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Otto Griebel's "The International".
Otto Griebel's "The International".
Otto Griebel's "The International".
Otto Griebel's "The International".

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The Internationale
Otto Griebel
Oil on Canvas 1930

Griebel was a member of Das Junge Rheinland (The Young Rheinland), one of the many avant guard Expressionist collectives of the day.

The artist was also a member of the radical Assoziation Revolutionarer Bildender Kunstler Deutschlands (Association of Revolutionary German Artists), an artist's group dedicated to bringing the working class to power. Griebel's oil on canvas portrayal of workers standing in solidarity and singing the Internationale must have unnerved many right-wing Germans, as the German communist workers movement presented the largest and most well organized opposition to the rise of Nazism.

The Internationale was an anthem written to celebrate the Paris Commune of March-May 1871. The song became familiar to militant workers all over the world, though it is almost forgotten today. Excerpted lyrics from the anthem read; "Arise ye workers from your slumbers. Arise ye prisoners of want. For reason in revolt now thunders, and at last ends the age of cant. Away with all your superstitions. Servile masses arise, arise! We'll change henceforth the old tradition, and spurn the dust to win the prize!"

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