Hitler Collectibles So Hot Right Now

A painting by a certain “A. Hitler” just sold at auction for $35,235. That was more than three times the price fetched at the same auction for a drawing by Pablo Picasso:

It sold for more than three times the $9,500 winning bid for an original Picasso sketch, a whimsical signed drawing in red crayon on the cover of [a] catalog of his works printed in 1931.

In his auction catalog, [Alexander Historical Auctions President Bill Panagopulos] described the painting: “Hitler took great liberties in this work, straightening the alleyway, narrowing the church’s exterior walls, and placing buildings closer together. The human figures are virtually identical to those often seen in Hitler’s paintings: elongated or amorphous figures poorly represented in every respect. Hitler painted this now de-consecrated church several times, from different perspectives.”

That description is rich with possible meaning, isn’t it? Hitler changed what he wanted to change in the church to suit his purposes, represented the inanimate objects carefully and realistically, while completely glossing over the reality of the human subjects in the painting. I guess he never stopped viewing the world in those terms. But aside from providing an interesting study in the psychology of the young Adolf Hitler, the rising popularity of Hitler collectibles also points to an alteration in international sentiment concerning Hitler and his legacy:

Hitler and Third Reich artifacts have been jumping in price recently, even as the dollar gets stronger, he said. For example, the Hitler watercolor was the latest Panagopulos has sold in recent years, with each winning a higher bid that the previous.

Eager buyers are in China, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand where the new fashion rage is “Hitler chic.”

Hitler chic? What is that? I wonder whether this is a disturbing fetish for the destructive, a fascination with the terrible, or just a perverse desire to be controversial. Surely people aren’t actually rethinking their view of the historical Hitler? I don’t know what’s more disturbing. When will people focus on good things, rather than horrible? When will love motivate more than fear?

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