Museum displaying Hitler's art online

Spokesman says "Special Project Linz" offers a unique window into Nazis' policies toward art.

paul klee 224 88 (photo credit: )
paul klee 224 88
(photo credit: )
A collection of art that Adolf Hitler dreamed of housing in its own Austrian museum is now on display on the Internet. The German Historical Museum in Berlin decided to launch an online catalog of the famous Linz Collection to help viewers understand the complicated and sometimes tragic history behind many of the pieces, museum spokesman Rudolf Trabold said Friday. "The complete picture database for 'Special Project Linz' is now on the Internet," Trabold said. Hitler bought and stole the artworks in a period from the late 1930s through the end of World War II. He wanted to put the collection in a museum in Linz, Austria, after the war. The collection was stored in salt mines to protect it from destruction as the war ended, and later confiscated by the victorious Allied forces. The Allies photographed and catalogued each of the 4,731 pieces, including paintings and sculptures as well as furniture and works in porcelain. In the six decades since, the works have been scattered, distributed to museums in Germany and across Europe or returned to their original owners. The collection appears online with information about its original owner and current location, when available. Trabold said the collection offers a unique window into Nazi's policies toward art. Hitler, who was rejected from an art academy in Vienna and worked for a time illustrating postcards, was enthralled by German and Austrian painters from the 19th century. The collection includes many works from this period, but none of the great German painters from Hitler's own time, such as Max Ernst and Paul Klee - the Nazis suppressed their works, calling them "degenerate."