SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Station in Syracuse is featuring art that can provide more insight as to why the German people followed Adolf Hitler.
Most of the artwork on display is from the original Degenerate Art Show in 1937. Compared to the Exhibition of Great German Art, the Degenerate Art Show promoted what Hitler and the Nazis thought were immoral German values during that time.
When people visit the exhibit, curator Peter Svoboda wants them to understand what modern art looks like, what happened to the artists, and what happened to the German people. Svoboda explains that especially with the German people, they followed Hitler because they thought he was magical given the outcome of World War I.
“The one thing I want people to realize is that, that could happen anywhere and maybe parts of that are happening here, right now,” Svoboda says.
So far, the exhibit’s reception has been mostly positive from the Jewish community, which is surprising to Svoboda given the show’s Nazi Germany background and the current Israel-Hamas war.
“We got a surprisingly positive reaction from the Jewish community,” Svoboda says. “I was a little concerned with that because when you start talking about Nazis… people get their hair up.”
Although the exhibit primarily showcases German artists, artwork from six Jewish artists are also featured. In other words, when it came to bad art, Hitler and the Nazis didn’t discriminate.
“Art can serve a lot of different purposes. Everything from inspiring and getting people to appreciate beauty, to also making a powerful statement about the times,” Svoboda says.
If people want to learn more about World War II and Nazi Germany, Svoboda says they should consider joining “The Historians” group at the Station.