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The Lecture

© DACS 2021. Photo credit: Ben Uri Collection

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In 1933, only days before Hitler’s accession to the Chancellorship of Germany, Grosz moved to New York to avoid persecution and to take up the offer of a teaching post. The Lecture is commemorating the brutal death of Grosz’s friend, the radical Jewish writer and anarchist Erich Mühsam (1878–1934), who was tortured and murdered in the Oranienburg concentration camp. Grosz shows only Mühsam’s head brutally shorn, with a noose around his neck (Mühsam’s wife was informed that he had hanged himself); beneath him, the Talmud, speared by a dagger. A thuggish officer with a red and rage-contorted face points to the image on a lecture board. This work is part of a larger series commemorating the writer. In 1937 Grosz’s work was included, in his absence, in the infamous 1937 ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition that opened in Munich before touring throughout Germany and Austria.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum





ink & watercolour on paper


H 55 x W 45 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by Sally, Richard and Andrew Kalman, honour of their late father Andras Kalman, 2013

Work type

Drawing & watercolour

Signature/marks description

Signed (lower right) Grosz

Inscription description

Titled (lower right) Letter to an Anti-Semite


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Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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