The “Führermuseum” in Linz

Adolf Hitler spent his youth in Linz and planned to spend his autumn years there. These plans involved turning the city on the Danube into a European cultural metropolis, crowned by a cultural centre built in monumental National Socialist architecture. A “Führermuseum” was planned on the western side of an opera house square. This was to house a picture gallery along with sculptures, decorative arts, coins and medals and a collection of drawings and prints.

As the actual construction was only due to take place after the war, the preparations for this art collection took place far from Linz, mainly in Dresden. Although the “Führermuseum” was never built, thousands of works of art from all over Europe were brought together as part of the Special Commission. As early as June 1938, Hitler enacted a “Führervorbehalt”; a proviso giving him the first right to works seized from Jewish collections in Austria. This was later extended to apply to all occupied territories and the German Reich.