“Barbarians Who Destroy Culture”


“Barbarians Who Destroy Culture” (Fall, 1943)
by Jacob Glushakow (1914-2000)
8.5 x 11 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

Jacob Glushakow was a famous Jewish artist who lived in Baltimore, MD, who spent most of his life creating numerous drawings of the Baltimore area. He graduated from the Baltimore City College high school in 1933 and went on to the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Art Students League in New York, where he studied from 1933 to 1936. Jacob enlisted in the Air Force (December 17, 1941) and eventually served as a sergeant in England. On his enlistment materials, he is listed as an artist.

Jacob was initially trained and stationed at the Davis-Monthan (D-M) Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ. There are local newspaper reports in the Tucson Daily from June 11, 1942 (a painting of the Air Base selected to appear in the issue of Life Magazine during the first week of July); June 17, 1942 (painting signs for an Benefit Dance); and October 9, 1942 (a portrait of MacArthur unveiled, and working on a mural).

I have four of his cartoons, which I conclude were done for the Davis-Monthan Base newspaper. They say “Davis-Monthan” or “D-M Field” along with his name. One of them has a printing order sticker on the back with Davis-Monthan as the source. And if you look at the inferences you might draw from the topics in the cartoons, they could all reasonably fall in the last half of 1943, although that is speculation. They are not dated and there is no source publication to check. I also speculate that these must have been in his material belongings and released to auction by the family after he died. The Maryland Historical Society and the Jewish Museum of Maryland both have his works featured.

This cartoon would be hard to place any earlier than January 1943 because that was the first time the USAF sent bombers into Germany. On January 27, the US did significant damage to the infrastructure at Wilhemshaven.

At different points, the U.S. would bomb German industrial targets during the day while the British continued the onslaught at night, known as the Pointblank directive of 1943.

The second US mission in Germany was on April 13, when the bombers destroyed half of the Focke-Wulf factory buildings in Bremen.

And on August 17, 1943, the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission was the third US bombing mission, done in cooperation with the British RAF.

After the war, a common complaint from German citizens was that the Nazis never gave accurate accounts of casualties from the raids: “The press never gave the correct number of casualties, and never pictured the true state of mind here. Rather they sought to veil the truth, which was the people had broken down completely and believed that the war could never be brought to a successful end.”

Resentment also mounted that Goebbels, the master of propaganda, tended to emphasize the destruction of Germany’s cultural heritage, rather than casualties. “He could afford to talk that way, for he was sitting quite safely in his bunker and did not have to suffer and worry for his life.”

Even with the bombing of Dresden (February, 1945), The campaign to turn the city into a symbol (“the German Hiroshima”) began within days of the bombing: Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, told reporters in neutral countries that Dresden had no war industries, and that the raid was an act of cultural desecration and wanton mass murder. Dresden became Goebbels’s last successful act of media manipulation.

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