I will take revenge on the sins and virtues of my forefathers. -Otto Dix, signed note, 1920
WORKS BURNED Der Krieg, Radierungen (The War, Etchings), 1924 In all probability, the painting The Trench was burned
Upon the outbreak of World War I, German artist Otto Dix (1891-1969) volunteered for the German army and was assigned to a field artillery regiment. After seeing some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, Dix embraced radical leftist and pacifist views. His artwork became increasingly political. His anger at the treatment of wounded and disabled veterans in Germany is reflected in Expressionistic paintings such as The Trench, a depiction of decomposed corpses in a German trench. In 1933, the Nazis, who were critical of Dix's leftist and anti-war stance, removed him from his teaching post at the Dresden Academy. Dix was also vilified at the Nazi "Degenerate Art" exhibition. The Nazis confiscated his works from public collections. They declared that his work "threatened to sap the will of the German people to defend themselves."