Bibliography: Art in the Third Reich
1. Backes, Klaus. Hitler und die Bildenden Künste: Kulturverständnis und Kunstpolitik im dritten Reich (Hitler and the fine arts: art appreciation and politics in the Third Reich). Cologne: DuMont, 1988. 234 pp.
2. Baker, Kenneth. "A nightmare of an exhibition that really happened." Smithsonian 22, no.4(July 1991): 86-95.
Note: The "Degenerate Art" exhibit held in Munich in 1937 was the end of modern art in Nazi Germany and the beginning of Nazi Art. The author examines some of the art shown at that exhibit.
3. Barr, Alfred. "Art in the Third Reich - Preview 1933." Magazine of Art 38, no.6(October 1945): 212-222.
Note: Barr, the director of the Museum of Modern Art from its inception in 1928 until 1943, displayed "almost prophetic insight" on his visit to Stuttgart at the very beginning of Nazi rule in 1933. In Stuttgart, Barr found that The "Battle Band for German Culture," an early official Nazi group with affiliates in every important German city, dominated almost every phase of German cultural life right from the beginning of the Nazi regime. He also found that modern art, offensive to the Third Reich, was attacked in Stuttgart, a city which had embraced the modern International Style in art and architecture - a reasonable attachment since the International Style was German in origin.
4. Barron, Stephanie. "The Gallery Fischer Auction." In 'Degenerate art': the fate of the Avante-Garde in Nazi Germany, 135-169. Los Angeles and New York: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Abrams, 1991. (LACMA exhibition catalog published in conjunction with 1991 exhibits at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago).
Note: The Gallery Fischer in Lucerne put on sale over one hundred works of "degenerate" art, described as "Modern Masters from German Museums", on June 30, 1939. Barron lists the objects' origin and notes whether they were from public or private collections. Most of the art was sold to US private collectors; a small amount went to museums in Liege and Basel.
5. Barron, Stephanie. Exiles and emigreés: the flight of European artists from Hitler. New York: Harry Abrams, 1997. 423 pp. (LACMA exhibition catalog published in conjunction with exhibits at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 23-May 11, 1997; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, June 19-September 7, 1997; and the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, October 9, 1997-January 4, 1998).
6. Barzun, Jacques. "Art in the Third Reich: editorial and a memorandum." Magazine of Art 38, no.6(October 1945): 211.
Note: Barzun, in Germany when the Third Reich came to power, discovered that Hitler immediately turned his attention to art as a political tool. Barzun found that Hitler's condemnation of modern art as decadent was clearly a popular policy - an adoption of lower middle class cultural standards. Upon Barzun's return to the U.S. in 1934, he tried unsuccessfully to interest others in this cultural revolution.
7. Birkmeyer, Karl M. "Observations on the tour of Berlin masterpieces." College Art Journal 9, no.1(Autumn, 1949): 19-24.
Note: This essay on the U.S. tour of the Berlin Masterpieces calls for more attention to artistic collections as a means of saving future art.
8. Blatter, Janet and Sybil Milton. Art of the Holocaust. New York: Rutledge Press, 1981. 272 pp.
Note: This is the first survey of the artistic record left by the victims of Nazi terror who were also professional artists. This art was produced in ghettos, labor camps, and in hiding. It serves as a living document of their world at that time.
9. Brenner, Hildegard. Die Kunstpolitik des Nationalsocialismus (The art politics of National Socialism). Hamburg: 1963.
Note: An overview of the cultural policies of National Socialism.
10. Brenner, Hildegard. "Art in the political power struggle of 1933 and 1934." In Republic to Reich: the making of the Nazi revolution. New York: Vintage, 1973. xx, 491 pp.
11. Clinefelter, Joan Lucinda. The German Art Society and the battle for "pure German" art, 1920-1945. Indiana University, 1995. 314 pp. (PhD dissertation, Indiana University, 1995).
Note: The German Art Society (Deutsche Kunstgesellschaft), a culturally conservative art group active between 1920 and 1945, sought to defend pure German art. During the Weimar Republic, the Society fought degenerate modernism and by 1932 the Society has supporters in the Nazi party and other rightist organizations. The German Art Society was given a role in organizing degenerate art exhibits during the Third Reich as well as organizing pure German art shows. After 1937, the Nazis ignored the Society as old-fashioned and pressed for a more distinct art form.
12. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services. Temporary retention in the U.S. of certain German paintings. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1948. iii, 89 pp. (80th Cong. 2nd sess., S. Hrg., Mar. 4 and April 16, 1948).
Note: Hearings about German paintings confiscated by the US after WWII.
13. Decker, Andrew. "Nazi art returns to Germany." ARTnews 83, no.9(November 1984): 143, 145.
Note: Negotiations call for return to Germany of these paintings, commissioned by the Nazis during WWII for propaganda purposes and seized by the US in 1947.
14. 'Degenerate art': the fate of the avante-garde in Nazi Germany. Los Angeles and New York: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Abrams, 1991. 12 pp. (Brochure published in conjunction with exhibits held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, February 17-May 12, 1991 and the Art Institute of Chicago, June 22-September 8. 1991).
15. Deshmukh, Marion. "Recovering culture: the Berlin National Gallery and the U.S. occupation 1945-1949." Central European History 27(1994): 411-439.
Note: The author used NARA's OMGUS records to ascertain American contributions to Western Germany's postwar cultural identity, specifically that of the Berlin National Gallery.
16. Dornberg, John. "Munich: Mounting embarrassment." ARTnews 87, no.4(April 1988): 39+.
Note: A collection of Nazi art is kept in West Germany's Stadel Institute. The author brings up the question of what should be done with the art.
17. Düwell, Kurt. "Jewish cultural centers in Nazi Germany: expectations and accomplishments." The Jewish response to German culture: from the Enlightenment to the Second World War ,edited by Jehuda Reinharz and Walter Schatzberg, 294-316. Hanover: Published for Clark University by University Press of New England, 1985.
Note: The psychological isolation of German Jews following the Nazi takeover in 1933 led to a new consciousness of the religious and moral roots of the Jewish experience. The German policy of boycott against the Jews brought about a new organization, Kulturbund Deutscher Juden, which endeavored with some success to aid Jewish artists and to maintain the Jewish cultural heritage up to the Nazi prohibitions of 1938.
18. Eberlein, Kurt Karl. "What is German in German art?." In Nazi culture: intellectual, culture and social life in the Third Reich, 163-164. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1968.
Note: Written in 1933, Eberlein's essay connects the German love for landscape art to their reverence for their homeland, associating homeland with the soul of the people.
19. Fiss, Karen A. "Deutschland in Paris": the 1937 German pavilion and Franco-German cultural relations (Albert Speer, Paris Exposition Internationale, Leni Riefenstahl). New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1995. (PhD dissertation, Yale University, 1995).
Note: This dissertation analyzes the French reception of Nazi culture and ideology as manifested by the German pavilion at the 1937 Paris Exposition designed by Speer and showcasing dramatic films including Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will. French fascists admired Nazism for having produced a national culture for the masses which fused an antimodern primitivism with technological mediation. These fascist ideas influenced public opinion and aspects of fascist idealogy were considered acceptable.
20. Gardner, Paul. "The case of Herr Klumpp: a first glimpse of Lyonel Feininger's stolen paintings." Connoisseur 215, no.886(November 1985): 132-135.
Note: About the reappearance of Lyonel Feininger's work painted in Berlin before 1932 which disappeared after being left with Herman Klumpp, another artist.
21. Grosshans, Henry. Hitler and the artists. New York: Holmes and Meirer, 1983. xiii, 145 pp.
Note: Hitler wanted the painting and sculpture of Nazi Germany to express Nazi society. In this book, Grosshans traces the relationship between Hitler's artistic and political views: Hitler's failure to achieve notice as an artist; linking modern "degenerate" art with national decline; and his growing antisemitism.
22. Hammond, Mason. "War and art treasures in Germany." College Art Journal 5(March 1946): 205-218.
Note: A Harvard University art scholar, Mason Hammond describes the great cultural losses in Germany, while noting the elaborate and generally successful protection measures taken by the Nazis.
23. Hinz, Berthold. Art in the Third Reich. New York: Random House, 1979. 268 pp.
Note: According to the author, the Third Reich used all available aesthetic means to project its image: marches, mass meetings, pageants, party rallies were organized as mass aesthetic. Visual arts, including paintings, were bestowed high social value. The author believes that there was a direct association in Hitler's mind between his failure as architect and artist and his pursuit of political leadership.
24. Jackman, Jarrell C. and Carla M. Borden. The muses flee Hitler: cultural transfer and adaptation, [24 pp.]. Washington: Smithsonian, 1983. (Based on a colloquium in honor of Albert Einstein during the centennial of his birth, Smithsonian Institution, February 7-9, 1980).
25. Jelavich, Peter. "Metamorphosis of censorship in Modern Germany." In Culture and politics in nineteenth- and twentieth- century Germany, 9-19. Washington: German Historical Institute, 1992. (This German Historical Institute's Occasional Paper no. 8 resulted from a symposium "Culture and politics in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany", in Washington, DC, held on May 8. 1992.).
Note: Jelavich writes of the forms of censorship under five German regimes and how they effected the political acceptance of cultural productions. He notes that even under the Weimar years, the constitution proclaimed freedom within the limits of the general laws.
26. Jones, Stacy V. "Art for Hitler's sake." Liberty (April 1946): 57-63.
27. Kirstein, Lincoln. "Art in the Third Reich - survey." Magazine of Art 38, no.6 (October 1945): 223-242.
Note: Kirstein writes that Hitler's code, "Art is sublime, a fanatical obligation", appeared over the entrance to his eight annual salons featuring Nazi painting and sculpture. He notes that the finest contemporary German sculpture is memorial, honoring death rather than life. In remarking on Hitler's influence on architecture, Kirstein mentions that just as the world was grateful to Mussolini for making the trains run on time, so tourists should be grateful to Hitler for providing us with the Autobahn, Hitler's strictly military highways which were also used as intermittent airstrips.
28. Koonz, Claudia. "Culture, politics, and the censor." In Culture and politics in nineteenth- and twentieth- century Germany, 33-37. Washington: German Historical Institute, 1992. (This German Historical Institute's Occasional Paper no. 8 resulted from a symposium "Culture and politics in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany", in Washingon, DC, held on May 8. 1992.).
Note: Koonz notes that censorship has co-existed with democratic institutions. She also relates how informal taboos on images related to the Holocaust has stifled artists and writers, how censorship can call attention to offending images,.
29. Kuhn, Charles L. "German paintings in the National Gallery: a protest." College Art Journal 5, no.2 (January 1946).
Note: A renowned German painting scholar who served as Deputy Chief of the MFA&A Section, Kuhn protested the U.S. decision to send German works of art to the US to be held in trusteeship until their return "if and when the German nation had earned the right to their return."
30. Lehmann, Hartmut, ed. Culture and politics in nineteenth- and twentieth- century Germany. Washington: German Historical Institute, 1992. 45 pp. (This German Historical Institute's Occasional Paper no. 8 was a presentation at the symposium, "Culture and politics in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Germany", in Washingon, DC, held on May 8. 1992.).
Note: Lehmann notes the struggle for Germans to cherish its cultural heritage inspite of its political past. The papers given at this Symposium emphasize the relationships, the tensions, and the discrepancies in the development of culture and politics in modern Germany.
31. Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut. Art under a dictatorship. New York: Oxford, 1954. xxii, 277 pp.
32. Marwell, David George. Unwonted exile: a biography of Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl. Binghamton: State University of New York, 1988. xis, 529 pp. (PhD, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1988).
Note: Hanfstaengl, a German with American family ties and a past that involved studying at Harvard and dealing with art in New York City, was involved with Hitler very early. A co-conspirator during the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch and a member of the Nazi Party, Hanfstaengel escaped to England in 1937 where he was a wartime advisor to the Western allies.
33. Milton, Sybil. "The camera as weapon: documentary photography and the Holocaust." In Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, 45-68. Chappaqua, NY: Rossel Books, 1984.
Note: This paper examines the chronological, geographic, and photohistorical context of images produced by Nazi, Jewish, neutral, and Allied cameramen. The Nazis used photography as a threat: warning citizens that whoever frequented Jewish stores would be photographed. In turn, the Nazis prohibited taking photographs near concentration camps.
34. Mosse, George L., ed. Nazi culture: intellectual, culture and social life in the Third Reich. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1968. xii, 386 pp.
Note: The author has skillfully chosen major documents of the Hitler era to show how Nazi ideals of race, blood, and soil influenced every aspect of German life.
35. Mosse, George L. The crisis of German ideology: intellectual origins of the Third Reich. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1964. vi, 373 pp.
36. Myers, Bernard. "Postwar art in Germany." College Art Journal 10, no.3(Spring 1951): 251-256.
Note: The author describes the postwar artistic situation in Germany, as well as the situation of the German museums which were divested of their modern works during the Third Reich.
37. Myers, Bernard. "Postwar art in Germany." College Art Journal 10, no.3(Spring 1951): 251-256.
Note: The author describes the postwar artistic situation in Germany, as well as the situation of the German museums which were divested of their modern works during the Third Reich.
38. Nicholas, Lynn H. "World War II and the displacement of art and cultural property." In The spoils of war - World War II and its aftermath: the loss, reappearance, and recovery of cultural property, 39-48. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997. (Paper presented at international symposium, The Spoils of War, sponsored by Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York, January, 1995).
Note: An overview of the unprecedented scope of WWII art displacement accompanied by ideological, legal, and political justifications and watched over by highly trained art specialists assigned to the armies of most of the belligerents. Nicholas traces the importance of art to Hitler's idea of a pure Germanic Empire, purged of "degenerate" art and rich with plundered artworks in accordance with Nazi laws and theories. Thanks to the American museum and archival establishments, the Roosevelt administration assigned archivists and art-specialist officers, "monuments officers' to army groups who secured and sorted out cultural caches at the end of war for restitution to rightful owners. Great Britain had a similar approach, but the USSR considered cultural treasures as trophies to replace their own wartime losses.
39. Petropoulos, Jonathan. Art as politics in the Third Reich. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996. xviii, 439 pp.
Note: This revision of Petropoulos' Harvard University Dissertation, concentrates on the Nazi use of visual arts to display Germany's power and authority. The Nazi art plunder is described chronologically within the framework of the competing administration bureaucracies of Himmler, Goebbels, Rosenberg, Speer, Ley and Rust: the discrediting of modern 'degenerate' art and artists, the looting of art from Jewish collectors, and, finally, the plundering of cultural treasures in conquered territories, all with the goal of creating huge German art centers in Hitler's hometown, Linz, and in Berlin. The author, providing extensive documentation and rigorous scholarship, attributes the competition between Nazi leaders to share Hitler's cultural interests, and to use art as a means of rewarding favorites as the motivation behind their plunder.
40. Petropoulos, Jonathan. "Not a case of "art for art's sake": the collecting practices of the Nazi elite." German Politics and Society no. 32(Summer 1994): 107-124.
Note: According to the author, Nazi elite approached the visual arts and its collection, as "a means of articulating their fundamental ideological tenets, a mode of legitimizing authority, and an expression of their position within the social and political hierarchy of that elite." Collecting art became a means of expressing power relationships among the Nazis and establishing the collectors' sense of identity as an elite group. Looting art was justified as repatriation by the Nazi prescription that no foreign country should possess German cultural objects.
41. Petropoulos, Jonathan. "Berlin's cultural history: making the Weltstadt accessible." German Politics and Society no. 23(Summer 1991).
Note: Petropoulos' review of three books, "Berlin: culture and metropolis", "Art in Berlin, 1815-1989", and "The 'golden' twenties" art and literature in the Weimar Period", points out the vital interplay of culture and politics that has existed throughout twentieth-century Berlin.
42. Petropoulos, Jonathan. "For Germany and themselves: the motivation behind the Nazi leaders plundering and collecting of art. Part I.." Spoils of War no. 4(August 1977): 66-70. (Among National Archives Library's periodical holdings).
Note: Based on his book, Art as politics in the Third Reich, the author relates the personal and political motivations for Nazi plundering.
43. Petropoulos, Jonathan. "Saving culture from the Nazis." Harvard Magazine 92, no.4(March-April, 1990): 34-42.
Note: During the Hitler regime, Harvard University became a haven for many German artists and scholars forced into exile by the Nazi regime (in 1933, 28 of Germany's museum directors were forced into exile). Harvard also became a haven for art rejected by the Nazis: works by Klee, Kandinsky, van Gogh, Picasso, Nolde and others. In 1939, Harvard also organized the American Defense/Harvard Group, a team of art historians knowledgeable about European art, to identify and locate valuable artworks in the war zone; this Harvard team worked in cooperation with the American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas to protect Europe's art. The two groups were superseded by a government organization in 1943.
44. Plaut, James S. "Hitler's capital." Atlantic Monthly 178(October 1946): 57-63.
Note: Plaut, Director of the OSS Art Looting Investigation Unit of the OSS during WWII, tells the story of Linz, Austria, as Hitler's art capital.
45. Rabinbach, Anson and Gail Stavitsky. Assault on the arts: culture and politics in Nazi German. New York: New York Public Library, 1993.
46. Reinharz, Jehuda and Walter Schatzberg, eds. The Jewish response to German culture: from the Enlightenment to the Second World War. Hanover: Published for Clark University by University Press of New England, 1985. xii, 362 pp. (Essays based on papers delivered at the International Conference on German Jews, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, October 8-11, 1983).
Note: These essays survey the dominant themes characterizing the Jewish response to German culture during the two hundred years prior to the Holocaust.
47. Saltzman, Cynthia. Portrait of Dr. Gachet: the story of a Van Gogh masterpiece: modernism, money, politics, collectors, dealers, taste, greed, and loss. New York: Viking, 1998. xxii, 406 pp.
Note: The author's story of this van Gogh illuminates the ways in which art, politics, and the market have intersected in this century. The painting, confiscated as "degenerate art" by the Third Reich's Propaganda Ministry, was secretly sold by the Nazis.
48. Saltzman, Cynthia. "Modern art and the Third Reich: propaganda, confiscation, and export." In Portrait of Dr. Gachet: the story of a Van Gogh masterpiece: modernism, money, politics, collectors, dealers, taste, greed, and loss, 161-216. New York: Viking, 1998.
Note: The author gives a clear picture of the Nazi effect on the European art world with her focus on the plight of the van Gogh work Portrait of Dr. Gachet.
49. Speer, Albert. Inside the Third Reich. New York: Avon, 1970. xxi, 734 pp.
Note: Albert Speer was drawn to the Nazi Party by Hitler's personality and his plans, especially architectural plans, Speer wanted to design and build a new order. In this book, the author writes of Hitler's taste in art and architecture, as well as the Nazi looting of occupied countries.
50. Steinweis, Alan. "Weimar culture and the rise of National Socialism: the Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur." Central European History 24, no.4(1991): 401-403.
Note: The Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur, a conservative and anti-modern "volkisch consciousness-raising" group, made important contributions to the Nazi party's cultural strategies before 1936 when the Nazis began to develop clear policies regarding visual arts, art collecting and art exhibiting.
51. Steinweis, Alan E. Art, ideology, and economics in Nazi Germany: the Reich Chambers of Music, Theater, and the Visual Arts. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993. x, 233 pp.
Note: Originally presented as the author's doctoral dissertation under the direction of Gerhard L. Weinberg at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this work focuses on the fields of music, theater, and the visual arts in this major study of Nazi cultural administration. Steinweis examines the interaction among leading Nazis, other German cultural functionaries, working artists, and art collectors, noting Nazi efforts to purge the arts of "undesirables."
52. Steinweis, Alan E. "Conservatism, National Socialism, and the cultural crisis of the Weimar Republic." In Between reform, reaction and resistance: studies in the history of German conservatism from 1789 to 1945, edited by Larry Eugene Jones and James N. Retallack, 329-346. New York: Berg, 1993.
53. Steinweis, Alan E. "'Unreliable and unfit': the Nazi purge of Jews and other 'undesirables' from German cultural life, 1933-45." In Holocaust Studies Annual, 3-22. New York: Berg, 1991.
Note: Steinweis examines the Nazi regime's purge of German artistic and cultural life; the earliest purges were implemented with the help of policy emergency powers rooted in the Reichstag Fire Decree of February 1933. The Nazi purge was driven by a highly developed anti-Jewish paranoia fueled by the success of Jews in German cultural life before 1933.
54. Stern, Fritz. The politics of cultural despair: a study in the rise of the Germanic ideology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961. 367 pp.
55. Talpas, Kathleen Mary. Art, politics, and totalitarianism in the Third Reich. Irvine: University of California, 1992. 175 pp. (PhD dissertation, University of California, Irvine, 1992).
Note: Dissertation studies the relationship between totalitarian political institutions and the art world. Author notes that the Nazis, committed to using art for political gain, were unable to inspire the production of high-quality art.
56. Weber, John Paul. German war artists. Columbia, SC: Cerberus Books, 1979. 151 pp.
Note: Wartime artworks by German artists, many of them "war painters" or specialists trained in war reportage, were removed to the U.S. in 1947. This book is a documentary history of the confiscation of the German war art as directed by the Yalta Conference report: "We are determined to ... remove all Nazi and militarist influences ... from the cultural ... life of the German people."
57. Wette, Wolfram. "Ideology, propaganda, and internal politics as preconditions of the war policy of the Third Reich." In Germany and the Second World War. Volume 1: The build-up of German aggression, 9-155. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990.
Note: Author tells of the carefully planned efforts to coordinate the ideological and political mobilization of German society for WWII.
58. Wirth, Gunther. Verbotene Kunst, 1933-1945: verfolgte Künstler im deutschen Südwestern (Forbidden art, 1933-1945: persecuted artists in southwestern Germany). Stuttgart: Hatje, 1987. 351 pp.
Note: Dissertation about proscribed artists in Baden-Wurttemberg, their work, and the impact of denunciation by the Nazi regime.
Source: This page retrieved from the National Archives and Records Administration.
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