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Adolf Ziegler (1892-1959) was the leading exponent of Nazi-controlled realist art that was to be the showcase Nazi aesthetic ideology. In 1936 Ziegler was appointed president of the Reich Chamber of Art and put in charge to organize the infamous "Degenerate Art" exhibition of 1937 shown in Munich. It presented artworks of modern masters of the past 50 years that included works from Klee to Kandinsky, from Beckmann to Kokoschka, to name a few. In 1939 about 4000 canvases were burned in the courtyard of the Berlin Fire Brigade.
Erich Wronker was the eldest son of Herman Wronker, a German-Jewish department store owner. Erich served in World War I on the east front until 1916, when he contracted turberculosis. He died in 1918. His younger brother, Max, named his son after him.
Alice Wronker was the only daughter of Herman Wronker, a German-Jewish department store owner, born in 1898. She studied at the Viktoria School until 1914, and then worked for two years at Outpatient Clinic for Internal Medicine at the Jewish Hospital) in Berlin. She then worked for 1½ years at the Archive for the Assistance of Prisoners of War in Zeil. In 1921, she married the orthopedic surgeon Hermann Engel, in Berlin, where the family lived until leaving Germany in 1936 to Cairo. They had two daughters, Ruth and Marion. The family emigrated to the United States in 1949, settling in New York City.
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Ziegler, Adolf, 1892-1959: Erich and Alice Wronker, Leo Baeck Institute Art and Objects Collection, 2003.27.
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