‘Unteroffizier Berner’ (‘Corporal Berner’)
Displayed at the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausttellung 1942 saal 30.
‘Unteroffizier Berner’ by Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, displayed at the GDK 1942 room 30.
Depicted is ‘Unteroffizier Georg Berner’ (‘Corporal Georg Berner’). In the bottom right corner of the painting is written: ‘Utffz Georg Berner, 10. Komp. Schützen-Regiment 33’. At the request of German Art Gallery, the Bundesarchiv in Berlin was able to determine that the Schützen-Regiment 33 (Infantry Regiment 33) operated from 1 September 1939 in Poland. At Himmler’s request, Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser visited Poland in the first half of 1940 to watch the treck (migration) of the Volksdeutschen see also under). Based on the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939, Russia and Germany had divided Poland whereby East Poland was occupied by Russia. Ethnic Germans from East Poland (the regions Galicia and Volhynia) and the Baltics subsequently moved to the Reichsgau Warthegau (West-Central Poland). Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser must have met Unteroffizier Georg Berner at that time in Poland. Georg Berner was born on June 4th, 1913. He died on January 28th, 1945, at the railroad station in Klarheim, Poland (NB Georg Berner is not the same as Emil Berner, the Knight’s Cross Winner (‘Ritterkreuzträger’), born in Stetten in 1921, who was the commander of 3rd Battalion of Flak-Regiment 18 in Rommel’s Africa Corps).
German War Art in the Pentagon
‘Very good, outstanding and brilliant in conception…’
House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Investigation Subcommittee, Washington, D.C. , September 23, 1981
At September 23, 1981, the House of Representatives discussed the transfer to Germany of 6.337 pieces of war art that were seized from the German Government by the United States Army in March 1947. Below some remarkable quotes from the discussion.
George William Whitehurst (Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, journalist, professor) about the 6.337 pieces of German war art:
‘They are similar to the military works of art hanging on our own committee and subcommittee rooms. Part of the German collection is on display in the Pentagon…. This is war art, showing the life of German military personnel under the best and the worst conditions, as indeed soldiers, sailors, and airmen of all nations experienced it… ‘Asked by the Chairman about the value of the art: ‘Some of it is very, very good. The large canvas in my office is an outstanding work of art’.
Marylou Gjernes, Army Art Curator, U.S. Army Center of Military History, Department of the Army:
‘..The Air Force similarly favors retention of German war art integral to its museum operations at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, and a small exhibit of paintings that they have in the Pentagon.’…. ‘Some of the paintings and drawings are brilliant in conception and execution. They show by their artistry, color and mood, the spirit of combat, and the desolation, destruction and tragedy of war. There are illustrations of the despair and boredom of the troops…They are a testament to the sensitivity of the artist regardless of nationality. The collection ..is utilized in ongoing exhibition programs and displays to provide a unique view of World War II that supplements and supports the written history of the conflict..’
Extreme scarce work of art
Art works considered as overt propaganda were massively destroyed
In accordance with the Potsdam Agreement of August 1945, the Allied Control Council laws and military government regulations, all collections of works of art related or dedicated to the perpetuation of German militarism or Nazism, were destroyed. Thousands of paintings were considered of ‘no value’ and burned. Around 8,722 artworks were shipped to military deposits in the U.S. In 1986 the largest part was returned to Germany, with the exception of 200 paintings which were considered as overt propaganda: depictions of German Soldiers, war sceneries, swastika’s and portraits of Nazi leaders.
|– condition||: II|
|– size||: 80 x 64 cm, unframed 62 x 48 cm|
|– signed||: left, under|
|– type||: pastell drawing|
|– misc.||: reframed; museumglas; acid-free cardboard on the back|
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BIOGRAPHY: OTTO ENGELHARDT-KYFFHÄUSER
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhauser, ‘Deutsche Umsiedlungsbauern’ (‘German farmer-settlers’). GDK 1944, room 13. In the possession of the German Historical Museum, Berlin (previously in the possession by the US Army Centre of Military History). Depicted in front is Bauer Johann Schick.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Johann Schick’, drawing, GDK 1941, room28.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Letzte Rast vor der deutschen Grenze’ (‘Last stop before the German border’). Displayed at the ‘Kunstausstellung des Hilfswerken für Deutsche Bildende Kunst’, Berlin, 1941. Depicted in ‘Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte’, March 1941.
The men in the centre is ‘Bauer Johann Schick’, the man at the left is farmer Gottlieb Ludwig.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Ruf des Reiches –Echo des Volkes‘. Depicted in the exhibition catalogue ’Deutsche Künstler und die SS‘, 1944, Breslau. The text left on the picture reads: ‘Vom Treck der Heimkehrenden Wolhynien-deutschen zeichnete Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser dieses eindrücksvolle Zeitdokument ‘Ruf des Reiches – Echo des Volkes‘ (‘Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser depicted in this impressive document of time, Call of the Reich – Echo of the People, the Volhynia-Germans returning to their fatherland’).
Deutsche Künstler und die SS (‘German Artists and the SS‘)
‘Deutsche Künstler und die SS’ was an exhibition organized by the Reichsführer SS and the SS Supplementary Office of the Headquarter, held in the first quarter of 1944 in the Museum der Bildende Künste in Breslau. In total 589 works of art were displayed, of which 63 were depicted in the exhibition catalogue, published by Wilhelm Limpert Verlag in Berlin. The 72-pages catalogue had a prologue by SS Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger and a prologue by Heinrich Himmler.
Three months later -from June to July 1944- the exhibition was held in the Alte Residenz in Salzburg (Salzburg Residenz Palace); a separate catalog was issued with 20 depictions.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der Blick nach Deutschland’ (‘The view to Germany’). GDK 1940, room 27; depicted in the exhibition cataloge. Also depicted in ‘Das Bild’, July 1940. Size 131 x 110 cm. Sold by a German auction house in 2012.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Aufbruch‘ (‘Departing‘), 1940. Size: 66 x 51 cm.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, Triptychon ‘Der Ruf des Führers’ (‘The Call of the Führer’). GDK 1940, room 27.
The middle part of ‘Der Ruf des Führers’, depicted in ‘Feuer und Farbe, -155 Bilder vom Kriege’, 1943.
Left: Otto Engelhartd-Kyffhäuser, ‘Heimkehr aus Wolhynien’ (‘Return from Volhynia’). GDK 1941, room 31. Bought by Fritz Todt for 5.000 RM.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der Blick nach Deutschland’ (‘Looking to Germany’), depicted in the book ‘Vom Grosses Treck’, page 58. Almost identical to the painting ‘Bauer Johann schick’, GDK 1941, room 28.
Left: ‘Heimkehr aus Wolhynien’ (‘Returning from Volhynia’). Published in 1941. Illustrations by Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. The girl depicted on the cover was Marie Eppler from Galicia.
Right: Otto Engehardt-Kyffhäuser. Volhynian girl (Marie Eppler) printed on a stamp of the Generalgouvernement.
Other stamps designed by Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, also from first year of the formation of the General Government, day of issue 26 Oktober 1940.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. Depicted is the caretaking of German resettlers by the NSV, after the occupation of East-Poland by the Russians. Displayed at an exhibition organized by the NSV in June 1942, Völkerkunde Museum, Berlin.
The Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (NSV), meaning ‘National Socialist People’s Welfare, was a social welfare organization during the Third Reich. The NSV was established in 1933, shortly after the NSDAP took power in Germany. Its seat was in Berlin.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser depicted a series of Volhynia-farmers; several were printed on postcards (below).
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bauer Demke’.
Middle: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bauer Martin Löwenberg’.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bauer Anton Steckbauer’, also depicted in ‘Vom grossen Treck‘, 1940.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bauer August Kromreich‘.
Middle: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bauer Jakob Knecht‘.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bauer Rudolf Eger’, also depicted in ‘Vom grossen Treck‘, 1940.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Deutsche Bauerntochter aus Galizien‘.
Right: ‘Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Bäuerin Maria Merk‘.
Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Blick von der Alten Brücke in Warschau’ (‘View from the Old Bridge in Warschau’). Drawing displayed in 1942 at the ‘Kunstausstellung des Generalgouvernements, -Deutsche Künstler Sehen das Generalgouvernement’, Krakau, Tuchhallen; depicted in the exhibition catalog. Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser displayed 30 of his works at this exhibition.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. ‘Einmarsch in Riga’ (Troops Entering Riga, the capital of Latvia). GDK 1942, room 13; depicted in the exhibition cataloge. Also depicted in ‘Die Kunst für Alle’, 1942.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. ‘Reichsarbeitsdienst, im Riesengebirge’ 1938 (‘Working for the Reich in the Mountains’). A very similar painting by Engelhardt-Kyffhäuer was displayed under the name ‘Hau – Ruck’ at the ‘RAD-Kunstschau’, 1944, in Prague (and depicted on postcards).
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Nach der Flucht der Engländer’ (‘After the flight of the English’). GDK 1941, room 13; depicted in the exhibition cataloge. Also displayed at the exhibition ‘Maler an der Front’, 1941.
Depicted is the Battle of Dunkirk, 1940, after the flight of the English forces (the Port of Dunkirk, France, close to the border of Belgium). At the photo of this painting depicted in ‘Kunst in Deutschland 1933 – 1945’, Mortimer G. Davidson, one can read the name at the stern of this ship: ‘Ethel Everard, London’. Also depicted in ‘Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte’, 1941, Heft 135.
The ‘Ethel Everard’, London.
Between 1925 and 1926 Fred T. Everard took delivery of four new steel hulled sailing barges, the largest ever built, which he named Will Everard, Fred Everard, Alf Everard and Ethel Everard (they were built in Great Yarmouth by Fellows & Co). Of these, the Ethel Everard was abandoned at Dunkirk during the evacuation of the troops in 1940. As part of operation Dynamo, the barge was towed to Dunkirk by tug SunXll loaded with water and provisions along with the sailing barge Tollesbury, and then abandoned on the beach.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Kradmelder’ (‘Kraftradmelder’, or ‘Motorcycle Messenger’). Displayed at the exhibition ‘Deutsche Künstler und die SS’, Breslau, 1944.
Left: ‘Kradmelder’ by Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, postcard. On the back is printed: ‘Ausstellung Deutsche Künstler und die SS, – Herausgegeben im Auftrag: der Reichsführer-SS, SS-Hauptambt Berlin (‘Exhibition German Artists and the SS, -Published by order of the Reichsführer-SS, SS-Headquarter Berlin’).
Right: the Italian Minister of ‘Volkskultur’ and the German ambassador to Italy, Hans Georg von Mackensen at a German exhibition of war-art in Rome. The painting by Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser can be seen in the background.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Kradmelder in Polen’ (‘Motorcycle-messsenger in Poland’). Depicted in ‘Das Bild’, 1942.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der unbekannte Soldat des Weltkrieges’ (‘The Unknown Soldier of the World War’), 1934. Displayed in the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, Dresden (photo: December 2016). Also depicted in the book ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft’, 1935.
Another version of this work (90 x 80 cm) was shown at the exhibition ‘Deutsche Kunst 1933-1945 in Braunschweig’, 2000, Braunschweig. At 28 January 1936 Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser wrote a letter to the owner of the painting at that time, explaining how he came to this design: ‘Ich danke ihnen herzlich für ihren so freundlichen Brief. Das Ihnen mein Bild soviel Freude bereitet, ist mir eine grosse Genugtuung. Für uns Künstler ist es ja der schönste Lohn, zu sehen, wie das geschaffene Werk lebendige Kräfte auf die Beschauer, auf die Besitzer ausströmt. Das es dies in diesen Falle tut, ersehe ich aus ihrem freundlichen Schreiben. Das Bild ‘Der Unbekannte Soldat‘ ist nicht gleich in dieser Form gemalt worden. Zuerst hatte ich eine marschierende Truppe ‘Die Endlose Strasse‘. Dann kam mir die Idee, dem vordersten Mann die Züge des Führers zu geben und wieder später alle anderen im Schatten zu belassen, so das der Vorderste, der Führer also, wirklich führte. In dieser Form ist das Bild im Winter 1933/34 entstanden. Ich habe verschiedene Fassungen geschaffen, ehe ich das ganz grosse Bild, das jetzt im Rathaus in Stendal hängt, malen könnte. Solche Bilder werden langsam geboren. Wenn Sie in Görlitz sind, würde ich mich freuen, Sie in meinen Atelier begrüssen zu können. Mit den besten Grüssen und Heil Hilter ihr sehr ergebener Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser.‘ (Exhibition catalog ‘Deutsche Kunst 1933-1945 in Braunschweig‘).
Right: pre-1945 poster of ‘Der unbekannte Soldat des Weltkrieges’. Size 74 x 62 cm. Several other WWI works by Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, depicted in ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft’, could be ordered in (smaller) posters.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffäuser, ‘Der Kreigsfreiwillige’ (‘The Volunteer’). Depicted in ‘Die Malerei im Deutschen Faschismus’, Carl Hanser Verlag, 1974. Displayed at the GDK 1944, room 13, under the name ‘Sturm auf Bapaume’. Size: 148 x 120 cm, sold for 10.000 RM.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser exhibition in 1936 in the Zeughaus, Berlin: ‘Der Weltkrieg in Bildern VI. Schicksale einer Fronttruppe. Das Preussische Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4 in Bildern und Skizzen des Oberjägers O. Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser’ (‘The World War in Pictures VI. Fortunes of a frontline troop. The Prussian reserve Hunter Battalion No. 4 in pictures and sketches of Corporal O. Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser’).
The World War in Pictures series accounted for the majority of special exhibitions held at the Zeughaus between 1934 and 1939.
The mid part of the triptych is ‘Die Nacht vom 22. bis 23. März 1918 im Granattrichter vor Bapaume’ (’The Night from 22 to 23 March 1918 in a shell-crater near Bapaume’; also depicted in ‘Krieg und Kunst’ by Wilhelm Westecker’, 1944. The painting left is a version of ‘‘Jetzt! Raus aus dem Graben’ (‘Now! Out of the Trenches’), depicted in ‘Die Kunst im Deutschen Reich’, 1939.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der Rückfahrer. Dezember 1918’ (‘Returning. December 1918’). In possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (previously owned by the United States Army Centre of Military History). A similar work was published in ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft’, 1935.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Portrait of Fritz Freitag’, 23 June 1943. Fritz Freitag (28 April 1894 -10 May 1945) was appointed commander of 2nd SS Polizei Infantry Regiment still serving on the Eastern Front. He was promoted to Standartenführer for his performance in command of a Kampfgruppe during the fighting in the Volkhov pocket. From April to August 1943 he commanded the 2 SS Infantry Brigade, and from 18 August 1943 till 20 October 1943 the 4th SS Polizei Division. He was then given command of the SS Division Galicia. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross in September 1944. Freitag committed suicide in an American POW camp on 10 May 1945. Offered on ebay.de in 2017. Size 43 x 33 cm.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Jetzt! Raus aus dem Graben’ (‘Now! Out of the Trenches’), depicted in ‘Die Kunst im Deutschen Reich’, 1939.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Frontwege’ (‘Front-roads’), depicted in ‘Die Kunst im Deutschen Reich’, 1939, and in ‘Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte’, 1937, Heft 93.
The Dresdner Kunstausttellung 1935
The Dresdner Kunstaustellung, 29 Juni- September 1935, was an art exhibition organized to showcase art approved by the Nazis. The exhibition held under patronage of Martin Mutschmann, Gauleiter of Saxony from 1925 to 1945, had a ‘Sonderschau Kriegbilder’, a special department with war-depictions. Many war painters known from their depictions of World War I were represented, including: Claus Bergen, Ludwig Dettmann (88 works), Franz Eichhorst, Erich Erler-Samaden (22 works), Fritz Erler (15 works), Erich Fraas, Oskar Graf (32 works), Hans von Hayek (23 works), Anton Hoffmann and Willy Waldapfel.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser displayed an astonishing number of 110 works at the exhibition.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ’Essenholer im Wytschaetebogen in Flanderen. July 1917, nachts 2 Uhr‘ (‘Men carrying food, Battle of Mesen-Wijtschate, July 1917, 2 o’clock at night’). Displayed at the Dresdner Kunstausstellung 1935. Depicted in ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft’, 1935.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ’Sturm. 21. März 1918’ (‘Raid. March 21, 1918’), 1918. Displayed at the Dresdner Kunstausstellung 1935. Depicted in ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft’, 1935.
Left and below: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Läufer Heinrich Mertens vom KTK. im Wytschaete-Bogen. 25 Juni 1917‘ (‘Runner/military-courier Heinrich Mertens from the Kampftruppen Kommando in Messines Ridge. 25 June 1917‘).
Displayed at the exhibition ‘Dresdner Kunstausstellung, -Sonderschau: Kriegsbilder’, 1935. Depicted in ‘Vorn, -Dokumente Deutsche Frontkameradschaft‘, Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, 1935‘. Sold by a German auction house in 2018. Size: 102,5 x 80 cm.
Right: ‘Läufer Heinrich Mertens vom KTK. (Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon 4), im Wytschaete-Bogen. Juli 1917‘ (‘Runner/military-courier Heinrich Mertens from the Kampftruppen Kommando (Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon 4), in Messines Ridge. 25 June 1917‘). Depicted in ‘Vorn, -Dokumente Deutsche Frontkameradschaft‘, Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, 1935‘.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Die unversehrte Lilie am zerschmertterten Grabe’ (‘The Pure Lily at the desecrated Grave’). Scene from the ‘Stellung von Zonnebeke in Flandern’, July 1917. Depicted on the cover of ‘Am Rande der Schlachten. Sonderbare Begebenheiten und seltsame Erlebnisse aus dem deutschen Ringen 1914/18’, 1937. Another verson of this painting was depicted in ‘Vorn, Dokumenten deutscher Frontkameratschaft’, 1935.
Kampf um den Wytschaete Bogen (‘Battle of Messines’)
Wytschaete (‘Whitesheet’) is a town situated on a chain of hills extending south-west and north-east around the city of Ypres in Flanders. Due its elevated position on Messines Ridge and its vicinity to the town of Ypres, Wytschaete and the front protrusion of the so-called Wytschaete-Salient (German: Wytschaete-Bogen) around the strategically important heights between Wijtschaete and Mesen, were the scene of heavy fighting throughout the First World War.
Wytschaete was captured by German troops of the Bavarian contingent on 2 November 1914. With the fall and capture of the Messines Ridge the German Army now held dominating hilltop positions which throughout the following two and a half years, now consolidated and heavily fortified, allowed it to observe every move the British made in front of Ypres and to direct a well-aimed artillery fire upon them.
The situation would only change on 7 June 1917, during the Battle of Messines. The aim of this offensive operation was to drive the Germans from the high ground with the aim of straightening the front line and placing the advantage of the dominating high ground into British hands, in preparation for yet another offensive just to the north, in the autumn of 1917.
The main attack was launched on the 7th of June 1917 with the detonation of over 450 tons of explosive placed some 75 feet below the enemy lines, at intervals along the front. At 3:00 am the largest conventional manmade explosions in history echoed across Europe. The German defenders were struck unawares, right in the middle of a major organisational phase and were pushed off the ridge and out of Wytschaete under heavy casualties. Even though the Allies now held control of the wasteland of rubble and debris that had once been Wytschaete, war would return less than a year later when the town was retaken by German troops during the Spring Offensive in April 1918 – it was finally captured by the Allies in September 1918.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der alte Kämpfer in Russland‘ (‘The Veteran in Russia’), 1941. Displayed at the ‘Kunstausstellung der SA‘, Dresden, 1942. Depicted in ‘Feuer und Farbe‘, 1943, with the name ‘Am Peipussee Juli 1941‘.
Right: Kunstausstellung der SA in Dresden, 1942.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Im Abschnitt der SS-Polizei-Division’ (‘In the time of the SS-Polizei Division’). GDK 1944, room 13. Size 140 x 110 cm. In the possession of the Deutsches Historiches Museum.
The 4th SS Polizei Panzergrenadier Division was one of the thirty-eight divisions fielded as part of the Waffen-SS during World War II. The division was formed in 1939 as part of the Ordnungspolizei (uniformed national police). While all German police organizations were controlled by Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler in his capacity as Chief of German Police in the Interior Ministry, they were not at this time considered part of the SS, nor was the Polizei Division on par with the true Waffen-SS Divisions. This status was reflected in the quality of the equipment they were issued and their retention of police insignia and rank structure. The division was transferred to the Waffen-SS in 1942 and was upgraded to a Panzergrenadier division. It fought in France, the Soviet Union, Greece (where it orchestrated the Distomo massacre) and Pomerania and finally surrendered to the Americans in May 1945.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Stafettenläufer im Caillettewald vor Verdun. Juni 1916’ (‘Relay Runner in the Caillette-Forest near Verdun. June 1916’). Depicted in ‘Krieg und Kunst’, Wilhelm Westecker, 1944. Likely displayed at the ‘Dresdner Kunstausstellung’, 1935.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Zwischen Amiens Abbéville‘ (‘Between Amiens and Abbéville‘), 1941. GDK 1942 room 13. Size 135 x 110 cm. Depicted in ‘Feuer und Farbe‘, Wien, 1943.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Die 1. Panzerschlacht der Geschichte bei Cambrai 1917’ (‘The First Tank-battle in history near Cambrai 1917‘). GDK 1944 room 13; depicted in the exhibition catalogue. Size 200 x 138 cm. In the possession of the US Army Centre of Military History, Washington.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Kameradschaft’ (‘Comradeship’). Depicted in ‘Fronterleben, Gedichte von Kriege’, by Erich Limpach, published around 1940.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘‘Die Nacht vom 22. bis 23. März 1918 im Granattrichter vor Bapaume’ (‘The Night of 22 – 23 March 1918 in a Shell Crater near Bapaume’). Depicted in ‘Krieg und Kunst’, Wilhelm Westecker, 1944. Also depicted in ‘Fronterleben, Gedichte von Kriege’, Erich Limpach, published around 1940.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Übergang über den Dnjepr’ (‘Crossing the Dnieper-river’). Depicted on a postcard printed in Russian and German. Date of creation unknown.
RAD-Kunstschau, exhibition of the Reichsarbeitsdienst in Prague, 1944
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Arbeitsmann’ (‘Worker’), postcard. The text at the back reads: ‘Ehret die Arbeit’ (‘Honor the Work’), displayed at the ‘RAD-Kunstschau’, Prague, 1944.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Arbeitspause’ (‘Work Break’), postcard. The text at the back reads: ‘Ehret die Arbeit’ (‘Honor the Work’), displayed at the ‘RAD-Kunstschau’, Prague, 1944.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Windbruch’ (‘Storm-damage’), postcard. The text at the back reads: ‘Ehret die Arbeit’ (‘Honor the Work’), displayed at the ‘RAD-Kunstschau’, Prague, 1944.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘French Volunteers in the Waffen-SS‘, 1944. Depicted in ‘The German War Artists‘, 1979.
Left: Oberstleutnant Paul-Marie Gamory Dubourdeau, size 54 x 35 cm.
Right: René Fayard, size 58 x 43 cm.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der Angriff’ (‘The Assault’). Depicted in ‘Fronterleben, Gedichte von Kriege’, by Erich Limpach, published around 1940.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser ‘Kampfplatz’ (‘Battlefield’). Depicted in ‘Fronterleben, Gedichte von Kriege’, by Erich Limpach, published around 1940.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Lebensmittelwagen im Feuer’ (‘Carriage with Food under Fire’). Likely displayed at the Dresdner Kunstausstellung 1935 under the name: ‘Der Lebensmittelwagen, der die Weihnachtspakete in die Stellung bei Tahure vorbrachte, fährt durch das Feuer zurück, 1915 (‘Carriage with Food, which brought the Christmass packages to the Position of Tahure, under fire on the way back, 1915’). Depicted in ‘Nationalsozialistische Monatshefte’, 1937, Heft 93.
Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Stosstrupp. Juli 1917‘ (‘Assault Troup. July 1917‘). Depicted in ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft‘, 1935.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Abwehr eines Russischen Angriffs durch grossen Österreichischen Flammenwerfer an der Zlota-Gora in Ost-Galizien. Winter 1916/17‘ (‘Defence by massive Austrian flamethrowers against a Russian attack in the Zlota-Gora in Western Ukrain. Winter 1916/17‘). Displayed at the ‘Dresdner Kunstausstellung’, 1935.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘In der Abwehr‘ (‘Defending‘). Depicted in ‘Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft‘, 1935. Likely displayed at the ‘Dresdner Kunstausstellung’, 1935.
Monumental wall-paintings in the auditorium of the Luisenschule in the city of Görlitz
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, four monumental wall-paintings in the auditorium of the Luisenschule in the city of Görlitz. Revealed in August 1928. The paintings disappeared in 1944/45.
Depicted and described in detail in the book ‘Vier Wandgemälde aus der Görlitzer Geschichte’, 1928. All the persons depicted on the pantings (all of them!), are separately described in this book.
Painting I: ‘George Emmerichs Abreise nach Jerusalem im Jahre 1465’. Depicted is the 43-year old mayor of Görlitz, George Emmerich, the ‘König von Görlitz’. Emmerich, at the start of his Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, says farewell to his relatives and to members of the City Counsel.
Painting II and III: ‘Die Belagerung von Görlitz 1641‘. Depicted is the siege and bombardment of swedish occupied Görlitz by imperial and saxonian troops, 1641.
Painting IV: ‘Ein Augenblick aus dem Leben Jakob Böhmes; der theosophische Schuster verlässt im Jahre 1613 nach seiner Aburteilung das Rathauses‘. Depicted is Jakob Böhme, German philosopher, Christian mystic, and Lutheran Protestant theologian, after his condemnation leaving the Town Hall of Gorlitz in 1613. In 1612 Böhme had written a first concept of his book Aurora (Die Morgenrote im Aufgang, or, The rising of Dawn), which caused a great scandal. Gregorius Richter, the chief pastor of Görlitz, considered it heretical and threatened Böhme with exile if he continued working on it.
Postcard of 1930: The ‘Luisenschule’ in Görlitz, visible at the left are the paintings II and IV.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Artern an der Wende älterer und neuerer Zeit‘ (‘Old times and New Times in Artern‘). Monumental painting of 8 x 3,5 meter in the Council Chamber of the City Hall of Artern. Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser was born in this town in the Kyffhäuserkreis district, the northern part of Thuringia. The work, reveiled at 6 October 1929, shows the develop of the city in the 18th century. Kyffhäuser also depicted several notables of the city, like the founder of the iron foundry Paul Reuss, mayor Karl Hühnerbein, the city-historian Gustav Poppe and the banker Hans Büchner. Photo: 2016.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, around 1945.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, one of the greatest war painters of the 20th century
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser (1884-1965), born in Kyffhäuser, was a German painter and art teacher. From 1901 to 1907 he went to the Art Academy in Kassel, and later he studied in Berlin and Weimar. In 1914 he had his first serious exhibition in Darmstadt. During WWI he served as Oberfeldjäger in the Reserve Jäger Bataillon nr. 4; he was war painter with the troops. He painted in trenches and other positions within the first frontlines. From 1919 to 1939 he worked in Görlitz as a teacher of ‘Artistic Education’ at the Luisenschule. In 1928 he created four monumental wall paintings for the Luisenschule (the paintings disappeared in 1944/45). These works are depicted and described in detail in the book ‘Vier Wandgemälde aus der Görlitzer Geschichte’, 1928.
Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser became a member of the NSDAP and the SS and created several war paintings as well as many portraits of National Socialist leaders. In 1929 Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser created ‘Artern an der Wende älterer und neuerer Zeit‘ (‘Old times and New Times in Artern‘); this monumental painting of 8 x 3,5 meter was placed in the Council Chamber of the City Hall of Artern (Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser was born in Artern, a city in the Kyffhäuserkreis district, the northern part of Thuringia). In 1935 Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser participated in the Dresdner Kunstausstellung with the astonishing number of 110 paintings. In 1936 he had a special exhibition in the Zeughaus, Berlin: ‘Der Weltkrieg in Bildern VI. Schicksale einer Fronttruppe. Das Preussische Reserve-Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 4 in Bildern und Skizzen des Oberjägers O. Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser’ (‘The World War in Pictures VI. Fortunes of a frontline troop. The Prussian reserve Hunter Battalion No. 4 in pictures and sketches of Corporal O. Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser’).
At the request of Himmler, in January 1940 Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser visited Poland and watched the treck (migration) of the Volksdeutschen. Based on the Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939, Russia and Germany had divided Poland whereby East Poland was occupied by Russia. Ethnic Germans from East Poland (the regions Galicia and Volhynia) and the Baltics subsequently moved to the Reichsgau Warthegau (West-Central Poland). To make room for the ethnic Germans, in 1940 the SS had expelled more than 325,000 Poles and Jews from the Warthegau and the Polish Corridor and confiscated their belongings. By 1945 nearly half a million ‘Volksdeutsche’ Germans had been resettled in Warthegau. Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser documented the resettlement in a series of drawings and paintings, which were exhibited in Berlin in May 1940. In the same year, Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, together with Nazi officials Alfred Karasek and Heinrich Kurtz, published ‘Das Buch zum grossen Treck’ (the Book of the Great Trek). The paintings and drawings of Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser served as a basis for the propaganda film ‘Heimkehr’ (Return to the Homeland) by Gustav Ucicky. In 1942 he displayed 30 works at the ‘Kunstausstellung des Generalgouvernements, -Deutsche Künstler Sehen das Generalgouvernement’, Krakau, Tuchhallen.
Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser was represented in the Great German Art Exhibitions with 26 paintings and drawings. Themes in his work include the migration of ethnic Germans, German farmers, portraits of Nazi leaders and war sceneries. Other exhibitions of his works were ‘Rückführung der Deutschen aus Galizien’ in 1940 in Krakow (Poland), ‘Der große Treck’ in 1940 and ‘Mit Mann und Ross und Wagen’ in 1941, both held in Görlitz. In 1941 he exhibited ‘Flandern und die Niederlande’ in the Netherlands. In 1942 he took part in the exhibition ‘Kunstausstellung der SA in Dresden’, in 1944 in the exhibition ‘RAD-Kunstschau, -Ehret die Arbeit’ in Prague, and also in 1944 in the exhibition ‘Deutsche Künstler und die SS’ in Breslau and Salzburg.
Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser died in 1965 in Göttingen.
After the end of the war almost 14 million German civilians in Central and Eastern Europe were forcibly expelled and deported to (West) Germany. This gigantic ethnic cleansing operation did not make any difference between colonists or ethnic Germans, who had lived there since the 14th century. Estimates are that around two million Germans, civilians as well as prisoners of war, were killed in the first two years after the war.
Nowadays, works of Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser can be seen in museums in Görlitz, Bautzen and in the Osthaus Museum in Hagen. The city hall of Artern also possesses a wall painting by Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. Currently the U.S. Army Centre of Military History in Washington D.C. still owns the following works by Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser: ‘Assault At Armentiers’, 1939, and ‘French Volunteer In Waffen SS’, 1944. The German Historical Museum is in the possession of ‘Deutsche Umsiedlungsbauern’ (GDK 1944 room 13), ‘Der Treck in den Karpaten’ (‘The Trek to the Carpathians’), ‘Im Abschnitt der SS-Polizei-Division’ (GDK 1944 room 13, ‘In the Time of the SS-Police-Division’) and ‘Portrait eines verwundeten deutschen Soldaten’ (‘Portrait of a wounded German Soldier).