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An Artist’s “Degenerate” Work Is Seized

Letter from Prof. Adolf Ziegler, President of the Chamber of Fine Arts, informing Karl Schmidt-Rottluff his work had been seized.

File NumberBerlin W. 35 II B/M/756/870 Blumenhof 4-6
Telephone 21 62 71
Postal Account No. 144430

Mr. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
Berlin W. 30 Bamberger St. 19

In connection with the task, entrusted to me by the Fuehrer, of eradicating the works of degenerate art from our museums, no fewer than 608 paintings of yours had to be seized. A number of these paintings were displayed at the exhibits of Degenerate Art in Munich, Dortmund, and Berlin. This fact could leave no doubt in your mind that your paintings did not contribute to the advancement of German culture in its responsibility toward people and nation. Although you must also have been aware of the policy-setting speech of the Fuehrer at the opening of the Great German Art Exhibit in Munich, the recent paintings of yours which you have now submitted to us indicate that even at this date, you are still far removed from the cultural foundations of the National Socialist state. On the basis of these facts, I am unable to grant that you possess the necessary reliability for belonging to my Chamber. On the basis of Paragraph 10 of the first executive Order implementing the Law Concerning the National Chambers of Culture of November 1, 1933 (Official Gazette, I, 797) I hereby expel you from the National Chamber of Fine Arts and forbid you, effective immediately, any activity - professional or amateur - in the field of graphic arts. MEMBERSHIP BOOK NO. M 756 issued in your name is no longer valid, and you are requested to send it back to me by return mail.


Certified: DOEMLING

(Rubber Stamp: National Chamber of Culture Chamber of Fine Arts)

Source: J. Remak (ed.), "The Nazi Years: A Documentary History," Prentice - Hall, 1969, pp. 65-67.