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Hitler thought he was artistic genius

People have underestimated the notion that Adolf Hitler considered himself an artist, in fact, an artistic genius, and that much can be deduced from this self-image, says a noted German art historian.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2009 00:36 IST

People have underestimated the notion that Adolf Hitler considered himself an artist, in fact, an artistic genius, and that much can be deduced from this self-image, says a noted German art historian.

“However, this has hardly played a role in the research to date. That’s the starting point, because it can help us gain a better understanding of Hitler as a person, as well as his system of power,” says Birgit Schwarz.

The comments of Schwarz comes at a time when a great interest is being shown in Hitler paintings, which are also selling well in auctions. According to experts, there are over 700 paintings of the Fuhrer.

Schwarz says Hitler’s deluded view of himself as a genius is “based on the confused system of thought emerging in the late 19th century, which centred on the idea that a genius — a strong personality who outshone everything else — could do anything and could do anything he pleased”.

Though this sounds debatable, Schwarz says “it’s important to amend the history of his personality.

“There is a widespread view that he was not truly fascinated by art, and that although he collected art and used it to cultivate his image, he then hid it away in basements and mines,” she claims.