If you’ll pardon the vulgarity, this is piss-poor


Compared with the Soviets, the Nazis were mostly second rate in the arts. This, for example, looks more likely to provoke tears of laughter than reverence. Was the artist having a quiet laugh at the Fuhrer? Is he really meant to be shown with an erection?

As said, I know more about music than the visual arts. However, the only German music that has survived from the Nazi period is Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Lily Marlene. Neither stands comparison with the outpouring of genius over which Stalin presided.

Of course, much other Nazi art was better than this. But I’ve seen none to rank with the high points of socialist realism.

The Standard Bearer
Hubert Lanzinger’s Der Bannerträger (The Standard Bearer) is one of almost 10,000 works of German military and Nazi propaganda art the U.S. Army seized after the war as part of the effort to denazify German society. This and 400 other Nazi-era artworks still considered politically charged remain in the U.S. Army’s custody today.
Oil on wood, ca. 1934–36.

Credit: U.S. Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.

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6 responses to “If you’ll pardon the vulgarity, this is piss-poor

  1. It’s not the art that that’s the problem. It’s not a great piece but not a bad piece either. The problem is Hitler himself. However you were to photograph or paint him, he’d still look like a funny little prick with a silly moustache. That hair!

    Stalin was a big bluff bloke that could be made to look heroic. Lenin was not, but exuded a kind of intense, bookishness, like a librarian on steroids. His light bulb shaped head (see also: Robin Cook) was a problem, but not insurmountable, indeed such heads are probably the cause of the invention of the goatee beard. But Hitler and his lieutenants (with the exception of Goerring in his much younger days, when he was a WWI air ace, long before he became a fat old Nazi) had no heroic qualities for an artist to work with. Hitler I’ve already mentioned. Goebbels was about three feet tall, with a ratty face, and whatever fancy uniform you put Himmler in, he never stopped looking like a chicken farmer. It’s thus ironic that these were supposedly the vanguard of the ubermensch.

    Much Nazi art is much the same as Soviet art; heroic farmers, factory workers, soldiers. Using other models- butch blonde blokes and rhinemaidens, it’s on a par. But the ruling clique were a visual disaster.

  2. It’s a pretty poor piece of art, even though it look like Hitler, (well, a bit) who was also a pretty poor specimen. They had done better. I commend to you, for real socialist realism, the old Communist Czechoslovak 100-crown note.

  3. Oh, happy memories that banknote brings. The first time I saw one, it exchanged for £2 and bought dinner with wine.

  4. The artwork is as naff as the money–what is the bloke wearing on his head?–it looks like a large cricket box the wrong way round.