Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, Unteroffizier Berner

Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, Unteroffizier Berner Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, Unteroffizier Berner Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, Unteroffizier Berner

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Price:€ 18500.00


'Unteroffizier Berner' ('Corporal Berner')
Displayed at the Grosse Deutsche Kunstausttellung 1942, saal 30.

Extreme scarce work of art
Art works considered as overt propaganda were massively destroyed
As described below, 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.

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).


- 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

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.

Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der Blick nach Deutschland’ ('The view to Germany'). GDK 1940, room 27. 
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.

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.

Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. ‘Einmarsch in Riga’ (Troops Entering Riga, the capital of Latvia). GDK 1942, room 13. Depicted in 'Die Kunst', 1942.
Right: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser. ‘Reichsarbeitsdienst, im Riesengebirge’ 1938 ('Working for the Reich in the Mountains').

Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Nach der Flucht der Engländer’ ('After the flight of the English'). GDK 1941, room 13. 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'.

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.

Left: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, 'Motorcycle Messenger'. Postcard based on the exhibition ‘Deutsche Kuenstler und die SS’, an exhibition held in Salzburg in 1944.
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).
Right: pre-1945 poster of 'Der unbekannte Soldat des Weltkrieges'. The painting was also depicted in 'Vorn, Dokumente deutscher Frontkameradschaft', 1935, and on postcards.

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.

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 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.


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: Otto Engelhardt-Kyffhäuser, ‘Der alte Kämpfer in Russland‘, 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, ‘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.

Otto Engelhardt Kyffhäuser, 'Arbeitsmann' ('Worker'), postcard. The text at the back reads: 'Ehret die Arbeit' ('Honor the Work'), RAD-Kunstschau, prag, 1944. 

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.

The extreme scarcity of National Socialistic art
Massive, systematic destruction of Nazi art since 1945: the Potsdam-Agreement
From 1933 to 1949 Germany experienced two massive art purges. Both the National Socialist government and OMGUS (the U.S. Military Government in Germany) were highly concerned with controlling what people saw and how they saw it. The Nazis eliminated what they called ‘Degenerate art’, erasing the pictorial traces of turmoil and heterogeneity that they associated with modern art. The Western Allies in turn eradicated ‘Nazi art’ and forbade all artworks military subjects or themes that could have military and/or chauvinist symbolism from pictorial representation. Both the Third Reich and OMGUS utilized the visual arts as instruments for the construction of new German cultural heritages.
The Potsdam Agreement of 2 August 1945, subparagraph 3, Part III, Section A stated that one purpose of the occupation of Germany was ‘to destroy the National Socialistic Party and its affiliated and supervised organizations and to dissolve all Nazi and militaristic activity or propaganda.’ In accordance with Allied Control Council laws and military government regulations, all documents and objects which might tend to revitalize the Nazi spirit or German militarism would be confiscated or destroyed. For example, Title 18, Military Government Regulation, OMGUS stated that: ‘all collections of works of art related or dedicated to the perpetuation of German militarism or Nazism will be closed permanently and taken into custody.’ As a consequence, thousands of paintings –portraits of Nazi-leaders, paintings containing a swastika or depicting military/war sceneries– were considered ‘of no value’ and destroyed. With knives, fires and hammers, they smashed countless sculptures and burned thousands of paintings. Around 8,722 artworks were shipped to military deposits in the U.S.
OMGUS regulated and censored the art world. The Information Control Division (ICD, the key structure in the political control of post-war German culture in the American zone) was in fact a non-violent version of the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture). With its seven subdivisions (i.e. press, literature, radio, film, theatre, music, and art), the ICD neatly replaced the Reich Chamber of Culture. The ICD established through its various sections a system of licensed activity, with screening and vetting by Intelligence to exclude all politically undesirable people.

‘Free’ German artists producing ‘free German art’ after 1945
In the ideology of OMGUS, painting was conceived of as a strategic element in the campaign to politically re-educate the German people for a new democratic internationalism. Modern art allowed for the establishment of an easy continuity with the pre-Nazi modernist past, and it could serve as a springboard for the international projection of Germany as a new country interacting with its new Western partners.
‘Free’ artists producing ‘free art’ was one of the most powerful symbols of the new Germany, the answer to the politically controlled art of the Third Reich. Modern art linked Western Germany to Western Europe – separating the new West German aesthetic and politics from that of the Nazi era, the U.S.S.R., and East Germany – and suggested an ‘authentically’ German identity.

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.

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. During this period he produced a series of pen-drawings, etchings and paintings. He 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.
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. 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', and 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).