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The Führer and the Decorator: Hitler’s Homes as Nazi Propaganda
Despina Stratigakos
Jun 20, 2019 (6pm)

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Hitler at Home examines the aesthetic and ideological construction of Hitler's domesticity, focusing on his two private residences in Bavaria: the Berghof on the Obersalzberg and his Munich apartment at Prinzregentenplatz 16. Through the architectural and media creation of these places, the Nazi regime fostered the myth of the private Hitler as peaceable homebody and good neighbor, an image used strategically and effectively within Germany and abroad to distance the Führer from Europe's violence. Moreover, this image helped to dispel any suspicions raised by the Führer’s bachelor status that may have threatened the Nazi cult of domesticity. Largely ignored by historians as politically or architecturally insignificant, the fabrication of Hitler's private spaces reveals how the occupant imagined his interiority, how he positioned this self in relation to his public identity, and how intricately and expertly artists and propagandists of the regime interwove these facets into a seductive whole.

Despina Stratigakos is SUNY Buffalo’s vice provost for inclusive excellence and professor of architecture in the Department of Architecture. She is the author of three books that explore the intersections of power and architecture, including Where Are the Women Architects? (Princeton University Press, 2016), and Hitler at Home (Yale University Press, 2015). She is currently writing a book on the Nazis’ building plans for occupied Norway (forthcoming 2020). Stratigakos is a Graham Foundation grantee has served as a director of the Society of Architectural Historians, an advisor of the International Archive of Women in Architecture at Virginia Tech, and a trustee of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation in New York.

Related Graham supported projects:
2015 grant to Despina Stratigakos for the publication Hitler at Home
2010 grant to Despina Stratigakos for research on the publication Hitler at Home

Image: Left: Heinrich Hoffmann, postcard of the Berghof, Hitler’s mountain home on the Obersalzburg, ca. 1936. Right: Heinrich Hoffmann, photograph of Hitler escorting a girl to his Obersalzburg house, from Hoffmann’s Youth around Hitler (1934).

For more information on the exhibition, Spirit of the Waves, click here.