Fort Lauderdale, FL: 2018. Artist's book, unique, on paper that has been hand painted, monoprinted as well as collaged, with additional mica overlays. Page size: 5.5(H) x 3.75(W) inches; 26pp. with printed artist's statement laid in. Bound by the artist: hand-sewn drum leaf binding in black leather, the leather from a vintage jacket, housed in custom-made black lidded box made by the author / artist with title lettered in red on black paper label. Images of wood and stone by 16th century Wurzburg sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider are contrasted with photographs from the exhibition, "Fascination and Terror" at the Nuremberg Documentation Center. The title uses the Gothic font Maximilian Zierbuchstaben by Dieter Steffmann. A close-up view of the face of Durer's Christ-like self-portrait of 1500 is the frontispiece. The portrait has been modified with a swastika over the right eye with a mica circle (as if a monocle) on top of it. Images of 16th century sculptures of nuns are collaged on the red mono printed pages with red lines blotting out their eyes. On the opposite page an image of a Nazi sculpture is featured with the legend, "Reichsparteitag / 1930 / Nurnberg / 8014 Septembr" referring to the annual Nazi rallies held each fall. Other images include an image of a sculpture of a Pope with a red line across his eyes set against a map of Germany and central Europe. Images of the Virgin and Baby Jesus are collaged against what might be wire fences. Hitler and the praying Virgin appear to be free falling on the penultimate page. Perhaps the most disturbing page is that featuring the various Nazi concentration camp badges worn by inmates. In all, the disturbing juxtapositions re-enforce the dismay with which the west has viewed this Concordat.
The Reichskonkordat was a treaty between Germany and the Holy See normalizing relations between the Catholic Church and the Nazi regime which had recently come to power in Germany. Pope Pius XI had approved the treaty, and it was signed on July 20, 1933 by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, (later Pope Pius XII) and Franz von Papen. It was a controversial treaty which seemed to promise that the Church could carry out its spiritual mission. This was not the case. By March of 1937, Pope Pius has issued the Mit Brennender Sorge encyclical, accusing the Nazi Government of violations of the 1933 concordat and sowing "suspicion, discord, hatred, calumny, of secret and open fundamental hostility to Christ and his Church." Some have viewed the Concordat as a manifestation of the Pope's preference for dictatorships over democracies and disregard for German Jews. The Vatican insisted, however, that they approved the agreement simply to protect the church. The Concordat remains in effect to this day. For additional documentation gathered from the Vatican archives, see: Cornwell, John. Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII, Viking Press, NYC, 1999. Item #11351