“Honey, where should I put the flowers?”
“In that yellow vase in the corner…you know, over by the Hitler.”

Yet another reason to blame Canada–now an auction house in (gasp!) Montreal (sacre bleu!) is selling Hitlers. (Get ’em now, before the fuhrer dies down.)

Despite a glut of publicity, much of it negative, Montreal auction house Iegore-Hotel des Encans went ahead with its art auction Tuesday evening, selling almost all of its 212 lots, including the six Hitler items. The auction house came into possession of the items — two signed greeting cards on personalized Adolf Hitler Third Reich stationary[sic], and four architectural drawings done by the amateur artist and future dictator — through a party who wished to remain anonymous.

I’ll bet he does.

When the auction became public several weeks ago, auctioneer Iegor de Saint Hippolyte, 57, a Russian immigrant who came to Canada in 1983, was thrown on the defensive. “I understand why some people might be upset,” he was quoted as saying. “My own grandfather was in a concentration camp. But I’m doing it for the same reason I would sell a poster of Lenin or Trotsky. . . it is part of history and also my job.”

The poor auctioneer. Wait, did he just say that he “was just following orders”? Sounds familiar.

“We find it deplorable that these objects, originally belonging to one of the most reviled mass-murderers in history, would financially benefit either the seller or the purchaser,” said Ann Ungar, executive director of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center and Museum. “Without a doubt, these objects should be given to an institution devoted to education and research, for the benefit of the general public.”

In all, the Hitler items sold for a total of $32,400. Not bad for a dead megalomaniacal racist genocidal motherf*cker. I don’t know who the buyer was, but the auction house should donate the funds to the Holocaust museum, which is where the buyer should donate his new Hitlers.

But now, moving on to the comedy portion of our program which allows me to refer to one of my favorite uses of Hitler in pop culture….what would happen if Hitler cloning were to become the norm, as predicted by the soothsayers/proprietors of the now-defunct Mr. Show With Bob And David, who discussed this phenomenon in a sketch called “Cloning Hitler“?

As reparations for the Holocaust, the cloned Hitlers are being given to Jewish families as servants. At a bar where the Hitlers congregate, one complains about the dating scene (“Once they find out you’re Hitler, forget about it”), while an older Hitler explains, “We have a saying around here, ‘Get used to it, Hitler.'”

And now, your scrolling bonus: the wikipedia entry on Hitler in popular culture.

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

24 Comments

  • Wonder if the drawings are any good. He used to grind these out en masse back in his Vienna days. Hitler actually had a Jewish art dealer during that period.

    Strange but true.

  • There’s an article about Hitler-the-artiste here. A dealer has this to say about the renderings:

    People and animals are out of proportion, poorly articulated, and vastly out of scale with the backgrounds. Figures are rendered with wanton disregard for anatomy or accurate animation.

    The article also mentions that Dr. Kevorkian is a collector. Seems about right…

  • judi, thanks. Too bad Hitler was obsessed with buildings. Why wasn’t he into drawing naked chicks, along with everyone else in town back then?

    Imagine– Hitler meets Egon Schiele, and the course of history is changed….

  • “Not bad for a dead megalomaniacal racist genocidal motherf*cker.”

    esther, i love your articles and writing, you know i do. but, just out of curiosity, why pull your punch with the asterisk? everyone *knows* which letter lies behind it, don’t they? (for those who don’t, it’s a “u”, sorry to deflower anyone’s delicate sensibilities) why leave to the imagination what we all already know is there? it’s not like we won’t agree with your sentiment anyway!

  • Considering that his figures [were] rendered with wanton disregard for anatomy or accurate animation, it’s likely that any naked chick pictures would’ve caused the art world to finish him off before he had a chance to become too famous.

  • Although, judi, “disregard for anatomy or accurate animation” is a problem only when it’s “wanton.”

    If it’s intentional, throw open the museum doors…

  • Sick! Why is it that the world has no memory? How can people forget so quickly? When 9/11 happened I knew that soon enough people would forget about this and move on like nothing happened.

  • When 9/11 happened I knew that soon enough people would forget about this and move on like nothing happened.

    What??? As far as I can see, we’re still dealing with the repercussions, both here in the states and across the Atlantic- heard any news out of England lately? I don’t think that anyone has forgotten anything, but we really do have to move on at some point, don’t you think?

    Of course, there’s nothing shocking about Hitler’s art being collectable. It is kinda surprising, though, that it sold for so little.

    There have always been people who have an often perverse interest in acquiring things that once belonged to famous people (anyone care to go in on a group purchase of a used eye patch?). There are also people who went to absurd lengths to collect Beanie Babies. You can’t make this stuff up, and you can’t outlaw it, either.

    This sort of reminds me of the fuss over Mel Gibson’s movie. On it’s own, it was pretty unremarkable. Under the spotlight of outrage and protest, it became a Very Big Deal. My advice is not to make this a Very Big Deal; the art’s not that good.

  • DAAAAVE.
    apho atah? lama lo kesher. if you dont respond i will kill you. forgive this message’s public…ity, but I’m desperate and at a loss.

  • Muffti can’t really see the big issue here. Why shouldn’t people have the right to own, buy and sell Hitler’s art? He can see why perhaps Hitler shoudln’t benefit from that stuff (although he’s not even so firm on that principle).

  • The best line about Hitler’s art is from “The Producers”

    Hitler was a great painter–he could paint an entire house in one afternoon. Two coats!

  • Tom-

    I already own all three of his books.

    Mein Kampf, Mein Kampf Second Addition, and 10 Easy Steps to World Domination.

  • You can find quite a lot of Hitler paintings but other than the name they are not interesting.

    http://www.snyderstreasures.net/pages/hartworks.htm

    What is interesting is the fact that the man designed the red and white nazi flag and also desgined those mass meetings. He was an artist and there is even an artistic touch to the Shoah. Read Jonathan Rosenbaum’s Hitler: the origins of his evil.

  • daniel– He didn’t invent the swastika, which has been around for ages as a symbol in many cultures around the world. And he didn’t choreograph the “mass meetings,” if you’re referring to the Parteitag in Nuremberg, for example. Albert Speer created those effects– memorably described as a “cathedral of ice” by the British ambassador, Neville Henderson.

    That said, it’s an interesting question: was Hitler an artist? He thought so, and described himself as such all his life. Of course, he was one of the great persecutors of artists– Jewish ones, of course, and all the Expressionists and other modernists condemned as “degenerate” (the great majority of whom were gentile).

    Hey, Enigma, go read Ian Kershaw’s two-volume biography. That should prove a cold shower for you.

  • funny thing about Hitlers artwork, is that it is better than about 90% of the output of contemporary art schools in Australia, could you imagine a young Adolf Hitler going to apply to a crap art achool in Australia….the professor would look at the work , and say sorry I can recognise the content, can’t you do something quick and gestural and do you have the abilty to crap on about your post modern angst…sometimes I think we need a another meglomaniac to sort out out the baby boomer hippies. Tho Hitler was the only person who made modern art vital and dangerous, not bad for an arch conservative.

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