Monday, December 20, 2021

Review of "The Nazi Drawings," by Mauricio Lasansky

 Review of

The Nazi Drawings, by Mauricio Lasansky

Five out of five stars

Haunting images of death by Nazi

 While Mauricio Lasansky was never in a Nazi camp, he was the son of East European Jews and was born and raised in Argentina where there was strong German sympathies in World War II. He began winning prizes for his art when in his teen years and at the age of 22, became the director of the Free Fine Arts School in Villa María, Argentina. He held this position until he relocated to New York City in 1943. Two years later he took his first position at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, established the school of printmaking and stayed there until he retired in 1984.

 These drawings depict the depth of depravity and destruction perpetrated by the Nazis against their fellow humans. There are 30 drawings in this collection, the last is one of Hitler himself using a knife to castrate himself. Most of the images have deeper meanings that are often pointed out in the introduction. Drawing 29 shows two priests standing over a pile of corpses of children, no doubt meant to emphasize the general silence of the continental European churches over what was being done to helpless populations.

 These images are complex, yet the messages are easy to understand, albeit difficult to contemplate. Many of them remind the viewer of the classic Picasso portrait “Guernica.”

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