90 Years Ago
Nighty years, on March 28, 1933 former Städelschule’s Director Fritz Wichert received a letter issued by the Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) that marked the beginning of a turning point in the history of Städelschule, the start of a series of dismissals and expulsions of employees considered political opponents of the Reich government and the implementation of the regime's so-called Gleichschaltung (Coordination), the process of Nazification and establishment of totalitarian control. On April 7th, when the Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums (Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service) was passed and came officially into force.
With the decree of March 28, 1933, issued by recently elected Mayor Friedrich Krebs, Städelschule’s Director Fritz Wichert was dismissed by suspension. On the same day, his position was temporarily transferred to Karl Berthold, who served for four months as Interim Director and was replaced afterwards by Richard Lisker.
Just one day after Berthold’s assignment, on March 29, 1933, professors Willi Baumeister, Richard Scheibe, Franz Schuster, Max Beckmann, as well as the teachers Josef Hartwig and Marie Schöffl were dismissed. The Städelschule's first female professor, Margarethe Klimt, was suspended. The artist Jakob Nussbaum and the typographer Berthold Wolpe were also dismissed. (On a letter dated September 21, 1933, their dismissal appears in a listing of "resigned" employees). Hartwig, Klimt and Scheibe were reappointed to their positions at Städelschule by 1933 and 1934.
Source: ISG, Magistratsakten, Best. A.02.01, Sig. 8.391