First World War

Ecce Homo

The artist George Grosz was nearly twice murdered by the German authorities in his own Berlin studio. During the Communist uprising in January 1919 Freikorps troops burst in looking to arrest him (John Heartfield, his friend the artist- publisher, had already been taken to be tortured), but using forged identity papers Grosz escaped and went into hiding. Fourteen years later on 31st January 1933, the day after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Nazi storm-troopers smashed down his studio door with axes seeking him. But he had already left for the United States, a few days earlier on 12th January 1933, with his wife. Creating art can be a dangerous activity. The most effective form of censorship, said George Bernard Shaw, is assassination. Continue reading