August 21, 2009

THE BRANCHES AGAINST THE TREE:

The F├╝hrer's Obsession with Art: 'Hitler Considered Himself an Artistic Genius' (Der Spiegel, 8/21/09)

Art historian Birgit Schwarz talks to SPIEGEL about why Adolf Hitler saw himself as a genius and how his obsession with art affected his political views.

SPIEGEL: Ms. Schwarz, countless books and academic papers have been written worldwide about Hitler, the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Now you are claiming that it's time to correct our image of Hitler. In what sense?

Birgit Schwarz: In my opinion, people have underestimated the notion that Hitler considered himself an artist, in fact, an artistic genius, and that much can be deduced from this self-image, this overheated artist's ego. However, this has hardly played a role in the research to date. That's the starting point, from my perspective, because it can help us gain a better understanding of Hitler as a person, as well as his system of power. Hitler's deluded view of himself as a genius is based on the confused system of thought emerging in the late 19th century, which centered on the idea that a genius -- a strong personality who outshone everything else -- could do anything and could do anything he pleased.


Of course, if Modernism is valid, then we have no basis from which to deny that Hitler was an artistic genius.



Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2009 7:13 AM
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