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Oberammergau in the Nazi EraThe Fate of a Catholic Village in Hitler's Germany$
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Helena Waddy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195371277

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371277.001.0001

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(p.39) 2 Voters
Oberammergau in the Nazi Era

Helena Waddy (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter Two introduces Oberammergau’s increasingly complex political culture by describing the Corpus Christi procession in which youths carry banners, costumed girls display a Marian statue, and priests surround the Host under a baldachin. Political Catholics dominated elections before 1914, although a Liberal challenger paved the way for Catholics to join non-denominational parties. Defeat in World War I brought Oberammergau both a Soviet-style council that competed briefly with traditional political structures and armed revolutionaries in Bavaria’s capital whom local paramilitary forces helped to defeat. Villagers became passionately anti-Communist, often laced with anti-Semitism because of the Munich uprising’s Jewish leaders. In the 1920s, political Catholicism (BVP) declined as the electorate fragmented, although voters participated extensively in local politics, including Passion Play management. The Nazis performed surprisingly well in the 1930 election, which took place during the Passion season; newcomers, including temporary workers, helped them succeed in Oberammergau.

Keywords:   Corpus Christi, Catholics, liberal, anti-Communist, anti-Semitism, paramilitary, Nazis, Oberammergau, Passion Play, 1930 election

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