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July 2007

German Artists in Exile

When the Nazis truly arrived in 1933, others began to leave. Whether persecuted because of their race, their art, or simply unwilling to be complicit in the regime’s atrocities, many artists and intellectuals took flight for safer harbors. This summer, two local exhibitions explore that cultural moment through pictures, literature, and film. The Deutsches Theatermuseum hosts an exhibition on “Theater in Swiss Exile and its Return” until July 29 (Galeriestr. 4a, near the Hofgarten). Even though the Swiss government was economically welcoming and culturally sympathetic to the Nazis, many German, Austrian, and Czech artists moved there in the 1930s, and constituted a vibrant new creative scene. Equally cosmopolitan was Amsterdam, where European artists either settled or stopped over en route to their final destinations. Various members of the Mann family, photographer Grete Weil, and director Bruno Walter all found artistic and political freedom in the Dutch capital. “Transit Amsterdam” at Monacensia is a rich look at that particular milieu, with considerations of the modern culture of immigration and exile (Maria-Theresia-Str. 23).

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