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Agency slammed for Hitler painting sales

Agency slammed for Hitler painting sales

Published: 07 Nov 2011 08:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Nov 2011 12:13 GMT+01:00

Sweden's debt collection agency's (Kronofogden) plans to sell seven paintings by Adolf Hitler, a move which has drawn criticism from the Jewish association in Stockholm, has been scuppered after the works were deemed to be fakes.

The seven paintings were originally thought to have been painted by the Nazi dictator and were slated for sale to pay off debts, according to a report in the Aftonbladet daily.

The agency hoped that the sale would bring in several hundred thousands of kronor but after seeking expert advice, they are thought be worth a only a few hundred.

"We engaged a man who I consider to know what he is talking about and the answer we received was that the reproductions were worth a total of 500 kronor," said district court prosecutor Jörgen Larsson.

The Jewish association in Stockholm reacted angrily to the planned sale, but the authority has argued that it can't consider ethical factors in settling outstanding debts.

"It is symbolically unfortunate that people earn money on these items," said David Lazar at the association to Aftonbladet.

Adolf Hitler maintained that art was one of his major lifelong interests. He is believed to have sold thousands of paintings and postcards during his time living in Vienna.

There was a keen market for his work during the time of the Third Reich and there remain collectors keen to get hold of works by the former Nazi leader.

Hitler was known to describe himself as something of a frustrated artist and while alive often made grand claims pertaining to his artistic prowess.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:06 November 7, 2011 by StockholmSam
"the authority has argued that it can't consider ethical factors in settling outstanding debts."

And therein lies the entire problem with the system. Indebtedness diminishes people's power to act ethically or stand up for what they believe in.
09:29 November 7, 2011 by RobinHood
I agree with the Jewish Association of Stockholm. All art should be subject to restrictions, on grounds of taste and racial purity. The Jewish Association should form a "culture chamber" to decide for us what is approved art, and what is degenerate. Max Nordau has an excellent book which could help them decide. The culture committee should then tour Sweden's museums and libraries and burn all art and literature that does not meet their standards.

I'm sure someone else did something similar in Germany between 1933 and 1945. Now who was it?
10:05 November 7, 2011 by Douglas Garner
@Robinhood... excellent bit of sarcasm!
11:05 November 7, 2011 by robban70226
It is Art while we like it or not, You can not suddenly pick and choose, What about all that ''Open Art'' trash being purchased and sold arounf Sweden by the goverment?,

Maybe theJewish Association should buy it, and teep them out of circulationif they want to ignore the facts of life. It is time to let the pas go and let the sleeping dogs rest.
11:17 November 7, 2011 by nukeiran
@robban70226 @RobinHood

So what you´re saying that it would be ok to sell Anders Breivik´s paintings also?
11:39 November 7, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
I am not sure what the problem is? After all, the profits are not going to HItler, himself, but private collectors.
11:49 November 7, 2011 by RobinHood
@Nukeiran

What I quite clearly said was, that it is not OK for people to pick and choose what is acceptable art, and what is not. That was a very dark path, once taken by both the Nazi and Communist parties, and it inevitibly leads to other far more horrible forms of control.

The Jewish Association of Stockholm clearly missed the irony of Jews calling for the censorship of art they find inappropriate. They obviously dozed off during that part of the history lesson. Fortunately for them, some of us remember what happens when that sort of thing goes on.

May I suggest Nukeiran, that you do a little reading on the subject yourself.
12:03 November 7, 2011 by old jack
Re: #5, I think, yes. This is part of a free society. However, I could see restrictions that he not be allowed to profit from painting themes related to his crimes.

I suggest the Jewish Association buy the "art", then sell tickets to an "exhibition" where people can spit, stomp, etc. on the "art" before someone lights it on fire. Ticket sales will reimburse the Association, while any extra proceeds can go to charity. The whole event can be billed as interactive performance art, so the art community will have something new to write articles about.
12:20 November 7, 2011 by Keith #5083
I am totally with you RobinHood.

@Nukeiran...it is not the attempt to sell that carries the main burden of moral acceptability (unless,of course, you are talking about the brothers of Joseph,many coloured coat fame) . It is the desire to buy.

So probably you would perceive it as wrong to buy a Palestinian painting depicting the murderous events over a 6 year period following the entry into 'the land of Canaan' by Joshua and Co.

Historically, the value of art has always been to reflect the standards and norms of society. That those norms- or the artist - may later be seen as depraved, inhuman or grotesque simply validates the art.
12:22 November 7, 2011 by Manx
Authentic Hitler watercolours sell for between $45,000 - $80,000 US. Anytime you see one sell for less than $20,000 it means that those in the know understand that it is a fake.

A Hitler painting should be a good longterm investment as like it or not, he was the most influential figure in world history during the 20th century. There is an industry devoted to keeping his name associated with evil in a way which is not done with the likes of Stalin (our ally) who murdered 100s of millions including some with his own hands. The hysteria surrounding Hitler should ensure that anything connected with him remains of great interest to the world.

Churchill paintings sell for millions but I personally would be far more interested to see a Hitler painting and as suggested, the somewhat suppressed price makes for a good investment. Most people are more interested in 'the bad guy's stuff. I would love to have a nice pretty architectural painting or a landscape with a castle created by someone who was supposedly the most evil tyrant and human being who ever walked this planet. Fascinating!

Genuine Hitler items require good provenance and without this are worthless. They are best bought from a reputable Historic auction house in Germany.
12:47 November 7, 2011 by eppie
@robinhood

Don't just mention nazi's and communist.

Check the lists of forbidden movies in different countries on wikipedia for instance...most or not nazi or communist countries.

Same goes for the censorship on the use of swear words in video clips....something the US has always taken the lead in for example.
13:01 November 7, 2011 by Kevin Harris
I have dozens of Hitler paintings for sale mostly at under $1 000 a piece.

A reclining Robbie Williams (naked) $750

BMW five series ascending hill at dawn $800

Lady Gaga on stage $1 000

Stena Line ferry leaving Kiel Harbour in winter $850

And many more. Special offer for today - only for members of the Sweden Democrat Party; buy one Hitler painting, and get another one completely free.
16:17 November 7, 2011 by zircon
Ah, but what was Hitler's true art?
19:32 November 7, 2011 by Kstock
You might be interested to know that other famous dictators had also dabbled in the arts, for example:

Joseph Stalin - was an avid puppeteer

Mussolini - glued pasta to make art and made his mother proud

Muammar Gaddafi - had his own line of designer uniforms

Pol Pot - made clay pots in his spare time for his people

and Napoleon Bonaparte made small little figureens of himself to feel larger.
22:45 November 7, 2011 by johnny1939
Send the paintings to The States I bet they will sell well there. Americans will buy anything!!!!
10:58 November 8, 2011 by Jes
I want to sell the letters that the man who shot 76 young people in Norway wrote before he committed his wonderfull massacre .

Any offers , Kronfogden -----------------?
18:37 November 8, 2011 by Keith #5083
If I was Jes I think I would keep quiet about the letters.....I don't think the offers he would receive would be quite what he bargained for.

Selling something from someone who died 60+ years ago is not quite the same and unfortunately, or fortunately, we have not yet reached the point where we can free ourselves to embrace humour on this subject.
10:29 November 9, 2011 by Jes
If were Keith £5083 , I would not bother mentioning the time when the producer of an item on sale died , what he did and what made him "famous".

According to Kronfogden , the only important thing to consider is the price . Money , and nothing else is the issue here .

In my case , the letters are "hot" because the blood of the writers victims has not even dried .
11:48 November 9, 2011 by swenrika
@Robinhood. & @old jack

Brilliant .. lol... so true and 100% agree with you..

@Kstock - my point exactly... who chooses which dictator's art is fine and which is not ... or is there a scale of dictatorship that Hitler surpassed ?

So the Jewish council wishes to dictate which art can be sold? True, what has happened around 1940 is not the pinnacle achievement of mankind (but then again any war is no achievement), but who are they to wanting to dictate ? history is history.. and don't they realize history can not be changed.. can not be influenced... it is what it was and will always be...

You can change the books, you can change the paintings (hide or burn them but his makes you no better than those you are trying to deface), but you can NEVER change the events that happened...

It may be difficult to live with some of the things that happened in the past... but all nations have done bad onto others.. even the Jewish.. occupying land, killing people there etc... depends from which angle you look at it you may argue they are right.. or they are wrong.. point is they too are doing things that are not in agreement with society today..

Live with the past, learn from it and embrace the future so you can strive to make it a better one...
13:04 November 9, 2011 by Jes
The Local , the fact that you have removed my sarcastic comment , ( I suspect because it was incenstive ) proves the point . There is a reason why many people think that Kronfoden should see how selling Hilter`s products can hurt a lot of peoples feelings .

My point is that if it is not okey to market items that belong to a man who massacred many innocent people in Norway , it cannot be okey to justify selling Hitler`s paintings.
09:10 November 12, 2011 by Decedo
........little did Kronofogden know that the person they 'consider to know what he is talking about' was in fact a member of the Jewish Association, and not actually an accredited art appraiser.
11:15 November 17, 2011 by robban70226
Bla Bla Bla What is the big hypocritical show here? As I recall reading in history the Swedish government where very friendly with the Hitler Regime, They actually helped the Nazis to invade Norway and Finland allowing a free pass trough Sweden, The typical cowardly attitude of the Swedish people, Or are they selectively forgetting history?, something common here, the Swedish way..
12:29 January 28, 2012 by Paint
Is Kronofogden Jewish owned?
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