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Théorie critique de la propagande

 | 
Pierre-François Noppen
, 
Gérard Raulet

A cacophony of critical voices?

Excavating the palimpsest of Siegfried Kracauer’s 1937–1938 study on fascist propaganda*

Hans J. Lind

Texte intégral

  • * This article is part of a larger project on Kracauer’s exile writings, which was graciously funded (...)

1On April 20, 1937, Siegfried Kracauer wrote to Max Horkheimer:

  • 1 Max Horkheimer, “Egoismus und Freiheitsbewegung,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1 (...)
  • 2 “Führercharakter” is hard to adequately translate. Literally: “leader-character,” understood as the (...)
  • 3 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).

“Thank you for your kind words of April 8. I would have written to you spontaneously within the upcoming days in order to congratulate you on your piece ‘Egoism and Freedom Movement’,1 which I have just finished reading for my work. Your departure from advanced bourgeois revolutions, your description of the continuous authoritarian character,2 your deduction of the structure of the prevalent moral from the structure of society—all these are discoveries; not to speak of those many excellent expressions, that, all of a sudden, like a plummet, measure the depth of your conception. Such as your remarks on nowadays’ masses or on that what is called culture. Really, I was genuinely delighted by this meaningful and important treatise, and it is certain that I will refer to it not infrequently.”3

  • 4 Though “Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens” was the title of the first installment (...)
  • 5 In my essay, I will conveniently refer to “1937” as the date pertaining to the study. The exact dat (...)
  • 6 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 7 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 8 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 9 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 10 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 11 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 12 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 13 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 14 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)
  • 15 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 201 (...)

2Correspondingly, Kracauer’s manuscript of his 19374 assignment on fascist propaganda (“The Totalitarian Propaganda: A Political Tractate”), which was presumably completed in April 1938,5 reads like a laudation on Horkheimer, with set phrases as: “according to Horkheimer’s brilliant observation,”6 “Horkheimer legitimately emphasizes,”7 “Horkheimer deduced very correctly,”8 “Horkheimer truly remarks,”9 or “Horkheimer glossed in an illuminating manner.”10 Where Kracauer does not praise Horkheimer, he nevertheless either follows his lead or uses him as authority: “as Horkheimer has proven,”11 “as Horkheimer also concludes,”12 “also Horkheimer,”13 “Horkheimer repeatedly recurs,”14 and “as Horkheimer argues” are some of the phrases used.15

  • 16 I will refer to the latter as “Zeitschrift” throughout this essay.
  • 17 Heinrich Regius, Dämmerung. Notizen aus Deutschland, Zürich, Oprecht & Helbling, 1934.
  • 18 Max Horkheimer (ed.), Studien über Autorität und Familie. Forschungsberichte aus dem Institut für S (...)
  • 19 Kracauer numbers this text by Horkheimer, and subsequently refers to it throughout the manuscript, (...)

3From a merely quantitative perspective, Horkheimer’s importance for Kracauer’s study can also easily be demonstrated. Amongst the materials in Kracauer’s estate pertaining to the 1937 study on propaganda, 65 pages can be found on Horkheimer alone. These pages are exclusively devoted to excerpting three works of Horkheimer, with the aim to include them into the piece to be written: first, “Egoism and Freedom Movement. On the Anthropology of the Bourgeois Era,” an essay published in 1936 in the Institute’s Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung,16 second, Dawn. Notes from Germany,17 a book Horkheimer had published in 1934 under the pseudonym “Heinrich Regius,” and third, Horkheimer’s 1936 Introduction (“Allgemeiner Teil”) to the volume Studies on Authority and Family: Research Reports from the Institute of Social Research.18 The Horkheimer excerpts, in fact, have a special status amongst the materials Kracauer collected for his 1937 study: Horkheimer’s “Egoism and The Freedom Movement” is the first text in Kracauer’s collected excerpts,19 and Horkheimer also is, in general, the author who has been excerpted the most in this collection.

  • 20 Jörg Später, Siegfried Kracauer. Eine Biographie, Berlin, Suhrkamp, 2016, Chapter 24. I have in gen (...)
  • 21 Max Horkheimer, Anfänge der bürgerlichen Geschichtsphilosophie, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 1930. That t (...)
  • 22 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, January 23, 1931 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 23 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, December 1, 1930 (Kracauer Estate). In his letter from November 24, (...)
  • 24 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, January 20, 1931 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)

4Horkheimer’s importance for Kracauer’s study might come as a surprise, considering the manifest and recurring tensions in the relationship of the two scholars between 1930 and 1936, which were the years prior to Kracauer’s 1937 study, and the limited interest Kracauer had paid to Horkheimer’s work during his time at the Frankfurter Zeitung (FZ). A relevant episode in this context seems to be a disagreement in 1930–1931, pertaining to a book of his Horkheimer had sent Kracauer to be reviewed. In his most recent Kracauer biography, Später has incorrectly identified this book as Horkheimer’s Dawn,20 it was however Horkheimer’s 1930 publication Beginnings of the Bourgeois Philosophy of History21 which led to a dispute. According to Kracauer, he had immediately declined to personally review the piece, justifying his decision with his current workload.22 Instead of securing a review by Adorno, as Horkheimer had alternatively suggested,23 Kracauer, however, had passed along the book, resulting in a review never to appear. He consequently was reprimanded by Adorno for this unacceptable omission, which unnecessarily put a strain on the relationship to Horkheimer.24

  • 25 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, January 21, 1933 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 26 The “Neue Rundschau,” Letter Kracauer to Adorno, 21 January 1933 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Bri (...)

5The review incident is symptomatic for certain general tensions in the liaison between Kracauer and Horkheimer, though Kracauer repeatedly claimed that Horkheimer’s accusations were unfounded. In a 1933 letter to Adorno,25 Kracauer emphasizes that, after the mess up at the FZ he was allegedly not even responsible for, he at least tried to secure Horkheimer a review at a different newspaper.26 In the same letter, Kracauer however uses the opportunity to scold Horkheimer: “The resentment is founded on unsubstantiated premises, there is nothing to be taken amiss […] people like Horkheimer should be too adult and experienced for sulking without reason. The dialectical behaviour seems to be applied only to objects that have nothing to do with someone personally.”

  • 27 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, October 24, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)

6The animosity still seems to persist up to the year prior to Kracauer’s 1937 study. In a 1936 letter, Kracauer utters that after the crude rejections he had to bear from the Institute, the last thing he would do was to reach out to Horkheimer. The letter emphatically continues: “Never ever do I knock again where I have been thrown out three or four times, or rather was treated unworthily.”27 Kracauer had already uttered these accusations in a letter to Gertrud und Richard Krautheimer, dating from May 16, 1936. In this letter, he comments on Horkheimer’s position at the Institute:

  • 28 Letter Kracauer to Gertrud and Richard Krautheimer, May 16, 1936, Kracauer-Estate (carbon copy); th (...)

“Horkheimer and Pollock managed to install themselves as lifelong directors of the Institute established with the money of Hermanus Weil and are now spending their days as they please. Which means that they do not stand up for a battlesome Marxism anymore, which the Institute was initially supposed to serve, but cautiously steer the golden ship, avoiding any such perilous cliffs.”28

  • 29 Letter Horkheimer to Adorno October 22, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: (...)
  • 30 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 9, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 31 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: (...)
  • 32 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: (...)
  • 33 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, November 23, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV (...)

7Kracauer continues the letter complaining about the personal hostilities he supposedly had encountered from the Institute. In a letter to Adorno, Horkheimer rejects Kracauer’s allegations: Though admitting that he indeed feels discomfort (Affekte) pertaining to Kracauer, he counters that Kracauer had repeatedly been offered by the Institute to participate.29 Kracauer answered to the latter, emphasizing that he had only been asked to review books—and that both regarding content and payment, these “offers were conspicuously similar to an insult.”30 Much of these tensions might be attributed to Kracauer’s idiosyncrasy, which both Benjamin and Adorno extensively commented on. To Horkheimer, Adorno writes that, regarding the Institute, Kracauer suffered from persecutory delusions, and that therefore “narcissist reactions” were inevitable,31 culminating in Adorno’s statement that Kracauer was a “hopeless case.”32 In November, Adorno again comments on Kracauer’s “narcissistic aggressions,” which however could be redirected.33 Now Kracauer had however proclaimed that he was only willing to deal with Adorno, Horkheimer and Pollock—and nobody else. Horkheimer reacts surprised:

  • 34 Letter Horkheimer to Adorno, December 8, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).

“I am sorry to hear that Kracauer is insane […]. That […] Kracauer only wants to deal with you, Pollock, and me, is something I do not understand […]. Is he so angry with Löwenthal? The latter is ignorant of this. Or does he contempt Marcuse? He does not even know him. Or is he horrified of Fromm? The latter considers himself innocent.”34

  • 35 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 21, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 36 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, November 23, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV (...)

8Kracauer apologized for his “hysterical solicitude,” speaking of “misunderstandings,” and attributes his paranoia to “severe depression and confusion.”35 Adorno comments on this correspondence in a letter to Horkheimer on November 23, 1936: “The answer I received was clearly a product of persecutory delusions […]. Today, I received a reasonable letter of his, apologizing for the first one […] and emphasizing that he does not intend to cause any problems. I think I can justify to involve you in the matter.”36

  • 37 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, February 1, 1937 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)

9On February 1, 1937, Adorno, however, revisited the issue of interpersonal “atmosphere” and suggested, that, “still persisting misunderstandings could be cleared” in a personal meeting between Kracauer and Horkheimer.37

  • 38 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, May 12, 1930 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theo (...)
  • 39 Siegfried Kracauer, Die Angestellten. Aus dem neuesten Deutschland, Frankfurt a. M., Frankfurter So (...)
  • 40 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, May 25, 1930 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theo (...)

10The review incident and the subsequent “misunderstandings” also did not seem to be the only episode of discord. In an early 1930 letter,38 Adorno informed Kracauer that both Pollock and Horkheimer, though in general sympathetic towards Kracauer’s book The Salaried Masses,39 felt insulted, since Kracauer omitted to send a copy of his work. Kracauer countered that the latter not only completely disregarded him while working on the piece, but also refrained from contacting him after publication, and that due to this “complete lack of interest,” he refrained from sending them a copy.40

  • 41 Cf., e.g., Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, May 3, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate), pertaining to an assignm (...)
  • 42 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, January 2, 1931 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: T (...)
  • 43 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, November 22, 1930 (carbon copy, Kracauer Estate): “Ich danke Ihnen s (...)
  • 44 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, December 21, 1930 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 45 Georg Simmel, Vom Wesen des historischen Verstehens, Berlin, Ernst Siegfried Mittler, 1918.
  • 46 Georg Simmel, Zur Philosophie der Kunst. Philosophische und kunstphilosophische Aufsätze, Potsdam, (...)
  • 47 Georg Simmel, Kant. Sechzehn Vorlesungen gehalten an der Berliner Universität, Leipzig, Duncker und (...)
  • 48 In 1920–1921, Kracauer wrote two articles on Simmel (“Georg Simmel” published in the 1920–1921 volu (...)
  • 49 Susanne Suhr, Die weiblichen Angestellten. Arbeits- und Lebensverhältnisse. Eine Umfrage des Zentra (...)
  • 50 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, June 19, 1930 (Kracauer Estate): “Es wird jetzt auch die Broschüre ü (...)
  • 51 Only few letters between the two thinkers of the early 1930s are preserved though.

11Though Horkheimer has later proven very helpful, also in terms of securing Kracauer other assignments during his American exile,41 the above incidents point to more latent problems in Kracauer’s relation to Horkheimer and also contribute a certain ambivalence to a remark of Adorno on Horkheimer’s 1930 book. In a letter to Kracauer, instead of commenting on the book’s content, as the two correspondents in such a case usually would have done, it is merely stated: “You might imagine my verdict on the importance of the book.”42 Kracauer responds to the issue, but refrains from commenting on the content of the book. It is hard to interpret such complete silence: Assuming Kracauer did read the book and agreed with Horkheimer’s discoveries, wouldn’t Kracauer have found time to write the requested review himself? Wouldn’t he also have integrated the relevant claims in his later study on propaganda? Wouldn’t Kracauer have at least commented on the book’s claims in his response to Adorno? Did Adorno also refrain from a discussion of the book’s content, since he anticipated Kracauer’s position? Not a single excerpt page of this book by Horkheimer is found in the archival materials surrounding Kracauer’s 1937 study, and neither was the book later cited. A copy that is signed and dedicated to Kracauer by Horkheimer, which might still be the same copy that Kracauer thanked Horkheimer for in a 1930 letter,43 is still part of Kracauer’s estate—so it was obviously still in his possession, although the copy might have changed hands quite extensively during the 1930s (via Drill and Adorno).44 Considering the limited dunnage Kracauer had, Horkheimer’s Beginnings might have been unavailable for him during his French exile. In fact, none of the books cited in the 1937 study were later part of Kracauer’s estate. In light of the evident thematic overlaps (e.g., regarding the psychological means of reification of the leader, the calculated use of symbols and festivities, etc.) and the possibility to receive another copy from either Horkheimer or Adorno, only two reasons are likely though: that Kracauer either considered the book irrelevant for his propaganda study or considerably disagreed with Horkheimer’s claims. Maybe even a third option is possible: that Kracauer never bothered to even read the book. While both the cardboard cover and the binding are degraded, the pages are in pristine condition and never seem to have been opened. And the copy shows neither markings, nor notes in the margins. While a number of books in his estate substantiate that Kracauer in fact made notes in books he read, only a smaller part of Kracauer’s library was, however, annotated. The majority of the latter are either post-World War II copies, or copies from the 1920s, which probably pertain to Kracauer’s earlier studies. Marginalia are, for example, found in a 1924 copy of Kant’s Critique of Pure reason, Ernst Barthel’s 1922 book Goethe’s Epistemology, and Oppenheimer’s 1919 book The State. Of the ten books of Georg Simmel found in Kracauer’s estate, only three contain notes (On the Nature of Historical Understanding,45 Philosophy of Art46 and Simmel’s Lectures on Kant)47 and might pertain to Kracauer’s work from the early 1920s on Simmel.48 Markings, on the other hand, are much more frequent, though mainly in the post-WWII copies. Markings are also found in some of the books dating from around the 1920s (as Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology, Wiese’s Sociology, Cassirer’s Language and Myth, Hume’s “Inquiry,” Rousseau’s Confessions, Radbruchs Introduction to Law, Scheler’s Of Eternity in Human Beings) and in some of the books used for articles in the Frankfurter Zeitung (during the early 1930s (as Suhr’s The Female Salaried Employees).49 The question of whether Horkheimer’s book was read—and if read, why it was not cited—thus remains inconclusive. In a letter dating June 19, 1930, Horkheimer, however, seems to allude to a typescript version of the book having been read by Kracauer before publication,50 but neither Kracauer’s correspondence nor his notes substantiate the latter claim.51

  • 52 The note was never published (Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (...)
  • 53 Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka M (...)
  • 54 Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka M (...)
  • 55 Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason, New York, Oxford University Press, 1947, cited at: Siegfried Kra (...)
  • 56 There are however two volumes from the 1940’s in Kracauer’s possession that where co-authored by Ad (...)
  • 57 Walter Benjamin, cited by Martin Jay, “The Extraterritorial Life of Siegfried Kracauer,” Salmagundi(...)
  • 58 Max Horkheimer, Über Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft als Bindeglied zwischen theoretischer und prakti (...)
  • 59 Jay has pointed at general and irreducible differences in the positions of both thinkers, e.g., the (...)
  • 60 Max Horkheimer, “Ein neuer Ideologiebegriff?,” in: Carl Grünberg (ed.), Archiv für die Geschichte d (...)
  • 61 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, June 19, 1930 (Kracauer Estate).
  • 62 Letter Kracauer to Löwenthal, January 14, 1934 (Leo Löwenthal and Siegfried Kracauer, In steter Fre (...)
  • 63 Max Horkheimer, “Materialismus und Moral,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1933, p. (...)
  • 64 Löwenthal had sent recent issues of the Zeitschrift.

12To this unclear issue, another peculiarity is added: Apart from Kracauer’s 1937 study on propaganda, I do not recall any other work of Kracauer where Horkheimer was cited—except for a note on the Institute for a 1933 article in L’Europe Nouvelle,52 and a book review that was printed in 1947, praising Horkheimer as “one of the most distinguished thinkers of our time.”53 In the latter, Kracauer only focuses on Horkheimer’s treatment of the contemporary “decay of reason”54 as exemplified in Horkheimer’s 1947 book Eclipse of Reason55—the only other Horkheimer book that was part of Kracauer’s estate.56 That the “enemy of philosophy”57 did not comment on Horkheimer’s work prior to the “Beginnings” (such as Horkheimer’s 1925 habilitation on Kant)58 might still be explained,59 and that he also did not refer to Horkheimer’s critique of Karl Mannheim’s concept of ideology,60 which he had received from Horkheimer himself,61 could be for thematic reasons. The neglecting of Horkheimer’s Beginnings (and of other subsequent work), however, is more difficult to explicate. In a 1934 letter to Leo Löwenthal,62 Kracauer at least noted that he found Horkheimer’s recent article “Materialism and Moral”63 interesting, which Löwenthal had provided him with.64

  • 65 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).
  • 66 Arthur Rosenberg, Geschichte der deutschen Republik, Karlsbad, Graphia, 1935.
  • 67 Arthur Rosenberg, Der Faschismus als Massenbewegung, Karlsbad, Graphia, 1934.
  • 68 Konrad Heiden, Adolf Hitler, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1937; Kracauer had already referred to Heiden’s (...)
  • 69 Willi Münzenberg, Propaganda als Waffe, Paris, Éditions du Carrefour, 1937.
  • 70 Wilhelm Reich, Massenpsychologie des Faschismus. Zur Sexualökonomie der politischen Reaktion und zu (...)
  • 71 José Ortega y Gasset, Der Aufstand der Massen, Stuttgart / Berlin, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1929.
  • 72 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 73 Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934. (...)
  • 74 Ignazio Silone, Brot und Wein, Zürich, Obrecht, 1936. Also first published in German (translated by (...)
  • 75 Kracauer lists two books of Rosenberg in his bibliography: Historikus, Der Faschismus als Massenbew (...)
  • 76 Twenty-four times by name (according to my counting).
  • 77 Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka M (...)

13That it would be a misunderstanding to read Kracauer’s 1937 study as a piece of scholarship inspired by and in line with Horkheimer, as the abundance of citations at first sight suggested, thus constituting a work belonging to Critical Theory, is a claim that can be further substantiated by a closer investigation of Kracauer’s other sources. While Kracauer emphasized in his letter to Horkheimer how well his 1937 study was going to fit into the Institute’s publications and that he also would cite Horkheimer’s work more than only sporadically,65 a mere quantitative analysis already shows that a number of other sources might be considered even more influential for Kracauer’s 1937 study. Arthur Rosenberg’s 1935 History of the German Republic66 was excerpted on 26 notepad pages, Rosenberg’s 1934 monograph Fascism as mass-movement67 amounts to 17 pages of excerpts. Konrad Heiden’s two-volume book Adolf Hitler (1937)68 fills 36 pages, Wilhelm Münzenberg’s Propaganda as Weapon69 23 pages, and Wilhelm Reich’s Mass Psychology of Fascism70 is present with 17 notepad pages of excerpts, closely followed by Erich Fromm’s contribution to the Institute’s volume, and José Ortega y Gasset’s Rise of the Masses.71 While only two notepad pages are devoted to Gaetano Salvemini, particular weight seems to have been attributed to Ignazio Silone instead, a fact Adorno substantially criticized in his later review of Kracauer’s submitted manuscript.72 During his Swiss exile, the latter Italian writer had published a monograph on fascism (Fascism. Its Origin and Development, 1934)73 and an autobiographical novel (Bread and Wine, 1936),74 which were both extensively excerpted and cited by Kracauer. If one considers the fact that Horkheimer’s Dawn was published under pseudonym, and is not even listed under Horkheimer’s name in Kracauer’s notes for his 1937 study, from a mere quantitative perspective, Horkheimer might have to share the first rank together with Ignazio Silone and Arthur Rosenberg,75 each achieving a little more than 50 pages within Kracauer’s notes—or might even be ranked second since Silone is in fact cited 43 times in Kracauer’s 1937 study.76 Also, Kracauer’s 1937 study was evidently not the first engagement with Silone. While he had refused to review Horkheimer’s book, Kracauer had already written a very positive book review on Silone’s Bread and Wine, which was never published though.77 Before submitting the last installment of his 1937 study on propaganda to the Institute, Kracauer writes to Silone:

  • 78 Italics added. Kracauer refers to Silone’s book Die Schule der Diktatoren (Zürich / New York, Europ (...)
  • 79 Letter Kracauer to Silone, March 10, 1938 (Silone Estate).

“I was very pleased to receive your letter, and already the thought fills me with joy that when you are here in April, I will get to know your new book ‘School for Dictators.’78 I just sent you the manuscript of my propaganda study […]. I am so happy to know the piece is in your hands, and my content would not be little, if it enriched you.”79

14On April 12, 1938 Kracauer writes:

  • 80 Letter Kracauer to Silone, April 12, 1938 (Silone Estate).

“Thank you very much for returning my propaganda study and for your very kind notes. The agreement with my work, which I can feel in your letter, particularly pleased me […]. I am very curious about your manuscript, and when you are in Paris, I will hand you the final chapter of my study to read. I am convinced our works will accord well.”80

  • 81 Letter Silone to Kracauer, March 29, 1938; Kracauer was in fact later cited in Silone’s book.

15Though he also sent the first installment to Horkheimer in December 1937, it was to Silone that, out of his own accord, Kracauer offered the typescript on February 11, 1938—which was then sent to Silone around March 10, thus before the completion of the study. Silone returned the manuscript by letter on March 29, enclosing some flattery and the declaration of intent to cite some of the passages in his new book.81

  • 82 “While still in Cannet, would you like to read the (German) manuscript of my work which is complete (...)
  • 83 Letter Kracauer to Meyer Shapiro, July 24, 1938 (Kracauer Estate): “Last week I was visited by Mr.  (...)
  • 84 On the question of the translation of the title, see Siegfried Kracauer, supra note 78.

16While Silone refrains from commenting on any of Kracauer’s claims in particular, the correspondence is nevertheless of significance, since it shows the importance of Silone to Kracauer. Though the conversation with Silone shares striking similarities with the above cited laudatory letter to Horkheimer (Kracauer praises the other’s work, stresses the similarities in view, and emphasizes that he frequently referred to it in his own study),82 there nevertheless might be a crucial difference: Kracauer’s praise of Silone was most likely honest. That he widely agreed with Silone was in fact also communicated by Kracauer in a 1938 letter to Mayer Shapiro, where he emphasizes the concordance of opinion,83 and after having received Silone’s manuscript of The School for dictators84 in 1939, he also uses the opportunity not only to congratulate Silone, but to exemplify that both thinkers considerably agreed in their views:

  • 85 Kracauer uses the plural form in German: “Verankerungen.”
  • 86 Letter Kracauer to Silone, January 16, 1939 (Silone Estate).

“Upon arrival of your book ‘School for Dictators’, which I read right away, I of course wanted to immediately thank you for your wonderful book and the lovely dedication‚ which delighted me much […]. For me, your very amicable dedication is a sign of solidarity which I strongly felt while reading it. It was a veritable confirmation (Bestätigung) to discern from it that your key findings on totalitarian dictatorships are congruent with those I have laid out in my ‘propaganda’ work. You also focus on the nihilist will to power, you show […] its anchoring85 in the social situation, and like me, outline the sphere of fascist pseudo reality, which lives from substitution, where yet the blood spilled is substitute.”86

  • 87 At least Horkheimer’s praise of Kracauer’s study in a letter dated December 15, 1937 (Kracauer Esta (...)

17The same cannot as easily be said regarding Horkheimer. Not only might these praises be a mere matter of form between the two thinkers.87 As I intend to show, Kracauer was under significant pressure to please Horkheimer—and the praise and acknowledgements of Horkheimer’s work, as well as the decision to integrate Horkheimer’s views in his 1937 study might have at least partly been of mere strategical nature.

  • 88 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 89 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 90 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 91 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).
  • 92 Letter Horkheimer to Adorno, October 22, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).
  • 93 “Da ich jedoch nicht weiß, wie weit Kracauer heute mit unseren Problemen und Anschauungen vertraut (...)
  • 94 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 30, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).

18Relevant in this context is an observation of Adorno on the use of Horkheimer in Kracauer’s 1937 study. In his report on the first installment Kracauer delivered,88 Adorno not only votes for completely discarding the parts based on Silone,89 but also criticizes that Kracauer in fact “twists the claims of Horkheimer, he persistently refers to, right round.”90 The irony of this passage is that Adorno, who, from the beginning of the project, boasted that he could manipulate and thereby significantly guide Kracauer’s work, not even demonstrates the incipience of an awareness that Kracauer might have simply “used” Horkheimer—or at least might have demonstrated a considerable resilience against any attempts by the Institute’s main protagonists to influence him. The latter is surprising, insofar as the 1936–1937 conversation between Kracauer and Horkheimer regarding Kracauer’s 1937 study in fact reads as the strategy of two puppet players on how to pull the right strings on Kracauer. In one of the first letters to Horkheimer91 pertaining to the project, Adorno writes that Kracauer was a “difficult case,” and that “one would need to incapacitate him, both literally and intellectually.” Adorno continues this thought: “I think his talent is so extensive that one could use him: and he will prove to be compliant, overzealously compliant.” In his response,92 Horkheimer agrees to assign Kracauer to a study on propaganda commissioned by the Institute, but also warrants that Kracauer “needs to be thoroughly instructed” regarding the Institute’s “views.”93 Adorno on his part replies: “That Kracauer, if to be involved in the propaganda research, will comply with all our conditions, is something I am sure of, and there won’t be any lack of my well-tried brutality. One might only need to accommodate his instinctive cravings for recognition (Prestige-Instinkte); with regard to content, no concessions will be required.”94

  • 95 Letter Adorno to Benjamin, October 15, 1936 (in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I (...)

19It is not certain if Adorno really meant what he was saying, or if he rather tried to nudge Horkheimer into accepting Kracauer into the project. The latter is substantiated by a letter to Benjamin,95 where Adorno also refers to his first letter to Horkheimer: “I have written extensively to Max [Horkheimer] on Monday. Also pertaining to Kracauer […]. I hope that my phrases on him helped him. It was not easy to formulate them.”

  • 96 Letters Horkheimer to Kracauer from January 9, 1937, April 8, 1937, and May 3, 1937.

20Horkheimer not only accepted, but his letters to Kracauer also demonstrate calculated and sometimes very open exertions of influence that range from mere suggestions which material to incorporate to more clear reminders that Kracauer’s study needs to comply in general with the Institute’s positions on the matter in order to be published. Illustrative are a number of letters96 where Horkheimer elegantly endows mere suggestions with a considerable authority, though the latter varies in degree within these letters.

21On April 8, 1937, Horkheimer writes to Kracauer: “I think your consultations with Wiesengrund, with whom I am corresponding on a regular basis, will ensure that your work fits in well into the framework of our own theoretical endeavor.”

  • 97 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, January 9, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate); italics added.

22On January 9, 1937, Horkheimer skilfully elaborates further on the consequences if the work was no fit, to, however, immediately discard this option, now instead interweaving an assurance that the study will for sure be agreeable, with a suggestion to Kracauer to resort to other issues of the Zeitschrift for orientation: “Should your article, which will in any case be valuable for us, be unsuitable for the Zeitschrift, we will add it […] to our archive […]. I, however, do not doubt that your article will fit in very well. Maybe you could […] browse through some of the issues of the Zeitschrift.”97

  • 98 Letter Adorno to Krenek, July 18, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate, carbon copy); italics added.

23Adorno also used such tactics on another author, skilfully combining a suggestion of viewpoint and of literature with a note on the question of publication, that, though positive, at the same time creates a certain insecurity and thus establishes a clear hierarchy of power: “The Institute would reserve the right to publish your work both in the Zeitschrift and in a book […]. For orientation, I will provide you with some issues of the Zeitschrift and recommend directing your attention particularly to the two big articles by Adorno, which largely define the standpoint.”98

  • 99 Letter Kracauer an Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).
  • 100 Letter Kracauer an Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).

24Considering the fact that in the case of Kracauer’s 1937 study, also Horkheimer had never committed to a particular means of publication, while at the same time clarifying the necessity of conformity to the Institute’s views, and in the latter letter of Horkheimer even in close connection with the question of publication (vs. the alternative of the article being merely archived), it would not have been surprising if the exiled Kracauer, in his precarious financial situation, would have “obediently complied.” Especially Kracauer’s April 10 letter to Horkheimer substantiates this claim: Kracauer’s praise of Horkheimer’s essay “Egoism and the Freedom Movement” is immediately followed by a passage that elaborates why his 1937 study will “fit well into the Institute’s research”:99 “It is a forgone conclusion that I will not infrequently refer to you. The latter substantiates that my work will not be a foreign element in your paper.”100

  • 101 Some of these shorthand drafts (not only of typewritten but even of handwritten letters) are still (...)
  • 102 Letters Kracauer to Horkheimer from February 14, and April 19, 1940 (Horkheimer Estate).
  • 103 Kracauer to Horkheimer, June 11, 1941 (carbon copy, Kracauer Estate).

25The genealogy of the letter shows how much thought Kracauer invested in the latter considerations. After Kracauer had finished the (typewritten) letter, he felt it necessary to insert another sentence in the margins (now handwritten) directly adjacent to the above-cited affirmation, arguing that also his consultation with Adorno had led to a congruence of views. The significance of such an insertion is underlined by two facts: that Kracauer had the habit of often drafting even his handwritten letters in shorthand first, to avoid additions in the final version, and that in none of the other letters to Horkheimer in the subsequent year, any such addition was considered necessary.101 These considerations substantiate that his particular addition was important for Kracauer—and that he had invested more than the usual thought in this particular letter, still adding a phrase in the final stage. In fact, the next additions are found in letters from 1940102 and 1941,103 and also here, they pertain to issues Kracauer deemed particularly important (e.g. another “conspiratorial” request in the latter letter).

  • 104 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, May 3, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate). The initiative seems to have origin (...)

26That Horkheimer was well aware of the concessive nature of Kracauer’s letter is shown by his reply, where he uses the opportunity to remind Kracauer of the relevant other literature: “I was particularly pleased that you find my work on egoism and the freedom movement appealing. You will well find the most relevant literature in the works sent to you.”104

  • 105 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, August 7, 1937.

27The Institute’s protagonists continued with their attempts to covertly direct Kracauer’s study, which becomes evident in a mid-1937 letter.105 Here, Adorno’s decision not to let Kracauer write on film is based on the implicit consideration that outside film, Kracauer’s view might be better controlled by the Institute, while in the area of film the result might be too much “contaminated” by Kracauer’s already consolidated views.

  • 106 Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom, New York / Toronto, Farrar and Rinehart, 1941.

28If Kracauer might, in fact, have integrated the work of protagonists closely associated with the Institute only to secure the acceptance of the piece written, and by this complied with both Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s requests, the status of another source of Kracauer’s 1937 study needs to be re-assessed: Erich Fromm. Though Fromm’s introduction to the Institute’s volume Studies on Authority and Family was excerpted by Kracauer on 12 notepad pages and subsequently integrated into the 1937 study, this is the only work by Fromm that Kracauer in fact cites—and it is surely no coincidence that the latter was part of the volume suggested by Horkheimer to be included (and that Fromm’s essay directly follows Horkheimer’s methodological introduction, which Kracauer also uses as a source for his study). To include this particular piece of Fromm could have been both a matter of obligation and of convenience (it was suggested and it was already in his possession). In contrast to the use of Horkheimer, with Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom”106 being present in Kracauer’s Caligari, Fromm at least appeared again in another of Kracauer’s publications.

  • 107 Herbert Marcuse, “Über den affirmativen Charakter der Kultur,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol (...)

29Another interesting peculiarity is the exclusion both of Marcuse’s methodological introduction to Studies on Authority and Family, which directly followed Fromm’s piece in the volume, and also of Marcuse’s paper “On the Affirmative Character of Culture.”107 The latter might even have been of relevance to Kracauer’s study, since it follows up on a claim of Horkheimer raised in the work Kracauer had so emphatically praised in his May 3 letter. While the latter essay might have appeared too late to still be integrated, the former, on the other hand, was well available.

  • 108 Horkheimer refers to such material in a letter (Horkheimer to Kracauer, May 3, 1937, Horkheimer Est (...)

30It would in fact be interesting to see which of the sources Kracauer included in his 1937 study in fact came from the material the Institute had provided,108 as opposed to those chosen by Kracauer himself. A list, however, is not available.

  • 109 Letter Kracauer to Drill, January 26, 1931 (Kracauer Estate). To control the outcome of the review (...)

31What could also have to be re-assessed in this context is the already mentioned omission to include Horkheimer’s 1930 monograph in his 1937 study: Kracauer might have regarded it as sufficient for pleasing Horkheimer to integrate the material already suggested (including Horkheimer’s two newer pieces). That, pertaining to Horkheimer, tactical thinking was not foreign to Kracauer is substantiated by a letter to Drill, which suspiciously reads like an attempt to influence the outcome of the review of the latter book, asking for the name of the reviewer and emphasizing that he “hopes that the review will be benevolent,” since Horkheimer was “an estimable member of the Frankfurt University.”109

32Similar considerations should apply to another emphatic praise Kracauer formulated in a letter to Horkheimer in 1941, where an apology for not having written earlier, a laudation of Horkheimer’s latest work, and a request for assistance as a person in a precarious situation conspicuously appear together in the same letter:

  • 110 Film director William Dieterle and his wife Charlotte. Kracauer was in hope of an Offenbach film. C (...)
  • 111 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, November 26, 1941 (carbon copy, Kracauer Estate); italics added.

“I have been meaning to write to you for a long time already, but my research occupied me to such a degree that I rarely managed to take care of other important matters. I can therefore tell you only very briefly that I find your ‘Preface’ to issue 2 of the Zeitschrift absolutely magnificent; these few pages attain the rank of a document […]. Your article on ‘Art and mass culture’ appears to me as marking an important beginning; it has been very fruitful (ich habe ihm viel entnommen), and I largely agree with it […]. I recently heard, and this is the reason for my letter, that the Dieterles110 will come to New York. Could you maybe arrange a possibility for me to meet with them […]. An introductory word from you […] would surely be very helpful in this regard […]. I am already worried about what will happen to me after my research year expires […].”111

33This letter also comprises another particularity different from the already cited letters, which, for Kracauer as a virtuous master of language, might not be coincidental. Though the letter contains Kracauer’s usual stock phrase “I largely agree,” the letter is not continued with the intention to cite, but with a phrase that instead might intentionally create an ambivalence in this regard: “ich habe ihm viel entnommen” can, in fact, mean either that Kracauer has excerpted much in order to later cite the material, or (merely) that he has gained much by reading it.

  • 112 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 11, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 113 It is unclear why Adorno uses “could” (könnten) here. In general, the phrasing is peculiar in this (...)

34In close context to these considerations of a tactical and calculating nature stands the question if Kracauer even established a certain covert resilience against being influenced by the suggestions, and decided on subversively decontextualizing Horkheimer’s claims and use them for his argumentative purposes, instead of incorporating a foreign strain of though (and thus voice) into his own work. The claim that Kracauer simply obediently complied at least stands in contradiction with the insistence of Kracauer in a letter to Adorno where the former demands from the Institute to “refrain from any dictatorial impulses.”112 In the same letter, Kracauer however also seems to be willing to compromise: “Regarding the […] condition that the study has to assimilate itself to the intentions of the Institute, it has to be noted: that of course I am willing to discuss my claims […] and to accept the result of these discussions.” In receipt of this letter, Adorno writes to Horkheimer: “Kracauer […] will accept the result of our common discussions as binding for his study (what he probably means, is, that we will not simply prescribe, but hear him out—which I take as much for granted, as that we could, on the other hand, make no concessions to the pseudohumanism of the Frankfurter Zeitung).”113

  • 114 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, October 24, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 115 “Sollten sie sich für meine Idee einer Untersuchung über Propaganda interessieren, so wäre da m.E. (...)
  • 116 “überaus peinliche und ungewohnte konspirative Intermezzo” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwech (...)
  • 117 “Am liebsten wäre mir, Du würdest diesen Zettel vernichten” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwec (...)

35A number of remarks of Kracauer seem to confirm Adorno’s suspicions that for Kracauer the “misunderstandings” were mainly a question of form (pertaining to his “instinctive cravings for recognition”)—and that they could easily be avoided by merely observing the decencies, without requiring any compromises in terms of position or content. Paradigmatic here might be the small episode Kracauer termed his “conspiratorial intermezzo”114 in letters dating from October 24 and November 11. Though it was of evident importance to Kracauer that Adorno approaches Horkheimer on his behalf regarding the proposal of the propaganda study, Kracauer insists that this should be pretended to happen out of Adorno’s own initiative—and that Kracauer even was ignorant of Adorno’s preparatory actions. Though Adorno had in fact chosen to better introduce the study as his idea,115 the episode conveys that Kracauer is clearly ready to succumb as long as appearances are upheld—and that he is even willing to demean himself in front of Adorno, as long as such stays hidden. That Kracauer in fact perceived his proposal to Adorno as a self-humiliation is explicitly expressed by Kracauer in his letter,116 and he subsequently asks Adorno both for his discretion on this matter and to destroy the letter.117 Kracauer nevertheless renewed his collusive request again in his second November letter, and now unambiguously characterizes his cumbersome charade as a mere question of form and being of “purely private importance,” having no material implications whatsoever.

  • 118 “dass ich dir bei deiner Vermittlungsaktion keine unbegründeten Schwierigkeiten […] bereite” (Theod (...)
  • 119 “an meinem guten Willen soll es überhaupt nicht fehlen” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel(...)
  • 120 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, February 11, 1937 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)

36Kracauer’s placable tone, combined with the assurance that he would refrain from causing any problems for Adorno118—and the explicit request to Adorno to communicate to Horkheimer that he will not lack in demonstrating the willingness to accommodate Horkheimer’s decisions how to additionally employ him during his assignment119—might, however, again be based on strategical motives. In an early 1937 letter, Adorno openly confronts Kracauer with the suspicion that he might be highly calculative in his correspondence pertaining to the possible assignment: “There is no denying the impression that, for you, the Institute is only a card in a card game, which you prudently hold in your hand, and none of particularly high value.”120

  • 121 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)

37That Kracauer’s writings, and here both his 1937 study and his letters to Adorno and Horkheimer, might to a certain degree be calculative, and that Kracauer might have had ulterior motives for including a number of his sources in his study, is highly relevant for the problematic question of Kracauer’s relation to his sources in general within this particular work—and for the question whether the text is rather a patchwork of unrelated voices than a coherent rationale which could be attributed to Kracauer as source. Adorno, in his harsh criticism that followed the submission of the first installment of Kracauer’s manuscript, mainly disapproved of the lack of scrutiny in treating material from other sources, and Kracauer’s obvious swift reliance on the authority of possibly questionable authors. Kracauer’s study, in fact, reads as a patchwork of numerous sources, with longer passages completely relying on the authority of a sole author. Pertaining to the first part, Adorno especially criticizes that the material used seems to exclusively stem from Silone, who, regarding his political viewpoints, might have to be approached with caution.121

  • 122 Die nationalsozialistische Weltanschauung. Ein Wegweiser durch die nationalsozialistische Literatur (...)
  • 123 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 124 Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934, (...)
  • 125 Kracauer’s version reads “Der Faschismus, so bekennt Umberto Bianchelli, konnte sich fortentwickeln (...)
  • 126 Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934, (...)
  • 127 Cf. Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, (...)

38While Kracauer’s readiness to accept Silone as an authority also in matters of fact surely was influenced by the circumstance that both seemed to much agree in their claims (as Kracauer’s abovementioned remarks on Silone’s later monograph substantiate), how Kracauer has chosen his sources for the 1937 study again and again seems questionable, however, and is in fact characterized by a certain arbitrariness. Some of the sources seem to have been suggested by others, e.g. by Meyrowitz, as some of Kracauer’s notes in the margins of both his manuscript and his early drafts (especially his schemata) show. Others seem to originate from digests, such as Hirth’s The national socialist world view. A Guidebook to National Socialist Literature. 500 Prominent Quotations,122 which is represented in Kracauer’s excerpt collection with four notepad sheets. That many of Kracauer’s citations of primary sources are in fact “second hand”123 is substantiated both by Kracauer’s notes in his manuscript, and his handwritten excerpt collection. As these documents prove, Kracauer’s quotation of a Mussolini dictum in his 1937 study is not a direct quote, but a citation he tacitly quotes from the German version of Silone’s monograph: The passage “‘Yes, the situation is revolutionary’ he [Mussolini] writes shortly after (March 18, 1919) in Popolo d’Italia, ‘but only we, participants of war, have the rights to speak of revolution’” is in fact not only identical with an excerpt of Silone’s book at notepad sheet 20.2 of Kracauer’s excerpt collection, but also with the 1934 German translation of Silone’s monograph, where it is stated: “Mussolini respectively fulminates: ‘Yes, the situation is revolutionary’ he writes shortly after (March 18, 1919) in Popolo d’Italia, ‘but only we, participants of war, have the rights to speak of revolution.’”124 Another citation is equally second hand and was not only simply copied from Silone’s book.125 Kracauer in fact also copied an error of Silone here: Silone referred to Umberto Banchelli as “Bianchelli,”126 the same mistake that can be also found in Kracauer’s manuscript. The error is, however, not represented in the current Suhrkamp edition, since it has been corrected by the editors.127 Kracauer’s notebooks in general are a fruitful means of unveiling his 1937 study as a palimpsest of voices, since Kracauer, in the cahiers used, meticulously documented the origins of his quotes on the left side of the cahier’s double-page, while using the right side for the manuscript text only.

  • 128 Kracauer had already referred to Rosenberg’s 1932 Geschichte des Bolschewismus von Marx bis zur Geg (...)
  • 129 Erwin von Beckerath, Wesen und Werden des fascistischen Staates, Berlin, Julius Springer, 1927.
  • 130 Olivier Agard, Siegfried Kracauer. Le chiffonnier mélancolique, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2010, p. 229.
  • 131 Hirt’s Deutsche Sammlung Sachkundliche Abteilung. Geschichte & Staatsbürgerkunde; Gruppe II: Ereign (...)
  • 132 Rosi Karfiol, “Mittelstandsprobleme,” in: Benedict Schmittmann (ed.), Kölner sozialistische Studien(...)
  • 133 Benedict Schmittmann, “Das Mittelstandsproblem im Dritten Reich,” in: Benedict Schmittmann (ed.), K (...)
  • 134 Hans Erich Priester, Das deutsche Wirtschaftswunder, Amsterdam, Querido, 1936.
  • 135 Hélène Roussel, “Das deutsche Exil in den dreißiger Jahren und die Frage des Zugangs zu den Medien, (...)
  • 136 Pariser Tageszeitung, Vol. 2, No. 225, 3, January 22, 1937. Available online: <http://d-nb.info/104 (...)
  • 137 Max Hermant, Les paradoxes économiques de l’Allemagne moderne 1918–1931, Paris, Armand Colin, 1931.
  • 138 Robert Pelloux, Le parti national-socialiste et ses rapports avec l’État, Paris, Paul Hartmann, 193 (...)
  • 139 Eugène Wernert, L’art dans le IIIe Reich, une tentative d’esthétique, Paris, Paul Hartmann, 1936.
  • 140 Roger Mauduit, La réclame. Étude de sociologie économique, Paris, Félix Alcan, 1933.
  • 141 Mémoire d’études supérieures sous la direction de Célestin Bouglé, École normale supérieure, 1932. (...)
  • 142 Though Kracauer refers to having received the copy “from Aron,” a particular date is not given.
  • 143 The title of the exposé Kracauer submitted to be considered for the project. Though the exposé was (...)
  • 144 Gustave Le Bon, Psychologie des foules, Paris, Félix Alcan, 1895.
  • 145 Regarding Freud, cf. Stefan Jonsson, “After Individuality: Freud’s Mass Psychology and Weimar Polit (...)
  • 146 Karl August Wittfogel, Der Nationalsozialismus, Berlin, Malik Verlag, 1924. The book was listed in (...)
  • 147 FZ, No. 774-776, October 16, 1932, Literaturblatt No. 43 (Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essa (...)
  • 148 The first study in the volume is Wittfogel’s “Wissenschaftsgeschichtliche Grundlagen der Entwicklun (...)

39But not only Kracauer’s use of Silone as authority must seem questionable. Also Kracauer’s choice of monographs in general seems problematic. A number of sources, such as Arthur Rosenberg and Willi Münzenberg stood in a certain familiar ideological relationship to Kracauer’s own thought,128 and thus were justified, and maybe even predictable choices. The same can be said about Beckerath’s 1927 Nature and Genesis of the Fascist State,129 the latter surely being authoritative enough to be used. Furthermore, as Olivier Agard has pointed out, a substantial number of Kracauer’s sources (Balabanoff, Heiden, Salvemini, Rosenberg and Silone) share the common trait that they could be qualified as belonging to a “non-conformist Marxism.”130 Other sources, however, seem to have been chosen randomly or out of mere convenience. Three of the books Kracauer uses are part of the same series (edited by Walther Gehl),131 and are (nearly) consecutive volumes here (volume 3, 4 and 6), and the same applies to two texts on the problem of the middle-class (Karfiol’s Problem of the middle-class132 and Schmittmann’s The Problem of the Middle Class in the Third Reich),133 which were both parts of Schmittmann’s volume, the former being the afterword to the latter. It is also unclear why Kracauer resorted to Hans Priester’s book on German economy,134 which, with 19 excerpt pages, ranks in Kracauer’s collection even before Wilhelm Reich’s book on mass psychology. The reason, however, might be banal: the Paris based Pariser Tageszeitung, the only German exile newsletter in the 1930’s,135 had published a prominently placed review on the book just before Kracauer started with his study.136 Three French volumes could have been chosen for the sheer reason of availability only: Hermant’s Paradoxes of German Economy 1918–1931,137 Pelloux’s The National-Socialist Party and its Relations to the State,138 and Wernert’s Art in the Third Reich,139 the latter amounting to 18 notepad sheets in Kracauer’s excerpt collection. Similar considerations apply to Roger Mauduit’s book on advertisement.140 More complex is the situation with Jean Stoelzel’s master thesis Psychology of Advertisement (Psychologie de la réclame):141 despite its French title, the latter was not acquired during his Paris exile by Kracauer himself, had been received as a copy from Aron Freimann.142 The use of Stoelzel nevertheless might have again been a matter of convenience. Equally surprising is the fact that in a study that was supposed to investigate the topic of “mass and propaganda,”143 Gustave Le Bon’s Psychology of Masses144 is not even considered, and also Freud’s opinion on the topic has readily been ignored,145 though Freud is cited not infrequently in Kracauer’s later work and is also discussed in Horkheimer’s essay Kracauer so emphatically praised. Kracauer also does not mention Wittfogel’s National Socialism,146 which might come as a surprise, since he had referred to the book in the FZ,147 and Wittvogel had not only already early been part of the Institute, but also was present in the Institute’s volume Kracauer refers to when quoting Horkheimer and Fromm.148 The book, however, might not have been available: it is in fact unclear if it ever appeared and whether Kracauer used more than an abstract (only) for his 1932 article.

  • 149 “dass Kracauer […] viel zu wenig Quellenstudium gemacht hat” and “noch ist sie im empirischen Mater (...)
  • 150 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 151 Cf. supra note 90. Später writes: “Kracauer hatte zwar Horkheimer Tribut gezollt, sich aber nicht i (...)
  • 152 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 153 “Von Kracauer ist buchstäblich kein Satz außer den Hitlerzitaten erhalten geblieben” (Letter Adorno (...)
  • 154 Kracauer harshly rejects this argument of benevolence in his letter to Adorno, November 17, 1938 (T (...)
  • 155 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 156 Later, Adorno will again speak of Kracauer’s “priority of the optical”; cf. Miriam Hansen, “Decentr (...)
  • 157 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, May 3, 1938. That a shortening might in general have been required was a (...)
  • 158 “Zu bedenken geben möchte ich noch eins: Kracauer hat offenbar in dieser Arbeit mit einer großen An (...)
  • 159 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: (...)

40Considering the degree of arbitrariness that characterizes the palimpsest of voices in Kracauer’s 1937 study, Adorno may be right when criticising Kracauer for not having consulted enough sources,149 and also when stating that, “regarding his working method,” Kracauer cannot be regarded as “a scientific writer.”150 Adorno might, however, have overlooked that Kracauer’s text in fact often speaks with one voice. The reason is that Kracauer appropriates foreign material on a regular basis to fit his own claims—sometimes out of mere convenience and with complete negligence in terms of reliability—and, if it suits his purpose, may not even have recoiled from transgressions such as “twisting Horkheimer’s views right round.”151 That Adorno did not sufficiently examine whether foreign sources were intentionally appropriated, might explain another dispute that led to the consequence that Kracauer’s study was never published. Adorno’s review of Kracauer’s submission for the Institute amounts to the verdict that it was out of the question Kracauer’s version could be printed, and he subsequently offered to radically restructure Kracauer’s manuscript and to shorten it “from 176 pages to 30.”152 If one considers the arguments Adorno raises in his review, it seems that Adorno’s harsh revisions, which culminated in the atrocity that, “apart from some of the Hitler quotes, literally no sentence was kept,”153 could nevertheless have been benevolent.154 In his final report, Adorno had stressed Kracauer’s talent of observation and description155—and had especially highlighted those passages of Kracauer’s manuscript that are best described as a “phenomenology.”156 Consequently, Adorno mainly eliminated those passages where Kracauer relies on other sources (including Silone) instead of exercising his particular skillset. One could consequentially argue that Adorno in fact aimed at restituting Kracauer’s voice in an apparent cacophony of disparate voices. That Adorno intentionally lied about the main reason for redacting Kracauer’s study (Kracauer never saw the report, and Adorno claimed that financial reasons required the brutal shortening of the piece)157 might then be merely attributed to the fact that Kracauer, due to his idiosyncrasy, needed to be approached with prudence—and thus might be again a matter of form only. Correspondingly, as in the already mentioned 1936 letters of Adorno and Horkheimer, Adorno’s assurances in a letter preceding Kracauer’s refusal, also contain a passage that, although being an assurance of goodwill, could also have been understood as a covert attempt to manipulate Kracauer into accepting the changes, at least if the latter wanted to see his piece published. Adorno also seems to have invested a particular rhetorical effort in his report to convince the recipients to publish Kracauer’s study despite its shortcomings by depicting Kracauer as a “victim of emigration” that would substantially morally profit from a publication158 (drawing again on “pity” as in one of his initial letters to Horkheimer in 1936, where Adorno had suggested Kracauer for the project).159 That Kracauer himself would resort to refusing publication, despite Adorno’s obviously benevolent attempts to assist, was something Adorno most likely did not expect.

  • 160 Kracauer’s letter to Adorno from August 20, 1939 substantiates this point: here Kracauer lists in d (...)
  • 161 Letters Adorno to Kracauer, June 28, 1938 and September 12, 1938. In the latter, Adorno explicitly (...)
  • 162 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 17, 1938 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: (...)
  • 163 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)
  • 164 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘ (...)

41Kracauer’s persistent refusal to give his name as author to the publication, and his later readiness to only have it published with a disclaimer that discloses Adorno’s authorship, however rather point to another alternative: that Kracauer found his views fundamentally misrepresented in Adorno’s version.160 In fact, it is rather unclear if Adorno’s abovementioned efforts were for Kracauer’s benefit only, as Adorno had claimed, or were instead aimed at receiving the permission to radically redact Kracauer’s piece. It must at least be suspicious that the beneficial arguments Adorno raises in his report immediately follow the passage where Adorno graciously offered to redact the study—and that also his two subsequent letters to Kracauer seem to be majorly aimed at convincing Kracauer to accept the redactions.161 Kracauer might have suspected here that Adorno’s revisions were at least not solely guided by the aim to excavate Kracauer’s own voice,162 but might have been guided by ulterior motives. Though Adorno had clearly rejected the latter allegation in his letter to Kracauer of September 12, 1938, in his report on Kracauer’s study, a second perlocutionary aim is explicitly stated by Adorno. What Adorno lists as an advantage is that one of the main deficits of Kracauer’s study (lacking in “economical precision”) could be rendered useful to remedy “a naïve economical understanding that inhibits Marxism at its current stage.”163 In short, the deficits of Kracauer’s study could in fact be fruitfully used to serve another end, the latter however not being Kracauer’s, but the Institute’s: “Man könnte sozusagen aus Kracauers theoretischer Not eine marxistische Tugend machen.”164

  • 165 In his letter to Benjamin, Adorno claims that Kracauer’s manuscript had faced considerable oppositi (...)
  • 166 “Zur Theorie der autoritären Propaganda,” printed in: Siegfried Kracauer, Die totalitäre Propaganda(...)
  • 167 “Du hast in Wirklichkeit mein Manuskript nicht redigiert, sondern als Unterlage für eine eigene Arb (...)
  • 168 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, August 20, 1938, Kracauer-Estate (carbon copy), p. 3. Kracauer repeats t (...)
  • 169 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, August 20, 1938, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I: (...)

42Though also this argument might have been part of Adorno’s attempt to secure Kracauer a publication despite the opposition the piece allegedly faced from other proponents of the Institute,165 Kracauer might not have been wrong in complaining that the voice speaking out of the revised version,166 though being uniform, was not his anymore but Adorno’s.167 To save his own voice, Kracauer refused a publication of Adorno’s version and instead suggested to publish those pages of the study only, which most clearly represented his work, and thus his own views: “the chapter on masses, and if possible, also the final chapter with its construction of the process of self-destruction of totalitarian propaganda.”168 This selection, however, only partly coincides with what Adorno had enumerated as particularly worthy to be kept, and in his extensive letter to Adorno dated August 20, 1938, Kracauer lists a number of examples where Adorno, in fact, had considerably altered Kracauer’s original claims.169

Notes

1 Max Horkheimer, “Egoismus und Freiheitsbewegung,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1936, p. 161–231. The text has been translated in English by Martin Jay under the title “Egoism and the Freedom Movement: on the Anthropology of the Bourgeois Era” (Telos, Vol. 54, 1982, p. 5–60).

2 “Führercharakter” is hard to adequately translate. Literally: “leader-character,” understood as the “significance of the modern leader, the endowment of him with magical qualities, the importance of symbols and festivities, the significance of speech”. Cf. supra, note 1.

3 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).

4 Though “Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens” was the title of the first installment sent to Horkheimer in December 1937 (and consequently also used by Adorno in his report), in his letter to Horkheimer from January 24, 1938 (Kracauer Estate), Kracauer had instead decided on “Die totalitäre Propaganda. Ein politischer Traktat” as the final title.

5 In my essay, I will conveniently refer to “1937” as the date pertaining to the study. The exact date of completion is unclear, it was presumably finished in April 1938 (Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, May 4, 1938 [carbon copy, Kracauer Estate]). 1937, however, was the year of the four-month period allocated to the study, as agreed with the Institute. Cf. Letter Kracauer’s to Adorno, March 5, 1937 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 346) and Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, March 8, 1935 (Horkheimer Estate).

6 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 42 (all subsequent quotations are my translations of the German original).

7 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 54.

8 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 71.

9 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 87.

10 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 118.

11 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 12.

12 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 42.

13 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 80.

14 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 94.

15 Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 12.

16 I will refer to the latter as “Zeitschrift” throughout this essay.

17 Heinrich Regius, Dämmerung. Notizen aus Deutschland, Zürich, Oprecht & Helbling, 1934.

18 Max Horkheimer (ed.), Studien über Autorität und Familie. Forschungsberichte aus dem Institut für Sozialforschung, Paris, Félix Alcan, 1936.

19 Kracauer numbers this text by Horkheimer, and subsequently refers to it throughout the manuscript, as “(1)”.

20 Jörg Später, Siegfried Kracauer. Eine Biographie, Berlin, Suhrkamp, 2016, Chapter 24. I have in general reservations regarding Später’s book, since much of what is communicated by Kracauer in his letters is simply taken for face value, instead of approaching Kracauer’s account of events with a certain caution.

21 Max Horkheimer, Anfänge der bürgerlichen Geschichtsphilosophie, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 1930. That the book in question couldn’t have been Horkheimer’s Dawn: Notes from Germany should already be evident, since the latter did not appear before 1934. Inka Mülder-Bach correctly lists Horkheimer’s Beginnings of the Bourgeois Philosophy of History as the book from which the dispute originated (Inka Mülder, Siegfried Kracauer. Grenzgänger zwischen Theorie und Literatur, Stuttgart, Metzler, 1985, p. 150).

22 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, January 23, 1931 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 271). Kracauer had offered to find another editor, which Horkheimer rejected (Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, November 24, 1930, Kracauer Estate); in this letter, Horkheimer also acknowledges Kracauer’s having no time for the review.

23 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, December 1, 1930 (Kracauer Estate). In his letter from November 24, 1930, Horkheimer had requested that if Kracauer would not review the book, it should not be reviewed at all. On January 26, 1931 (Kracauer Estate), Kracauer however wrote to Drill in the matter, presumably in the hope of securing Horkheimer a benevolent review.

24 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, January 20, 1931 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 267).

25 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, January 21, 1933 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 301).

26 The “Neue Rundschau,” Letter Kracauer to Adorno, 21 January 1933 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 301).

27 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, October 24, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 320).

28 Letter Kracauer to Gertrud and Richard Krautheimer, May 16, 1936, Kracauer-Estate (carbon copy); the latter part of the quote is a free translation of “sondern lenken das Goldschiff behutsam an allen derartigen bedrohlichen Klippen vorbei.”

29 Letter Horkheimer to Adorno October 22, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 196).

30 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 9, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 324).

31 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 185).

32 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 185).

33 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, November 23, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 223).

34 Letter Horkheimer to Adorno, December 8, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).

35 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 21, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 328).

36 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, November 23, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 223).

37 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, February 1, 1937 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 334).

38 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, May 12, 1930 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 209).

39 Siegfried Kracauer, Die Angestellten. Aus dem neuesten Deutschland, Frankfurt a. M., Frankfurter Societäts-Druckerei, 1930. An English edition of this book is available (Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses: Duty and Distraction in Weimar Germany, translated by Quintin Hoare, New York, Verso, 1998).

40 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, May 25, 1930 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 215 sq.).

41 Cf., e.g., Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, May 3, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate), pertaining to an assignment of the Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art.

42 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, January 2, 1931 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 261).

43 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, November 22, 1930 (carbon copy, Kracauer Estate): “Ich danke Ihnen sehr herzlich für Ihr Buch und die freundliche Widmung. Gerade habe ich an unsere Redaktion geschrieben und sie ausdrücklich auf das Buch aufmerksam gemacht.”

44 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, December 21, 1930 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 255). It is unclear though, whether this copy was identical with the signed copy.

45 Georg Simmel, Vom Wesen des historischen Verstehens, Berlin, Ernst Siegfried Mittler, 1918.

46 Georg Simmel, Zur Philosophie der Kunst. Philosophische und kunstphilosophische Aufsätze, Potsdam, Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, 1922.

47 Georg Simmel, Kant. Sechzehn Vorlesungen gehalten an der Berliner Universität, Leipzig, Duncker und Humblot, 1905.

48 In 1920–1921, Kracauer wrote two articles on Simmel (“Georg Simmel” published in the 1920–1921 volume of Logos and “Lebensgefühl in der Epoche des Hochkapitalismus,” published in the August 1920 edition of Der Zuschauer) and commented on Simmel’s Philosophy of the Actor (Logos, Vol. 9, 1920–1921; FZ, June 18, 1921). According to Kracauer, the former two were both chapters “of an unpublished manuscript on the philosophy of Georg Simmel in context with the intellectual life of its time” (Thomas Y. Levin, Siegfried Kracauer. Eine Bibliographie seiner Schriften, Marbach a. Neckar, Deutsche Schillergesellschaft, 1989, p. 68). The full text is now printed under the title “Georg Simmel. Ein Beitrag zur Deutung des geistigen Lebens unserer Zeit” (in: Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. IX-2: Frühe Schriften aus dem Nachlass, edited by Inka Mülder-Bach and Ingrid Belke, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2004, p. 140–280). In 1923 two book reviews by Kracauer were also published in the FZ: one on Simmel’s “Philosophy of Art” (July 4, 1923), and one on the posthumous volume “Fragments and Essays: From the Estate and Publications of the Last Years” (edited by Gertrud Kantorowicz, Munich, Drei Masken Verlag, 1923), published December 18, 1923 (Thomas Y. Levin, Siegfried Kracauer. Eine Bibliographie seiner Schriften, Marbach-am-Neckar, Deutsche Schillergesellschaft, 1989, p. 68, 110 and 118). Kracauer’s copy pertaining to the latter book review does not contain any notes though.

49 Susanne Suhr, Die weiblichen Angestellten. Arbeits- und Lebensverhältnisse. Eine Umfrage des Zentralverbandes der Angestellten, Berlin, Zentralverband der Angestellten, 1930. Kracauer reviewed the book for the FZ in 1930.

50 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, June 19, 1930 (Kracauer Estate): “Es wird jetzt auch die Broschüre über die geschichtsphilosophischen Probleme herauskommen, die Sie seinerzeit gelesen haben. Sie erinnern sich: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Utopie, usw.”

51 Only few letters between the two thinkers of the early 1930s are preserved though.

52 The note was never published (Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen [1932–1965], edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 476 sq.).

53 Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 570.

54 Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 570.

55 Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason, New York, Oxford University Press, 1947, cited at: Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 727, note 5.

56 There are however two volumes from the 1940’s in Kracauer’s possession that where co-authored by Adorno and Horkheimer: Philosophische Fragmente (1944) and Walter Benjamin zum Gedächtnis (1942).

57 Walter Benjamin, cited by Martin Jay, “The Extraterritorial Life of Siegfried Kracauer,” Salmagundi, No. 31-32, 1975-1976, p. 62. That Kracauer was however schooled in philosophy—and instructed the young Adorno in Kant—has been remarked by Martin Jay (“Mass Culture and Aesthetic Redemption: The Debate between Max Horkheimer and Siegfried Kracauer,” in: Seyla Benhabib, Wolfgang Bonß, and John McCole [eds.], On Max Horkheimer: New Perspectives, Cambridge [MA], MIT Press, 1993, p. 368). The number of Kant-Works in Kracauer’s library (all copies dating from the 1920) further substantiate the latter claim, as does his use of Kant in other publications, such as Sociology as Science (Soziologie als Wissenschaft) and The Salaried Masses.

58 Max Horkheimer, Über Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft als Bindeglied zwischen theoretischer und praktischer Philosophie, habilitation thesis, Frankfurt a. M., 1925.

59 Jay has pointed at general and irreducible differences in the positions of both thinkers, e.g., the fact that Horkheimer was fascinated with Schopenhauer and Hegel, while Kracauer was mostly invested in the “level of appearances”; and that Kracauer also later differed much from Horkheimer’s view on mass culture (Martin Jay, “Mass Culture and Aesthetic Redemption: The Debate between Max Horkheimer and Siegfried Kracauer,” in: Seyla Benhabib, Wolfgang Bonß, and John McCole [eds.], On Max Horkheimer: New Perspectives, Cambridge [MA], MIT Press, 1993, p. 369 and 373); Koch on the other hand points at common denominators at least during the 1920’s regarding the topic of phenomenology, including Kant (Gertrud Koch, Siegfried Kracauer: An Introduction, translated by Jeremy Gaines, Princeton [NJ], Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 15). On Kracauer’s reception of Kant, cf. supra note 57.

60 Max Horkheimer, “Ein neuer Ideologiebegriff?,” in: Carl Grünberg (ed.), Archiv für die Geschichte des Sozialismus und der Arbeiterbewegung, Vol. XV, Leipzig, Hirschfeld, 1930, p. 33–56.

61 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, June 19, 1930 (Kracauer Estate).

62 Letter Kracauer to Löwenthal, January 14, 1934 (Leo Löwenthal and Siegfried Kracauer, In steter Freundschaft. Briefwechsel 1921–1966, edited by Peter-Erwin Jansen and Christian Schmidt, Springe, zu Klampen, 2003, p. 75).

63 Max Horkheimer, “Materialismus und Moral,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol. 2, No. 2, 1933, p. 162–197.

64 Löwenthal had sent recent issues of the Zeitschrift.

65 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).

66 Arthur Rosenberg, Geschichte der deutschen Republik, Karlsbad, Graphia, 1935.

67 Arthur Rosenberg, Der Faschismus als Massenbewegung, Karlsbad, Graphia, 1934.

68 Konrad Heiden, Adolf Hitler, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1937; Kracauer had already referred to Heiden’s Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus in a 1932 article (FZ, No. 774-776, October 16, 1932, Literaturblatt No. 43, in: Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen [1932–1965], edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 225 and 688).

69 Willi Münzenberg, Propaganda als Waffe, Paris, Éditions du Carrefour, 1937.

70 Wilhelm Reich, Massenpsychologie des Faschismus. Zur Sexualökonomie der politischen Reaktion und zur proletarischen Sexualpolitik, Kopenhagen, Verlag für Sexualpolitik, 1933.

71 José Ortega y Gasset, Der Aufstand der Massen, Stuttgart / Berlin, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1929.

72 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, 4 pages (Horkheimer Estate).

73 Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934. The book was first published in German. Since the original Italian manuscript was lost, an Italian translation followed as late as 1992, titled: Il fascismo. Origini e sviluppo. A new, authorized translation has been published by Mondadori in 2002 (edited by Mimmo Franzinelli). Cf. Stanislao Pugliese, Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone, New York, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009, p. 388.

74 Ignazio Silone, Brot und Wein, Zürich, Obrecht, 1936. Also first published in German (translated by Adolf Saager), with the Italian version to follow in 1937: Pane e Vino (Lugano: Nuove edizioni di Capolago, 1937) and translated into English by Gwenda David and Eric Mosbacher as Bread and Wine (New York, Harper, 1937). On the different stages and versions of this novel, cf. Hermann W. Haller, “Cronostilistica nei romanzi d’esilio di Ignazio Silone,” Modern Language Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1982, p. 20–35.

75 Kracauer lists two books of Rosenberg in his bibliography: Historikus, Der Faschismus als Massenbewegung (Karlsbad, Graphia, 1934), published under pseudonym, and Arthur Rosenberg, Geschichte der deutschen Republik (Karlsbad, Graphia, 1935).

76 Twenty-four times by name (according to my counting).

77 Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen (1932–1965), edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 532–535; on the question of publication, cf. note 4 on p. 535.

78 Italics added. Kracauer refers to Silone’s book Die Schule der Diktatoren (Zürich / New York, Europa Verlag, 1938) that appeared in 1938 in German and English language. Kracauer however uses a French translation of the title (“L’école des dictateurs”) in this letter, though a French version was not available at the time. In his letter of January 16, 1939, he however uses the (original) German title instead. The most literal translation would be “The Dictator’s School”; I will nevertheless use “The School for Dictators” throughout this essay, since the latter is the title of the 1938 English translation (Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1938, translated by Gwenda David and Eric Mosbacher). The Italian version did not appear until 1963. On the differences between the editions, cf. Patrizia Vallario, La Scuola dei dittatori. Lettura delle due versione: 1938–1962 (held at the University of Florence and published by the Regione Abruzzo, 2003).

79 Letter Kracauer to Silone, March 10, 1938 (Silone Estate).

80 Letter Kracauer to Silone, April 12, 1938 (Silone Estate).

81 Letter Silone to Kracauer, March 29, 1938; Kracauer was in fact later cited in Silone’s book.

82 “While still in Cannet, would you like to read the (German) manuscript of my work which is completed with the exception of 20 pages? I have cited you many times, and would naturally be delighted if you would acknowledge my work […]. The study will, in the course of the year, appear in two parts in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung” (Letter Kracauer to Silone, February 11, 1938, Silone Estate).

83 Letter Kracauer to Meyer Shapiro, July 24, 1938 (Kracauer Estate): “Last week I was visited by Mr. James Farell […]. I was pleased that this wise and knowledgeable man talked so positively about Silone, with whom I extensively agree.”

84 On the question of the translation of the title, see Siegfried Kracauer, supra note 78.

85 Kracauer uses the plural form in German: “Verankerungen.”

86 Letter Kracauer to Silone, January 16, 1939 (Silone Estate).

87 At least Horkheimer’s praise of Kracauer’s study in a letter dated December 15, 1937 (Kracauer Estate) seems to be a question of mere politeness. It is not only insecure if Horkheimer had already read the study at this point of time, but it is also substantiated that the Institute’s protagonists in fact strongly disagreed with Kracauer’s work. See below.

88 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938 (Horkheimer Estate).

89 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 2 (Horkheimer Estate).

90 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 1 (Horkheimer Estate).

91 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).

92 Letter Horkheimer to Adorno, October 22, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).

93 “Da ich jedoch nicht weiß, wie weit Kracauer heute mit unseren Problemen und Anschauungen vertraut ist, so müssten Sie ihn schon eingehend instruieren” (ibid.).

94 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 30, 1936 (Horkheimer Estate).

95 Letter Adorno to Benjamin, October 15, 1936 (in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I: Theodor W. Adorno / Walter Benjamin, Briefwechsel 1928–1940, edited by Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1994, p. 199).

96 Letters Horkheimer to Kracauer from January 9, 1937, April 8, 1937, and May 3, 1937.

97 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, January 9, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate); italics added.

98 Letter Adorno to Krenek, July 18, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate, carbon copy); italics added.

99 Letter Kracauer an Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).

100 Letter Kracauer an Horkheimer, April 20, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate).

101 Some of these shorthand drafts (not only of typewritten but even of handwritten letters) are still part of Kracauer’s Estate—as a letter to Silone from January 19, 1939, that is available in both versions (shorthand draft and handwritten clean copy).

102 Letters Kracauer to Horkheimer from February 14, and April 19, 1940 (Horkheimer Estate).

103 Kracauer to Horkheimer, June 11, 1941 (carbon copy, Kracauer Estate).

104 Letter Horkheimer to Kracauer, May 3, 1937 (Horkheimer Estate). The initiative seems to have originated from Kracauer though, who supposedly had asked Horkheimer to provide him with literature (Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, April 20, 1937, Horkheimer Estate).

105 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, August 7, 1937.

106 Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom, New York / Toronto, Farrar and Rinehart, 1941.

107 Herbert Marcuse, “Über den affirmativen Charakter der Kultur,” Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1937, p. 54–94.

108 Horkheimer refers to such material in a letter (Horkheimer to Kracauer, May 3, 1937, Horkheimer Estate). Kracauer had requested “two important American works on propaganda” via the Paris branch of the Institute, and asked Horkheimer to include other works on “advertising, propaganda, mass and mass theory” that he would recommend (Kracauer to Horkheimer, April 20, 1937, Kracauer Estate).

109 Letter Kracauer to Drill, January 26, 1931 (Kracauer Estate). To control the outcome of the review was, however, not Kracauer’s idea, but Adorno’s (Letter Adorno to Kracauer, January 20, 1931, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 268).

110 Film director William Dieterle and his wife Charlotte. Kracauer was in hope of an Offenbach film. Cf. Graeme Gilloch, Siegfried Kracauer: Our Companion in Misfortune, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2015, p. 234, note 3.

111 Letter Kracauer to Horkheimer, November 26, 1941 (carbon copy, Kracauer Estate); italics added.

112 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 11, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 325).

113 It is unclear why Adorno uses “could” (könnten) here. In general, the phrasing is peculiar in this letter.

114 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, October 24, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 321); Kracauer revisits this “intermezzo” in his letter from November 21, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 329).

115 “Sollten sie sich für meine Idee einer Untersuchung über Propaganda interessieren, so wäre da m.E. Kracauer u.U. einzusetzen” (Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936).

116 “überaus peinliche und ungewohnte konspirative Intermezzo” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 321).

117 “Am liebsten wäre mir, Du würdest diesen Zettel vernichten” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 321).

118 “dass ich dir bei deiner Vermittlungsaktion keine unbegründeten Schwierigkeiten […] bereite” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 329).

119 “an meinem guten Willen soll es überhaupt nicht fehlen” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 329).

120 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, February 11, 1937 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 341).

121 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 2 (Horkheimer Estate): “Das Material über Italien ist fast ausschließlich Silone entnommen, der mir als marxistischer Gewährsmann keineswegs über jedem Zweifel zu sein scheint.”

122 Die nationalsozialistische Weltanschauung. Ein Wegweiser durch die nationalsozialistische Literatur. 500 markante Zitate. Zusammengestellt und hrsg. von Univ. Prof. Dr. H. de Vries de Heekelingen, Berlin, Pan Verlagsgesellschaft, 1932.

123 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 2 (Horkheimer Estate): “Seine Zitate sind meist second-hand”; Kracauer repeats this criticism in a letter to Benjamin: “das Material durchwegs aus zweiter Hand” (Letter Adorno to Benjamin, March 7, 1938, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I: Theodor W. Adorno / Walter Benjamin, Briefwechsel 1928–1940, edited by Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1994, p. 313).

124 Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934, p. 33.

125 Kracauer’s version reads “Der Faschismus, so bekennt Umberto Bianchelli, konnte sich fortentwickeln, weil er unter der Sicherheitspolizei und den Offizieren der Carabinieri und anderen bewaffneten Kräften italienische Herzen und Ideale fand” (Cahier I July / Dec. 1937, AII/III 5, Kracauer Estate), while in Silone’s book the following passage can be found: “Umberto Bianchelli bekennt […]. Der Fascismus […] konnte sich frei entwickeln, weil er unter der Sicherheitspolizei, den Offizieren der Carabinieri und anderen bewaffneten Kräften italienische Herzen und Ideale fand” (Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934, p. 119).

126 Ignazio Silone, Der Fascismus, seine Entstehung und seine Entwicklung, Zürich, Europa Verlag, 1934, p. 119.

127 Cf. Siegfried Kracauer, Totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 165.

128 Kracauer had already referred to Rosenberg’s 1932 Geschichte des Bolschewismus von Marx bis zur Gegenwart in an article which appeared in 1933 in L’Europe Nouvelle (Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen [1932–1965], edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 441). He will later refer to Rosenberg’s Entstehung der deutschen Republik again both in Caligari and in History: Last Things before the Last. Also in general, both the political engagement and the positions held by the latter thinker must have been more congruent with Kracauer’s, than with other contemporary historians. Similar considerations apply to Willi Münzenberg as a source.

129 Erwin von Beckerath, Wesen und Werden des fascistischen Staates, Berlin, Julius Springer, 1927.

130 Olivier Agard, Siegfried Kracauer. Le chiffonnier mélancolique, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2010, p. 229.

131 Hirt’s Deutsche Sammlung Sachkundliche Abteilung. Geschichte & Staatsbürgerkunde; Gruppe II: Ereignisse, Vol. 6: Die Nationalsozialistische Revolution, edited by Walther Gehl; Gruppe III: Grundfragen, Vol. 4: Der nationalsozialistische Staat, No. 2: Vom 13. November 1933 bis 10. September 1934, edited by Walther Gehl; Gruppe III: Grundfragen, Vol. 3: Der nationalsozialistische Staat, No. 1: 12. November 1933, edited by Walther Gehl.

132 Rosi Karfiol, “Mittelstandsprobleme,” in: Benedict Schmittmann (ed.), Kölner sozialistische Studien, Köln, Reichs- und Heimat Verlag, 1934.

133 Benedict Schmittmann, “Das Mittelstandsproblem im Dritten Reich,” in: Benedict Schmittmann (ed.), Kölner sozialistische Studien, Köln, Reichs- und Heimat Verlag, 1934.

134 Hans Erich Priester, Das deutsche Wirtschaftswunder, Amsterdam, Querido, 1936.

135 Hélène Roussel, “Das deutsche Exil in den dreißiger Jahren und die Frage des Zugangs zu den Medien,” in: Hélène Roussel and Lutz Winckler (eds.), Rechts und links der Seine. Pariser Tageblatt und Pariser Tageszeitung 1933–1940, Tübingen, Niemeyer Verlag, 1992, p. 21.

136 Pariser Tageszeitung, Vol. 2, No. 225, 3, January 22, 1937. Available online: <http://d-nb.info/1040700543> [last accessed: March 20, 2019].

137 Max Hermant, Les paradoxes économiques de l’Allemagne moderne 1918–1931, Paris, Armand Colin, 1931.

138 Robert Pelloux, Le parti national-socialiste et ses rapports avec l’État, Paris, Paul Hartmann, 1936.

139 Eugène Wernert, L’art dans le IIIe Reich, une tentative d’esthétique, Paris, Paul Hartmann, 1936.

140 Roger Mauduit, La réclame. Étude de sociologie économique, Paris, Félix Alcan, 1933.

141 Mémoire d’études supérieures sous la direction de Célestin Bouglé, École normale supérieure, 1932. Kracauer refers to the latter in his notes (“Diplôme d’études supérieures / Philosophie / Directeur: M. Georges Dumas / 15. Mai 1934” [The transcription “DEA-Schrift an der Faculté des Lettres de Paris bei Georges Dumas, 15. Mai 1934” in the German edition by Fleck and Stiegler is not correct since the DEA did not exist at that time, G.R.]).

142 Though Kracauer refers to having received the copy “from Aron,” a particular date is not given.

143 The title of the exposé Kracauer submitted to be considered for the project. Though the exposé was written for another stipend application, as Kracauer repeatedly emphasizes (e.g. Letters to Horkheimer from January 28, 1937 and February 5, 1937 [Kracauer Estate]), he nevertheless adopted the title to denote the institutes assignment for his study (Letter Kracauer to Adorno, March 5, 1937 [A/K 346]: “die Untersuchung, die ich im Auftrag des Instituts während der vier hierfür vorgesehenen Monate über das Thema ‘Masse und Propaganda’ anstelle”).

144 Gustave Le Bon, Psychologie des foules, Paris, Félix Alcan, 1895.

145 Regarding Freud, cf. Stefan Jonsson, “After Individuality: Freud’s Mass Psychology and Weimar Politics,” New German Critique, Vol. 40, No. 119, 2013, p. 53–75.

146 Karl August Wittfogel, Der Nationalsozialismus, Berlin, Malik Verlag, 1924. The book was listed in a 1932 FZ article by Kracauer (cf. infra, note 147). It is unclear though if the book ever appeared. No record of it seems to be available, neither under his name, nor under the pseudonym Wittfogel later used (Klaus Hinrichs). Since the political situation had drastically changed the following year, and Wittfogel was interned, it is possible the book was in fact never published. Wittfogel’s books were also blacklisted according to the Liste des schädlichen und unerwünschten Schrifttums (Leipzig, Hedrich, 1935/1938), 2:163: “all works” by Wittfogel were marked as objectionable here. Wittfogel was however only added in 1938 to the list.

147 FZ, No. 774-776, October 16, 1932, Literaturblatt No. 43 (Siegfried Kracauer, Werke, Vol. V-4: Essays, Feuilletons, Rezensionen [1932–1965], edited by Inka Mülder-Bach, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2011, p. 225 et 688).

148 The first study in the volume is Wittfogel’s “Wissenschaftsgeschichtliche Grundlagen der Entwicklung der Familienautorität.”

149 “dass Kracauer […] viel zu wenig Quellenstudium gemacht hat” and “noch ist sie im empirischen Material ausreichend fundiert” (Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, respectively p. 2 and 1 [Horkheimer Estate]).

150 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 1 (Horkheimer Estate).

151 Cf. supra note 90. Später writes: “Kracauer hatte zwar Horkheimer Tribut gezollt, sich aber nicht ins Korsett des Horkheimer-Kreises einzwängen lassen. In für ihn typischer Manier interessierte ihn nicht nur die Demaskierung der Herrschenden, sondern die Maske selbst” (Jörg Später, Siegfried Kracauer. Eine Biographie, Berlin, Suhrkamp, 2016, p. 380).

152 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 3 (Horkheimer Estate); which he in fact did with the assistance of Leo and Franz Neumann, Letter Adorno to Kracauer, June 28, 1938 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 392).

153 “Von Kracauer ist buchstäblich kein Satz außer den Hitlerzitaten erhalten geblieben” (Letter Adorno to Benjamin, August 3, 1938, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I: Theodor W. Adorno / Walter Benjamin, Briefwechsel 1928–1940, edited by Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1994, p. 395–400).

154 Kracauer harshly rejects this argument of benevolence in his letter to Adorno, November 17, 1938 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 406).

155 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 2 (Horkheimer Estate).

156 Later, Adorno will again speak of Kracauer’s “priority of the optical”; cf. Miriam Hansen, “Decentric Perspectives: Kracauer’s Early Writings on Film and Mass Culture,” New German Critique, No. 54, 1991, Special Issue on Siegfried Kracauer, p. 71.

157 Letter Adorno to Kracauer, May 3, 1938. That a shortening might in general have been required was already communicated by Horkheimer in his letter to Kracauer, dated February 4, 1938, thus preceded Adorno’s report, and the archival material confirms that, in fact, material restrictions applied for publications of the Institute during this time. After having written the report, deeming it unjustifiable to publish Kracauer’s piece, it however must be regarded as an outright lie when Adorno claims (in his May letter to Kracauer) that the crude shortenings were mandated by financial constraints and that even his own publications were affected by the precarious situation. In his letter to Kracauer dated December 15, 1937, Horkheimer had in fact still communicated the intent of a complete publication of Kracauer’s study in two installments: the first part would be published at latest in the second 1938 issue of the Zeitschrift, the second part was most likely to be published in another issue some time later (“Wahrscheinlich kann man die Studie dann getrennt in einem späteren Heft veröffentlichen”).

158 “Zu bedenken geben möchte ich noch eins: Kracauer hat offenbar in dieser Arbeit mit einer großen Anstrengung, die ich ihm hoch anrechne, versucht, sich aus der Sphäre des Warenschriftstellers herauszuarbeiten […]. Schließlich glaube ich, mich keiner Sentimentalität schuldig zu machen, wenn ich sage, dass gerade bei einem Emigrationsopfer wie Kracauer, das in einer immerhin anständigen Weise versucht, seinen geistigen Standard wiederzugewinnen, auch der moralische Effekt einer Publikation auf den Autor so ernst zu nehmen ist, dass wir ihn bei unserer Entscheidung nicht unberücksichtigt lassen sollten” (Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 4 [Horkheimer Estate]).

159 Letter Adorno to Horkheimer, October 12, 1936 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 185).

160 Kracauer’s letter to Adorno from August 20, 1939 substantiates this point: here Kracauer lists in detail which claims in particular have been disfigured, and by which formal and intellectual means Adorno has made the work his own.

161 Letters Adorno to Kracauer, June 28, 1938 and September 12, 1938. In the latter, Adorno explicitly states: “die Arbeit hatte außer dem sachlichen Zweck keinen anderen als den, Dir förderlich zu sein” (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 401).

162 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, November 17, 1938 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 406): “daß ich nicht verstehe, wie Du es mein Interesse nennen kannst.”

163 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 3 (Horkheimer Estate). It is hard to discern whether this is again part of Adorno’s rhetorical tactics to secure Kracauer’s manuscript a publication (despite his devastating review), or if Adorno, in fact, was motivated by this prospect.

164 Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 3 (Horkheimer Estate).

165 In his letter to Benjamin, Adorno claims that Kracauer’s manuscript had faced considerable opposition at the Institute: “Ich meine aber, so viel Brauchbares darin zu finden, daß es sich retten läßt; eine Meinung, mit der ich jedoch so isoliert bin, daß ich nicht weiß, ob sie zu einem positivem Resultat führen wird” (Letter Adorno to Benjamin, May 4, 1938, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I: Theodor W. Adorno / Walter Benjamin, Briefwechsel 1928–1940, edited by Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1994, p. 327). Contrary to this claim, Horkheimer’s letter to Kracauer (December 15, 1937, Horkheimer Estate) contained a very positive remark instead. It remains unclear, however, whether such praise was honest and whether Horkheimer had even read the study at this point of time. Horkheimer does not mention the manuscript in his letter to Adorno dated December 17, 1937 (Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. IV: Theodor W. Adorno / Max Horkheimer, Briefwechsel 1927–1969, Vol. IV-1: 1927–1937, edited by Christoph Gödde and Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2003, p. 511), and also in the subsequent letters the piece is not at all mentioned.

166 “Zur Theorie der autoritären Propaganda,” printed in: Siegfried Kracauer, Die totalitäre Propaganda, edited by Bernd Stiegler, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2013, p. 266–296.

167 “Du hast in Wirklichkeit mein Manuskript nicht redigiert, sondern als Unterlage für eine eigene Arbeit benutzt […]. Du hast Dein Manuskript mit meinem Namen gezeichnet” (Letter Kracauer to Adorno, August 20, 1938, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. VII: Theodor W. Adorno / Siegfried Kracauer, Briefwechsel 1923–1966, edited by Wolfgang Schopf, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 2008, p. 398 and 400).

168 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, August 20, 1938, Kracauer-Estate (carbon copy), p. 3. Kracauer repeats the request in his letter to Horkheimer from August 20, 1938. This selection only partly coincides with what Adorno had in fact listed as particularly noteworthy about Kracauer in his report, where he stresses the pages “53 of 57” of the (however lost) typescript, which were part of the first installment, the “mobility of partial ideologies,” and Kracauer’s “depiction of terror.” Adorno however also included parts of the passages dear to Kracauer in his suggestion, as “the claim of the continuous reproduction of the masses” and the “critique of the opposition of the personality of the leader and the mass as a merely ostensible opposition” (Theodor W. Adorno, “Gutachten über die Arbeit ‚Die totalitäre Propaganda Deutschlands und Italiens‘, S. 1 bis S. 106 von Siegfried Kracauer,” dated March 5, 1938, p. 2).

169 Letter Kracauer to Adorno, August 20, 1938, in: Theodor W. Adorno, Briefe und Briefwechsel, Vol. I: Theodor W. Adorno / Walter Benjamin, Briefwechsel 1928–1940, edited by Henri Lonitz, Frankfurt a. M., Suhrkamp, 1994, p. 395–400.

Notes de fin

* This article is part of a larger project on Kracauer’s exile writings, which was graciously funded by Marbach- and C.H. Beck-Fellowships. The author expresses his gratitude to the German Literature Archive in Marbach (Kracauer Estate) for both the intellectual and financial support that made this endeavor possible, to the Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg, Frankfurt a. M. (Horkheimer Estate) for providing facilitated access to Horkheimer’s correspondence, and to the Fondazione di Studi Storici Filippo Turati for making Kracauer’s correspondence to Silone available. All translations (both from the French and the German) are, unless otherwise noted, my translations. I have attempted to stay as close to the original as possible, trying to convey Kracauer’s peculiar writing style which sometimes conflicts with current German grammar (especially punctuation). Slight modifications have been made to secure readability.

Auteur

Hans Jochen Lind, C.H. Beck Fellow at the German Literature and Lecturer at Yale University / University of Vienna. Latest book: Fictional Discourse and the Law, editor (Routledge, 2020 [forthcoming]).

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