This article examines the exiled German artist George Grosz's Interregnum, a print portfolio published in New York in 1936, in particular Grosz's depiction of the interrogation and torture of political prisoners such as Erich Mühsam in the concentration camps established after Hitler's appointment as Reich chancellor. Grosz's drawings, compared with other representations of the camps in the mainstream press and by left-wing artists, are distinguished by their treatment of the masculinities of both the perpetrators and the victims. Gay Nazis, frequently evoked by the left-wing press in the early 1930s, abuse impotent antifascist intellectuals, incessantly ridiculed by Grosz in his letters. Thus the article concludes that the portfolio not only offered a mordant critique of Nazi brutality but also dismissed European civilization. Both Nazi perpetrators and their victims embodied perverse or abject masculinities that Grosz, who portrayed himself as a priapic heterosexual artist in the American landscape, rejected.
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James A. Van Dyke; Torture and Masculinity in George Grosz's Interregnum. New German Critique 1 August 2013; 40 (2 (119)): 137–165. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0094033X-2077744
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