Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lost Nazi-Era Art Resurfaces in Berlin Cellar

While digging for 13th century remains of a town house, archeologists were surprised to find the head of a terracotta statue. The archeologists found eleven terracotta statues overall dating back to the early 20th century. These statues and other works of art were outlawed by the Nazis who took them from German art museums and claimed them to be “degenerate art.” The terracotta statues and other artwork were put on display in Munich by the Nazis. These pieces of art and many others were also outlawed. Upon discovering them, eight of the eleven statue’s artists have been identified. Continuing investigations of the town house’s cellar, which was destroyed by bombing, revealed the artifacts which all contain burn marks. Specialists were able to identify these artifacts from old photographs. The photographs showed many of the objects the Nazis stole from over one hundred German museums to put on display in Munich. The works of art displayed in these photographs were believed to have been sold for a profit or they could have been stolen or destroyed during World War II. Specialists, also, believe that the eleven terracotta statues were possibly saved by Erhard Oewerdieck, a tax collector who helped save some of the Jewish people during World War II. It is interesting to learn that the cellar that contained these eleven terracotta statues was part of the bombed town house that contained Erhard Oewerdieck’s office.

Eveline G Period 7


zach.b said...

I find it ironic that the nazis were stealing "degenerate artwork" from german museums, and then putting it on display in munich. What i wonder is what value did those statues have back then, why were they worth holding onto, and why did the nazis collect them?

Jeremy said...

It is shocking that we are continuing to discover more works of art from the Nazi era, and it shows how there are still plenty of heirlooms left undiscovered from that time. It reflects on the cruelty of the Nazis, and how they claimed that the art was "degenerate" just so they could put it on display themselves. It's horrible that the Nazis stole art from hundreds of musuems, and any art that can be recovered will help patch that hole in history. I find it interesting that these art pieces were found in the house of a potential savior of some of the Jews, which represents the horrid lifestyle they were forced to live.