Between the end of WWI and the Nazis’ rise to power, the Weimar Republic era was a period of social, economic, and political upheaval in Germany and of thriving cultural and artistic experimentation. Modern Art, which cut ties from ridged tradition and promoted freedom of expression, was rising in popularity and Hitler did not approve. He deemed modernist tendencies to be the result of genetic inferiority and society’s moral decline, labeling the artwork it produced as ‘Degenerate’.
The Third Reich used art as a tool of propaganda to sway public opinion and build support for their nefarious narrative. Explore some of the artists, movements, events and outcomes of being branded ‘Degenerate,’ and the role it played in public indoctrination to Nazi ideology through pieces from private and public collections.
IMAGE: From the Degenerate Art Exhibition in Munich, Germany, 1937
ABOUT JEWISH MUSEUM MILWAUKEE: The Jewish Museum Milwaukee is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Jewish people in southeastern Wisconsin and celebrating the continuum of Jewish heritage and culture. The history of American Jews is rooted in thousands of years of searching for freedom and equality. We are committed to sharing this story and the life lessons it brings with it, so that we may enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Jewish life and culture. We are committed to building bridges between diverse groups through shared history and to exploring contemporary issues through the lens of Jewish history, culture and values.