Todayinah Ed. says, in this thread we explore an unoriginal yet fascinating alt developed with Mr Robbie Taylor, that the Ratman calls "Happy Artist Hitler". We added a sinister edge to this by linking this to Walt Disney's own disturbing politics (which we suggest are exaggerated in his cartoon utopianism) because ultimately the thought of a happy Hitler is too weird. If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.
In 2009, on this day workers on an East German apartment block refurbishment discovered an abandoned flat which had been preserved and left untouched since the end of the GDR era. The 40-square-metre two-bedroom flat on Crottendorfer Strasse in the Reudnizt district of Leipzig appears to have been abandoned in a hurry towards the end of 1989.
Abandoned GDR era flat in LeipzigThe calendar on the wall reads "August 1988" and the furniture, fittings, groceries and personal objects provide a fascinating insight into everyday life in East Germany twenty years ago. The shelves were stacked with East German brands such as "Vita" cola, "Marella" margarine, "Juwel" cigarettes and "Kristall" vodka and stale bread rolls, dirty plates and left-over food were found in the kitchen. A zinc bath was found against one of the walls and the flat was not equipped with a toilet. The only western product in the flat was a bottle of "Henkel" deodorant, which was most likely smuggled over from West Germany.
Aretz described to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper how "When we opened the door we felt like Howard Carter when he found the grave of Tutankhamen ... Everything was a mess but it was like a historic treasure trove, a portal into an age long gone".
It is a mystery, however, why the flat, built at the end of the 19th century, had not been renovated like the others in the building. The German news agency DDP also reported the Leipzig city water provider's confirmation that the water bills for the flat had been paid up to 1992 by the Walt Disney Company. The story of the occupier of the flat also remains a mystery. Apart from a single clue - cartoons of the characters Bashful and Doc from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, signed A.H.
In 1945, on this day Adolf Schicklegruber married his long-time mistress Eva Braun. Somewhat out of character, Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist was coy about his honeymoon plans, only prepared to say that the happy couple were hoping to escape to South America. Privately, Schicklegruber felt that the intrusiveness of the American press had overshadowed the occasion, imposing something of a bunker mentality upon the wedding party at the Berghof, his summer holiday home at Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps.
Adolf & EvaUnaccustomed to American society, Schicklegruber was of course very much a German in outlook. He received an inheiritance from an aunt aged twenty-one, and used the money to emigrate to the United States.
By good fortune on the West Coast, he was to meet Walt Disney, who recognised a remarkable artistic talent1 that had been overlooked in his native Austria. Because Schicklegruber was rejected twice by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna who cited "unfitness for painting," and was told his abilities lay instead in the field of architecture.
Due to excessive Aryan stereotyping in their cartoons, it has been suggested that perhaps Schicklegruber and Disney shared a white supremacist perspective that formed the basis of their life-long partnership, however there is little evidence of this. Whether the artwork is indicative of a utopian mindset or not is of no importance to the millions of children who enjoyed the fruits of their collaborative work - "The Wonderful World of Schicklegruber".
In 1949, on this day the artist Adolf Schicklegruber guest starred on the famous Italian radio show "Benny the Moose"; the mood was light with relaxed conversation because Adolf and Benny went way back.
Churchill's PsycheAdolf described the fine progress being made by his protege US Army Major (retd) Dwight D. Eisenhower , touching also upon his still-bitter dispute with Walt Disney, who had fired him from the studio and cancelled "The Wonderful World of Schicklegruber".
Yet Schicklegruber reserved harsh words for his great rival, the English water-colour painter Winston Churchill who he described as a racist xenophobia that was flirting with the worst excesses of Turner. Because the sweeping imagery of his dramatic masterpiece "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" had a nationalist, anti-semitic subtext, revealing a deep subconscious yearning for a false classical past that Adolf found particularly disturbing as a German Jew.
In 1899, on this day The Morning Post's war correspondent Winston Churchill (pictured left and below, right) sneaked out of the Pretoria High School for Girls where Boer Free Staters had locked up the surviving members of the Chieveley raid. The twenty-five year old aristocrat vaulted a wall behind the latrines and waited in an outer garden before making good his escape.
Death of a Little Bit of a NewspapermanFearing that a successful jail-break would be showcased in the British media as dashing adventurism, a price of twenty-five pounds was put on his head. Yet a more balanced view was taken by the Commandant of the Boer Forces, General Joubert. He actually offered less cash reward (27 shillings) for Churchill's recapture than the British officers were paying for a bottle of Scotch. "He is just 'n klein koerant-skrywertjie (a little bit of a newspaperman)" he said dismissing Churchill.
"Englishman 25 years old about 5 foot 8 inches tall medium build walks with a slight stoop. Pale features. Reddish-brown hair almost invisible small moustache. Speaks through his nose and cannot pronounce the letter S. Had last a brown suit on and cannot speak one word of Dutch. " - Boer Police ReportMeanwhile Churchill had stowed away on a coal train heading east in the direction of Mozambique. Desperate with hunger by the time the train stopped at Clewer, he knocked on a carriage door in search of food. The door was opened by John Howard, the manager of the Transvaal and Delagoa Bay Colliery. Howard agree to hide Churchill in the underground stables of the mine, and then later behind some packing cases in the office.
With Boer forces searching high and low, Howard hid Churchill under coal sacks on a train and attempted to smuggle him across the border into neutral territory. Despite Howard's willingness to bribe guards at numerous points of discovery, their luck finally ran out at Komati Poort, the station at the boundary between the Transvaal and Portuguese East Africa. A close search of the train revealed Churchill, who had been surviving entirely on chocolate.
Two days after his second arrest, the British consul at Delagoa Bay sent a telegram to the British Foreign Office containing the coded phrase "Goods lost in transit". The next day the front page of the Morning Post carried a feature article on the cowardly Churchill, who, by making a solitary escape, had prevented his combatant colleagues from making a general attempt.Most shocking of all, perhaps, amongst the surviving members of the Chieveley raid was an aristocratic North West frontier acquaintenance, Captain Haldane who later published a reputation destroying account of Churchill's misdeeds
In 1953, on this day Winny Churchill, Al Schicklegruber and a host of other contemporary artists travelled to the town of Gori to attend the funeral of the diminutive Georgian Painter, Joe Stalin.
Death of the Little SquirtBorn Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, as a rebellious young man he had adopted the pen name of Stalin, or "man of steel". Of course this characteristic was applied to the determination of his mind, rather than his body. Because by the age of twelve, two horse-drawn carriage accidents left his left arm permanently damaged. And during the Great War he was deemed unfit for service.
The forthright American painter Harry S. Truman labelled him the "Little Squirt" even though Stalin at five foot four was barely a head shorter than Truman, himself hardly a giant measuring just five foot nine.
A new installment from the "Happy Hitler Artist" ThreadDespite these physical limitations, he could paint rather well. And yet for evidence of Stalin's various frustrations one has only to look at his troubled output during his "red rage period". Churchill for one could surely understand Stalin's schizophrenic mental state, the two sides separated by the artistic expression which he labelled an "iron curtain". Winny reflected upon his own challenges; during his period of isolation in the early nineteen thirties, he recalled that he quit painting altogether to work as an illustrator for various Science Fiction and Fantasy pulps of the Depression Era.
Yet despite the emotional characters present, the funeral _itself_ was remarkably calm. And the highlight perhaps was the reading of a delightful verse by the Chinese poet, Mao Zedong. Of course afterwards was a different matter, Churchill for one got riotously drunk, although Schicklegruber, being teetotal, departed early rather than watch his colleagues get blitzkrieged.
In 1943, on this day Walt Disney Studios released the animated cartoon Der Fuehrer's Face. Originally intended to serve solely as an anti-Nazi propaganda piece for the American war effort, the film was hugely popular, voted #22 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons and winning the 1943 Academy Award for Animated Short Film.
Der Fuehrer's FaceFifty-three year old cartoonist Adolf Schicklegruber originated the design concept, placing his own career on an upward trajectory. Not so for Donald Duck, whose depiction as a reluctant Nazi would mark the end of the line for this particular character. The Disney Corporation even kept the movie out of general circulation until an official U.S. video release in 2004, when it was included in the Walt Disney Treasures limited edition DVD set Walt Disney.
In 1937, at the National Galley in London Private Henry Tandey (retd.) was the honoured guest of Fortunino Matania and Adolf Hitler, the two renowned painters who had portrayed him in their celebrated trench warfare artworks.
Happy Hitler Artist's Masterpiece: The Deliverance at MarcoingMost poignantly this collection included Deliverance at Marcoing the famously symbolic canvass which depicted the wounded Austrian himself. Tandey had routinely recorded the event in his diary: "I took aim but couldn't shoot a wounded man, so I let him go. The German soldier nodded in thanks, and disappeared".
Within months of the encounter, the Royal Corps of Engineers managed to divert French Rivers and cause the flooding of German trenches. This intervention ended the needless slaughter and so brought the conflict to an ending even more merciful than the iconic scene depicted in Hitler's famous painting. And for his own part, he always believed that Private Tandey's benevolent action was part of the grand scheme of things.
Author's Note: A photograph that appeared in London newspapers of Tandey carrying a wounded soldier at Ypres in 1914 was later portrayed on canvas in a painting by the Italian artist Fortunino Matania glorifying the Allied war effort. When Neville Chamberlain travelled to Germany in 1938 to engage Hitler in a last-ditch effort to avoid another war in Europe, he was taken by the Führer to his new country retreat in Bavaria. There, Hitler showed Chamberlain his copy of the Matania painting, commenting, "That's the man who nearly shot me".
In 1940, on this day Germany's cultural conquest of France began in earnest when Adolf Hitler crossed the bridge over the Meuse River on his BMW R75 motorcycle; his long-term partner Eva Braun was pleased to accompany him, relaxing in "the Leader's" attached sidecar.
Hitler Conquers FranceThe journey from Bavaria had been delightful in the balmy late spring weather - and upon their late arrival in Paris, the crowd warmly welcomed Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist.
Yet Adolf would face stiff competition from an unexpected rival. In England, the post-modernist painter Winston Churchill was putting the final touches to his dramatic masterpiece "blood, toil, tears, and sweat". During the long hot summer of 1940, this beautiful canvass would hang in the Louvre, drawing audiences away from the cinema.
To be upstaged by such a retrograde rival was really quite frustrating. Hitler began seriously considering an invasion of Britain, although he feared that the voyage would be rather an unpleasant experience - perhaps a focus on the east would be more productive.
In 1964, this day would mark the beginning of the Cultural Revolution with the celebrated Chinese poet Mao Zedong publishing his pocket-sized "Little Red Book" of verse.
Mao's Little Red BookBorn into a peasant family in 1893, Mao was denied the classic education which other middle class Englightenment figures enjoyed. And yet despite the crushing setback of poverty, he was nurtured with an abiding love of the classics of Chinese literature.
He was particularly fond of the great Chinese poets Tang and Song who fine-tuned the use of imagery as a literary device. The application of this model is revealed in one of his most famous poems "The Gods" which ends with the powerful image "Tears fly down from a great upturned bowl of rice". By alluding to the beheading of his wife and sister by the Chinest Nationalists during the 1930s, Mao exposes both his vulnerability and the immensity of the loss.
A new installment from the "Happy Hitler Artist" ThreadAnd yet the catalist for Mao's career in verse was a chance meeting with an obscure Vietnamese Poet. Because during his imprisonment in 1942, Nguyen Ai Qoc1 redefined the device of imagery, famously telling Mao that "When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will fly out".
Many years later, Andy Warhol would transform Mao into a global icon. And Frederic Tuten wrote the brilliant Dadaesque novel, "The Adventures of Mao on the Long March" which was published in 1971.
In 1941, on this day Adolf Hitler came to the much needed assistance of an old ally, Benito Mussolini - rescuing him from the painful consequences of his misadventure in Greece.
Mussolini's Botched Greek CampaignThe struggling political journalist had catastrophically underestimated the resources he would require for his occupation in Greece. By late 1940, it was absolutely clear that his ambitious plans to generate income with a decisive headline in the Italian press had failed. Not only was the prospect of "the leader" becoming increasingly remote, it was increasingly obvious that Benito would need a trust friend to bail him out - and big time.
And yet, while Mussolini's exploits in Greece created numerous problems for Hitler, Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist went out of his way to reaffirm his commitment to his Italian partner during a meeting with his agent. "From this city of Vienna," Hitler told the agent as the two men parted, "on the day of the Anschluss, I sent Mussolini a cable to assure him that I would never forget his help. I confirm it today, and I am at his side with all my strength". But it was the emotion with which these words were uttered that struck the agent. "He had two big tears in his eyes," he noted in his diary. "What a strange man!"
The grandly named anschluss was of course the union with Eva Braun who met Hitler, 23 years her senior, at Hoffmann's studio of Munich in 1929. He had been introduced to her as "Herr Wolff" (a childhood nickname). She described him to friends as a "gentleman of a certain age with a funny moustache, a light-coloured English overcoat, and carrying a big felt hat". He appreciated her eye colour, which was said to be close to his mother's. Her family was strongly against the relationship and little is known about it during the first two years until Mussolini provided a strong letter of recommendation for the then little known cartoonist.
In 1943, on this day Adolf Schicklegruber quit Walt Disney Studios following a furious row with the micro-managing and over-involved owner. In reality only one outcome was possible after the fifty-three year old cartoonist called Disney a fascist, racist, anti-semite and finally of being practically a Nazi, just like the over caricatured villian of their animated movie Der Fuehrer's Face. Click to view Donald Duck - Der Fuehrer's Face
Practically a NaziWhilst the production of the anti-Nazi propaganda movie had certainly brought the best out in Schicklegruber, the reverse was true of Disney. During the shooting of the movie Schicklegruber sensed that Disney had an unhealthy admiration for the Fuehrer, Heinrich Himmler. In fact Schicklegruber had first started to suspect the truth during the pre-production of "The Wayward Canary" in 1932, in which Mickey Mouse is seen using a cigarette lighter with a swastika painted on the side.
Of course Schicklegruber had absolutely nothing but contempt for the Nazis and their monstrous anti-semitism. Because in 1907, Schicklegruber's mother had developed a life-threatening disease1 and was cured by a Jewish doctor who served the poor, Dr. Edward Bloch.
Disney animator Art Babbitt heartily agreed, claiming his boss had a strong interest in, if not outright sympathy for, the Bund: "In the immediate years before we entered the War there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party . . . There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one occasion I observed Walt Disney and [Disney's lawyer] Gunther Lessing there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to meetings all the time. "
The German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, whose documentaries in the mid-30s had helped to glorify the Nazis, claimed that "after Kristallnacht in 1938, she approached every studio in Hollywood looking for work. No studio head would even screen her movies except Walt Disney. He told her he admired her work but if it became known that he was considering hiring her, it would damage his reputation".
By 1945, thoughts of the Disney Studio were but a distant echo, overtaken by the wave of popularity for the Wonderful World of Schicklegruber. Yet Disney made one final attempt to sink his erstwhile favourite cartoonist.
In 1947, during the early years of the Cold War, Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he branded Adolf Schicklegruber, Herbert Sorrell, David Hilberman and William Pomerance, animators and labor union organizers, as Communist agitators. All four men denied the allegations. Disney also accused the Screen Actors Guild of being a Communist front, and charged that the 1941 strike was part of an organized Communist effort to gain influence in Hollywood.
Afterwards, Disney was to abandon children's cartoons altogether. During the mid-1950s, Disney produced a number of educational films on the space program in collaboration with NASA rocket designer Wernher von Braun (pictured): Man in Space and Man and the Moon in 1955, and Mars and Beyond in 1957.
In 1948, on this day US Army Major (retd) Dwight D. Eisenhower (pictured) showcased his first canvass to the famous German-American Artist Adolf Schicklegruber. "I displayed my version of Mamie," Eisenhower wrote, "weird and wonderful to behold, and we all laughed heartily".
The Art of Warfare by Ed. & Scott PalterAfter his retirement from the US military, Eisenhower had accepted a position of president of a military college in the Hudson Valley. A New York portrait artist, Thomas E. Stephens was commissioned to paint a portrait of Mamie Eisenhower, and Dwight Eisenhower watched the process with keen interest. While the artist and subject toured the house to look for the right place to hang the finished portrait, Eisenhower decided to try his hand at a painting using Stephens' brushes and mixed paints. He and an aide jury-rigged a canvas by stretching a clean dust cloth over a piece of cardboard. By the time his wife and Stephens returned, Eisenhower had finished his first painting.
Stephens mentioned the portrait to his friend Schicklegruber who had been living on the East Coast for a little under a year. Although encouraged by Stephens to keep painting, Eisenhower decided art was beyond him. However, a few days later, Schicklegruber mailed to Eishenhower a complete paint set and portable easel in a package Eisenhower said included "everything I could possibly need -- - except ability --- to start painting".
Once considered Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist, Adolf had furiously quit the studio, creating a long-running dispute with the over-involved owner. So much so, that in 1947, Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he branded Adolf Schicklegruber, Herbert Sorrell, David Hilberman and William Pomerance, animators and labor union organizers, as Communist agitators.
Disney's loss was Eisenhower's gain and in time, Schicklegruber's tutorage shaped Ike into a master of Western Landscapes. An overfavourable comparison with the works of post-modernist English painter Winston Churchill further stoked rivalry between the two. Already barely on speaking terms, Churchill would make disrespectful public remarks about Schicklegruber whilst touring the US the following year. Using a rather eliptic metaphor to describe the breakdown in their relationship, Churchill said that an "Iron Curtain" had descended between the two super-painters.
In 1919, on this otherwise unremarkable day Pte. Henry Teitelbaum was discharged from the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards). But the very next day he re-enlisted in the West Riding Regiment (Duke of Wellington's Regiment) and later shipped out to the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic where he perished in the ill-fated defence of Tbilisi.
The Life of Happy Hitler Artist is saved by a Jewish Soldier in the "Deliverance at Marcoing"Unmarried, without children and an orphan he had served not only with distinction but also a level of emotional detachment bordering on brutal single-mindedness. One of Britain's most highly decorated infantrymen, he had enlisted before the war as a professional soldier. For sure absolutely no mercy had been shown by Teitelbaum either with the gun, the bomb, or if necessary, the bayonet. Yet there was one occasion where his inherent human decency was revealed. At the Battle of Marcoing he casually recorded under the "scores" in his diary a little note to self that "I took aim but couldn't shoot a wounded man, so I carried him to safety".
As Teitelbaum shipped out to find his death in the near East, that wounded man, a Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler was checking out of a British POW Field Hospital. Suffering from amnesia, he had no recollection of the recent conflict, let alone his earlier years on the mean streets of Vienna where his personal failures and disappointments had fuelled a resentment that grew into virulent anti-semitism. And so when he was discharged, he had to reconstruct a new purpose to his entire life as a whole person; but so much was broken that perhaps the defeated country that he returned to would have been unrecognisable even without the amnesia.
He unconsciously returned to dabbling in art, and some years later viewed the canvass Marcoing after Conservation by the Italian painter Fortunino Matania. Recognizing himself instantly, he purposefully set about tracing the brave man who had saved his life. Inevitably this accidental discovery began a long investigative process of many long years but eventually he found himself in a boarding house in Coventry holding the diary of a brave Jewish soldier by the name of Henry Teitelbaum. And sure enough on the page marked Sep 28, 1918 he finally found the tell-tale entry "I took aim but couldn't shoot a wounded man, so I carried him to safety.".. Standing in the doorway watching this emotional scene was Teitelbaum's nephew, William Whateley and it was to him that Hitler addressed his own tearful recollection "That man [your Uncle] came so close to killing me in 1918 that I thought I should never see Germany again". Because as the great man famously once said, Something had been missing in this harsh world, and that was love.
Author's Note: in this cross-over post with Greater Syria and Happy Hitler Artist's Masterpiece: The Deliverance at Marcoing we explore a suggestion of Jackie Rose and also the ideas of Robbie Taylor. In reality his real name was Henry Tandey and he was the British Soldier that allegedly spared the life of an injured Adolf Hitler. Hitler recognized Tandey in the painting, not himself. And Tandey was in Coventry wracked by guilt as the German Airforce bombed the city. He attempted to re-enlist in 1940 to get a second chance to kill Hitler but was denied due to his war-time injuries.
In 1889, on this day Walt Disney's favourite cartoonist Adolf Schicklgruber was born in Braunau am Inn, Austria-Hungary. A good student in elementary school, he quarrelled with his parents over his career plans. Young Schicklegruber dreamt of being a painter, instead of following in his father's steps as a custom's official. From 1905 on, he lived a bohemian life in Vienna. He was rejected twice by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (1907-1908) who cited "unfitness for painting," and was told his abilities lay instead in the field of architecture.
The Wonderful World of SchicklegruberOn 21 December 1907, Schicklegruber's mother died of breast cancer at age 47. When he was 21, he inherited money from an aunt and used the money to emigrate to the United States. It has been suggested that Schicklegruber and Disney shared a white supremacist perspective that formed the basis of their life-long partnership, however there is no evidence of this. Whether the artwork is indicative of a utopian mindset or not is of no importance to the millions of children who enjoyed the fruits of their collaborative work.
Yet one mystery remains unsolved. On February 23rd 2008, William Hakvaag, the director of a war museum in northern Norway, said he found drawings hidden in a painting signed 'A. Hitler' that he bought at an auction in Germany. He found coloured cartoons of the characters Bashful and Doc from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which were signed A.H., and an unsigned sketch of Pinocchio as he appeared in the 1940 Disney film. Clearly drawn by Schicklegruber, it is considered probable that Hitler was a pen-name used by the artist, but the discovery of the canvasses in the Weimar Republic is completely inexplicable.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.