Adolf Hitler


Clemens von Lengsfeld is the pseudonym of the artist Irene von Neuendorff. Born 1959, she studied art at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe under professors Rainer KĂŒchenmeister, Albrecht von Hancke and Peter Dreher. She also concluded her degree in German Studies and History at the University of Karlsruhe. In 1985 she received a bursary enabling her to continue her studies at the Ecole des Beaux Arts SupĂ©rieure, Paris. Irene von Neuendorff comes from a family in which not only perpetrators but also victims occur. Her grandfather on her father’s side, from an East Prussian aristocratic family, was a high ranking officer in a position of responsibility. Her grandfather on her mother’s side was a prisoner in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp due to his Jewish origins until it was liberated. Ms von Neuendorff has been occupied with National Socialism for more than twenty years and is thus dealing with the dichotomy in her own origins. From this examination there has also resulted a series of outsize portraits of Adolf Hitler, which show him in all possible facets, poses and disguises. Hitler is never ostensibly identifiable as a monster, mass murderer or madman. On the contrary, von Neuendorff vehemently carries on his de-mythisation and makes him into a friendly honest citizen. Softly and becomingly the materials cling to his body. A blossom background of soft pink ironically detracts from the well-known and long hackneyed picture and shows him, amongst other things, as a lascivious erotic “ladies’ man”, which Hitler was by the way. She always shows his harmlessness turned to the outside, with which he tendered to those without direction, the enraged and the despondent. Von Neuendorff also lets her Hitler express his unabashed directness, with which he ridiculed representatives of the government as “betrayers of the nation”, the parliament as a “talking shop” or the press as “Jew press” and “hacks”, in a superior pose. And yet, through the ironic refraction he is more the seduced than seducer – a reflection of the interests, belief systems and deep-seated anxieties and emotions of the German people. The connection to current affairs is evident. Evil only betrays itself through a menetekel, which von Neuendorff draws on her flowery wallpaper: a skull – symbol for the death of millions, the deaths on the battlefields and the organised mass murder in the extermination camps. From this original preoccupation with Hannah Arendt’s theory of the “Banality of Evil” ultimately a book came into being based on extensive research, and which is now available for the first time as an audio book and e-