Nazi Art Dbq

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The vital aim of the Nazis was to destroy and dictate a culture. This was the central motivation behind why the Nazis plundered precious artworks during World War Two, during the time of expansion. For the most part the Nazis wanted to destroy Jewish culture through laws such as the ERR as to them, Jews were the scapegoats for any problems or issues that happened in Germany. The Nazis key motivation therefore became ‘decontaminat[ing]’ and thus ‘cleans[ing]’ and ‘purify[ing]’ Nazi Germany of any unworthy, degenerate, non-Hitler approved artworks and to a certain extent they were successful in doing so. They were able to carry out orders such as the ERR amongst various others that allowed them to seize control over artworks very successfully.…show more content…
Hitler applied twice to the Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, however he was rejected both times (Source D). Thus it is highly ironic that he determined what ‘degenerate’ art was and what it was not. “Nazi Art” is defined as ‘art created in Germany or German Occupied Territories during 1925-45 that received the approval of the Nazi authorities’ (Source G). Hitler considered Renaissance Art as the highest order of art as it was what he wanted his Aryan race to be, the master race- the master of all art. Anything that did not conform to this constructed art form was considered ‘degenerate’ and thus was burnt and/or looted. These degenerate artworks were seen as ‘contaminating’ (Source G) Germany as they were not filled with Nazi propaganda and thus gave different interpretations and room for thought. This leads to a possible motivation that the art being plundered was done out of jealousy from Hitler as these works were successful and viewed by the world as ‘precious’ where his works were not even accepted into an art school. Therefore for Hitler, plundering artworks was a way of getting revenge on art institutes that did not accept him as an artist. It seemed as if he almost wanted to spite these at institutes by displaying his power. By doing this he took away the institutes power in decision making and gave it to himself by plundering treasurable…show more content…
This meant that by looting artworks they were controlling the people from who they took the works from and were also exerting their outright power. This control and power came from Hitler being a dictator. Hitler, like many dictators, saw the power art had in destroying a culture (Source A). Hitler was extremely anti-Semitic and thus wanted to do everything in his power to get rid of the Jewish people. However he did not just take Jewish art, he looted any type of art that he desired. Hitler discovered that if ‘you destroy their history…achievements…it is as if they never existed’ (Source A). This shows that by destroying Jewish artworks through rulings such as the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce (ERR) one is able to destroy and omit their culture and history. The ERR, according to Source C, was claimed to be used to ‘study Jewish life’, however in reality it was used to destroy Jewish culture. This therefore became a key motivation behind looting artworks as they now had the power to ‘[make] people disappear, both physically and symbolically’ (Source A). The ERR therefore become one of the Nazis most successful legislatives in ‘symbolically’ destroying the Jews. The ERR were sent out in 1940 to plunder precious artworks from the then occupied France. Here the “Special Task Force” was able to seize art in order to ‘cleanse’ France and thus ‘purify’ Europe (Source C). Therefore the Nazis set out
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