Tallahassee art collector to put Hitler's paintings for auction

By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
February 12, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The sketch of a bearded, seemingly elderly man may not look like much. Most artists would consider it to be the work of an amateur.

But, a closer look reveals the reason why it has a price tag of between $2,000 and $4,000; signed at the bottom is "A. Hitler."

"Anytime that you get into the World War II memorabilia situation, you're going to always have the controversial Third Reich Aspect," said John Whitworth of Affiliated Auctions.

Years before Adolf Hitler authorized the killing of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, he was a failed artist. And Whitworth has six of his works soon to be up for sale.

"It's great not only from an individual collector, but it's in great demand by institutions and historical societies, including those of the Judaic type," Whitworth explained.

Whitworth plans to sell the pieces at an upcoming auction in the state's capital city. Most of the sketches are of wooded landscapes, two are portraits and one is believed to be Hitler's niece.

"These are some kind of obscure, you know more personal. Poorly done is always the case, poorly done sketches by him," he continued.

Despite the controversial figure behind the artwork, there's little controversy over their sale, primarily because of their historical and educational value.

Barbra Goldstein, the founder of the Holocaust Educational Resource Council in Tallahassee, often touches on Hitler's early life in educational seminars. She says the paintings could spark a person's interest to learn more about the history of the Holocaust.

"It might even open some more doors and some minds of saying 'Wow, this is something Hitler did, what happened to him?'" Goldstein explained.

The sketches will go up for auction on March 8, where it's believed it'll be international buyers who take the sketches home.

While the sketches have been authenticated there is some debate as to whether they are real. Whitworth says the signature, style and subpar artistic talent of the pieces are all strong features that point to their validity.