Films of Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
The Architecture of Doom (1991): Blueprint for Annihilation: Melanie Murphy
Hitler’s passion for the arts—especially painting, with which he had little success, architecture which he practiced, and sculpture, which was his preferred medium for depicting the racial aesthetic of his regime—is presented in the 1991 documentary The Architecture of Doom as the defining element of his character, personality, and aims. Love of the arts was shared by approximately half of the top leadership of the Third Reich. The film asserts that an aesthetic drive for beauty, cleanliness, and splendor was the essence of Nazi ideology, behind Hitler’s monumental building projects, his genocide, and indeed, all that he did and planned. When Frederic Spotts, in his 2003 study, Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics, states that conventional politics had no attraction for Hitler, that he was most happy to be studying paintings and plans for his museum in Linz, that he loved and excelled at political spectacle, and that he was never too busy to give attention to the arts, his views are in concert with the thesis of The Architecture of Doom. But, Spotts writes, “many of Hitler’s key policies—such as racial genocide and the military domination of Europe—did not grow out of his aesthetic ideals. Hitler the ruler and Hitler the artist sometimes coincided, sometimes not.”1 To the contrary, The Architecture of Doom presents Hitler the artist and Hitler the ruler as indeed one, and contends that to understand Hitler as an artist-prince who did not, in fact, could not,...
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