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Caricatured Tribute to Artists on ‘List’

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/caricatured_tribute_to_artists_on_list_20050304

In the summer of 1937, the Nazi Party opened an exhibition in Munich titled "Great German Art." Much of the show's art was culled from Hitler's personal collection -- he had amassed a number of works with the proceeds from his autobiography, "Mein Kampf." The show consisted of pure lines and pure themes, with scenes of immaculate peasants tilling the fields, families sitting down to hearty dinners and soldiers fighting for an Aryan Germany. More than 420,000 visitors gathered to see this show in the city that was the birthplace of the Nazi Party. Later that week, the Nazis opened another exhibition across the street. This time the theme was "Degenerate Art." Works confiscated from German galleries were badly hung on the walls, labeled with crude hand-scrawled captions. It was a showcase, a freak show of the works of "degenerate" artists, Bolsheviks, homosexuals and Jews, whose work and lives the Nazis hoped to extinguish in the coming years. More than 2 million people saw that show. It was a blockbuster success.

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