If you didn’t already know, calling certain kinds of art ‘degenerate’, ‘gross’, or ‘sick’, is a nazi/fascist dogwhistle, and it’s related to their pro-eugenics narrative

Here’s the deets:

From wikipedia:

The Degenerate Art exhibition (German: Die Ausstellung “Entartete Kunst”) was an art exhibition organized by Adolf Ziegler and the Nazi Party in Munich from 19 July to 30 November 1937. The exhibition presented 650 works of art, confiscated from German museums, and was staged in counterpoint to the concurrent Great German Art Exhibition.[1] The day before the exhibition started, Hitler delivered a speech declaring “merciless war” on cultural disintegration, attacking “chatterboxes, dilettantes and art swindlers”.[1]Degenerate art was defined as works that “insult German feeling, or destroy or confuse natural form or simply reveal an absence of adequate manual and artistic skill”.[1]

Hitler’s rise to power on 30 January 1933 was quickly followed by actions intended to cleanse the culture of so-called degeneracy: book burnings were organized, artists and musicians were dismissed from teaching positions, and museum curators were replaced by Party members.[2]

From the holocaust encyclopedia:

When the Nazi Party assumed control in 1933, its leaders began a campaign to align German politics, society, and culture with Nazi goals. This process of Nazification was widespread. The effort became known as Gleichschaltung, the German word for “coordination” or “synchronization.”

The Nazi regime disbanded organizations of every kind. It replaced these groups with state-sponsored, Nazi professional associations, student leagues, and sports and music clubs. To qualify for membership, a person had to be a politically reliable citizen and able to prove “Aryan” ancestry. All others were excluded from these groups and increasingly from the rest of German society.

In September 1933, the Nazis created the Reich Chamber of Culture. The Chamber oversaw the production of art, music, film, theater, radio, and writing in Germany. The Nazis sought to shape and control every aspect of German society. They believed that art played a critical role in defining a society’s values. In addition, the Nazis believed art could influence a nation’s development. Several top leaders became involved in official efforts on art. They sought to identify and attack “dangerous” artworks as they struggled to define what “truly German” art looked like.

The Nazis also claimed that the ambiguity of modern art contained Jewish and Communist influences that could “endanger public security and order.” They claimed that modern art conspired to weaken German society with “cultural Bolshevism.” According to Nazi ideology, only criminal minds could be capable of creating such so-called harmful art. The Nazis called this art “degenerate.” They used the term to suggest that the artists’ mental, physical, and moral capacities must be in decay. At the time, “degenerate” was widely used to describe criminality, immorality, and physical and mental disabilities.

The campaign to define and control art was shaped by disagreements among leaders. Officials competed for influence within the party and government. In this case, chief Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg clashed with Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels led the Reich Chamber of Culture. As a young man, he had admired prominent avant-garde German artists. He even hoped that a form of “Nordic Expressionism” could become an official Nazi style of art. Rosenberg led a more conservative faction called the Combat League for German Culture. This effort was more aligned with Adolf Hitler’s tastes. Hitler prefered more realistic and classical styles of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Goebbels won this clash with Rosenberg by conforming to Hitler’s tastes.

The regime attempted to clarify what “truly German art” looked like in summer 1937. The first annual Great German Art Exhibition opened in Munich at that time. Hitler reviewed selected artworks the month before it opened. He furiously ordered the removal of many examples of German avant-garde art. Goebbels witnessed this outburst and began making hasty plans for a separate exhibition. He intended to define and mock the types of art that the regime considered “degenerate.” Hitler approved of the plan. The Nazis began confiscating thousands of artworks from German museums.

Roughly one third of the most valuable confiscated artworks were ultimately sold to enrich the Nazi regime. Another third of the artworks disappeared. Some have reemerged over the years. With few exceptions, none of the works were returned to the museums from which they were taken. German museums have not received financial restitution. In rare cases, some art from private collections was returned to its rightful owners. Several European and American museums still possess artworks taken by the Nazis.