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The war years

In 1929, Höch had her first solo exhibition at a gallery called De Bron (The Source) in The Hague. At the end of that year, Höch and Tilman moved to Berlin. The cultural climate she encountered in Germany would not have been to her liking. A planned exhibition of her work at the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1932 was cancelled when the school was closed by the Nazi-dominated local council. After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Höch was unable to exhibit her work, which the Nazis perceived as Entartete Kunst (degenerate art), until after the Second World War. She maintained contacts in the Netherlands, however, and exhibited at Kunstzaal d’Audretsche in 1934 and 1935.

Hanna Höch spent the war years in seclusion in a small house on the outskirts of Berlin, where she lived until her death. Her isolation enabled her to continue working and to keep her work and that of her friends safe from the Nazis. As Chris Rehorst has written in the art journal Jong Holland, the Nazis “were apparently unaware that hidden beneath the neatly kept flower beds was a treasure trove of entartete kunst in large shipping cases.” Chris Rehorst, ‘Hannah Höch en Nederland’, Jong Holland, vol 4 (1988), no. 6.

After the war, Höch had less contact with her friends in the Netherlands. The last letter in the archives from Buijs, who died in 1961, dates from 1954. As Rehorst noted, Nelly van Doesburg was the only one who continued to write to her. Most of her friends from her Dutch period had already died. Only Cornelis van Eesteren was present when Höch was awarded an honorary professorship by the city of Berlin in 1977.


The exhibition Hannah Höch: Millions of Views brings together more than 120 works, some of which have never before been exhibited in public. It can be seen at the Bröhan Museum in Berlin from 16 February to 15 May 2022 and at the Museum im Kulturspeicher in Würzburg from 11 June to 4 September 2022.

Archives in the National Collection

Visual Art Collection (BKVE) 
Brugman, T. (Til) & Höch, H. (Hannah) (& J.W.E. Buijs) collection (BRUG). 
C.J.F. Karsten archive (KARS) correspondence with Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch.