Still image from the silent expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. This horror film follows a mentally ill hypnotist who uses a hypnotized person to commit murders. The writers, Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer, derived the idea for the script from their experiences with authority and obedience in the military during World War I.
Like his colleague Otto Dix, George Grosz was profoundly influenced and deeply affected by serving in the army during World War I. He was admitted to a military asylum for the shell-shocked and insane just before the war ended. This painting is a haunting portrait of a fanatical Prussian general. Grosz made dozens of satirical drawings of the officer class.