Friday, July 31, 2009

the rape of europa


"Imagine if Hitler would have been accepted [to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna] and I would have been rejected. I would have run the world quite differently and he couldn't have done that harm that he did being a bad painter." - Oskar Kokoschka quoted by (oops) a guy I can't remember

Recently watched The Rape of Europa (2007), an interesting documentary about another side of Hitler that is often overshadowed by the horrific role he played in World War II. In it, I learned that Hitler was an aspiring painter that was passionate about the arts. (And from the atrocities that he committed, you'd think his paintings would be all crazy and evil, but they're actually really boring ones of scenery.) Besides taking miiiiiillions of lives, he also forcefully stole more than 16,000 works of art from private collections and museums, including masterpieces like Klimt's portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (recovered) and Rapahel's Portrait of a Young Man (still missing).

And as the quote above mentions, Hitler was not accepted into art school as a young man, ultimately leading him to choose a different career path. Can you imagine how incredibly different history would have unfolded? What if there was no World War II? No Holocaust? What if Hitler became a prominent painter? It's crazy to think about.

7 comments:

miss a. said...

Despite the fact that he had various interests, I can't say that he wouldn't still have played that blame game. The biggest issue with Hitler was the fact that he had the inability to accept Germany's responsibility for their role in WWI. He preferred to use scapegoats for Germany's problems and who's to say that he wouldn't have used his fame and popularity as an artist to platform his point of views? Maybe they wouldn't have gotten as popular as it did as a politician, but I don't doubt that many people would have listened to him.

KATLIN said...

miss a - good points! i've read that he was a very persuasive and effective public speaker, so i agree that people would still have listened to him if he channeled his power+opinions through a different source. (i used art as an example because i was basing my post off of the film.) and the anti feelings he had towards specific groups was probably already there inside of him waiting to come out eventually... & thx for sharing your thoughts - made me think of the situation in a different way!

Alice said...

wow, so true. how crazy events unfold..

STEFANIE said...

Wow I didn't know that about Hitler! I just looked up some of his paintings and to be honest, they creeped me out a bit, because of them not being evil & stuff at ALL. I just think it's strange for someone to paint something so peacefull as a landscape and then become, well, that sort of person! And I agree with miss A, very interesting.

denise said...

HEY! yah living in NYC was awesome!! I lived in downtown manhattan LOWER EAST SIDE. which was freaking awesome i lvoed living there. i really loved my area. lots of hipsters but really artsy and PIXIE MARKET is right there!! hahaha i loved right on orchard st which was great. a little pricey but definitely worth it. takes me like 10 mins to walk to soho and all the good train and buses are there. what're you gonna do in NY? school? what school? my area was good cos it was close to parsons where my sister went, and easy for me to go to BK where Pratt was. so what you gonna be doing there! so excited for you!!!

Wends said...

i still remember hearing about this this driving past the academy of fine arts in vienna, where he was rejected from!

I think that he would have been able to communicate his core ideas through his art in a sensitive way and not actually act on them. He might have been nurtured into a completely different direction if he got to do what he was passionate about and was fundamentally happy with his state of being.

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