Quotes from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

Modris Eksteins ·  396 pages

Rating: (2K votes)

“Early on, to arouse a sense of belonging, of “community,” the party began to emphasize the importance, above everything else, of ritual and propaganda—the flags, the insignia, the uniforms, the pageantry, the standard greetings, the declarations of loyalty, and the endless repetition of slogans. Nazism was a cult. The appeal was strictly to emotion.”
― Modris Eksteins, quote from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

“The beautiful lie is, however, also the essence of kitsch. Kitsch is a form of make-believe, a form of deception. It is an alternative to a daily reality that would otherwise be a spiritual vacuum. . . . Kitsch replaces ethics with aesthetics. . . . Nazism was the ultimate expression of kitsch, of its mind-numbing, death-dealing portent. Nazism, like kitsch, masqueraded as life; the reality of both was death. The Third Reich was the creation of “kitsch men,” people who confused the relationship between life and art, reality and myth, and who regarded the goal of existence as mere affirmation, devoid of criticism, difficulty, insight.”
― Modris Eksteins, quote from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

“Myth took the place of objectively conceived history. Myth, Michel Tournier has said, is “history everyone already knows.”2 As such, history becomes nothing but a tool of the present, with no integrity whatsoever of its own.”
― Modris Eksteins, quote from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

“It was Hitler’s style, his oratorical talents and his remarkable ability to transmit emotions and feelings in his speeches, that took him to the leadership of the ragtag party of misfits and adventurers that he joined in Munich in 1919 and that called itself the German Workers’ Party. The ideas he and the party spouted were all tattered; they were nothing but jargon inherited from the paranoid Austro-German border politics of the pre-1914 era, which saw “Germanness” threatened with inundation by “subject nationalities.” Even the combination “national socialist,” which Hitler added to the party’s name when he became leader in 1920, was borrowed from the same era and same sources. It was not the substance—there was no substance to the frantic neurotic tirades—that allowed the party to survive and later to grow. It was the style and the mood. It was above all the theater, the vulgar “art,” the grand guignol productions of the beer halls and the street.”
― Modris Eksteins, quote from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

“Nazi kitsch may bear a blood relationship to the highbrow religion of art proclaimed by many moderns.”
― Modris Eksteins, quote from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age

About the author

Modris Eksteins
Born place: in Riga, Latvia
Born date December 13, 1943
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“You pay attention just to words, not how they're said. Briar's like you - he talks meaner than he is, and people fall for it. You should know better.”
― Tamora Pierce, quote from Briar's Book

“Things change,” Daja said softly. “We change with them. We sail before the wind. We become adults. As adults, we keep our minds and our secrets hidden, and our wounds. It’s safer.”
― Tamora Pierce, quote from The Will of the Empress

“Then, there are the places you would rather not go-a tax collectors' convention, a sewage treatment plant, or maybe the home of someone who keeps spiders as pets and insists on taking them out of their cages and making you hold them.”
― Obert Skye, quote from Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret

“She judged people smartly and quickly, and often found herself in a huff.”
― Alice Hoffman, quote from Second Nature

“You know how much I used to like Plato. Today I realize he lied. For the things of this world are not a reflection of the ideal, but a product of human sweat, blood and hard labour. It is we who built the pyramids, hewed the marble for the temples and the rocks for the imperial roads, we who pulled the oars in the galleys and dragged wooden ploughs, while they wrote dialogues and dramas, rationalized their intrigues by appeals in the name of the Fatherland, made wars over boundaries and democracies. We were filthy and died real deaths. They were 'aesthetic' and carried on subtle debates.
There can be no beauty if it is paid for by human injustice, nor truth that passes over injustice in silence, nor moral virtue that condones it.”
― Tadeusz Borowski, quote from This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

Interesting books

Momma and the Meaning of Life: Tales of Psychotherapy
Momma and the Meanin...
by Irvin D. Yalom
Red Oleanders
Red Oleanders
by Rabindranath Tagore
The Doors of Perception
The Doors of Percept...
by Aldous Huxley
by Tui T. Sutherland
In the Light of the Garden
In the Light of the...
by Heather Burch
Time Travelling with a Hamster

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.