GEORGE GROSZ was born in Berlin in 1893, and as his father lost his money shortly afterwards,
the artist had an unhappy early childhood, much of which was spent in the sour slums of North Berlin.
Finally, after her husband’s death in Argo, Frau Grosz got a job as housekeeper in a little town near the Baltic Sea.
In this invigorating_ atmosphere Grosz was introduced to the delights of healthy boyhood.
Thereafter, until he mixed with the martinets of the local high school, his life was to be happy.
The smug plenty of Heilige Nacht was, in any event, never part of Grosz’s childhood.
It represents, with sardonic explicitness, that mixture of sentimen-
tal benevolence and which typifies many a German family in the
expansiveness of a feast. Amid this tumescence and sluggishness, much
of the holiness has been subtracted from the night.