In this volume, an extensive collection of pictures from German painters and illustrators of the war on Russia in 1941-1945 are presented for the first time. The great majority of these pictures belong to the “German War Art Collection”, which includes more than 8,000 paintings and drawings and was confiscated by the USA in 1946. Although the vast majority of this pictorial resource has since been returned to Germany, there is still a great deal of material that, for the most part, has not been examined.
These works are an extremely important historical source that gives an overview of the propaganda objectives of the Nazis and their development; the effects of direct experience of war; and the way German soldiers and their enemies were perceived and portrayed. A further exceptional quality of the collection is the depiction of the enemy, and impressions of the Russian landscape and people. Both the content of the collection and the styles of the works are extremely varied, including works showing the influence of “New Objectivity”, Cubism and Expressionism. This resource fits into the tradition of German military art after the First World War, the directives of Nazi art policy and the history of the German propaganda units with reference to the institutions that influenced these units.