Degenerate artDegenerate art

Paintings by Hitler fetch $450,000

German sale draws bidders from countries around the world seeking to buy watercolors of ‘mediocre quality’ by Nazi leader

Adolf Hitler's signature on a painting he did in 1912. (Courtesy Nate D. Sanders catalog)
Adolf Hitler's signature on a painting he did in 1912. (Courtesy Nate D. Sanders catalog)

BERLIN, Germany — Watercolor paintings and drawings by Adolf Hitler from about a century ago were sold at auction in Germany at the weekend for nearly 400,000 euros ($450,000), organizers said.

The most expensive was a painting of King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, now a tourist magnet, which went to a buyer from China for 100,000 euros, Nuremberg-based Weidler auctioneers said, quoted by German news agency DPA.

A still-life of carnations changed hands for 73,000 euros and all of the works on offer, which date from 1904 to 1922, most signed A. Hitler, sold at the auction which ended Saturday.

Bidders included private investors from Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, France and Germany itself, the auction house said, without identifying the buyers.

A picture titled “The Old City Hall” painted by Adolf Hitler is displayed in an auction house in Nuremberg, Germany.  (photo credit: AP Photo/Michael Probst)
A picture titled “The Old City Hall” painted by Adolf Hitler is displayed in an auction house in Nuremberg, Germany. (photo credit: AP Photo/Michael Probst)

“These collectors are not specialized in works by this particular painter but rather have a general interest in high-value art,” Kathrin Weidler of the auction firm told DPA.

In November, a watercolor painted by a young Hitler in 1914 of the city hall in Munich sold for 130,000 euros at a sale organized by the same auction house.

The buyer wished to remain anonymous.

As a budding young painter, Hitler applied to the Vienna Academy of Art but was rejected. He continued to paint however, copying images from postcards that he sold to tourists.

Experts consider his work to be of mediocre quality.

Germany permits auction houses to sell the late Nazi leader’s paintings as long as they do not feature any banned symbols.

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