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Hitler and the Nazi art archives

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• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Hitler spent millions of dollars on his art collection. Every summer from 1937 to 1944 he sponsored the “Great German Art Exhibitions” in Munich to show the world how creative Germany was under his rule.

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Photos of all the art pieces in the exhibitions, as well as information about who bought what, were put together into six massive volumes. But for six decades, those books have collected dust on the shelves of Munich’s Central Institute for Art History. Delving into the aesthetic inclinations of the Nazis was taboo.

But that changed recently when the archive was made available online at www.gdk-research.de. The online exhibit is the result of a collaboration between scientists at the Munich Art Institute, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, and the German Historical Museum in Berlin. 

The online exhibit also shows what prominent Nazi officials bought.