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Front Cover – Ernst Ludwig Kirchner  Female Nude with Hat 1911  Museum Ludwig Cologne

 

 

 

The line “Whenever I hear of culture... I release the safety catch of my Browning!" wasn’t actually one of Goring’s but from a play by the Nazi writer Hanns Johst. Goring considered himself an art connoisseur and regularly backed a lorry up to the side door of the Louvre. Herman today would probably have a house full of Jack Vetrianos. The works of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner would not have been on his wish-list.

As the Nazi party took power in Germany, it became impossible for Kirchner to sell his paintings. In 1933, he was forced to resign from the Prussian Academy of Arts. Kirchner became increasingly disturbed by the situation in Germany, writing: "Here we have been hearing terrible rumours about torture of the Jews, but it’s all surely untrue. I’m a little tired and sad about the situation up there. There is a war in the air. In the museums, the hard-won cultural achievements of the last 20 years are being destroyed, and yet the reason why we founded the Brücke was to encourage truly German art, made in Germany. And now it is supposed to be un-German. Dear God. It does upset me".

Hitler glorified the likes of Arno Brecker  (see back cover) and put on an exhibition of Decadent Art in 1937. The exhibition included 25 works by Kirchner; later 639 of his works were removed from museums. Kirchner continued to work and organised a major exhibit in Basle, which received mixed reviews. Throughout 1938, he became increasingly upset with the situation in Germany. After Austria was annexed Kirchner became disturbed by the idea that Germany might invade Switzerland. On 15 June 1938, he took his own life in front of his home in Frauenkirch.