Banality of Evil: Adolf's Birthday Gift
Adolf Hitler was an art and art book lover and a voracious reader. For his 50th birthday on April 20, 1939, the Führer was given the monument tome, “Three Centuries of Berlin’s Architectural History,” which addressed his other love – architecture. The gift was reported in the once influential design magazine Gebrauchsgraphik and attributed to the work of the Ganymede Graphic Art Institute.
“The admirably compiled text,” states an unsigned article (above) in German and English, “is the work of August Fredrich Velmede whilst the excellent typographic and technical arrangement and decoration of the book was entrusted to the skilful hands of Jupp Daehler.” The distinctive AH monogram and swastika ornament were signs of fealty. The shocking part of this story, however, is the space it is given in this once respected journal, whose founding editor, Professor H.K. Frenzel killed himself in 1937 (although some say it was a suspicious auto accident) rather than become a mouthpiece of the Nazi regime.