In 1937, Germany’s Nazi government staged an exhibition in Munich entitled “Entartete Kunst”—the official designation given to all “modern art” which was not strictly classicist or realist in nature.
The exhibition was not merely designed to illustrate what the Nazis deemed “bad art,” but had a political purpose.
“Modern art” was deemed to be part of the overall assault on “German art” and culture by a Bolshevist—and largely Jewish—movement of “artists” who were working in tandem with the Communist movement to destroy German, and Western, civilization.
Included in this “degenerate art” were all works classed as cubism, Dada, surrealism, symbolism, post-Impressionism and Fauvism. Germany’s art museums were scoured for such works, and were declared forfeit to the state.
When the exhibition finally closed, this guide-book, written by Fritz Kaiser, an official in the Reich Propaganda Ministry, was issued as a souvenir.
This version consists of a high quality reproduction of the original German booklet, and then an English-language translation, neatly laid out in the place of the German text. A fascinating historical document.
“‘Works of art’ which cannot be understood, cannot speak for themselves but require a verbose set of instructions in order to find some shy creature who patiently listens to such stupid and brazen nonsense, will from now on no longer reach the German People.”—Adolf Hitler, 1937, as quoted in the book.