The “Lost Generation” of 1920’s era Germany were disillusioned not only with the traditional creeds of nationalism and religion, but also with collective associations as a whole- nothing was sacred and everything was open to question .For many young people living in Germany at the time, the nation itself seemed to be the source everything that had gone wrong with their lives.
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The Jewish writer and mystic, Gershom Scholem, was the first owner of the painting and it was proudly displayed in his apartment in Munich, Germany.
Scholem was a close friend of Walter Benjamin, a German Jewish literary critic and philosopher whom, after viewing the painting in a major exhibit of Klee’s work at a gallery in Munich, purchased it for a mere $30.
It became one of Benjamin’s most treasured possessions and the work effected him profoundly, eventually leading to his famous interpretation in his ninth thesis in his essay, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”.
A Klee drawing named “Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps piling ruin upon ruin and hurls it in front of his feet.
Walter Benjamin, (born July 15, 1892, Berlin, Ger.—died Sept. , 1940, near Port-Bou, Spain), man of letters and aesthetician, now considered to have been the most important German literary critic in the first half of the 20th century.
Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Benjamin studied philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, and Bern.
They manifest themselves in this struggle as courage, humor, cunning, and fortitude.
They have retroactive force and will constantly call in question every victory, past and present, of the rulers.