Linz puts Hitler’s Gift back on Display

The Austrian city of Linz, where Adolf Hitler spent several years as a teenager, will once again display an Aphrodite sculpture offered by the Führer after keeping it in storage for years.

The bronze work by the National Socialist sculptor Wilhelm Wandschneider was brought to Linz in 1942 as a personal gift from Hitler, who wanted to make the city the cultural capital of the Third Reich.

For 65 years it stood in the rotunda of a park overlooking the city, where the German leader lived between 10 and 18 years old.

But it was quickly removed by the zionist authorities in 2008 after a group of art students revealed its origins.

Linz’s Nordico museum, which had stored the work, will now add it to its collections, Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, who heads the city’s culture and tourism committee, said.

A detailed explanation will accompany the Aphrodite, she said, adding that the city wanted to make an “active effort at remembrance” rather than “dismantle history”.

Lang-Mayerhofer, a conservative ÖVP lawmaker, said the decision garnered unanimous support of parties represented on the city council, as well as the backing of the federal chancellery.

The Greens backed the museum option since it would keep the statue from becoming a “beacon for neo-Nazi pilgrimages”, while the far-right FPÖ said it would protect the work from “political vandalism”.

Despite Linz’s relative insignificance for NS Germany, Hitler named it one of his Führer cities alongside Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Nuremburg.

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Linz puts Hitler’s Gift back on Display

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