Exile (1933–45)

The Latin word “exsilium” connotes banishment and life as an alien – but also asylum and salvation. Escaping Nazi Germany meant hope of survival for Germans of Jewish origin, for the political left, for bourgeois humanists and for advocates of modern art. As the Wehrmacht began to occupy more and more countries in Europe, refugees were forced further and further afield. They sought refuge overseas, particularly in the United States.
Hollywood became a haven for many film artists, and Paul Kohner’s agency became the first place to go for help. However, salvation also meant loss: loss of home, culture, language and identity. Yet, in the midst of loss, the exiles could already imagine returning to a Germany free of dictatorship.

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