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Weimar, the Bauhaus, and Auschwitz

Tel Aviv’s distinctive architectural style is that of the Bauhaus. Many exemplars of that school of design dot Haifa and; here and there in Jerusalem, you will also find its presence. There’s a Bauhaus Museum on Bialik Street in what’s called the White City, mostly in recognition of the Jewish escapees, architects, and designers from the Nazi regime which swallowed up Bauhaus. Some place at home, I even have a book, based on an exhibition, called Social Utopias of the Twenties: Bauhaus, Kibbutz and the Dream of Man.

But now comes news from the underground of history that the Bauhaus and some of its eminences collaborated with the Nazis, worked for them, even theorized for them--although the portentous muscular architecture of the Hitler period was diametrically opposed to the “simplicity” of the Mies and Gropius school.

In any case, there is a fascinating article by Noam Dvir in Wednesday’s Ha’aretz. It is not a simple narrative, and it doesn’t provide a simple moral lesson.