On one level, this is kind of creepy because of its connections with Nazism, but on another, it is good to make something good come out of Nazism. An article (Nazi Art Project Now Online, October 7) from Deutsche Welle relates the creation of a new Web site (already translated for their English-language site):
No one knows who exactly gave the command, but between 1943 and the end of the war, the Nazi leadership spent millions of Reichsmarks sending photographers to the corners of the German "Reich." From Austria to Poland and Russia, the photographers, on orders from Hitler, took tens of thousands of color photos of wall and ceiling murals as well as shots of the buildings themselves. The estimated 480 different buildings, among them castles and churches, covered were either already damaged or facing possible destruction. "The cost of the project numbered probably in the many millions," Ralf Peters from the Central Institute of Art History, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Munich-based institute is now putting the more than 39,000 slides online for everyone to see. At the moment the Web site [Farbdiaarchiv zur Wand- und Deckenmalerei] is accessible, but bare bones. A polished version will go online Oct. 21.The helpful links at the bottom of the article led me to two other articles I had missed before and that you might also find interesting. First, one of the patrimonial sites opened during France's Journées du Patrimoine last month was the former headquarters of the Gestapo in Paris, including cells with graffiti scratched by prisoners during the war (The Graffiti of Nazi Horror, September 17). Second, Hitler wanted to establish a major art museum in Linz, Austria. Someone wrote a book tracing where Hitler collected his art and where it went after the war (The Mystery of Hitler's Lost Art Collection, August 24).