One of the most infamous art “heists” came at the hands of an evil man. Adolf Hitler was responsible for the theft and destruction of many priceless pieces of art.
But what many people don’t know is that before he became a dictator, Hitler’s goal was to be an artist. At 18, after losing both of his parents, he moved to Vienna as an attempt to meet his dreams of being an artist.
However, Hitler watched as his best friend was accepted into a music conservatory all while he continued to fail at becoming the famous artist he had so fondly dreamt of. It begs the question, did Hitler’s failure to become a famous artist have anything to do with how he ultimately became the monster he was.
According to History, in 1909, he did sell a few small oil paintings, mainly to tourists or frame makers. But he would never be able to make a living as an artist.
This frustration, this taste of failure, then led to his interest in politics.
Now, I’m not sure why, but when Hitler came into power, he had his paintings collected and ultimately destroyed. Maybe because he was a narcissist and he no longer wanted to be reminded of what he couldn’t do.
It gives me great pleasure to share that when some of his art went to auction, an auctioneer was quoted to have said, the art had “no artistic value”, according to the BBC. When it comes to all the death and devastation Hitler left the world with, there will never be justice.
We can’t fix all the pain he caused. But not purchasing his art and someone calling it trash does bring me some joy.
Elie Wiesel said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endured suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
I don’t know about you, but the fact that in 2021 these words are so relevant is heartbreaking. We really haven’t changed as a society. How can we still be having the same fight?
This is an example of Hitler’s art. I don’t know why, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it. How can a seemingly “normal” piece of art come from someone who was clearly disturbed and filled with hate?
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand how things like that happen, how people can turn out so bad. I wish we could change the hate we see daily.
In fact, let me rephrase that. We can change the hate.
We have to learn to love and accept people for who they are. Hate is learned.
If we stop teaching it, it will no longer control society. As the wise Greta Thunberg said, “we can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change-and it has to start today.”