Known for integrating historical content into his work, Eugen Schöenbeck rose to prominence as one of the first German artists to adopt the trauma of World War II as a theme. His early tusche and pencil drawings of abstract landscapes were inspired by Art Informel, but gave way to a decidedly more figurative style of drawing and painting. Unsatisfied by the means of Abstract Expressionism to convey the consciousness of crisis and pervasive sadness he perceived, Schönebeck did so directly. The somber-hued gestural oil painting of a hanged man, Toter Mann (1962), is but one depiction of his physically and mentally scarred countrymen. Typically, Schöenbeck communicated suffering through archetypes, avoiding specific Holocaust references, such as in the 1963 work on paper Crucifixion. He also produced a well-known series of portraits, “Heroes of the East,” scrutinizing the character and behavior of revolutionaries including Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao.