Looted by the Nazis, found in a squalid apartment: €1bn cache of ‘degenerate art’

Goebbels views the Degenerate Art exhibition

Goebbels views the Degenerate Art exhibition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After nigh on 80 years this cache of paintings has been found in an attic.  Dubbed ‘degenerate art’ I guess it symbolised at the time everything that was ‘non-Aryan’ and was looted by the Nazis, removed from view.  It’s surprising of course that it wasn’t destroyed if it caused such disgust so I suspect the real masterplan was to live off the proceeds of later sale of the art.  Anyway it’s now seen the light of day again and maybe one day we’ll get to appreciate it.


Degenerate Art

Modern Art,
Art Nouveau,
Art Deco,
Revisionist Art,
Dadaism –
a schism of cubist art
where the pube is the mouth
and the mouth is the nose
and goodness knows where the penis goes.
Degenerate Art.

‘Entartete Kunst’,
deviant, non-Aryan, corrupting,
unclean, disgusting, impure.
Looted by Nazis in the Second World War,
thousands of paintings seen no more,
not destroyed, just kept in store.
The Oskar Kokoschkas were locked away
along with Picasso, Chagall and Klee,
Nolde, Beckmann, Kirchner and Marc
all stacked in an attic, kept in the dark.
Degenerate Art.

Thousands of paintings squirreled away
‘til the thrill of today
when the attic was raided
and Klimt once again saw the light of day.
And we saw the content,
the colour, the light, the line
that challenged the order
with its strokes of disorder
that lay at the heart
of Degenerate Art.


3rd November 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “Looted by the Nazis, found in a squalid apartment: €1bn cache of ‘degenerate art’.”  A cache of “lost” paintings looted by the Nazis before the Second World War containing some 1,500 works by world-renowned artists including Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Klee and valued at an estimated €1bn has been found.  The paintings were categorised as ‘degenerate art’ by the Nazis, who either confiscated them or stole them from Jewish art collectors.


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