365 Days of Art: March 20 – Nazis Destroy Approximately 5,000 Artworks in Bonfire
March 20, 1939
Under orders from Hitler, the Berlin Fire Department burned 1,004 paintings and sculptures and 3,825 watercolors, drawings and prints in a massive bonfire in its courtyard.
These 5,000 artworks had been seized from galleries and museums across Germany over the previous several years, in a purge of anything that wasn’t deemed to display classic German ideals, values, and craftsmanship. Dada, Expressionist, and Cubist works featured prominently in the round-up.
Seven hundred of these artworks had been displayed at the “Degenerate Art Exhibit” in Munich in 1937, which will be covered later this year.
This leaves a pit in my stomach.