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  1. In 1938, Goebbels wrote in his diary:: “Works of degenerate art will be sold on the international art market. We hope to make some money with this shit.” But first, the degenerates were shown to the people.

    On July 19, 1937, at the initiative of Hitler, the exhibition “Degenerate Art”was opened in Munich. In 32 museums in Germany, a special commission selected 730 works by 112 artists. The purpose of the exhibition is to show the superiority of healthy and strong National Socialist art over the sick and stunted art of various Bolshevik-Jewish individuals.

    The authors of the catalog issued for this exhibition, which cost 50 pfennigs (admission was free), wrote something like this: “This art is degenerate insofar as it affects the original values of the tribe: the barbarism of visual means, the perversion of the perception of form and color, the deliberate distortion of drawing, the meaninglessness of plots — it encroaches on the very German blood. The sick brain of the avant-gardist encroaches on the values of self-preservation of the community-whether they are military or moral values. The Germans in his image look like stupid lustful brutes. The whore is idealized — as opposed to the bourgeois woman, who, in the opinion of this vicious creator, is morally much more licentious than the prostitute. He praises ugliness. Finally, he sees the racial ideal as a Negro or a native of the islands of the Southern hemisphere.”

    To warn particularly impressionable citizens about the picturesque horrors that could await them in the dim halls of this shameful exhibition, a poster was hung out in front of the entrance: “Minors and pregnant women are not allowed to enter!”

    The idea was a success. If the pompous official “Big Exhibition of German Art”, which opened a day earlier, was visited by 500 thousand viewers, then 2 million people came to see degenerates in three and a half months, which is still an unsurpassed result in terms of attendance at exhibitions of contemporary art.

    The excitement of the audience, however, did not save the disgraced artists from the institutional meat grinder. The “fighters against modernism” knew their job well. At the beginning of 1937, the German Art Bulletin (the official art organ) published an order issued by Goebbels and his Ministry of Propaganda, in pursuance of which this exhibition was held:

    “1. All works made in the spirit of cosmopolitanism and Bolshevism should be removed from German museums and public collections. Before that, they must be shown to the general public with an explanation of the details of their acquisition by German museums. Then such works should be burned.

    1. All museum directors who squandered public money on” non-German ” art should be mercilessly dismissed.

    2. No artist with Marxist or Bolshevik connections should be mentioned in the media in a positive context.

    3. No Bauhaus-style building should ever be built again…”

    Directors were removed; artists were declared enemies of the state and destroyers of German culture-some were banned from the profession, some died in concentration camps (although no one was repressed directly as a result of the exhibition), some immigrated, some committed suicide (Ernst Ludwig Kirchner); the paintings were collected, displayed (three and a half months in Munich, then rolled around the country for two years), and then either stolen (for example, among the 14 works stolen from the exhibition for Goering was a canvas by the degenerate Franz Marc “Tower of Blue Horses” (1913), which, by the way, the German Union of Officers demanded to remove from the exhibition, since Mark was an officer who fell for Germany in the First World War) or tried to sell.

    Three international auctions were held, of course, in neutral Switzerland, in Lucerne (two in 1939 and one on June 28, 1941), earned sparsely, only 681,000 Reichsmarks. For example, Van Gogh's ” Self-Portrait “(1888) went for 175,000 Swiss francs, Picasso's” Solaire Family “(1903) – for 36,000, Marc Chagall's” Blue House “(1920) – for 3,300, August Macke's” Restaurant in the Park ” (1912) – for 900. For comparison, in 1942, Hitler purchased Titian's Venus and Cupid for 700,000 Reichsmarks as part of his personal collection.

    What did not leave the auctions was taken to a warehouse in Berlin (according to the surviving archives-12,890 paintings, sculptures, watercolors and printed graphics), then partially sold to foreigners for $ 20 apiece, and partially burned.

    Burned on a large scale, fun, in two stages. First in Germany: on March 20, 1939 in Berlin in the courtyard of the Main Fire Department on Köpenickstrasse – 1,004 paintings, 3,825 watercolors, drawings and graphics (Emil Nolde, Erich Heckel, Otto Dix and others were most unlucky). Then in France: on the night of July 27, 1942, more than 600 works by Picasso, Dali, Ernst, Klee, Leger and Miro were displayed on the terrace of the Tuileries Garden at the National Gallery of the Same de Paume in Paris.

    Where were they all supposed to go? On July 18, at the opening of the Great Exhibition of German Art, Adolf Hitler gave clear instructions: “From now on, we will wage a merciless cleansing war against the last elements of cultural decay.”… I assure you, standing here on this very spot, that the cabal of talkers, amateurs, and art tricksters will be uprooted and neutralized. These representatives of the prehistoric Stone Age in art, these artistic stutterers, can go back to the caves of their ancestors and there engage in their primitive cosmopolitan scribbles.”

    The exhibition commission had to sit down, think hard and work out such a set of formal signs of degeneracy, which, by the way, can be used almost without notes by the current great Russian warriors for the health of our magnificent and magnificent nation, which preserves the purity of national art:

    “Deliberate distortion of nature (E. L. Kirchner, O. Dix, V. Morgner),

    Mockery of religion (E. Nolde, P. Klee),

    The presence of Bolshevik and anarchist overtones (G. Gross),

    Political bias, including propaganda of Marxism and anti-war sabotage (J. Hartfield, O. Dix),

    Moral corruption and fascination with the topic of prostitution under the guise of social criticism. Dix, E. L. Kirchner),

    Loss of national (racial) consciousness and fascination with the exoticism of primitive peoples (Mosta artists),

    Affirmation of the human ideal in the form of idiots, cretins and paralytics (O. Kokoshka, artists of the “Bridge”),

    The desire to portray only the Jewish nature (L. Meidner, O. Freundlich),

    Loss of common sense due to the morbidity of the imagination (I. Molzan, V. Baumeister, K. Schwitters).”

    However, various kinds of fighters against heresy and shamelessness in art will not hurt to once again look through the history textbooks. If you suddenly forgot what happened there afterwards with all these guardians of artistic morality and national beauty.

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