The 1920s were marked by a period of exploration and creativity in the arts. New possibilities and genres were being explored in painting, writing and music.
Then, on October 29, 1929 (Black Monday) the Wall Street stock market crashed causing a chain reaction of catastrophic events. Banks failed, businesses closed, and rampant unemployment left governments powerless to stop the worldwide economic collapse.
In Germany, Adolf Hitler blamed the Jews not only for the economic crises, but also for the alleged degrading effects of contemporary art movements. The Jewish presence within Germany was declared a threat to the purity of the German State. When discussing the arts, Nazi leaders used the terms "Jewish" and "degenerate" interchangeably.
- Art. This section explores art made by inmates of the ghettos and camps, art that was classified as "degenerate" by the Nazis, art and architecture approved by the Third Reich, and art which has been created in response to the Holocaust.
- Literature. This overview of Holocaust literature offers helpful summaries of recommended works in each of the following categories: the voices of victims, survivor testimony, accounts of resistance, stories of rescue and heroism, the German experience, and response and reflection.
- Music. The music section includes sound files to contrast music of the ghettos and camps with the music preferred by the Nazi leaders. There is also a discussion of "degenerate" music and a listing of compositions created in response to the Holocaust.
| Art | Literature | Music |
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 1997-2013.