Portrait of Hitler Causes Sensation

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An art form of French resistance at the height of Nazi occupation has come to the fore after it emerged that Adolf Hitler was portrayed as blood-thirsty King Herod killing in a church's stained glass window created during World War II.

The extraordinary work of art, depicting a black fringed Hitler as Herod, the infamous biblical king renowned for slaughtering children, remained unnoticed for 70 years at St Jacques Church in Montgeron, south of Paris, Britian's Daily Mail reported.

"The figure has Hitler's hair, but his moustache has been hidden behind his arm to avoid serious trouble," said Father Dominique Guerin, the pastor of the parish. It was spotted by a journalist earlier this month, and then highlighted by church authorities.

"Very few people have noticed it over the years," said local historian Renaud Arpin.

The church's stained-glass windows were unveiled in July 1941, during the Nazi occupation. Locals believe that the two artists, the Mauméjean brothers, deliberately depicted Hitler as the executioner of St. James, whom the church is named for, as an act of artistic and religious resistance.

Guérin's predecessor Gabriel Ferone told Le Parisien newspaper that the saint represents the Jewish people, as his name in Hebrew has the same etymology as Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes of Israel.

Stained-glass windows created by the brothers in other churches also mix political and religious messages, according to historian Arpin, the historian.

Authorities in the town are now hoping that the media attention will turn the church into a tourist attraction. Montgeron is only 12.5 miles from Paris and is easily reachable by train.

 

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