From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 - April 30, 1945) was the Führer of Nazi Germany. From 1933 to 1945 he was also the head of government, and state. A gifted orator with a profound charismatic authority, Hitler is regarded as one of the most significant leaders of world history. The military-industrial complex he helped create pulled Germany out of the post-World War I economic crisis and, at its height, controlled the greater part of Europe. The brutal embrace of total war by all sides in World War II resulted in a savage destruction of Europe and the deaths of an estimated 50 million people. The Racial policy of Nazi Germany (which included what is now called the Holocaust) resulted in the deaths of millions and the displacement of millions more. In the end he died by his own hand in a Berlin bunker, Germany in ruins around him and his enemies closing in, the Red Army only a few blocks away. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
- "What manner of man is this grim figure who has performed these superb toils and loosed these frightful evils?" – Winston Churchill in Great Contemporaries (1935)
Hitler, the Nazi Party and the results of Nazism are typically regarded as gravely immoral. Historians, philosophers, and politicians have often applied the word evil in both a secular and a religious sense. Historical and cultural portrayals of Hitler in the west are overwhelmingly condemnatory. The display of swastikas or other Nazi symbols is prohibited in Germany and Austria. Holocaust denial is also prohibited in both countries.
Hitler in popular culture
- From Caligari to Hitler, a book by film critic and writer Siegfried Kracauer, published in 1947.
- The Enigma of Hitler, painting by Dali
- Adolf, the Superman: Swallows Gold and Spouts Junk (1932), a photomontage by John Heartfield.
- If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy we Would Be, a 2008 artwork by Jake and Dinos Chapman