landscape gardening, the arts and crafts, the graphic arts, art and antique dealers, art publishers, and every sort of professional organization were provided for. There was a slot for everybody and everybody had to belong if he wanted to exhibit, buy materials, join a professional group, receive commissions – in short if he wanted to go on making a living. The so-called racially inferior and the politically unreliable were excluded. Some of them were sent the dreaded ‘Arbeitsverbot’, explicit orders to stop working altogether at their art, even in the privacy of their own homes.’ (H. Lehmann-Haupt, Art under a dictatorship, New York: Oxford UP, 1954, p. 68)

See also Robert Brady, ‘The National Chamber of Culture (Reichskulturkammer) (1937)’, Chapter 4 in Brandon Taylor and Wilfried van der Will (eds.), The Nazification of Art, Winchester (UK): Winchester Press, 1990.