Hitler watercolour painting sells for 130,000 euros at auction

The artwork was sold in Germany and far exceeded its 48,000 euros estimate

A watercolour painting by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler has sold for 130,000 euros (£103,000) at auction in Germany, despite controversy over its sale.

Created by a young Hitler in 1914, the artwork of Munich’s civil registry office and old town hall (“Standesamt und Altes Rathaus Muenchen”) was bought by an anonymous Middle Eastern buyer on Saturday, auction house Weidler confirmed.

The piece had been expected to sell for more than 48,000 euros but far exceeded this estimate.

Bidders from four continents had expressed interest in the painting, which came with a rare handwritten bill of sale and a signed letter from Albert Bormann, Hitler's adjutant and the brother of his private secretary Martin Bormann.

adolf-hitler-sale-bill.jpg
The original bill of sale for Adolf Hitler's watercolour

The sellers, two elderly sisters whose grandfather had bought the artwork in 1916, are donating 10 per cent of the proceeds to a disabled children charity, according to Kathrin Weidler, the auction house director.

The sale of Hitler’s work has been a matter of debate, with some relatives of Holocaust survivors angry that it is allowed to happen. Six million Jewish people were killed under Nazi rule with World War II from 1933 to 1945 causing the death of millions.

Hitler struggled to make a living as an artist in his late teens and early 20s, painting some 2,000 works but many critics have branded the auctioning of his work “tasteless”.

 

Prior to Saturday’s auction, Weidler requested that any complaints about the auctioning be sent to the city of Nuremberg, the central German town where the auction was held, or the sisters selling the painting.

“Those who want to get worked up about this should just go ahead and get worked up about it,” she told Reuters. “It’s a historical document.”

Weidler Auction House has sold five of Hitler’s other paintings in the past for between $6,000 and $100,000.

Hitler wrote in his autobiography Mein Kampf that his hopes of becoming an artist were crushed by repeated rejections from Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Comments