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Richard Grune lithograph of a concentration camp prisoner crouched near barbed wire

Object | Accession Number: 2012.316.7

Lithograph created by Richard Grune soon after the war to publicize the barbaric conditions he experienced or witnessed as a prisoner in concentration camps and prisons in Germany from 1935-1945. Grune was a Bauhaus trained artist who moved to Berlin in February 1933. Hitler had been appointed Chancellor that January and was transforming the government to a Nazi-controlled dictatorship. Nazi ideology demanded racial and cultural purity and homosexuality was antithetical to this vision. Under the new government, those suspected of violating a pre-existing statute, Article 6, §175, which punished indecent acts between men, were targeted for arrest. In December 1934, Grune was denounced and arrested. Under interrogation, he admitted to being homosexual. He was held in protective custody for five months, then put on trial for violating §175. In September 1936, he was convicted and sentenced to prison. Upon his release, the Gestapo kept Grune in protective custody, asserting that his sentence had been too lenient. In October 1937, Grune was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In April 1940, he was transferred to Flossenbürg. Five years later, in April 1945, as American forces approached, the camp was evacuated and Grune escaped. He began work on a series of artwork to show the horrific conditions of the German-run camps to the world. In 1947, the works were exhibited and published as Passion des xx. jahrhunderts, one of the most important records of Nazi brutality published in the immediate postwar period.

Artwork Title
Im Elektrozaun
Alternate Title
Prisoner in the Electric Fence
creation:  after 1945 April-1945 December
depiction: concentration camp; Germany
creation: Kiel (Germany)
Object Type
Lithographs (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, The Abraham and Ruth Goldfarb Family Acquisition Fund
Record last modified: 2023-02-27 09:44:18
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