German cultural life has flourished in the many cities that were once the capitals of near-independent states. Their rulers sponsored the arts, music, and theater, and established many fine libraries, galleries, and museums that survived long after the dynasties were gone. The kings of Prussia founded the Prussian State Library (now the Berlin State Library-Prussian Cultural Heritage), the National Gallery, and the Museum of Greek and Roman Antiquities in Berlin.
In Munich the Bavarian kings founded the Bavarian State Library, the Alte Pinakothek art gallery, and the famous Deutsches Museum, a museum of scientific and technological inventions. The kings of Saxony founded a splendid art collection in the Zwinger Palace in Dresden. In addition, excellent university libraries and many city and monastery libraries exist throughout the country. Records of the Nazi period are located in the Federal Archives in Koblenz and in the Berlin Document Center, which houses 25 million Nazi Party documents. A large number of private archives of businesses and individuals and fine private museums, such as the Wallraf Museum in Cologne, are also found in Germany.
The German film industry flourished during the Weimar years, which produced well-known directors such as Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, and F. W. Murnau.
These directors left Germany for the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, and the German film industry became largely a wasteland until the post-World War II period. However, the documentary films of Leni Riefenstahl drew praise for their novel camera work and creative editing, despite their distasteful glorification of the Nazi regime. In the 1960s and 1970s, with the help of government subsidies and television contracts, a few new directors nurtured a modestly successful film industry. German filmmakers later honored at international film festivals include Volker Schlöndorff, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Jürgen Syberberg, and Margarethe von Trotta. "Germany" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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