In US Army Vault, 'Heinous' Art Includes a Hitler Bust

Eagle's Nest, Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler's lair at Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps, Germany (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Getting to the 3-foot bust of Adolf Hitler, taken from his mountaintop retreat known as the Eagle's Nest, was a months-long effort. Even on the day that Andrew Beaujon would set his eyes upon it, he had to pass through a security gate, drive a mile to its host building at Virginia's Fort Belvoir, then get inside a vault. There, he found the bust looking "less than menacing" with 70-year-old dents from boot kicks and the word "FOOL" written on the side. 

But opinions can change. That's part of the reason this item—one of 586 Nazi-era art pieces in Fort Belvoir's collection—is cloaked in near secrecy, Beaujon writes in a 3,500-word feature at the Washingtonian. As the curator of the collection explains, "There's a very narrow line that we have to walk because we certainly don't want it to be a rallying point for Nazism."

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