This art is still relevant today for all practical purposes and will be demonstrated as such.
Europe had been left ravaged by Hitler and the Nazis. There was a great deal of despair in the region over the fact that for six years (1939-1945), basically Europe had been Hitler's stomping grounds.
In 1938, Austria fell; in 1939, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia; also in 1939, Poland fell; Belgium, France, and the Netherlands surrendered in 1940; and Luxembourg fell in 1940 and was annexed to Germany.1 Then, also in 1940, Denmark and Norway were invaded, and Romania surrendered to Germany; Germany entered the Soviet Union in 1941 and lost; and then Yugoslavia, Greece, and Estonia all surrendered to Germany in 1941.2
By the end of the war, the U.S.S.R. (the United Soviet Socialist Republic) controlled a majority of Europe. In most countries, the U.S.S.R. put communist factions in control. Also, a few Baltic nations were annexed to the U.S.S.R.
Germany was required to make reparations to several countries, notwithstanding. Much of these accoutrements had to be made in order to pacify the Allies' thirst for power in a declining German economy.
In many ways, this was payback for the Nazism that had ravaged Europe. Germany was reduced to being in a bad situation financially, about where it had been before the start of World War II economically.
At the end of World War II, people were ...