Letter in support of Oscar Kokoschka (1940)
from the excellent Migrations exhibition at Tate Britain:
Oscar Kokoschka is by common consent the most eminent Czechoslovakian painter. He was turned out of Germany by the Nazis as part of their drive against the arts. He and his followers suffered considerable persecution.
He is a somewhat eccentric and unpredictable man, but I am confident that he falls into the category of aliens concerning whom no doubt need arise from the point of view of security. Quite apart from the fact that he has always been anti-Nazi, I should think he is far too dreamy and undependable for the Nazis to use him as an agent,
More on the artist here
“…Deemed a degenerate by the Nazis, Kokoschka fled Austria in 1934 for Prague. In Prague his name was adopted by a group of other expatriate artists, the Oskar-Kokoschka-Bund (OKB), though he declined to otherwise participate. In 1938, when the Czechs began to mobilize for the expected invasion of the Wehrmacht, he fled to the United Kingdom and remained there during the war. With the help of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia (later the Czech Refugee Trust Fund), all members of the OKB were able to escape through Poland and Sweden.”
1 note, June 23, 2012