Professor Dr. Magdalena Droste, of the University of Cottbus, wrote in
her literary work, „Bauhaus“:
To this day, the term "Bauhaus" has a novel ring to it. In common usage it marks the beginning
of Modernism, triggering associations with basic forms (squares, triangles and circles) and
primary colors (red, yellow and blue) as well as tubular steel furniture, white cubic architecture,
and functionalism. Over the years, a mixture of fact and interpretation has obscured the true history
of this small German art school, which is what the Bauhaus was between 1919 and 1933. It now
seems impervious to the results of detailed studies and new assessments. Nevertheless, the
Bauhaus has become a phenomenon that every generation rediscovers for itself. Contemporaries
in the Weimar Republic tended to view the Bauhaus, after 1923, as a symbol of the drive towards
rationalization and modernization in the home that spurned all superfluous creature comforts.
As the same time it provoked the animosity of a sizeable, culturally conservative faction, often
overlooked in conjunction with the ”Golden Twenties”. It seemed almost natural that the Bauhaus
belonged on the left of the political spectrum. During the Third Reich (1933-1945) when People,
Race, Homeland, and Classicism became the highest values of a perverted nation, the Bauhaus
was disparaged as “culturally bolshevist” ,“internationalist” ,and “Jewish”. Nevertheless, the Nazi
regime made use of modern innovations. Most of the prominent members of the Bauhaus emigrated,
and many of their Jewish relatives were murdered. In East Germany, where the most important
Bauhaus sites were located (Weimar and Dessau), the institution met with rejection after the war.
Only in the late 1960s was it gradually subsumed as part of the country’s “ cultural heritage”. In the
Federal Republic and the United States, the Bauhaus was considered an essential aspect of Modernism
well into the 1960s. Walter Gropius played a central role in this canonization. Another piece of the
mosaic was added with the establishment of the Bauhaus Archives in Darmstadt, later in Berlin.
The decades in which cultural politics mandated that the Bauhaus be viewed in a positive light
slowly gave way to criticism and disparagement. In the United States the writer Tom Wolfe
characterized the Bauhaus in his 1981 book, “From Bauhaus to Our House ” as a conspiracy to
foster alienation in the country. As a school, the Bauhaus had more facets than those conveyed
by the “Bauhaus Myth”, a term referring to the few basic ideas to which Gropius, its lifelong
representative, reduced it. Gropius’s successors, Hannes Meyer (1928-1930) and
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1930-1933), did not merely follow in his footsteps. They also became
formidable opponents and rivals in the process of intellectually defining the Bauhaus. Both of them
distanced themselves from Gropius and developed standpoints of their own, each inventing his own
Bauhaus. neverthless, there was a degree of continulity, resulting above all from the Bauhaus's unwavering intention to institute anti-academic reform. These reforms were often related to avant-garde activities and sometimes took on an elitist character.