German Cardinal Uses Nazi Term to Describe Art
Says "degenerate" remark unintentional, but critics disagree
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2007 4:21 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Germans are in an uproar after an archbishop labeled some modern art “degenerate,” the same word Nazis used to persecute artists. A spokesman for Cardinal Joachim Meisner said the archbishop didn’t intend to acknowledge “old ideologies,” but the BBC says the term was precisely scripted because it has only one connotation in Germany, where the Nazi legacy is still taboo.

At an event for the church’s art museum, Meisner said divorcing worship from art leads to degenerate culture. An ex-minister said, “I thought all this was history, and then it is a high-ranking member of the Catholic clergy who uses it.” Hitler organized a 1937 exhibition—“Entartete Kunst,” or degenerate art—to showcase prohibited work.