As an author, sometimes you get stuck. The well of inspiration runs dry. What do you do? Well, when I need a good kickstart to get writing again, I look online for weird or interesting articles. But here’s the thing: I write horror, so my search for a subject to ignite a fire in my brain tends to lead me down a darker rabbit-hole than most.
This Disturbing Painting That Predicted Hitler — In The Year He Was Born
Something about this one really weirds me out. In 1889, prolific painter Franz von Stuck created a harrowing piece that depicts German god Wotan leading a procession of the dead. Between the look of anguish on the faces of the damned and the soulless eyes of Wotan, the painting is not exactly something one would hang in their living room. (Not even me.) But here’s the really creepy part: it was painted the year Adolf Hitler was born, it was said to be one of Hitler’s favorite paintings, and let’s not beat around the bush here: IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE GOD DAMN HITLER.
Here’s another thing. Wotan was not a very nice god — in fact, he was a god of war — and upon his awakening, legend said he would do basically just what’s depicted in the painting. He would, essentially, lead a march of the dead through Germany. Sound familiar to you?
Carl Jung even likened Hitler to “Wotan’s avatar” and, as early as 1936, theorized that Wotan had “awoken and resided not only in Hitler, but the German people as a whole”. That’s what makes the painting and its backstory so unsettling to me. Did Franz von Stuck know what he was creating? Was it just a bizarre coincidence? Or is history already written long before we have a chance to recognize it?