'Bauhaus Museum'

Spread over three locations – the Museum Neues Weimar, the Bauhaus Museum and the Schiller Museum, Bauhaus and National Socialism (until Sep 15) examines the diverse ways artists worked under a totalitarian regime. Around 450 art and design objects from private collections and renowned museums in Europe and the USA illustrate the complex political history of the Bauhaus movement (founded in Weimar) up to its closure in 1933, when the Nazis deemed it ‘degenerate’, and show the very different lives of Bauhaus members under National Socialism and the balancing act they were forced into under the new political conditions. Many lost their jobs or fled into exile and at least 21 were killed in Nazi prisons or concentration camps. However, the majority remained and took part in National Socialist propaganda exhibitions or presented their works at design fairs in the form of film posters, furniture, household goods and even Hitler busts.

Interesting side-note: The gates of the nearby Buchenwald concentration camp were designed on the orders of the camp commandant by prisoner – and former Bauhaus student – Franz Ehrlich, who was interred as a Communist. As an act of resistance, he designed the lettering on the gate (‘To each his own’, referring to the Nazis’ power of life or death over the inmates) in a Bauhaus style.