The Making and Unmaking of Heroes in German History: from Warriors and a People's Queen to Film Stars and a Football Team.

This module focuses on the hero cult in German history of the 19th and 20th century as a way to understand the prevalent social values at different times in history for different groups within society. In this perspective, heroes are seen and studied:

Studying the making and unmaking of heroes in German history will give you a sense of the changes of social ideals, ideologies and mentalities over time.

You will study topics such as ‘the people’s queen’ Königin Luise; the emergence of the ideal of the soldierly man in the 19th century in consequence of nationalism and conscription; national hero cults such as the Bismarck cult; the radicalisation of the soldierly role starting towards the end of the 19th century and culminating in the Third Reich; industrialists such as Krupp and Rathenau, film stars such as Marlene Dietrich and Leni Riefenstahl, and finally sports heroes.