George Grosz. Blood is the Best Sauce (Die Kommunisten fallen - und die Devisen steigen) from the portfolio God with Us (Gott mit uns). (1919, published 1920)
George Grosz

Blood is the Best Sauce (Die Kommunisten fallen - und die Devisen steigen) from the portfolio God with Us (Gott mit uns)

(1919, published 1920)
Not on view
Medium
Photolithograph
Dimensions
composition (irreg.): 12 1/8 x 17 3/4" (30.8 x 45.1 cm); sheet: 15 1/4 x 19" (38.7 x 48.3 cm)
Publisher
Malik-Verlag, Berlin
Printer
Hermann Birkholz, Berlin
Edition
125
Credit
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund
Object number
489.1949
Copyright
© 2015 Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Portfolio

God with Us

Department
Drawings and Prints

George Grosz takes aim at the stupidity and brutality of the German military in his portfolio Gott mit Uns (God with us). In nine unremittingly caustic, clearly rendered illustrations, Grosz focuses on the corrupt nature of the pompous, overfed, and self-satisfied officers and officials who had dragged Germany into the cataclysm of World War I and who still governed the Weimar Republic. Grosz depicts the violent suppression of the working class by the ruling class. In Die Kommunisten fallen—und die Devisen steigen (Blood is the Best Sauce), uniformed soldiers beat unarmed protestors as an officer and a profiteer enjoy a decadent meal. Elsewhere, a dead body washing ashore does not disturb a soldier's cigarette break. Grosz sharpens his visual attacks with captions printed in three languages—English, French, and German. These statements are not always direct translations, but sometimes different phrases that together heighten Grosz's satirical attacks. "Gott mit Uns" (God with us), taken from the inscription on German soldiers' belt buckles, originally meant to invoke God's support, becomes in the English caption "God for Us," a nationalist cry to smite the enemy.

Grosz's political stance (as a communist) and intentions (working-class revolution) were obvious. Kurt Tucholsky, one of Weimar Germany's leading satirists, said of the portfolio, "If drawings could kill, the Prussian military would certainly be dead." Grosz, along with his publisher, Wieland Herzfelde, was tried for defamation of the military; found guilty, they were fined and forced to surrender all copies of the portfolio to the army.

Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource