In an auction at Nuremberg five paintings attributed to Adolf Hitler have failed to find buyers. The auction held amid anger at the sale of Nazi memorabilia. High starting prices of between €19,000 and €45,000 ($21,000 and $50,000) with lingering suspicions about the authenticity of the artworks were thought to be the reason. The Weidler auction house did not comment on the reasons for the failure but said the paintings could yet be sold at a later date. Nuremberg’s mayor, Ulrich Maly, had earlier condemned the sale as being “in bad taste”.
Hitler who for a time tried to make a living as an artist in his native Austria regularly spark outrage that collectors are willing to pay high prices for art linked to the country’s Nazi past. According to Stephan Klingen of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich, Hitler had the style of “a moderately ambitious amateur” but his creations did not stand out from “hundreds of thousands” of comparable works from the period making their authenticity especially hard to verify. The watercolours, drawings and paintings bearing “Hitler” signatures featured views of Vienna or Nuremberg, female nudes and still life works, the auction house said. They were offered by 23 different owners. Prosecutors have collected 63 artworks from the Weidler premises bearing the signature “A.H.” or “A. Hitler”, including some not slated to go under the hammer. prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke from the Nuremberg-Fuerth prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation against persons unknown “on suspicion of falsifying documents and attempted fraud. f they turn out to be fakes, we will then try to determine who knew what in the chain of ownership”.
> Alma Siddiqua