Hitler's 'No Artistic Value' Watercolors To Go On Auction In Berlin


Thursday, January 24th 2019, 5:54 pm
By: News 9


The pictures - three anaemic watercolors showing a mountain scene, a river, a distant figure sat beneath a tree - are little different from wares on sale at flea markets the world over, except for the autograph scratched in the corner: "A.Hitler".

But it is thanks to that attribution to Germany's wartime Nazi leader, guilty of some of the worst crimes in history, that a Berlin auction house hopes a sale on Thursday (01/24) afternoon will net thousands of euros for the family selling them.

"They are watercolors by Adolf Hitler," said Heinz-Joachim Maeder, a spokesman for Kloss auctioneers. "In my view they have no artistic value - it's simply adequate craftsmanship. The value of these objects and the media interest is because of the name at the bottom."

Before the outbreak of World War One, in which he fought, a penniless Hitler eked out a living as a jobbing painter in Munich, churning out dozens of postcards and paintings for petty cash.

His earlier dreams of becoming an artist were dashed when the young man twice failed to pass the entrance exam for the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.

"If you walk down the Seine and see 100 artists, 80 will be better than this," Maeder said.

Hundreds of Hitler artworks are known to exist, though most are held by the United States Army, which confiscated them after the allies defeated Hitler's murderous regime at the end of World War Two. That collection is never exhibited.

There are also many forgeries in circulation, though these three paintings have been authenticated by a U.S.-based handwriting expert Frank Garo, whose certificate of authenticity noted the autograph "shows spontaneity, proper letter size... and no sign of being drawn or forced."

The auction house expects strong demand from online bidders in Britain, Scandinavia, the U.S., and, above all, Russia.

"They (Hitler paintings) hardly get sold in Germany," said Maeder, reflecting Hitler's taboo status in the country, which under his leadership was responsible for crimes including the genocide of 5 million Jews in the Holocaust.

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