Museum of the Führer

The Führer Museum (in German: Führermuseum ) was a project, never realized, of museum that Adolf Hitler planned to construct in the Austrian city of Linz . It was intended to bring together the great collection of art appropriated by the Nazis during World War II . The museum building was part of a very ambitious set designed by Albert Speer and other architects which included a large theater, an opera house and the Hotel Adolf Hitler, all surrounded by boulevards and a large esplanade for crowds. 1 The museum was designed with a large 150 meter columned façade, similar in design to the Haus der Deutsche Kunst erected in Munich by the architect Paul Ludwig Troost . The site of the Führer Museum coincided with that of the Linz railway station, which was intended to move about four kilometers to the south.

Museum Collection

On June 21, 1939, Hitler created in Dresden the Sonderauftrag Linz (Special Commission Linz), composed of historians of experts art in painting and linked to the Dresden Gallery to form the collection of the Museum of the Führer and appointed Hans Posse ( Director of the Dresden Gallery ) special envoy. Members of the Commission included historians such as Robert Oertel and Gottfried Reimer. Posse died in December 1942 of cancer and his responsibilities were assumed in March 1943 by Hermann Voss , art historian and director of the Wiesbaden Museum . 2 The methods for acquiring works ranged from confiscation to purchase: funds from the profits of the Mein Kampf book or the sale of Hitler portraits were used . 3 4 The purchases were mostly stored in the Führerbau in Munich , while the confiscated works of art were stored in Austria. Since February 1944, and in the face of the danger of destruction caused by the increase of Allied bombings, all this artistic heritage was transferred to several safe havens, among others the salt mines of Altaussee , which were built as underground warehouses. The log books of the entire collection were kept in Dresden and then transferred to Schloss Weesenstein , where they were confiscated at the end of the war by the Soviets. In 2008, the German Historical Museum of Berlin published a complete list of the paintings that the Third Reich assigned to the Fuhrer Museum and other German museums. The most important source for rebuilding such collections are the photo albums that the Sonderauftrag Linz created between autumn 1940 and autumn 1945. Every Christmas and every birthday of Hitler (April 20) these albums were presented to Hitler, who reached the number Of thirty-one, although currently only nineteen are preserved. 5


  • LÖHR, Hanns Christian: Das Braune Haus der Kunst. Hitler und der “Sonderauftrag Linz” . Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2005. ISBN 978-3-05-004156-8 .
  • MARIN, Maribel: « Inventory of the museum dreamed by Hitler », El País , December 2, 2007.
  • SPOTTS, Frederic: Hitler and the power of aesthetics . Woodstock, 2003, pp. 188-220. ISBN 1-58567-345-5 .
  • SCHWARZ, Birgit: Hitler’s Museum. Die Fotoalben Gemäldegalerie Linz . Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2004. ISBN 3-205-77054-4 .
  • SCHWARZ, Birgit: “Hitler’s Museum”, in: Vitalizing Memory. International Perspectives on Provenance Research . Washington, 2005, pp. 51-54.
  • SCHWARZ, Birgit: “Le Führermuseum de Hitler et la Mission spéciale Linz”, in: André Gob: Des musées au-dessus de tout soupcon . Paris, 2007, pp. 164-176. ISBN 978-2-200-35099-4
  • SCHWARZ, Birgit: ‘Sonderauftrag Linz und Führermuseum’, in: Raub und Restitution . Berlin: Jüdisches Museum, 2008; Pp. 127-133 ISBN 978-3-8353-0361-4