London: A church stained glass window created in France at the height of the Nazi Occupation, which reportedly shows Adolf Hitler portrayed as a blood-thirsty King Herod killing a Jew, has been revealed for the first time after 70 years.
The extraordinary work of art was inaugurated in July 1941 at the St Jacques Church in Montgeron, south of Paris, reports a daily.
If it had been pointed out at the time of its opening it would have meant almost certain death for those who created it because Third Reich soldiers were running France with fierce brutality at the time, and anything attacking the German Fuhrer would have been destroyed immediately.
The colorful window clearly depicts a black-fringed Hitler as Herod, the infamous biblical King renowned for slaughtering children, killing St Jacques – French for St James – who represents the Jewish people, using a broadsword.
“The figure has Hitler’s hair, but his moustache has been hidden behind his arm to avoid serious trouble,” said Father Dominique Guerin, pastor of the parish.
Now the window is being viewed as a brave symbol of French Resistance during the Occupation of 1940 to 1944.
It was spotted by a journalist earlier this month, and then highlighted by the church authorities.
“Very few people have noticed it over the years,” said local historian Renaud Arpin.
“This ignorance would have been entirely understandable – if you’d known what it depicted during the war you would have been in a great deal of trouble,” Arpin said.
The window was created by a pair of brothers called Maumejean, master glassmakers, whose work adorns numerous churches in France.