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Banned from his art

Not suited for the advancement of German culture

“According to the results of my examination of the facts grounded in your personal circumstances, you do not possess the requisite aptness and reliability to participate in the advancement of German culture with responsibility towards the people and the Reich.”


The works of the Expressionist painter and graphic artist Bruno Gimpel were classified as “degenerate” during the Third Reich. Neither his voluntary service as an aide in a military hospital during World War I nor his “mixed marriage” with an “Aryan” woman spared him the usual repressive measures. On November 22nd, 1938 he received a letter from the Reichskammer der Bildenden Künste, the Nazi authority in charge of the visual arts, which yet again denied him membership and banned him from all branches of his profession. In 1935, this institution of the Third Reich had once before rejected a request for admission by the Dresden artist. Since 1937, he had no choice but to make a living by giving drawing lessons to Jewish children.



Deutsches Historisches Museum


Letter of Bruno Gimpel's membership application, issued by the president of the "Reichskammer der bildenden Künste" (the Third Reich's Imperial Chamber of Fine Arts)

Source available in English


on the days before