Ludwig Gies, “Kruzifixus (Crucified Christ)” 1921 / church parishioners, Nazis
This Expressionistic wood sculpture, initially conceived as part of a proposed WWI war memorial, was offered to Germany’s Lubeck cathedral in 1921. Once installed on a trial run, however, the work immediately provoked controversy among both the parish and the press. On March 3, 1922, unidentified parties entered the cathedral and sawed off the sculpture’s head, which was later found floating in a nearby mill-pond.
The piece was eventually repaired and moved to the Stettin Museum - until it was confiscated by the Nazis in 1937, who then included “Kruzifixus” in its Munich exhibition of “Degenerate Art” (as shown in the above photo). At the conclusion of the exhibition, the work was destroyed beyond repair.