"Degenerate Art", the revenge on the Nazis. In Berlin on display extraordinary discoveries

A posthumous triumph over the Nazis that also has the flavor of the miracle of the story about eleven stauine arte cosiddetta “degenerata”, came to light after 70 years and now exhibited at the Neues Museum di Berlino. Detected between January and October this year under the rubble of a building in Berlin, bombed during World War II, works in bronze and terracotta were now considered lost, confiscated and banned under the Third Reich as "decadent Jewish art or Bolshevik ".

These bronzes, absolutely intact, made by E Dwin Scharff, Otto Baum, Marg Moll, Gustav

Karl Knappe Hagar, 1923 - Bronze Vorkriegszustand, Höhe: 50.5 cm Reproduktion aus: Beloubek-Hammer. Die schönen der besseren Zukunft gestalten. Köln 2007

Heinrich Wolff, Naum Slutzky and Karl Knappe, and parts of ceramic works by Otto Freundlich and Roeder. But other works have been recovered and have not yet been identified, the bronze of a woman, a torso and a head and ceramic. Hermann Parzinger, president of the Cultural Heritage Foundation said: "As you can see, the archaeological reserve surprises: during the excavations were being sought signs of the medieval history of Berlin and instead have found traces of the most interesting and deeply moving the recent past. "

A unique and significant finding, especially since in 1938 following the Law on Forfeiture of Degenerate art products seized and destroyed many works ended. The figurines have surfaced during an excavation in the heart of Berlin, close to Alexanderplatz, where in fact, an excavation is in progress that attempts to reach the layers of the medieval city. First, however, were removed the more superficial layers of earth and recent.

In January 2010, a metal object has aroused the surprise of ARCHAEOLOGICAL, after initial cleaning has been identified as a work of art. A few weeks after it was clear that this was a portrait of the actress Anni Mewes created by Edwin Scharff. The excavations are continuing, the idea that we are the experts is that this was a unique find, but in August in a corner of what was to be the cellar of the building bombed here is another check and a bronze sculpture of clay then identified as part of the work "Pregnancy" by Roeder, from there connection with the "degenerate art" has been confirmed. Here are other treasures that the land issue, "the girl standing of Otto Baum," the dancer "of Moll Marg," Hagar "by Karl Knappe, fragments of a "head" Otto Freundlich, and a large torso possibly associated with a head cast in stone that has not been identified. In late October, the latest surprise: the Naum Slutzky in bust of a woman, a standing figure of Heinrich Gustav Wolff, still a figure in bronze and other unidentified fragments of a ceramic sculpture.

The sculptures have been found in an area of limited size, the experts also speculate that these works were only finished in the cellar after the collapse and the ensuing fire (probably had to be there but the paintings would be destroyed) the building of King's Road 50, the path of art. we also make assumptions about who could be the owner of the works takes place and a name, that of Oewerdieck Erhard (1893-1977), a trustee who lived on the fourth floor of the house with his wife Charlotte. The couple has helped save many Jewish citizens during the war, for which it was recognized by Memorial Yad Vashem as "Righteous among the Nations."

Some works had also been part of the notorious exhibition of Arts degenarata prepared by Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels in 1937. After the seizures in the various museums in some of the works in the exhibition ended, and then stored in a basement of the Ministry of Propaganda, then follow the paths never fully understood. With regard to Mr. Oewerdiecks, the cards left make no reference to works of art, therefore, it is a story yet to be discovered. Show Info: www.smb.museum

Otto Baum Stehendes Mädchen, 1930 - Bronze Vorkriegszustand, Höhe: 65 cm © Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Otto Freundlich Kopf, 1925 - Zustand nach Reinigung und Fragmente 10/2010 Terrakotta Anfügung Einiger, schwarz glasiert, Fragment, ursprüngliche Höhe: 31 cm © Photo: Achim Kleuker, Berlin

Marg Moll Tänzerin, um 1930 - Vorkriegszustand Messing, Höhe: 65 cm Reproduktion: Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Emy Roeder Schwangere, 1918 - Zustand nach Reinigung und Fragmente 10/2010 Terrakotta Anfügung Einiger, Fragment, ursprüngliche Höhe: 80.5 cm © Photo: Achim Kleuker, Berlin

Edwin Scharff Bildnis der Schauspielerin Anni Mewes, 1917/1921 - Vorkriegszustand Bronze, Höhe: 37.5 cm © Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Naum Slutzky Weibliche Envelopes, vor 1931 - Vorkriegszustand Bronze, Höhe: 15.5 cm Reproduktion aus: Joppien Rüdiger (Hrsg.). Naum Slutzky. 1894-1965. Ein Bauhauskünstler in Hamburg. Ausstellungskatalog. Hamburg 1995

Bust unidentified © Photo: Achim Kleuker, Berlin

Archaeologist at work © Landesdenkmalamt Berlin, Foto: Manuel Escobedo

THE EXHIBITION "degenerate art" in 1937

Section Dada Reproduktion: Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Works by Kandinsky, Feininger, Nolde, and sculptures Dexel diMarg Moll, Tänzerin (um 1930); im Vordergrund rechts: Otto Baum, Stehendes Mädchen (1930) Reproduktion: Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Sculptures Marg Moll, Otto Baum, Eugen Hoffmann und Rudolf Belling Reproduktion: Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Emy Roeder, Schwangere (1918) Reproduktion: Zentralarchiv, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

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2 comments for “"Degenerate Art", the revenge on the Nazis. In Berlin on display extraordinary discoveries”

  • Andrew Hoellering says:

    These few pieces of so-called ‘degenerate art’ are inspirational, and the name of Erhard Oewerdieck, like those of the artists themselves, shines out like a beacon across the years.

  • [...] In January this year, Berlin construction workers discovered a buried storehouse of Modernist and Expressivist sculptures and bronzes hidden to protect against Nazi destruction of “degenerate” art 70 years earlier. They are now on display at Neues Museum di Berlino. A gallery of the pieces here. [...]

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