• Filippo Marinetti

Response to Hitler

Hitler was a big proponent of Classical art and excluded most other art forms from his list of appropriate works. In 1937 a German exhibit of “degenerate” art was scheduled to tour Italy, included in it was Futurist works. With the help of Mussolini the Futurist works were taken out.

After the attacks that have been launched by Hitler against Futurism, Cubism, and Dadaism, French newspapers have asked me to issue a response as the creator of Futurism, and hence as someone with a greater responsibility for modern art. The newspapers published the following comment: “We Frenchmen can defend and vindicate Cubism and Dadaism, which itself is no small task, but Futurism, the progenitor of those movements, is an essentially Italian movement, and its creator Marinetti is one of the columns of support for Mussolini’s Fascism. What does Marinetti make of it all?”

1) I think that for some time now Hitler has lapsed into a bias toward static analytic realistic and photographic art, leading him to condemn the entire artistic evolution that runs from post-impressionism to plastic dynamism, evolution which has been continually conquering an ever greater plastic synthetic transfiguration movement geometrical splendor polychromy abstraction and simultaneity.

2) I think that Hitler also lapses into another very serious mistake when he regards the Futurist avant-gardes of Germany as Jewish or Communist. These had some communists and some Jews, but if anything they were influenced by Italian Futurism, which is anticommunist by definition. In modern art in general Jews have been and continue to be not innovators, but skillful merchants of Futurist or Cubist modern art, just as they were and still are skillful merchants of older art.

3) I think Italian Futurism inventor of modern art and especially contemporary architecture nearly all of it in the style of Antonio Sant’Elia prepared the way for the Imperial Italy of Benito Mussolini in the course of thirty years of victorious struggles through works lectures interventionism fascism and squadrismo in piazzas prisons and colonial volunteerism. Among the many definitions of it this is the best: Futurism is modernizing innovating accelerating Italian pride. Benito Mussolini the world creator of Fascism entirely oriented toward the future has wanted his Academy to contain all the forces of Italy from archaeology to Futurism.

4) Futurism which gave its gaudy warrior like dynamic synthetic character to the “Exhibition of the Fascist Revolution” at Rome is resplendent again today in Prampolini’s mural sculptures in Paris (the Italian Pavilion), in the Schell Building in Berlin, and in countless works executed and acclaimed throughout the world.