This painting reflects the turbulence of the Weimar Republic. Turbulence: n. a disturbed state, unruly character or action. Root: L. turba crowd/turmoil Related words: disturbed, perturbed, imperturbable, turbid www.etymonline.com Online Etymology Dictionary
The figures dominating the painting are crippled war vetrans. They are distorted and shock the viewer forcing us to confront the results of war- boh physical and mental scars. 'Out of a total population of 60 million Germans, two million young men between the ages of 18 and 34 had been killed in World War I and another two million had been so severely physically or mentally injured that they could play little role in governance'.(Bookbinder,P.) weimar.facinghistory.org This rich collection of readings, artwork, primary documents, and biographies, documents the creativity and catastrophe of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933). How did individual choices shape the events that led to the rise of the Third Reich and collapse of democracy?
Newspaper headlines:'Jews Out'. Suggests that many disaffected vetrans were aligned with far right nationalist groups who increasingly blamed Jews for all the troubles - hyperinflation and depression. Jews-- equal members in society before the law since 1871--'became more successful during the Weimar years in the arts, the press, law, and medicine,'(Facing History) As many suffered, mistaken, distorted views grew and hostility towards Jews rose. Many Jews were successful business people but they did not dominate the German economy. Read about the 1923 riots stemming from the discontent caused by hyper-inflation. Note how quickly people seek scapegoats. weimar.facinghistory.org This rich collection of readings, artwork, primary documents, and biographies, documents the creativity and catastrophe of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933). How did individual choices shape the events that led to the rise of the Third Reich and collapse of democracy?
See more Otto Dix paintings here in this catalogue. www.ottodix.org  
By 1926, Dix was a professor in the Kunstakademie in Dresden. In 1933 he was labelled as a 'degenerate artist' and forbidden to remain at the Dresden Art School as a professor. Dix's paintings were displayed in the Degenerate Art Museum in Munich and later destroyed. The Dix family moved to Lake Constance where Dix painted landscapes. He refused to emigrate. (Fulmer) www.ottodix.org Early Life In December 1891 Otto Dix was born into the Generation of 1914. He was one of millions of late 19th Century babies who ushered in the 20th on the battlefields of the First World War. Dix was the eldest son of Franz and Louise. His father toiled in a iron foundry and his …
Read here about the turbulence in terms of the artistic culture. weimar.facinghistory.org This rich collection of readings, artwork, primary documents, and biographies, documents the creativity and catastrophe of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933). How did individual choices shape the events that led to the rise of the Third Reich and collapse of democracy?
Vetrans such as these mutilated figures suffer terribly at the time of this painting. From 1919-1924 hyperinflation caused many to lose their savings and pensions. Many were forced to beg. weimar.facinghistory.org This rich collection of readings, artwork, primary documents, and biographies, documents the creativity and catastrophe of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919-1933). How did individual choices shape the events that led to the rise of the Third Reich and collapse of democracy?
Dix condemns those who walk by, ignoring the suffering of those around them.
Hyperinflation combined with demands for reparation. www.youtube.com From History File
To learn more about Degenerate Art, watch Grubin's 1993 documentary. The Degenerate Art Exhibition, 'Entartete Kunst' was organized under the Nazi regime to expose what Nazis considered the most corrupting examples - this involved all examples of modernist art. The exhibit, which opened in July of 1937, was meant to be laughed at and despised. www.youtube.com This is a documentary from 1993 by David Grubin (written, produced, and directed) about the art exhibit under the Nazi regime of what they considered to be t...
To see more of Dix's paintings and learn of his art during the Weimar Republic, watch the video clip. www.youtube.com
Dix's feelings of the futility, mud and mutilation of war are echoed by British poets, notably Wilfred Owen whose poem references the Latin:'Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' . The Latin line is an allusion to Horace's Ode and means 'it is sweet and right to die for your country'. Listen to Owen's poem and the deep irony of this saying as he shows the horror of fighting in WW 1. Listen to Kenneth Brannagh's reading of this haunting poem. www.youtube.com YouTube

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