Hitler's architect mocked him through his clandestine cartoons

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London, July 19 : Poking fun at Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's pompous, and at times grandiose, vision in most cases would have resulted in a beheading or life in a concentration camp in Nazi era Germany, but now it surfaces that one of his architects clandestinely did indulge in dissent.

According to The Scotsman, Hans Stefan, an architect attached with Albert Speer, Hitler's court builder, made cartoon sketches that ridiculed Hitler's dream of White Ayran supremacy in Europe and Eurasia.

"Tallest, highest, widest, biggest, grandest" was the mantra of Hitler, the failed architectural student and painter. His legacy was to be preserved in buildings that would dwarf the structures of ancient Egypt and Rome, standing as testament to his leadership and his peoples' might.

Stefan, who was a Nazi party member, saw much of these designs as self-aggrandising rubbish, and his cartoons, which have surfaced after over six decades, poke fun at these schemes.

One has the German eagle, the national symbol, perched on top of the planned Great Hall, which was to be twice as big as St Peter's in Rome. All he hears are the "Heils!" from within and he asks a passing bird: "Can you go back under and tell me what's happening there!"

Another shows the planned east-west axis of the city being so big that people in Czechoslovakia can see it. Then there is a house dwarfed by the hideously overbearing structures of Germania with people within saying: "Do you think we are going to be a part of Germania too?"

A third one shows a giant crane grabbing a chunk of the Reichstag - Berlin's most imposing building - by mistake, illustrating how small it is next to the planned Great Hall.

"The Pedestrian Convoy" cartoon is almost straight out of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, showing the problems for humans in the mammoth mechanised city that Hitler envisaged and which, incidentally, he told Speer he had no time for human sentiment.

The reality, of course, turned out to be far different. By 1945 just the east-west axis and a few streetlights were the sum total of Germania's realisation.

The cartoons are on show at the Architectural Museum of the Technical University of Berlin and have been drawing large numbers of people.

Stefan survived the war and became a designer of civic buildings, many of which survive to this day; none as grand as those drawn up by Hitler.

The sketches were discovered in a Prussian military archive, which handed them on to the museum for the display.

ANI

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