The fate of the well-known expressionist artist Hans Grundig was typical in Germany. An active member of the communist movement he, like many other avant-garde artists, was persecuted by the Nazis in the 1930s, first deprived of all his posts and banned from artistic activity, then arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp. In spite of all this, however, Grundig continued to work. It was precisely in this period that he produced his finest paintings, of which this is one. A Sign of the Future is the original version of the central part of a triptych entitled Millenium Reich. The terrifying image of the burning town and the crowds of frantic people were a prophetic warning of World War II.