Arts feature

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015

9:00 AM

3 October 2015

9:00 AM

Next week Frank Auerbach will be honoured by the British art establishment with a one-man show at Tate Britain. It’s a fitting tribute for an artist who’s widely (and quite rightly) regarded as Britain’s greatest living painter. Yet although Auerbach has spent almost all his life in Britain, what’s striking about his paintings is how Germanic they seem.

Born in Berlin in 1931, Auerbach was only seven when he came to England (his parents subsequently perished in the Holocaust). By rights, he should stand alongside British artists such as Peter Blake and David Hockney, yet his work feels far closer to German painters like Georg Baselitz or Anselm Kiefer. Auerbach is a one-off, a unique painter with a unique vision. However he’s also part of a vast wave of Germanic immigration that has transformed British cultural life — mainly for the better, but at a price.

During the 1930s, 100,000 refugees fled to Britain from the Third Reich. Britain had weathered other migrations, but this one was entirely different. Nazism had transformed a liberal democracy into a violent, superstitious tyranny. These refugees weren’t only fleeing from anti-Semitism. They were fleeing from a pogrom against western civilisation. This wave of immigrants wasn’t just another huddled mass — it was the cultural élite of Central Europe, the best and brightest from every avenue of academia and the arts.

Arriving with nothing, starting from nothing, the achievements of these refugees were staggering. Every artistic genre was invigorated by their arrival, from music (Fritz Busch, Hans Keller) to literature (Stefan Zweig), from fine art (Kurt Schwitters, Oskar Kokoschka) to cinema (Emeric Pressburger, Karel Reisz). Gerard Hoffnung and Victor Weisz (aka Vicky) delighted Britain with their cartoons. Kurt Jooss and Rudolf Laban revolutionised British dance. Like Auerbach, Lucian Freud came to Britain from Berlin. Three of the Amadeus Quartet came from Vienna, and met in an internment camp on the Isle of Man.

German-speaking émigrés enlivened every academic discipline: economics (Friedrich Hayek), mathematics (Max Born), philosophy (Karl Popper), psychology (Hans Eysenck), history (Eric Hobsbawm, Geoffrey Elton)… The list goes on and on. In his fascinating book The Hitler Emigrés (essential reading for anyone interested in this rich subject) Daniel Snowman calculates that this intellectual exodus produced 16 Nobel laureates, and 74 Fellows of the Royal Society. Many of these émigrés were Jewish and some weren’t, but that hardly mattered. They were champions of civilised, enlightened values, rather than members of a certain religion, or a certain race.


If anything, these cultured refugees were even more influential behind the scenes. George Weidenfeld introduced a new internationalism to British publishing. Claus Moser championed opera. Martin Esslin brought Brecht to the BBC. Nikolaus Pevsner and Ernst Gombrich elevated architectural history and art criticism. Rudolf Bing helped to establish Glyndebourne and the Edinburgh Festival (based on his memories of Salzburg).

The influence of these artistic émigrés has been so all-pervading that it’s easy to forget how insular British culture was before the second world war. Reviewing an exhibition of German art at the Burlington Gallery in 1938, the art critic of the New Statesman declared, ‘If Hitler doesn’t like these pictures, it’s the best thing I’ve heard about Hitler.’ British modernists fared no better. In 1938, the Tate’s director, J.B. Manson, said that Henry Moore would only enter the gallery over his dead body. Yet by 1951, Moore had become the star turn at the Festival of Britain. Finally, against all odds, these continental émigrés had dragged British culture into the 20th century. From now on, in Britain, as on the continent, modernism was the status quo.

This tale is usually told as a story with a happy ending, a triumph of progressive values over reactionary, fuddy-duddy conservatism. But although Britain gained a great deal from this flood of foreign talent, you can’t help feeling, looking back, that something was lost along the way. Before the war, British culture was much more staid, but more in tune with public opinion. Since 1945 our artistic institutions have become much more Middle European: avant-garde, conceptual and out of step with popular taste.

Among the British intelligentsia, modernism has become the new orthodoxy, but this Mitteleuropäische aesthetic has never really been accepted by the population as a whole. There’s a cultural class divide in Britain (to an extent unknown in Germany) between highbrow and lowbrow, between bien-pensant and populist attitudes to art. The cognoscenti may flock to the latest show at the White Cube, but beyond the metropolitan bubble the feeling persists that most modern art is obscure and somehow foreign. This is a legacy of the Hitler émigrés, and the modernist movement they inspired.

Even at the time, some Britons feared this continental influx would change the nature of our island’s cultural life. In Snowman’s absorbing book, he recounts how Vaughan Williams was invited to become a patron of a new Anglo-Austrian Music Society, formed by Austrian musicians who’d fled to Britain. ‘The great thing which frightens me,’ he replied, ‘is that it will entirely devour the tender little flower of our English culture.’ Vaughan Williams loved Austrian music but he loved English music too, and he feared the former might overwhelm the latter. ‘We cannot swallow the strong meat of your culture,’ he wrote. ‘Our stomachs are not strong enough.’

Actually, the field in which his worst fears were realised wasn’t music but architecture. During his brief exile in Britain, Walter Gropius inspired a new generation of British architects, but what worked in Weimar and Dessau didn’t suit Stevenage or Stepney. Erno Goldfinger’s tower blocks summed up the British aversion to brutalism. Hipsters adore his Trellick Tower, and his house is maintained by the National Trust, but he’s now best remembered as the inspiration for a particularly unpleasant Bond villain.

It was no surprise that this architectural style failed to take root in Britain. Introducing a Gropius exhibition at Riba, in 1934, the British architect Raymond Unwin teased the Germans for their devotion to theories. The British cultural style has always been discreet and understated — ironic, self-effacing, instinctively wary of radical innovations or big ideas.

This gulf between British and continental attitudes to all things intellectual was summed up by the Hungarian émigré George Mikes, in his wise and witty book about the immigrant experience called How to be an Alien. ‘In England it is bad manners to be clever,’ he observed. ‘It may be your own personal view that two and two make four, but you must not state it in a self-assured way, because this is a democratic country, and others may be of a different opinion.’ Driven by the Hitler émigrés, Britain now has a very clever arts scene, but it’s an arts scene that feels alien to most Britons.

Like Auerbach, my father emigrated from Germany to Britain when he was a boy. He arrived a decade later, a refugee from a defeated Reich. Like Auerbach, he became an artist. Auerbach was one of his teachers, at Camberwell Art School. When I look at my father’s paintings, I can see some of Auerbach in them. Like Auerbach, my father has lived in Britain ever since he was a child — but, like Auerbach, he’s still an artist from elsewhere.

Frank Auerbach is showing at Tate Britain from 9 October until 13 March 2016.

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Show comments
  • Yorkieeye

    The British middle class are the prime betrayers of their own culture. Only the working class, whom they despise, have any love for their own national values and treasures

  • PatrickMehr

    German refugees also transformed Amarica’s cultural and scientific life, as Anthony Heilbut describes in Exiled In Paradise: German Refugee Artists and Intellectuals in America from the 1930s to the Present (http://plunkettlakepress.com/eip.html).

    Stefan Zweig’s autobiography, The World of Yesterday, is now an eBook: http://plunkettlakepress.com/twoy.html

  • edithgrove

    Look how European emigration transformed the New York art world, de Kooning, Gorki to name two. But somehow they became the essence of American art and deeply affected the generations that followed them and that might also be true of Britain. “ironic, self-effacing, instinctively wary of radical innovations or big ideas” might be a more romantic notion of British art. It doesn’t describe Francis Bacon, Turner or Wren.

  • avi15

    Britain owes far, far more to its German Jewish refugees, who were collectively an intellectual powerhouse, than it will ever acknowledge. They have been referred to as ‘Hitler’s gift’ to Britain, i.e. an unwitting gift. Now, I’m waiting for some bigoted comments again.

    • Bob339

      So you will be off to Israel then? So sad.

      • avi15

        Racist scum

        • Jambo25

          I’m a Scots Presbyterian and I think you’re racist scum as well.

          • Bob339

            Do not give up hope. There is a cure for Presbyterianism now.

          • Jambo25

            You’ve got at least one other brain dead racist on your side, I see.

          • Bob339

            There is probably a cure for Scotism now too. I think it may involve the insertion of a brain possibly a badger or weasel brain -well anything would be an improvement, eh?

          • FORD

            Presbyterianism: I think you’re very confused as to who the racists really are. Zionists hate Presbyterianism, or any kind of religion, with a passion, and if you really are a practising Presbyterian and not aware of this, then you really are very badly informed. “Maybe even brain dead.” I’d go and check with the doctor if I were You!

            The Presbyterian church to give them credit, rightly stood up to the Zionists, and I was proud of them for it. The only Christian church with the courage to fight the evil empire. Though I believe they’ve since caved in.

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/presbyterian-church-group-zionism-is-the-problem/

            I don’t think you understand the meaning of racist, I don’t believe I have ever been a racist I’m guilty of being a hater but not a racist. You’re definitely a dour Scotsman though! To blame others of being brain dead you’d have to be.

          • Jambo25

            Well you’re definitely getting to racism. as you seem to identify with Bob 339 above who now seems to have a racist disregard fir Scots as well as Jews. Good luck.

          • FORD

            Jambo you idiot, I like the Scots, I’m teasing you, I’m a Geordie from next door we used to raid your cattle for goodness sake. You did describe us as brain dead after all!

          • Jambo25

            I know its just English ‘banter’. We get quite a lot of that.

          • FORD

            I’m glad, God Bless!

        • statens_jarnvagar

          “Muh racism.”

    • terence patrick hewett

      The Jewish scientific/engineering émigré contribution is vast: starting with Erich
      Ernest Zepler.

    • uberwest

      Personally I think that Britain’s jews owe the British a huge debt of gratitude, but you will rarely hear any jewish person praise England or the English.

      • avi15

        That’s also an anti-Semitic comment; still less is it true.

        • uberwest

          Just think about it for one second. Without England and her Empire, would Israel have been handed back to the jews? Would World War 2 have been won or lost? And if lost, what would the implications have been for Europe’s jews?

          Would England really have been worse off without Barbara Roach, Margaret Hodge, the Milibands, Mandelson, Straw? Personally I can’t imagine a more Anglophobic bunch of creeps.

          • avi15

            You’re just an ignorant bigot.

          • uberwest

            You’re just another Anglophobic ingrate

          • avi15

            I’m not anglophobic at all. Quite the opposite. Just anti-bigot.

          • uberwest

            You don’t address the points I made, just whine petulantly and fling accusations around at the slightest criticism of the ‘chosen people’.

          • Ambientereal

            He was waiting for bigots and although he found none, he transformed you into one. The self-accomplished prophecy.

          • avi15

            With every sneer you convict yourself.

          • uberwest

            Only you’re neither judge, lawyer, policeman or juror. And I’m not on trial.

          • avi15

            Maybe you should be.

          • Sarka

            Cripes. You and several others are odd chaps – friends of Roderick Spode and wearers of black shorts, I would guess.

            What is happening to the Speccie BTL? There was the occasional cockroach, but never this strange infestation we have of late.

          • uberwest

            Are the jews really beyond criticism for you? Why is that? Are every ethnic minority group beyond criticism for you as well?

          • Michael H Kenyon

            The unhinged American right (always monomianiacally going on about TJQ in the blogoverse – see Taki’s Mag) now seeks to colonise areas of Conservatism which are not so loopy. Expect more, as it’s clickbait.

          • Gary John 金白龍

            The truth s bigoted. Jews are very tribal. They practice ethnic networking.

          • Paul B

            “Handed back”? FFS.

          • uberwest

            Do you think that Israel would exist as is if it weren’t for the British? I think it would be as it was at the start of the 20th Century.

          • Paul B

            Israel was not “handed back” to the Jews. It was given to the Jews.

          • uberwest

            Same thing, only I’m acknowledging that it had been a jewish kingdom in the past.

          • Paul B

            I’m sure that you would not argue that France be returned to the Huguenots. That’s very recent history in comparison to the Jews dispersing under similar religious persecution many many centuries ago. Look, I’m not arguing that now Israel is established and settled by immigrants with a very tenuous connection to the territory (essentially a promise in their holy book) that the State of Israel should come to an end. All I argue is that we get the history and language right otherwise there is no hope for a settlement. As long as some believe Israel is theirs BY HISTORICAL RIGHT rather than by gift (and by expulsion of the Palestinians) then the situation will always be misunderstood.

          • uberwest

            Fair point.

          • Paul B

            And sorry to continue given your response, but I too have now created a false impression. Sure, there was a Jewish dispersal arising from persecution but many of those living in the Jewish Kingdoms back then converted first to Christianity and some centuries later to Islam. The Palestinians too, some/many of them, are descendents of those Jewish people every bit as much as Jews dispersed to North Africa and Europe. In the same way that many Huguenots stayed in France, converting to Catholicism.

          • Sarka

            Take out the Jewish component of Jack Straw and you would still have 7/8 of him! And his 1/8 Jewish didn’t come to Britain as a WW2 migrant but much earlier.
            Peter Mandelson’s dad was Jewish, but likewise not an immigrant himself.
            Do you find Keith Joseph, Nigel Lawson, Leon Brittain and so on dreadfully anglophobic? Or Michael Howard?

            Your monicker doesn’t strike me as anglophilic. You run along and put on your tinfoil hat and your Spodeian footer bags!

          • uberwest

            I realise that there may be patriotic jews, Melanie Philips being one, but they don’t come close to undoing the damage wrought by the likes of Roache.

            Straw and Mandelson may not have been immigrants themselves, but they were of immigrant origins and their loyalties were certainly not to the English.

          • RWJetzt

            Melanie Phillips’ loyalty is to Israel. Don’t make that mistake. She is as much of a Jew in her identity than any of the so-called ‘liberal’ Jews. They operate as one organised and separatist group, which is what makes them so dangerous.

          • Shorne

            Israel’s origins lie in the San Remo conference of 1920 which was set up to decide what to do with the defeated Ottoman Empire after World War 1. It was attended by the prime ministers of Great Britain, France, and Italy, and representatives of Japan, Greece, and Belgium. As well as denoting the territory that would be set aside for a Jewish Homeland (Israel only occupies 18% of this area) it also ‘invented’ Syria and Iraq.
            Read this
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_Jewish_scientists

            You don’t really know much do you.

          • uberwest

            Predated by the Balfour declaration in 1917, cabbage. The San Remo conference wouldn’t have even got off the ground without that, and the small matter that Turkey had to be defeated. Or were Europe’s Jews going to do that themselves anyway?

          • Shorne

            Cabbage? Anyway the Balfour Declaration was a short letter from one person to another which vaguely referred to ‘sympathy’ for the idea of a Jewish Homeland. In fact Edwin Montague, the only Jewish member of the Cabinet opposed it as he was concerned that people like you would use the existence of a homeland to force Jews to go there .The other participants in the Conference had nothing to do with it and were not bound by it.

          • douglas redmayne

            Yes but don’t forget to add Michael Howard, Nigel Lawson and suspected kiddy fiddler Leon Brittan.

          • Normalbloke

            What a dick you are

        • FORD

          No it isn’t, it’s true.You’re endlessly blowing your own trumpets!

      • Mike Hayes

        British Jews have always pushed for ‘diversity’ and an undermining of British gentile society – until recently, when they’ve now started to feel threatened by the new incomers.

        • RWJetzt

          I don’t see any indication of them stopping, their media machine is still going full pelt.

      • Shorne

        “I have the greatest admiration for England and the English people. They were the only country that took us in.” “To my dying day, I will be grateful to this country.”
        Comments from survivors of the Kindertransport
        “all of those survivors who somehow managed to rebuild their lives in Britain and continue to feel so grateful for the safe haven they found.”
        Comment from survivor of Belsen
        Every synagogue sabbath service includes a prayer for the Royal Family, it has recently been amended. The new addition recognises the importance of the role of the Armed Forces with the phrase:
        “May He bless and protect Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.”
        The Chief Rabbi has described the change as “A mark of deep respect and admiration as well as a sign of the Jewish community’s loyalty to Her Majesty and to the United Kingdom.
        Doesn’t happen in Church (I’m not Jewish)
        “One of the most striking initiatives ever mounted by the Association of Jewish Refugees was the ‘Thank-You Britain’ Fund, which evolved out of a proposal in 1963 that the Jewish refugees from Central Europe should make a public gesture of thanks to their adopted homeland.”
        ” I cannot help feeling that we ought at the same time we ought to thank God that we live in so peaceful a country as England”
        Lord Rothschild 1938

        Now here’s a quote about you

        “By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
        Oscar Wilde

        • uberwest

          My, haven’t things changed since those days, now the likes of Roche openly plot against the English by opening the flood gates to (mainly muslim) immigrants.

          • Shorne

            There’s no ‘those days’ about it the prayer for the Armed Forces was introduced last year .Barbara Roche has been out of power for a decade. The Office for National Statistics figures show that a quarter of immigrants are Muslims while more than half are Christian with Catholics and Pentecostals forming the largest group. You don’t actually know much do you?

          • RWJetzt

            I’d say he knows far more than most of the cuckservatives you lot shepherd on these comment threads. His crime is to notice that the people behind the lion’s share of the laws and ideologies behind the destruction of the West are Jews. That’s anti-semitic, apparently.

          • Shorne

            He and you know nothing beyond the neo-Nazi myths you peddle.

          • Gary John 金白龍

            The truth IS antisemitic.

          • uberwest

            Actually I wouldn’t have a problem with the jews if they weren’t so pro immigration and diversity, nepotistic and power crazed. I quite like how they deal with the palestinians for instance.

          • Shorne

            You will always have a problem with the Jews because you belong to that rather odd group of paranoid people who think the Jews are out to get them in some way. As for pro-immigration the UKIP candidates in the London Borough where I live and the adjacent borough were both Jewish. Some Jews might be in favour of diversity but on the whole they often prefer the opposite as their concerns about ‘marrying out’ show. Everybody is nepotistic to some degree, none more so than the gentile British middle and upper classes via the ‘old boy’ network. The Jews tend to achieve power and eminence through their own industry and intelligence, this leads to those who lack these qualities calling them things like ‘power crazed.’ You are right to like the way they deal with Palestinians, here’s an example from last year
            “The official PA [Palestinian Authority] daily reported on a visit by the PA Minister of Health, Hani Abdeen, to Israel’s Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The daily noted that 30% of the child patients in Hadassah are Palestinians and that the Israeli hospital is training “60 Palestinian medical interns and specialist physicians who will be returning to the Authority areas to carry out their work.” The hospital has a special program to train Palestinian doctors to treat cancer among children, reported the PA daily.”

          • uberwest

            I see you need to do more homework, google Barbara Spectre-Lerner. I told you that it would take more than a few sly rebuffs from a snotty, condescending turd to change my mind. That might have been taken as a hint that your opinions are not worth anything by someone a little sharper than yourself.

            Yes the Israelis are very good at managing their PR aren’t they?

          • Shorne

            Ah yes the more desperate you become the more offensive your language gets. There’s nothing ‘sharp’ about that nor is the ungrammatical phrase ‘not worth anything by’ exactly indicative of somebody who knows what they are talking about.
            If you rely on the rather stupid views of an obscure academic then you are surely very desperate. Where did you find out about her Stormfront? Vanguard News Network? with every post your motives become more apparent.
            The quote I cited was by Palestinians for Palestinians, no Israeli involvement.

          • uberwest

            Roche was on Sky News a year or so lying about the ‘benefits of immigration’. She’s also trying to get back into politics, but for some reason doesn’t seem too popular. Plenty of others just like her are still at it, and it would take more than a snotty, snide little creep like you to change my mind on that.

            Oh, and immigration is still running at 600,000 per year.

          • Shorne

            As I said Ms Roche has about as much political power as you (or I)’ do namely none. Always interesting how reactionaries like you resort to offensive language when anybody argues with them. The latest net immigration figures I could find are half the figure that you quoted.

          • uberwest

            She has enough pull to convince Sky that her opinions are worth airing. You started with the insults, you can see from my interactions with the other leftist half wits on this topic that I have refrained from insulting them, even when provoked. Obviously I was not talking about net immigration figures then. Half a million third worlders in and three hundred thousand English out is not a good exchange.

    • RWJetzt

      Well, they’ve destroyed Britain more effectively than any bomb ever could have. Hitler’s gift, indeed.

      • avi15

        So many anti-Semite bigots crawling out from the cracks.

        • Gary John 金白龍

          And anti-White bigots like yourself.

    • Gary John 金白龍

      What is it about Jewish behaviour that causes a rise in antisemitism?

      • avi15

        Other people’s dark capacity for ignorance and hatred.

  • Hegelman

    Simply because they could see outside the moronic “Christian” blinkers. It was mostly only stating the obvious when they transformed British culture.

    It was a much easier feat than it seems. You only have to grow up and tell the truth – two things Christianity prevents you doing.

  • John P Hughes

    “This wave of immigrants wasn’t just another huddled mass — it was the cultural élite of Central Europe, the best and brightest from every avenue of academia and the arts”.
    This sentence usefully sums up both how valuable and important the Central European emigrés were to Britain, and why no other set of immigrants (refugees, or other term) bears any comparison with them.
    It is wholly misleading of present-day pundits and politicians to tell us that,because we benefitted so much from those emigrés, Britain is or should be a country of immigration and that other national or ethnic groups would be similarly to the country. They are not and will not be. It is that wave of Central European Jews (some of whom were here before 1933, for reasons such as the Russian Revolution) which is unique.
    The British Jewish Community cannot say this; the calls for the Chief Rabbi and other spokesmen for the community to let in and welcome people from the Middle East or Eastern Africa on the same principle understandably have to be made because of this history. But the majority of us in the UK can say it – and tell our leaders that other groups should not be encouraged or accommodated.

    • Sarka

      It wasn’t just the Thirties and Forties. The situation in Central and East Europe post-war, under communism (including the crises of 48, 56, 68) continued to provide the West including the UK with a supply of highly educated, often brilliant, exiles…some Jewish, many not, and even the relatively ordinary among them settling down in England and making solid lives for themselves without causing any serious problems.

      • John P Hughes

        Yes. I was thinking backwards but there were also arrivals after 1945.
        The earlier arrivals of 1900-1914 came as a result of Russian pogroms and other anti-semitism. In fact many Jews passed through Britain and crossed the Atlantic to become US immigrants in that period. But there were important figures who stayed in Britain such as Chaim Weizmann.
        Some non-German emigrés of the Thirties returned to their countries (Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary) in the short interregnum after the defeat of the Nazis, before Communism took full power, and they had to leave again (eg CZ in 1948). There was a wave of Hungarians (mostly not Jewish) in 1956 and quite a number of Czechs after 1968. A complete overview would show how huge the benefit to Britain was over 90 years.
        It is only since 1989 that the intellectuals and educated of Central and East Europe have been free to come and go (and they do) and the story could be said to have come to an end.

  • DennisMcScumbag

    “German” refugees transformed British culture…..

    The man who wrote this article defines the term Cuckservative.

  • The Dybbuk

    After 2 days of comments I worry that the majority of the comments here are ‘worthy’ of Der Sturmer. The Spectator should be ashamed. But then……

    • Simon Fay

      Excellent hyperbole worthy of a shamelessly self-aggrandising interloper. Well done.

  • Classic cultural marxist liberal-left article for what was once a Tory magazine. Monstrous beyond words. How dare this writer state that these Jews, like Frank Auerbach, “dragged British culture into the 20th century”. Insulting beyond belief. From whom did they acquire their education & apparent knowledge? Oh yes. From Europeans. Germans in this case. So the culture was European in the first place.

    It might be argued that much of the degeneracy in arts in the 20th century has been by, and promoted by Jews, with some degree of accuracy.
    Pity the writer had not examined the details of the the ‘Aliens Act 1905’, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. One of its main objectives was to control unwanted Jewish immigration from Europe.

    • John Thomas

      Yes, indeed. To deny that there is a downside to Modernism (as well as some ‘upside’ things) is very distorting – for good reasons did my generation of architectural historians (those leaving college, say, in about 1970) re-discover and restore historic/traditional architecture and art, a movement (1970s architectural history) almost as successful as the amazing Campaign for Real Ale.

    • Gary John 金白龍

      Testing the strength of your civilization? Send the Jews an open invitation.

      https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t1115561/

  • Mike Hayes

    I agree with the late great Brian Sewell, and I paraphrase; “Auerbach’s work is no different to a mentally ill bear pacing back and forth in his cage”. The man is nothing more than an autistic with a brush in his hand. He constructed nothing of visual or cultural worth. Like most Jewish “artists” his work has been artificially inflated by a network of Jewish dealers, gallery owners and media proprietors. Same for Lucian Freud. Yes, i’m a bigot, blah blah….

    • Paul B

      And thus I discover a bad artist, supposedly, and a bigot, definitely.

  • Hamburger

    The view that “There’s a cultural class divide in Britain (to an extent unknown in Germany) between highbrow and lowbrow, between bien-pensant and populist attitudes to art.” is mistaken. The separation between high and low art here is absolute, to the extent that we do not even recognise low art as art at all.

  • sidor

    And where is sir Rudolf Peierls, the real father of the Bomb? The memorandum he and Frisch wrote started the nuclear era.

  • Innit Bruv

    Let’s not forget Otto Klemperer and the immense contribution he made when in charge of the Philharmonia in the Fifties and Sixties.

  • Cobbett

    ‘It is always problematic when ethnic outsiders promote an aesthetic that without any ties to or feelings for the national culture — supplanting a culture with significant popular support in favor of an international culture with no concept of beauty. So yes, the British may now think of themselves as cosmopolitan and very sophisticated intellectually and aesthetically. But they have paid a very high price. In fact, in adopting this new set of values, they have lost themselves, or at least the more educated, “cognoscenti” among them have. Rather than deep organic ties within a national culture, there is now a cultural elite that is cut off from popular attitudes which it loathes. And when you lose a sense of your national culture and a sense of beauty, you become helpless against the forces that would destroy your people and culture entirely — a prelude to catastrophe’

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/10/frank-auerbach-and-the-transformation-of-british-cultural-life-by-jewish-emigres/

  • Jutta Gyllichsen

    Jews are never germans.

  • Stogumber

    I can’t see that Hayek or Popper did much to alienate the native British public. They were Anglophiles and tended to support English tradition against other Continental influences. Of course, we must consider that Hayek was no Jew at all and Popper was no Jew except of his accidental origin. (And had no sympathy for artistic modernism.)

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