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The Hitler stares at his favorite painting scene (also known as the Hitler looks at his favourite painting scene), is a scene from Downfall. Despite the noted lack of any dialogue, it is still a popular scene for parodies.

The painting

The painting itself was one of the most known oil-based paintings of Frederick the Great, belonging to Adolf Hitler.

Frederich II Painting

Frederick seems to stare back.

Hitler was known to admire Frederick II and often spoke of and quoted him. He actually had many paintings of Frederick II, one of them even being offered as a gift by Himmler at his 50th birthday.

Much of the portrait's history comes from James P. O'Donnell book The Bunker, which received a film adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitler in 1981.

In his book, O'Donnell claims that Hitler bought the portrait in Munich, in 1934. The author claimed to be Anton Graff. Hitler used to take the painting with him every time he moved headquarters and that its transport was in Hitler's personal pilot, Hans Baur's responsibility. Baur disliked this, as the painting was always placed in a bulky crate, that would sometimes scratch the plane's leather seating. It would always take precedence in the plane over passengers and even his general officers.

Alone, Hitler was known to spend a long time gazing at his painting, looking for inspiration.

After Hitler's suicide, Rochus Misch left the bunker with Hitler's portrait of Frederick the Great on the morning of May 2, but was soon captured by the Soviets and the painting fell into their hands.

In Downfall

Traudl looks at Hitler staring at painting

Traudl looks at Hitler.

Traudl enters Hitler's sitting room looking for a file, only to find it almost entirely darkened, except for a lit candle, and the Führer staring at a painting of Frederick the Great, while his mind drifts. She, unnerved, quietly leaves the room.

Remarkable is the sequence leading up to the scene. Outside, Krebs and Burgdorf are sleeping on the armchairs, and Keitel sat opposite to them. Keitel merely glances as Traudl enters the room.

In Downfall Parodies

Hitler watching Gunsche in Eurovision

A wall-mounted television taking the painting's place on the wall.

The scene was first parodied by vzorkic in Fegelein replaces Hitler's favorite painting. Since then it has been used in countless similar parodies. The framed painting is, on various occasions, replaced with other pictures (such as of Fegelein, King Leonidas, Wellington Piglet or the real Hitler), mounted taxidermy heads (of the bunker staff), or wall-mounted television sets. Traudl can't help but watch Hitler from a distance, before walking away completely baffled. On one occasion, Gilblitz112 made an image of Hitler looking at a picture of JennieParker87 using this scene.
Filthy Old Sod

Hitler masturbates/ejaculates over Emmy Göring, oblivious to Traudl unwittingly watching him.

Hitler looks at Jennie

Hitler looks at JennieParker87.

FegeleintheLostTapes used the sequence leading up to the scene in Viva La Fegel, where the three generals pulled an antic on poor Traudl. As she opens the door, a spring-loaded giant wrestling glove punches her, sending her towards the wall.

Trivia

  • The scene where Hitler was gazing at the painting was actually witnessed by Rochus Misch. In The Bunker, O'Donnell quotes:
“It was very late, and I thought of course that the Fuhrer had already retired. I went into his study to find something. There was Der Chef, gazing at the picture by candlelight. He was sitting there, motionless, his chin buried in his hand, as if he were in a trance. Hitler was staring at the king. The king seemed to be staring right back. I had barged in, but Hitler took no notice of me. So I tiptoed out. It was like stumbling upon someone at prayer.”

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