5 alleged Hitler watercolors go unsold at German auction

Elias Hubbard
February 11, 2019

Hitler paintings "hardly get sold in Germany", said auctioneer Heinz-Joachim Maeder, reflecting Hitler's taboo status in the country responsible for crimes, including the genocide of more 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.

An auction of pictures attributed to Adolf Hitler has ended in disarray after police seized most of the artworks as possible fakes and the remaining five watercolours failed to attract any bids.

Held in the city of Nuremberg on Saturday at the Weidler auction house, the sale included several watercolor paintings with a starting price of $51,000, as well as items owned by the Nazi dictator, including a vase and a wicker chair with a swastika symbol, reports the BBC.

The auction house did not give a reason as to why the paintings failed to sell, but the high prices and lingering suspicions about their authenticity were thought to have scared off potential buyers.

Deutsche Welle cited Nuremberg Mayor Ulrich Maly as describing the Nuremberg auction as "lacking in style and taste".

A picture taken on February 8, 2019 shows the watercolour entitled "Ortschaft an Vorgebirgssee", a scene of a village near a mountain lake, signed "A. Hitler", which is on display at the Weidler auction house in the southern city of Nuremberg.

"There's a long tradition of this trade in devotional objects linked to Nazism", Klingen told AFP.

Under German law, the use of the Nazi symbol is illegal except for a few circumstances such as education.

This came shortly after prosecutors confiscated 63 artworks bearing "A.Hitler" or "A.H." signatures from the Weidler premises on Wednesday.

An investigation was opened into unidentified individuals "on suspicion of falsifying documents and attempted fraud", Nuremberg-Fuerth chief prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke told AFP. They were offered by 23 different owners.

Weidler said in a statement that withdrawing the paintings from sale did "not automatically mean they are fakes".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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