Renovation Plan of Munich’s Haus der Kunst Sparks Outrage

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Star architect David Chipperfield’s €78 million ($83.7 million) renovation plan to revert Munich’s Haus der Kunst to its original NSDAP-era state has provoked outrage among Jewish groups and locals.

Originally called “House of German Art,” the museum was opened by Adolf Hitler in 1937 to promote the National Socialist’s perception of art, becoming symbolic of the persecution of so-called “degenerate” artists during  the Third Reich.

The museum has made a concerted effort through the years to challenge its  past with a diverse and multifaceted program and has established itself as one of the most important institutions in Germany. However Chipperfield’s renovation plan has been denounced as a step backwards from the progress that the museum has made.

Chipperfield plans to restore the exterior of the building and the surrounding grounds to the original NSDAP-era state. A key element of the plan includes the removal of a postwar line of trees from the front of the entrance. The removal of the greenery would allow an unobstructed view of the monumental architecture with its 22 prominent columns and wide staircase.

The architect’s office called the design “visible and transparent,” and Bavarian culture minister Ludwig Spaenle said the design “reveals the past of the building” and promotes a platform for dialogue around the institution which is “highly charged with history.”

Indeed, renderings of Chipperfield’s design proposal look almost identical to photos of the building from the previous era, albeit without the prominent swastika flag.

Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (Israelite Cultural Community) in Munich sharply criticized the plans. “To think about reconstructing Nazi architecture is incomprehensible to me” told Rundschau, and criticized Bavarian culture minister Spaenle for supporting the architect’s proposal. “I consider this backward-looking design based on the history of Nazi terror as history forgetting,” she said. “It would be a devastating signal to recognize or even to glorify old Nazi buildings.” However Knobloch added that she would be open “for any design which is directed to the future.”

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Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  

American Auction House Offers (looted) Collection of Ehrenbürger Documents

This is a group of “Ehrenbürger” documents that were liberated by a veteran from Hitler’s Berghof in 1945.  Purchased directly from the nephew of the veteran by us in 2015 at the Show of Shows.  The ‘honorary citizenship’ was the highest honor that a city or town could bestow, and many, many were awarded to Hitler–so many, in fact, that a specially made armoire was located at the Berghof just to house them.  They varied in form from city to city, depending on the size, wealth, and importance of the area.  This grouping consists of some of the finest examples, with craftsmanship and design of the highest quality.

The first is from the old Hanseatic and fortress city of Stargard in Pomerania, East Prussia (now Poland).  The hand-made casket of .935 silver is superbly fashioned and is signed by the maker ‘C. Kesseler’ in Stettin.  The top features applied raised lettering reading ‘The City of Stargard to the Führer’.  In between is a magnificent hand carved stone relief of the most famous structure in Stargard, the 16th Century ‘Mühlertor’.  Surrounding the shield shaped relief is a crenellated border (also found on the underside of the casket and around the bottom edges of the feet) which mirrors the battlements atop the Mühlentor.  A rounded bar of the same stone with silver end fittings serves as a handle when opening the casket. The stone handle is cracked but is still mounted and holding together.Th Inside the upper lid is a painting of the 16th Century ‘Marienkirche’, another Stargard icon.  In the center is an applied silver cartouche with Nordic/Celtic rope work and dragon borders interspersed with cut and polished mounted stones, with the wording ‘For thousands of years I lay in the Pomeranian ground, now I proclaim to the Führer the loyalty of home’.  The base of the box is lined with mirror grained wood and holds the actual Ehrenbürger document, which is hand lettered on parchment, and reads ‘Stargard in Pomerania, the ancient castle, is proud to name Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the Volk, with allegiance and honor, citizen.’

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The next piece is a presentation from the city of Zeitz, located in the Burgenland area of Sachsen-Anhalt.  It is hand bound in leather like a book, but with with a wooden front panel featuring an extremely detailed illustration of the Rathaus in Zeitz completely done in inlay work.  The inlay was done by the ‘Intarsien-Fabrik (Inlay Manufaturer) Julius Homburg, Zeitz’. Inside the front cover is the city Wappen done in inlay work, and the dedication on the next side is completely inlaid as well. It reads ‘The thousand year old city Zeitz, in grateful adoration,  awards Reichs Chancellor Adolf Hitler with the rights of an honorary citizen.  Zeitz, in early 1933’, and is ‘signed’ in inlay by the Oberbürgermeister.

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The next award is from the city of Weimar in Thüringen.  It’s also in hand bound leather book form with a magnificent hand worked relief of the Weimar Rathaus on the cover, below which is the city Wappen. The binding is maker stamped ‘Steneberg Weimar’.  Inside the binding is the Ehrenbürger document, which is hand lettered on parchment.  It reads ‘ The City Council of Weimar decided on 28. March 1933 to name the Reichs Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, honorary citizen of the Thüringen Land’s Capital, Weimar’. The document is signed by the Police Director, and by the Oberbürgermeister, Walther Felix Müller.

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The next is from the city of Braunschweig and is in the form of a medieval document in a leather cylinder.  The parchment document is hand lettered and reads ‘The Land Capital Braunschweig is proud that the Chancellor of the German Volk, Adolf Hitler, is also her citizen.  (The city) holds the deepest gratitude due to its awareness of what the Führer of the National Socialist movement has done through the liberation of Germany from foreign entity and also for Braunschweig. The City Administration and City Councilors, both pure National Socialists, are united in pride and thankful joy to award Adolf Hitler the rights of an honorary citizen’.  Signed and dated 3. May 1933 by the city council.  There is a parchment tape that runs through and behind the lower portion of the document in the form of a swastika that is locked to the document with a medieval wax and metal seal.  The leather carrier is hand laced and also has laced to it with parchment tape the medieval wax and metal seal.

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The last document was presented from the community of Nierstein am Rhein.  It’s beautifully hand lettered and illuminated on parchment in the style of an antique Rheinwein label.  It reads: ‘The community Nierstein am Rhein, as the largest wine production brand on the German Rhein, awards on 5. May 1933, through council resolution, honorary citizenship on Reichs Chancellor Adolf Hitler, the Leader of the German Volk out of collapse and servitude’. The document is signed by the Bürgermeister and dated 5. May 1933.  It was presented in a suede and metal cylinder which retains its original red and white cording and wax seal with wooden housing.

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Items for sale at http://www.craiggottlieb.com

 

Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 1:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Oswald Mosley: Europeans

A documentary based around the work, speeches, and life events of Sir Oswald Mosley, a 20th century British politician, European visionary, and compassionate humanist.

Mosley was a man of supreme philosophical and political wisdom, and a man who is now finally becoming known as one of the greatest thinkers of his era, and ultimately one of the greatest men to of graced this Earth.

This biopic film is comprised of 5 parts and 25 chapters and aims to archive Sir Oswald Mosley speeches, life events, and uncover an eternal legacy of struggle, morality, and honour.

Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 12:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Published in: on January 3, 2017 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment