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degenerate art

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National Socialist art

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The art encouraged and endorsed by the Nazis in Germany 1933–45 under Hitler as Chancellor. The regime promoted the concept of Nordic racial superiority and repressed art that conflicted with its ideology in any way, labelling it Degenerate art. Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, organized the Great German Art Exhibition in Munich in 1937, the first of an annual series held until 1944. These showpieces of National Socialist art were enormous, each containing over 1,000 works from a total of more than 500 exhibitors, many of which were distributed to museums throughout the country. National Socialist art was typified by its chilling banality, a form of debased academic art. Militarism aside, it occupied itself with blonde, Nordic, Herculean males, their hard-working wives, and their children born seemingly of some ghastly genetic attempt at racial conformity, all of whom were placed in idealized urban and rural settings conceived to the glory of the German state and its people (Volk).

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