Jacob D’ArcyEnglish 10ReportStolen artby Nazis1-20-18 Under Hitler’s regime, art was lookedat as modern and a sign of class.
Bothof which challenged his goal and questioned his authority. The stolen art by the Nazis was called NaziPlunder, which was the stealing of art. Paintings,ceramics, books, and religious treasures were the objects that were stolen. Many of these pieces of art that were stolenwere never found. Some of the art were put into German museums while otherswere sold to private buyers. Also somewere given to high ranking officials of the Nazi party as mementos.
Some of thepaintings that could not be sold were publicly burnt because they were oflittle value or little importance. The most famous art auction was thedegenerate art auction in Switzerland.From 1937 to 1939 it was estimated that over 20,000 pieces ofart were stolen and soldat the auction.
Several modern types of art such as:expressionism and surrealism were the most common types of art sold. These types of art were lookedat by Hitler as forward thinking and this challenged his agenda.Neuendorf, Henri. (2017, Aug 4) 80 Years After Hitler’s ‘Degenerate Art’ Show, Two German MuseumsConfront Its Dark Legacy. news.artnet.
com/exhibitions/degenerate-art-80-years-1037816Artist that were looked at by theNazis as modernist were Emile Nolde, Franz Marc, George Grosz, and many otherartists. These were all German artist that Hitler viewed as a threat to hisplan. There were many other artists,including Jews, Americans and Europeans whose works were sold or destroyed. Therewere three main reasons why Hitler confiscated, sold and destroyed degenerateart. Some of these pieces of art wereworth a lot of money.
The Nazis soldthem to help pay for the costs of running the country and the military. Artthat was created by Jews had to be stopped in Hitler’s mind. Hitler thoughtthat the art of the Jews and Bolsheviks threatened the spiritual health of theGerman people. Artists whose paintings were seen as degenerate were forbiddento make any more pieces of art or they would be killed.
Some of the Germanartists were initially excepted by Hitler and the rest of the Nazi party, butlater were seen as degenerate artist. Hitlerhad hated degenerate art because he was a failed artist himself who had failedliked traditional art such as buildings and landscapes. This type of art wasrejected by the art establishment. So to gain his revenge Hitler began thedegenerate art exhibition. Nazis claimedthat the degenerate art auctions were only pieces of art by Jews andBolsheviks. But only 6 of the 112 artist that were in the exhibition wereJewish. The idea of the degenerate art exhibition was to mock the modern artand that this type of art was an evil plot against the German people. Thedegenerate art auction attracted millions of people.
Some of the art was laterburned by Nazis. For some of these artists this was a very good thing becausetheir pieces of art became more valuable abroad. Some of the artists that werein the exhibition are thought of as some of the greatest modern artists of alltime. If the artists rejected the order to change their art so that it was notdegenerate, they would be exiled from Germany.Burns, Lucy. (2013, Nov 6).Degenerate art: Why Hitler Hated Modernism.
www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24819441 Lastly,the demolition of art showed Hitler’s power by being able to ban modern art inGermany by only allowing classical art.
Hitler ordered for degenerate paintingsto be stolen and put into museums to mock them. This allowed for Hitler to keepthe people in order by not only owning their belongings but by truly believingthat he owned their thoughts and expressions. He wanted everybody to be like himand didn’t want change because he believed the Germans were the superior raceof the world. Someof the famous paintings that were stolen were the Saint Justa and Saint Rufinaby Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Painter on The Road to Tarascon by Vincent VanGogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Adele Bloch-BauerI by Gustav Klimt, Altarpiece of Veit Stoss by Veit Stoss, Place de la Concordeby Edgar Degas, The Astronomer by Johannes Vermeer, Amber Room by AndreasSchluter, Madonna of Bruges by Michelangelo. Most of which were never recovered after thewar. Johnson, Bryan. (2014, March 13).
Top 10 Famous Pieces of Art Stolen by the Nazis. www.toptenz.net/10-famous-pieces-of-art-stolen-by-the-nazis.
php Someof these paintings that were stolen were found in other museums around theworld, in Officers of the Nazi army’s homes and by buyers from theauctions. The majority have never beenfound because many of the pieces of art were hidden or given away to highranking military officials or to private buyers. Cornelius Gurlitt was the sonof a Nazi art dealer who had reportedly been keeping an estimated 1.35 billiondollars’ worth of paintings to himself. Most of the art was stolen during WorldWar II. More than 1400 works were seizedby the government and over 600 of them are being investigated because they arethought to be Nazi loot. The German government went under heavy criticismbecause they waited so long to announce that they have found all of thesepaintings. Family members of the Jewish people have been waiting forreparations for so long because all of these paintings were part of theirculture.
The German government announced that they intend to double funding forthe search of the stolen art. Even today there is Nazi looted art in Germanmuseums. Wiener-Bronner, Danielle.
(2014, Feb 11). Sixty More Works Discoveredin Hidden Nazi Art Trove. www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/02/more-nazi-art-loot/357951/ Thestolen art of the Nazi party is a very important topic throughout the world andespecially in Hollywood.
There has been multiple movies created about thestolen art by the Nazis. A few of these movies are the Rape of Europa which wasa documentary on Nazi Germany’s plundering of Europe’s greatest art works duringWorld War II. Another movie is the Monuments Men. It is a drama movie about how a World War IIplatoon is given the mission to rescue art masterpieces from the Nazi thievesthat stole them and return them to their rightful owners. The last movie is Woman in Gold which is abiography about a woman who was a Jewish refugee who takes on the Austriangovernment to recover the artwork stolen by the Nazis that she believesrightfully belongs to her family.
Inconclusion, it is clear to see that Hitler didn’t have a problem with thedegenerate art but rather with the failures of his past and as a failed artist.Hitler wanted to keep the people of Germany limited to what he liked and whathe thought was best for them. By doing this he was able to keep a stronghold onthe people and create fear against anyone that went against his beliefs. It isa shame that much of the art was destroyed and some never found, so it willnever be able to be appreciated or returned to the families of the rightfulowners.
WORKSCITED Neuendorf,Henri. (2017, Aug 4) 80 Years After Hitler’s ‘Degenerate Art’ Show, Two GermanMuseums Confront Its Dark Legacy. news.artnet.com/exhibitions/degenerate-art-80-years-1037816 Burns,Lucy. (2013, Nov 6).
Degenerate art: Why Hitler Hated Modernism. www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24819441 Johnson,Bryan.
(2014, March 13). Top 10 Famous Pieces of Art Stolen by the Nazis. www.toptenz.net/10-famous-pieces-of-art-stolen-by-the-nazis.
php Wiener-Bronner,Danielle. (2014, Feb 11). Sixty More Works Discovered in Hidden Nazi Art Trove.www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/02/more-nazi-art-loot/357951/